Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available



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  • Oral solution
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Helps you focus and stay alert.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

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.


  • 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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  • 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.

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

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Since it comes in many different forms, there are different requirements for how to take or use each type. Make sure you know how to take the one you have.
  • Store Concerta (Methylphenidate) in a locked area to prevent abuse.
  • Take it early in the morning to prevent insomnia later that night.
  • It can cause changes in your mood.
  • Can raise your blood pressure and pulse, so it's not safe for people with heart problems.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
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Side effects for Concerta (Methylphenidate)

From clinical trials of Ritalin / ADHD 

  • AnxietyAnxiety1% for Ritalin vs.0% for placebo
  • IrritabilityIrritability1% for Ritalin vs.0% for placebo
  • Sleep difficultySleep difficulty1% for Ritalin vs.0% for placebo
  • Blood pressure increasedBlood pressure increased1% for Ritalin vs.0% for placebo

Manufacturers don’t say how common these side effects are

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abnormal liver function
  • Abnormally fast heart beat
  • Agressive behavior
  • Allergic reactions
  • Blood pressure and pulse changes
  • Cerebral arteritis
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dyskinesia
  • Headache
  • Heart pounding or racing sensation
  • Heart-related chest pain
  • Hepatic coma
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low red blood cells
  • Low white blood cells
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Scalp hair loss
  • Sleep difficulty
  • Tourette's syndrom
  • Toxic psychosis
  • Transaminase elevation
  • Transient depressed mood

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

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Concerta (Methylphenidate)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • Patients should avoid alcohol since it'll cause worse side effects from Concerta (Methylphenidate).
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
  • Take in the morning; don't drink alcohol, or strongly caffeinated drinks.
  • 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
  • Can't take naps while on it. Decreased hunger so when it wears off in the evening you can be more hungry than you were for lunch.
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • There have been reports of men having an erection lasting more than 4 hours while on Concerta (Methylphenidate). This has been rare and usually happened after a person's dose of Concerta (Methylphenidate) was increased. If not treated in time, this can cause permanent damage to your penis, including impotence. Talk to your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room if this happens.
  • Careful you don't overdo it and take too much. You will remain awake and sleepless, even if you are burnt out and tired you won't sleep. Take in the morning and at the lowest possible effective dose. This is good for focus and studying, but it doesn't work well if you are looking to get high. This is nothing like cocaine. But you will have the same negative side affects as any amphetamine. One is stim dick.(Shriveled genitals due to vasoconstriction make it hard to get erect).
  • Eat protein before you take this to ensure your body has the fuel it needs considering your appetite will decrease. Son has no sleep problems and is very tall for his age. Does not take when out of school. The therapy he receives helps too.
  • Don't take it too late or else it will keep you from sleeping or taking a nap.
  • I feel it works much better when I practice my sport(running) routine. before precription I couldn't do anything and needed to sleep during the day. now I can handle all papers, letters and manage to DO anything planned. I've been on Methyphe. for about 3 months.
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Appetite suppression may occur. In clinical studies, long-term treatment with stimulants similar to Concerta (Methylphenidate) caused a temporary slowing of growth rate (both height and weight) in children ages seven to ten years. Doctors should monitor children's growth during treatment.