Concerta and timing of administration

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    • #63366

      Hello! I’m new here, and am a little confused at why Concerta, an extended release drug, is only to be administered once per day. Several articles I’ve read state that Concerta’s effects last up to approximately 12 hours (not 24). From one article about Concerta: “Approximately 22% of the methylphenidate is delivered immediately, whereas the remaining 78% is released gradually for sustained symptomatic relief for up to 12 hours.” And also from this article, the half-life of this drug is mentioned to be only 3.5 hours. That’s a pretty short half-life.

      But don’t we all need relief from our ADHD symptoms for 24 hours? Conversely, on Concerta’s company website, it states “One morning dose of CONCERTA® provides all-day ADHD symptom control. CONCERTA® is the only ADHD treatment with the unique OROS® delivery system, which slowly releases medication at an increasing rate throughout the day. One morning dose covers your child’s busy day — including the all-important homework hours between the hours of 4 and 6 pm.”

      This doesn’t add up for me. I’ve been diagnosed with ADHD (in addition to major depression and bulimia), and have been taking 18 mg of Concerta each morning for about one month now. It has helped me LOADS!! My irritation and frustration levels have drastically decreased, and I feel a general sense of calmness in my head that was never there before. I don’t always have to be eating something, or chewing gum, or twirling my hair if I have to be seated. I’m also WAY less jumpy. My startle response has always been so out of this world terrible, and I’ve noticed this become less disruptive. The best thing though is that I have been free from all binge/purge episodes for 19 days, and I think this success has been largely due to starting Concerta. I don’t crave starchy carbohydrates and sweets like I used to, and when I eat, I’m able to think about whether I’m actually full, and stop when I feel just full enough.

      To jump to the point, on day 20 I relapsed very unexpectedly, and have relapsed in total three or four times in the past week, and I’ve noticed all of my relapses occur late at night, always after midnight. Could it be that the effects of the Concerta then have almost wholly diminished? Given that I usually take the meds at 10 in the morning, the relapses occur always after 14 hours have passed since administration.

      The question: Does anyone here take Concerta twice daily? Or does anyone take Concerta in the morning and then a booster like, 5mg of Ritalin in the evening? I tried taking 36 mg at once one morning, since my current dose is very low, and to my surprise, I didn’t like how I felt on it. I felt too calm, and slower in my body, almost zombie-like.

      I’m thinking of asking my psychiatrist if I can take some sort of booster for the evening. Just wondering if that is common in ADHD world. I live in Sweden and the legal maximum dosages on ALL pharmaceuticals here is painfully low. For Concerta it’s only ONE 54 mg tablet each day, for adults.

      • This topic was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by ulvssang.
    • #63398
      Penny Williams

      No stimulant medications last 24 hours. If they did, most people wouldn’t get any sleep. Concerta lasts up to 12 hours after taking it — the exact time depends on your metabolism and genetics. On occasion, I hear of people taking two doses of a long-acting stimulant a day, but the more common scenario is to take a short-acting stimulant as a booster when the long-acting medication is wearing off.

      Here’s more on Concerta:

      Concerta: Frequently Asked Questions

      Ultimately, you need to discuss this with your doctor.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #63421

      Thank you so much for the great answer, Penny!

    • #63475

      I was on Concerta 54mg for about 6 months. I saw a lot of improvement in my function and concentration. TThen I went off of it for 2 years to have a baby and breastfeed. When I went back on it I started experiencing binge behavior about 8 hours after I took it. I also seemed to have worse insomnia. So my Dr switched me to Ritalin La 20mg 2x a day. I take the first dose before I get out of bed at 630am and the second at 2pm. This has worked for me much better. And as long as I don’t stay up too late I find it very easy to sleep. I have had insomnia my entire life and have found the only thing that helps is stimulant medication. I also switched to an all plant based diet which seems to help with overall energy throughout the day.

      This is just my personal experience. I hope it helps.

    • #106229

      I know this is very late, but I’ve been on Concerta for about 8 years (I’m on 90 mg now), and I’ve also had experience with the binge eating you talked about. I’m not sure if you’ve resolved this or not, but I’ve found ways to help with the binging. The Concerta makes it so your appetite is full and you likely don’t want to eat. Particularly in the afternoon. Since I’m still a student, it’s been hard to find something light to eat during lunchtime and I can’t just go home and eat whatever I want. Since I wasn’t eating during the daytime and it was hard to find time to eat breakfast at times, I would get extremely hungry between 10 pm and whenever I fall asleep. The solution I found to this is to eat breakfast every day and then take your meds. If you can’t eat or you don’t want to eat at school whatsoever, make sure to get a light meal or something after school. If you have to go to work all day, packing at least a snack is necessary. Tuna, salads, egg salad sandwiches, granola bars, and jerky are all things that have worked for me. As long as it’s something that can make you feel more filled and is not just giving temporary energy like crackers, bread, or anything else that is just carb or sugar. Eat a good sized dinner as well and don’t skip out on meals. That’s what really led me to the binge eating. This is just my experience so whatever works well for you. And to answer your question, yes I do take 5mg Ritalin boosters. In the evenings if I have a lot of homework I’ll take one or two 5mg boosters, but you definitely need to talk to your doctor about that. Concerta later in the day would cause you to not be able to sleep at night and would be terrible for you. If I wake up late or just forgot to take my medication earlier in the morning, I never take anything more than half my regular prescription. For example, I took 36 mg of Concerta today because I woke up at 11:30. Also, if you have a lot of work that will take a while, taking a 5 mg Ritalin pill every hour or two has helped me be successful, but don’t take more than two at once. I tried that this morning with the 36 mg of Concerta and I feel sick to my stomach. This turned into a ramble, but I hope that I was able to help in some way.

      • #106230

        Also, in my experience, if you take anything above what your body needs, you’ll feel the zombie-like effect. I tried 108 mg for a week based off of my doctor’s suggestion, but it just didn’t feel right and life felt duller. I might recommend taking your Concerta earlier in the morning so that you can sleep better and your appetite will return to you quicker.

      • #110652

        Need, could you help

      • #110671

        My email is so shoot me an email and I’ll talk to you about it.

    • #106922

      I have the same problem with night eating and i was hoping concerta 24hr would solve this…i also sleep better on the meds… I just started concerta so we will see… I do know someone w adhd who takes a nighttime dose of his meds and it works fine for him.

    • #110651

      Anyone near Atlantic county nj that can help me can’t find anyone

    • #136384

      My doctor just increased my Concerta dose to 72 mg (maximum allowed) from 54 mg. I asked about taking part of my dose in the morning and the rest at about noon to avoid late afternoon/early evening crash(loss of energy and motivation) as after a few hours Concerta starts tapering off. My doctor said some patients take it that way, we agreed to try 54 mg in morning and 18 mg about 4 hours later. Today is my 4th day of the new split dose,it works so much better for me no afternoon/early evening crash. I have no problems getting to sleep. I’m really surprised there is not more information online of split dosing Concerta. About taking Concerta every 12 hours I did this a few times when called in to work night shift at the last moment, it worked OK but not a substitute for sleep. My 1st post here maybe it will help someone.

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