Ritalin use in the late 60's?

My wife just remembered that her mother took Ritalin in the late 60’s/early 70’s. But she didn’t know and doesn’t know why. I know it is a stimulant and is occasionally NOW prescribed for hyperactivity disorder. But her mom was not a hyperactive child, but a 60 year old woman. And she wasn’t in need of stimulants, since she was an early riser, a hard worker, and a coffee drinker. What types of conditions were indications for use of Ritalin in those days? Any historians of pharmaceuticals here?

It used to be prescibed for obesity (stimulants kill your apetite as well as give you more energy) and narcolepsy (for obvious reasons, stimulants keep you awake).

I believe Robert Dallek’s recent examination of JFK’s medical records from his presidency showed that JFK briefly took Ritalin. I don’t exactly why.

Hmmm narcolepsy - not likely. Obesity? far fetched, but possible. Any other uses, gang?

Our campus clinic would give it out for free if we claimed to have problems staying awake long enough to study for finals. Cheaper than speed…

I’m not sure about the 60’s, but in the early 70’s I was quite a hyper tot and I was prescribed Ritalin for ADHD, much to the pleasure of my kindergarten teacher. My parents, however, took me off Ritalin after a few weeks because it made me a “zombie.”

Demonic possession, perhaps? I remember it being prescribed in The Exorcist.

I would argue that it was speed. Not a lot different from methamphetamine.

sure, but we didn’t have to pay for it… so it was cheaper!

Poster of above question might probably not read this but someone else might find this answer usefull.

In 2007 my neurologist precribed Ritalin against pain from diabetic polyneuropathy.
I am not sure in how much it works as I do use othe painkillers for other pains.
I think however is does reduce pain in the foots a bit.

Johan de Groot
Might I say the whole procedure to first register and login is a bit oldfashioned and annoying in the days of direct social media. Anyway …

Just an old-fashioned zombie on speed

It’s still used for narcolepsy. I know someone who takes it for precisely that purpose. Actually she takes Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) which is an enantiomer of methyphenidate (stereoisomer to be precise - IIRC).

I have been on every amphetamine on the market at one time or another and focalin is at least as powerful as desoxyn (methamphetamine) but with much more consistent response and fewer/less severe catecholaminergic side effects.

As a side note, Ritalin (pronounced here as rye-TAL-in) was featured as a life saving drug in episodes 75 and 76 (The Way to Eden / Requiem for Methuselah) of Star Trek TOS.

prophetic post, wha?

bolded by me

The Ritalin data sheet notes that it may be used for Narcolepsy.

I believe Dexedrin, a related stimulant, was originally certified for the treatment of Narcolepsy. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ritalin was as well.

I suspect stimulants were used quite heavily back in the day. “Little Pep Pills” was a common phrase. I believe military pilots used to take or carry Dexedrine as procedure for long missions. I’ll bet a lot of prescriptions for ‘narcolepsy’ were really just people looking for a physical and mental boost. Likewise, sedatives were relatively easy to get and talk of taking them routinely was common in the culture.