A drug store related advertising character who actually existed was the Ritalin Man. This character helped the public understand the drug Ritalin, which was first used to treat depressed and geriatric patients, patients whose behaviour was very different from that of hyperactive children. It was first synthesised in 1944 and used as a stimulant drug. It was first approved for use in adults in the US during the mid-1950s.

To have a specific figure to use for advertising purposes at drug stores, the Ritalin Man display figure was created. The Ritalin Man was presented as a happy fellow. He was a guy waving his hat who had dancing feet and stood approximately 7 inches high. The job of Ritalin Man was to serve as a clever drug pharmaceutical promo pencil (pen) holder.

Experts now tell us that Ritalin is the common name for methylphenidate, classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule II narcotic—the same classification as cocaine, morphine and amphetamines. It is now being abused by teens.

As a prescription drug, it can have severe effects including nervousness, insomnia, anorexia, loss of appetite, pulse changes, heart problems, and weight loss. Most manufacturers says it is a drug of dependency.

In June 2005, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a series of public health advisories warning that Ritalin and drugs like it may cause visual hallucinations, suicidal thoughts and psychotic behavior, as well as aggression or violent behavior.

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