A healthcare provider may prescribe Concerta to treat ADHD. Although the drug is a stimulant, it can cause a calming effect when used in the doses to treat ADHD. The medication comes in tablet form and is designed to be released slowly over time. As a result, it can be taken just once a day in the morning. Potential side effects of Concerta include insomnia, headaches, and loss of appetite.
What Is Concerta?Concerta® (methylphenidate extended release) is a prescription medication used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, teens, and adults up to age 65. It is designed to be released slowly over time. Because the medication is released slowly, it can be taken just once a day, eliminating the need to take medication at school or work.
Because the medication is a stimulant and is commonly abused, there are special rules for prescribing it (see Concerta: A Controlled Substance).
Who Makes It?Concerta is manufactured by ALZA Corporation, and is distributed and marketed by McNeil Pediatrics.
How Does Concerta Work?Concerta is a stimulant, although it has effects that are opposite from what would be expected of a stimulant. While stimulants (like caffeine) can cause hyperactivity, this medication has a calming effect. While the exact way the drug produces this effect is not known, it is known to affect certain chemicals in the brain (see Methylphenidate and D2 Receptors).
Concerta is a tablet that is released in two stages: The outer part of the tablet dissolves quickly and releases an immediate dose. The inner part releases the rest of the medication slowly over time.