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Concerta Side Effects
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Side Effects of Concerta

History of Use with ADHD:

Concerta is a relatively new re-formulation of the primary drug (methylphenidate) contained in Ritalin. The new formulation has an extended release effect that lasts for up to 11 hours (as compared to Ritalin which lasts only 3 to 4 hours). As with all methylphenidate formulations, 60 to 70 percent of children with ADHD, and a similar percentage of ADHD adults, demonstrate improved focus, attention span, and learning ability when Concerta is in use.

Desired Physiological Effects:

Concerta is believed to work by stimulating areas of the brain that are underperforming in their intended function. In order to function effectively, the brain sends messages back and forth to all parts of the body by way of chemical messengers, including dopamine and serotonin. In ADHD patients, the area of the brain that manages the levels of brain chemicals is believed to be working improperly, resulting in sluggish brain efficiency. By taking stimulant medication, the underperforming area of the brain becomes activated to a proper level, and the patient begins to exhibit the desired attributes of calmness, focus, good impulse control, etc.

Concerta is available only in its "extended release" formulation.


Like Ritalin, Concerta should not be used when the following factors apply:

  • When the patient suffers from significant anxiety, tension, depression or agitation;
  • When heart conditions are present;
  • When glaucoma is present;
  • When there is a history of seizure disorder;
  • When there is a family history or specific diagnosis of motor tics or Tourette's syndrome.

Common Side Effects:

Like all stimulant therapy, Concerta may cause one or more of the following side effects.

  • Insomnia;
  • Decreased Appetite;
  • Weight Loss;
  • Growth Delay;
  • Rebound Effect (reduced with the Concerta extended release formulation);
  • Headaches and Stomach Aches;
  • Crying, Nervousness, Restlessness;
  • Increased Heart Rate or Palpitations;
  • Tics;
  • Habit Forming.

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