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How Long Does Ritalin (Methylphenidate) Stay In Your System

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  • 24th August 2016

What is Ritalin

A psycho-stimulant drug, Ritalin is used for treating Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Its active ingredient methylphenidate functions as a catecholamine reuptake inhibitor for dopamine and norepinephrine. The reuptake inhibition facilitates an increase in extracellular dopamine and norepinephrine, which in turn, enhances neuropsychological arousal.



How long can Ritalin show up on a drug test

Urine Test up to 24 hours
Saliva Test < 24 hours
Hair Follicle Test < 30 days
Blood test > 24 hours

How long does Ritalin last in the system after the last dose

To determine how long Ritalin will stay in your system, we must consider the elimination half-life of the drug, which varies from children to adults to the elderly. It also depends on the strength of the Ritalin ingested. On an average, the drug has a half-life of 2 to 3 hours. Since most drugs, including Ritalin, have 5.5 half-lives, it will take 11 to 16.5 hours for the drug to be flushed out of one’s system.

To reiterate, the time needed from ingestion of the drug to its excretion depends on individual factors(age, build, hepatic and renal functioning, etc.), the frequency of dosage, co-administration of other drugs and of course, whether the Ritalin ingested was of IR(Immediate Release), SR(Sustained Release) or LA(Long Acting). The half-lives of the SR and LA variants are about 30-40 minutes more than the IR option. Considering only this fact, and not the other factors, the time for excretion of the SR and LA variants of Ritalin may go up to 19.25 hours.

How to get Ritalin out of your system

Acidify your urine content: Since high urinary alkaline content slows down the excretion process while acidic content expedites it. Eating foods and liquids with high acidic content will help in excreting Ritalin at a faster rate.

Keep yourself hydrated: Ritalin is excreted through urine, since drinking plenty of fluids will help you to get Ritalin out of your system.

Enzyme inducing drugs: Consuming drugs that induce the specific enzymes in the liver that metabolize Ritalin may quicken the pace at which it is excreted.

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