Generic Name: Concerta Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.


What is Concerta® (methylphenidate) used for?

Concerta® is commonly used for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It works by changing the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain. Methylphenidate belongs to a class of drugs known as stimulants. It can raise the capability of concentrating, staying focused on an activity, and controlling behavior problems.

It may also help you to organize your tasks and improve listening skills.

How should I take Concerta® (methylphenidate)?

Take Concerta® exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Using this medicine improperly can cause death or serious side effects on the heart.

Concerta® extended-release tablets are taken once each day in the morning. Concerta® is an extended-release tablet. It releases methylphenidate into your or your child’s body throughout the day.

Concerta® extended-release tablets can be taken with or without food. Follow the directions on your medicine label

The extended-release tablet does not dissolve completely in the body after all the medicine has been released. You or your child may sometimes notice the empty tablet in a bowel movement. This is normal.

Do not crush, chew, or break Concerta® extended-release tablet. Swallow the tablet whole. Breaking the tablet may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

While using Concerta®, your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits. Your heart rate, blood pressure, height and weight may also need to be checked often.

From time to time, your doctor may stop treatment for a while to check ADHD symptoms.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using Concerta®. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Methylphenidate may be habit-forming. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.

How do I store Concerta® (methylphenidate)?

Concerta® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Concerta® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Concerta® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Concerta® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Concerta® (methylphenidate)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Concerta® or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Concerta® should not be used if you have glaucoma, tics or Tourette’s syndrome, or serious anxiety, tension, or agitation.

Do not use Concerta® if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

You should not use this medicine if you have:

  • Glaucoma
  • A personal or family history of tics (muscle twitches) or Tourette’s syndrome
  • Severe anxiety, tension, or agitation (stimulant medicine can make these symptoms worse)

Some stimulants have caused sudden death in certain people. Tell your doctor if you have:

  • Heart problems or a congenital heart defect
  • High blood pressure
  • A family history of heart disease or sudden death

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category C according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Concerta® (methylphenidate)?

Stop taking Concerta® and call your doctor immediately if you have:

  • Chest pain, trouble breathing, feeling like you might pass out
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real), new behavior problems, aggression, hostility, paranoia
  • A seizure
  • Numbness, pain, cold feeling, unexplained wounds, or skin color changes (pale, red, or blue appearance) in your fingers or toes
  • Muscle twitches
  • Changes in your vision
  • Penis erection that is painful or lasts 4 hours or longer (rare)
  • Unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness

Common side effects may include:

  • Nervousness, feeling irritable, sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea, stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Weight loss

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Concerta®: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Methylphenidate can affect growth in children. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medicine.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with Concerta® (methylphenidate)?

Concerta® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Taking MAO inhibitors with Concerta® may cause a severe and possibly deadly drug interaction. Do not take MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine) during treatment with this medication.

Does food or alcohol interact with Concerta® (methylphenidate)?

Concerta® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Concerta® (methylphenidate)?

Concerta® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Agitation
  • Cardiac Disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Hypertension
  • Liver Disease
  • Seizure Disorders
  • Substance Abuse
  • Hypertension
  • Seizures Disorders
  • Psychiatric Disorders
  • Renal Dysfunction
  • Tics
  • Hematologic Toxicity
  • GI Narrowing


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.

What is the dose of Concerta® (methylphenidate) for an adult?

Patients New to Methylphenidate:

  • The recommended starting dose of Concerta® for patients who are not currently taking methylphenidate or stimulants other than methylphenidate is 18 or 36 mg once daily for adults.

Patients Currently Using Methylphenidate:

Previous Methylphenidate Daily Dose:

  • 5 mg Methylphenidate twice daily or three times daily
  • 10 mg Methylphenidate twice daily or three times daily
  • 15 mg Methylphenidate twice daily or three times daily
  • 20 mg Methylphenidate twice daily or three times daily

Recommended Concerta® Starting Dose for the abovementioned previous methylphenidate daily dose:

  • 18 mg every morning
  • 36 mg every morning
  • 54 mg every morning
  • 72 mg every morning

Conversion dosage should not exceed 72 mg daily.

What is the dose of Concerta® (methylphenidate) for a child?

The recommended starting dose of Concerta® for patients who are not currently taking methylphenidate or stimulants other than methylphenidate is 18 mg once daily for children and adolescent (13-17 years old).

How is Concerta® (methylphenidate) available?

Concerta® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet, extended release: methylphenidate hydrochloride 18mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Concerta®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: August 3, 2017 | Last Modified: August 11, 2017

You might also like