Concerta

(methylphenidate extended-release)

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Helps you focus and stay alert.

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Our bottom line

Concerta (methylphenidate extended-release) is a first-choice treatment for ADHD that works throughout the day, but can affect growth in children and teens.

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  • Price before coupon
    $252.21
  • Lowest price with coupon
    $91.55
    64% savings
Quick facts about Concerta
  • Drug class: Mental health
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (methylphenidate extended-release)

Upsides

  • First-choice medication to treat ADHD. Some other forms of Concerta (methylphenidate extended-release) can also treat narcolepsy.
  • The onset of effects will occur within an hour. The full effects can last 8 to 12 hours.
  • Taken only once a day compared to the immediate-release form.
  • Available in many different forms: extended-release and immediate-release tablets, chewable tablet, liquid, and skin patches.
  • The capsule may be sprinkled on applesauce if you have a difficult time swallowing pills.
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What to expect from Concerta, on one page

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Downsides

  • Avoid alcohol since it can cause worsen side effects.
  • Concerta (methylphenidate extended-release) is a controlled medication that can be habit-forming and lead to physical dependence.
  • Cannot stop taking this drug all of a sudden without calling your doctor. You may have a greater risk of mood changes.
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What to expect from Concerta, on one page

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How it works

Concerta (methylphenidate extended-release) is a stimulant. It treats attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by increasing norepinephrine and dopamine activity in the brain, which affects attention and behavior.

Quick facts about Concerta
  • Drug class: Mental health
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (methylphenidate extended-release)

Used for

Dosage forms

  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
Tried Concerta? Write a review!

Prices and coupons

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What to expect when you take Concerta (methylphenidate extended-release) for ADHD (children and adolescents)

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  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
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  • Effectiveness
  • Full effects
  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Possible side effects
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Common cold
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
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Side effect rates for Concerta (methylphenidate extended-release)

From 627 clinical trials of Concerta when taken for adhd (adults)
  • Lowered appetite
    25%25%
    7%7%
  • Headache
    22%22%
    16%16%
  • Dry mouth
    14%14%
    4%4%
  • Nausea
    13%13%
    3%3%
  • Loss of sleep
    12%12%
    6%6%
  • Anxiety
    8%8%
    2%2%
  • Weight loss
    7%7%
    3%3%
  • Dizziness
    7%7%
    5%5%
  • Irritability
    6%6%
    1%1%
  • Fast heart rate
    5%5%
  • Excessive sweating
    5%5%
    1%1%
  • Initial insomnia
    4%4%
    3%3%
  • Depressed mood
    4%4%
    1%1%
  • Palpitations
    3%3%
    1%1%
  • Tremor
    3%3%
    1%1%
  • Nervousness
    3%3%
    1%1%
  • Restlessness
    3%3%
  • Vertigo
    2%2%
  • Blurred vision
    2%2%
    1%1%
  • Indigestion
    2%2%
    1%1%
  • Vomiting
    2%2%
    1%1%
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
    2%2%
    1%1%
  • Inability to eat
    2%2%
  • Muscle tightness
    2%2%
  • Agitation
    2%2%
    1%1%
  • Aggression
    2%2%
    1%1%
  • Teeth grinding
    2%2%
    1%1%
  • Depression
    2%2%
    1%1%
  • Low sex drive
    2%2%
    1%1%
  • Mouth and throat pain
    2%2%
    1%1%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of Concerta.

Concerta (methylphenidate extended-release)
Placebo

People taking Concerta felt side effect more

People taking Concerta felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Concerta (methylphenidate extended-release)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • History of heart problems

    Concerta (methylphenidate extended-release) has been known to cause heart attacks, stroke, and sudden death. Anyone with a history of heart problems shouldn't use this, 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 extended-release)

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Alcohol
  • Avoid alcohol since it can cause worsen side effects.
Food
  • Take the pill in the morning with or without food.
  • Take the dissolving tablet in the morning with or without food. Place it on your tongue and let it melt; don't swallow it whole. Don't take this drug out of the blister pack until you are ready to take it.