Generic Name: methylphenidate (oral) (METH il FEN i date)
Brand Name: Aptensio XR, Concerta, Cotempla XR-ODT, Jornay PM, Metadate CD, Metadate ER, Methylin, QuilliChew ER, Quillivant XR, Ritalin, Ritalin LA, Ritalin SR
Medically reviewed by Kaci Durbin, MD. Last updated on April 1, 2021.
What is Concerta?
Concerta (methylphenidate) is a central nervous system stimulant. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.
Concerta extended-release tablets are used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults and children 6 years of age and older.
Concerta may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use Concerta if you have glaucoma, tics or Tourette's syndrome, or severe anxiety, tension, or agitation.
Methylphenidate may be habit-forming, and this medicine is a drug of abuse. Tell your doctor if you have had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
Stimulants have caused stroke, heart attack, and sudden death in people with high blood pressure, heart disease, or a heart defect. Call your doctor right away if you have chest pain or feel lightheaded or short of breath while taking Concerta.
Do not use Concerta if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine or have used a methylene blue injection.
Concerta may cause new or worsening psychosis (unusual thoughts or behavior), especially if you have a history of depression, mental illness, or bipolar disorder. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of psychosis such as paranoia, aggression, new behavior problems, or seeing or hearing things that are not real.
Before taking this medicine
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, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others, as well as methylene blue injection.
You may not be able to use Concerta if you are allergic to methylphenidate, or if you have:
a personal or family history of tics (muscle twitches) or Tourette's syndrome; or
severe anxiety, tension, or agitation (stimulant medicine can make these symptoms worse).
Stimulants have caused stroke, heart attack, and sudden death in certain people. Tell your doctor if you have:
heart problems or a congenital heart defect;
high blood pressure; or
a family history of heart disease or sudden death.
To make sure Concerta is safe for you, tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has ever had:
depression, mental illness, bipolar disorder, psychosis, or suicidal thoughts or actions;
motor tics (muscle twitches) or Tourette's syndrome;
blood circulation problems in the hands or feet;
seizures or epilepsy;
problems with the esophagus, stomach, or intestines;
an abnormal brain wave test (EEG); or
a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
It is not known whether Concerta will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of methylphenidate on the baby.
It is not known whether methylphenidate passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Concerta is not approved for use by anyone younger than 6 years old.
How should I take Concerta?
Take Concerta extended-release tablets exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Do not take Concerta in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Methylphenidate may be habit-forming. Never share Concerta with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.
Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
To prevent sleep problems, take this medicine in the morning.
Concerta extended-release tablets can be taken with or without food. Follow the directions on your medicine label
Do not crush, chew, or break a 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. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using this medicine.
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.
Store Concerta extended-release tablets at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Keep track of your medicine. Methylphenidate is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
Initial Dosing; (Methylphenidate - naive patients)
- 18 mg once daily in the morning before breakfast.
For patients already receiving methylphenidate;
- If switching from immediate release tablets 5 mg 2 or 3 times a day: 18 mg once daily.
- If switching from immediate release tablets 10 mg 2 or 3 times a day: 36 mg once daily.
- If switching from immediate release tablets 15 mg 2 or 3 times a day: 54 mg once daily.
- If switching from immediate release tablets 20 mg 2 or 3 times a day: 72 mg once daily.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is later than 6:00 p.m. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of methylphenidate could be fatal.
What to avoid
Avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol may cause the methylphenidate to be released into the bloodstream too fast.
Concerta may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
Concerta side effects
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.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
signs of heart problems - chest pain, trouble breathing, feeling like you might pass out;
signs of psychosis - hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real), new behavior problems, aggression, hostility, paranoia;
signs of circulation problems - numbness, pain, cold feeling, unexplained wounds, or skin color changes (pale, red, or blue appearance) in your fingers or toes;
a seizure (convulsions);
muscle twitches (tics);
changes in your vision; or
penis erection that is painful or lasts 4 hours or longer (rare).
Concerta can affect growth in children. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medicine.
Common Concerta side effects may include:
mood changes, feeling nervous or irritable, sleep problems (insomnia);
fast heart rate, pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest, increased blood pressure;
loss of appetite, weight loss;
dry mouth, nausea, stomach pain; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect Concerta?
Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following drugs, which may interact with Concerta;
- medications that increase blood pressure (called vasopressors);
- blood thinners (including warfarin or Coumadin, Jantoven);
- seizure medications; or
- depression medications
Other drugs may interact with Concerta, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
Frequently asked questions
- How long does it take for Concerta 18mg to kick in?
- Concerta vs Adderall - What's the difference between them?
- Ritalin vs Vyvanse - What's the difference between them?
- What are the brands of methylphenidate?
- How is Cotempla XR-ODT different to other brands of methylphenidate?
More about Concerta (methylphenidate)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Patient Tips
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 364 Reviews
- Generic Availability
- Drug class: CNS stimulants
- FDA Alerts (3)
Related treatment guides
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Concerta only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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