Concerta: Frequently Asked Questions

A single dose of Concerta is designed to last for 12 hours, good for both adults and children who don’t want to bother with multiple doses throughout the day.

ADHD medication on keyboard
ADHD medication on keyboard

How do you pronounce the name?

The maker of Concerta pronounces it like this: con- sert -a, with the “sert” syllable sounding like the second syllable of the English word “concert”.

What is Concerta?

Concerta is a new medication for ADHD. 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?

The real difference is in the method of delivery. Concerta is designed to be effective in the body for 12 hours. Ritalin has an effective period of from 4-6 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 new about Concerta is the sustained delivery system. The medication – methylphenidate – has been in use for 45 years in Ritalin.

What are the side effects?

Reported 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.

Is it safe for children?

Concerta has been 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 it 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 36mg 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. Concerta should only be used in patients who are able to swallow the tablet whole

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Does it work?

Reports seem to be positive.

Who should not take this medication?

The following conditions should be discouraged from using this medication:

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.

I’ve heard that the capsule passes through the body intact.

That is correct. The Concerta capsule is designed to release the medication without dissolving the capsule. The empty capsule passes through the digestive tract and out of the body without being digested.

Where can I find out more?

More information about Concerta is available at or by calling 1-888-440-7903.

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