A new study suggests that Concerta has fewer 'pleasurable effects' that may encourage drug abuse.
by ADDitude Editors
A new study suggests that Concerta, a once-a-day formulation of methylphenidate, is less likely than other stimulants to be abused.
The study, conducted by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, involved 12 (non-AD/HD) adult volunteers, who were randomly assigned to receive either Concerta or an immediate-release version of methylphenidate. The volunteers did not know which drug they were taking.
Among those who took Concerta, few indicated that they noticed or enjoyed any effects from the drug. But most of those who took conventional methylphenidate indicated that they had noticed - and enjoyed - the drug's effects. Drugs that produce pleasurable effects are more likely to be abused.
Does this finding suggest that people taking another stimulant should switch to Concerta? Not necessarily. "If someone is doing well on any medication for AD/HD and is not at any special risk of abusing or diverting it, there is no reason to change medications," says Thomas E. Brown, Ph.D., of Yale University. "However, if a person has a history of substance abuse or is living in a dorm or another setting where diversion is a potential problem, the Concerta formulation might be preferable."
The study was published in the March 2006 issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry.