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What is Concerta?

Concerta is a popular medication used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD). It is a central nervous system stimulant and contains methylphenidate, the same medication ingredient found in Ritalin. It comes in 18mg, 36mg and 54mg tablets and is intended to be taken once a day.

What’s the difference between Concerta and Ritalin?

These stimulant medications for ADHD differ in their method of delivery. Concerta is designed to be effective in the body for 12 hours. Ritalin has an effective period of 4 to 6 hours. The longer-lasting Concerta is intended to eliminate the need to take medication during the school day. It is important to remember that the only thing different is the sustained delivery system. The medication — methylphenidate — has been in use for 45 years in Ritalin.

[Free Download: The Ultimate Guide to ADHD Medication]

What are the side effects of Concerta?

Reported Concerta side effects include headache (14% of users), upper respiratory tract infection (8%), stomachache (7%), vomiting (4%), loss of appetite (4%), sleeplessness (4%), increased cough (4%), sore throat (4%), sinusitis (3%), and dizziness (2%). Other possible side effects would be the same as with Ritalin or other methylphenidate products.

Learn more about potential side effects here.

Is Concerta safe for children?

Concerta is FDA approved for use in children age 6 years and older. This medication has not been approved for use in children younger than 6 years of age. (Even if it had been approved for younger children, they would probably have a hard time swallowing the tablet.)

How much does Concerta cost?

Prices will vary depending on your pharmacy. One reader reported paying $70 for 30 pills (the 18 mg dose pill) and $73 for the 36 mg size. Another reader, from a different city, purchased the same 30 tablets of 36 mg Concerta for $54.72. Unlike some medications, a Concerta tablet is not scored and cannot be broken into two doses. The tablet must be swallowed whole for the medication to work as intended. It should only be used in patients who are able to swallow the tablet whole.

[Read This: How to Reduce the High Cost of ADHD Treatment]

Who should not take this ADHD medication?

People with the following conditions should be discouraged from using Concerta:

Other considerations

  • Patients with a history of drug dependence or alcoholism should use caution when using this medication.
  • Patients with high blood pressure or a history of heart failure, recent myocardial infarction, or hyperthyroidism should be monitored.

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