Generic Name: Methylphenidate

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Concerta is a medicine used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    Concerta is a federally controlled substance because it has abuse potential.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Concerta is an extended-release medicine (a type of tablet that releases medicine into your body throughout the day). Concerta works by changing the amount of certain chemicals in your brain, thereby improving symptoms of ADHD.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: Concerta is an important part of a total treatment program for people with ADHD that may include counseling or other therapies. Concerta may help increase attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity in people with ADHD.

    When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Concerta exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

    How do I know it is working?

    You may start to notice an improvement in your symptoms. This is a good indicator that your medication is working. Your healthcare provider may ask you questions from time to time to assess how well your medicine is working and to check for improvement of your condition.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    Concerta is a federally controlled substance because it can be abused or lead to dependence. Keep Concerta in a safe place to prevent misuse and abuse. Selling or giving away Concerta may harm others, and is against the law.


    More common side effects may include: decreased appetite, headache, dry mouth, nausea, sleeplessness, anxiety, dizziness, weight loss, irritability, increased sweating.

    Children and Adolescents

    More common side effects may include: upper stomach pain.

    Less common side effects of Concerta may include:

    Sudden death in patients who have heart problems or heart defects; stroke and heart attack in adults; increased blood pressure and heart rate with symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting.

    Mental problems with symptoms such as new or worsening behavior and thought problems, bipolar illness, aggressive behavior, or hostility. Children and teenagers may also begin to hear voices, believe in things that are not true, or become suspicious.

    Slowing of growth (height and weight) in children.

    Seizures, mainly in people with a history of seizures.

    Eyesight changes or blurred vision.

    Circulation problems in your fingers and toes with symptoms such as feeling numb, cool, or painful, or changing color (such as from pale to blue to red).

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take Concerta if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    Do not take Concerta if you are very anxious, tense, or agitated.

    Do not take Concerta if you have glaucoma (high pressure in the eye), tics (repeated movements or sounds that cannot be controlled), Tourette's syndrome (a brain disorder characterized by tics), or a family history of Tourette's syndrome.

    Do not use Concerta if you are taking an antidepressant medication called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (such as phenelzine or selegiline) or have taken any within the past 14 days.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Concerta. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, including heart problems, heart defects, high blood pressure, mental problems (such as psychosis, mania, bipolar disorder, or depression), or a family history of these problems; tics or Tourette's syndrome; seizures or circulation problems in your fingers and toes; stomach, or small or large intestine problems; or have ever abused or been dependent on alcohol, prescription medicines, or street drugs.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Adults and children 6-65 years: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you based on your previous ADHD medication.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take Concerta exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Concerta without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    Take Concerta in the morning, with or without food.

    Swallow Concerta tablets whole with water or other liquids. Do not chew, crush, or divide them.

    Do not be concerned if something that looks like a tablet appears in your stool. This is normal and means that the medication has been released, and the shell that contained the medication has been eliminated from your body.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how Concerta affects you.

    Do not start any new medicine while you are taking Concerta without first talking to your healthcare provider.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Concerta is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Concerta with the following: blood pressure medications, blood thinners (such as warfarin), certain antidepressants known as tricyclic antidepressants (such as amitriptyline or imipramine) or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (such as fluoxetine or sertraline), or seizure medications (such as phenobarbital, phenytoin, or primidone).

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Concerta during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Concerta, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature.

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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