Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableDrug class: Mental health

Concerta

(Methylphenidate)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableDrug class: Mental health
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Helps you focus and stay alert.

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Our bottom line

Concerta (Methylphenidate) is a first-choice treatment for ADHD. It comes in many different forms and is also available as a generic. That said, the immediate-release form needs to be taken more frequently than other alternatives.

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Upsides

  • First-choice medication to treat ADHD.
  • Concerta (Methylphenidate) is used in combination with counseling or other non-drug therapies to treat ADHD.
  • Available as a generic medication.
  • Available in many different forms: extended-release and immediate-release oral tablets, chewable immediate-release tablets, liquid, suspension, and skin patches.
  • Capsules can be opened and sprinkled in water or applesauce for people who don't like swallowing pills.
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Downsides

  • The immediate-release form needs to be taken two or three times a day.
  • After taking Concerta, the tablet shell can be seen in your stool, but don't be concerned since the medication was still absorbed by your body.
  • The second or third dose needs be taken by early afternoon, otherwise insomnia can affect you that night.
  • Patients should avoid alcohol since it'll cause worse side effects from Concerta (Methylphenidate).
  • It's a controlled medication and should be locked up to prevent potential abuse.
How it works

Concerta (Methylphenidate) is a stimulant. Researchers don't know exactly how it works for ADHD, but it increases norepinephrine and dopamine activity in the brain, which affects attention and behavior.

What to expect when you take Concerta (Methylphenidate) for Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

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Side effect rates for Concerta (Methylphenidate)

Risks and Warnings for Concerta (Methylphenidate)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • History of heart problems

    Concerta (Methylphenidate) has been associated with heart attack, stroke, and sudden death. Anyone with a history of heart problems shouldn't take it, and people should be screened for heart problems before starting it. Watch out for unexplained fainting or chest pain that comes on with physical activity.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Common concerns from people taking Concerta (Methylphenidate)

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Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • Patients should avoid alcohol since it'll cause worse side effects from Concerta (Methylphenidate).
  • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
  • Take in the morning; don't drink alcohol, or strongly caffeinated drinks.
  • 31 F, 45kg and 156cm height. No alcohol, smoking or caffeine and no depression or anxiety. A graduate but constantly lack motivation and focus on tasks. Titaration - 18mg concerta, to 27mg to 36mg. Attention and focus improved, however, medication wore off within 5-6hrs, no side effects, improved sleep but decreased appetite. 54mg, more side effects and no benefits. Cough, increased sweating, worsened PMS, muscle spasms (fingers, toes, calves), forgetfulness.
Food
  • You need to take it early, with food. I find for best effect, take it as soon as you wake up, quickly followed by a breakfast with slow digesting carbohydrates, such as porridge, cereals or toast. It helps it release into the body gently