Here is my current take on ritalin for ADD or ADHD:
con- maybe you don't like taking medicine, maybe prefer (unregulated) "naturals" . pro- none. try coffee?
con- Ritalin (methylphenidate) brand name is obscenely expensive pro - generic is not costly
con - maybe it won't work for me. pro - that's right. works for most people. for some people it's like a miracle, for some it's pretty helpful, for some it's no help at all. unlike the antidepressants, you will know fast, in a day or two, if it will work for you. you won't know til you try it.
con - may cause side effects (most often upset stomach, jittery, or insomnia). pro - usually doesn't, but you can reduce dose or stop it at anytime (no taper needed); any side effects are temporary. usually don't take after 2-3pm. if it helps but causes side effects, you can try a different form.
con - may be dangerous. pro - scientific studies show that it's not. Still, I would be careful if you have hypertension or heart disease. (see link below). it is unclear whether or not there is a problem with ritalin and pregnancy and/or breast feeding, causes some problems in animals, not tested in humans.
con- could be addictive or abusable pros - probably has low addictive potential. studies show that it is not often abused or diverted, except in college kids.
con- i don't want to be chained to a medicine pro - you can take it or not, whenever you wish, and it will work (unlike antidepressants, which have to be taken regularly to work). so skip it any day you don't really need to focus if you want.
con - doesn't cure ADD or ADHD. pro - it sure doesn't, but helps with focus vs. distractions, with motivation vs. inertia, with energy vs lethargy, and has some antidepressant effect (a "side effect").
con - I want to do it on my own, not depend on a medicine. pro - and how is that working for you? works for some people, especially if you're using good strategies. if ritalin works for you, it will make it a lot easier.
con - it can cause some weight loss pro - it can cause some weight loss