ADHD Home > Alternatives to Concerta

There are several alternatives to Concerta, including lifestyle changes, other stimulant ADHD medications, a nonstimulant ADHD medication, and off-label medications. Some lifestyle changes can include different types of therapy for ADHD, including psychotherapy, social skills training, and behavioral interventions. ADHD stimulants, such as Concerta, are very effective, but they are also controlled substances and have the potential to be abused.

Alternatives to Concerta: An Overview

Concerta® (methylphenidate extended release) is a prescription medication used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in both children and adults. Concerta is part of a group of ADHD medications called stimulants. For most people, Concerta is effective in treating their ADHD symptoms and most tolerate it well.
However, as with all medicines, side effects can occur. Also, in some cases, the medicine may not adequately control a person's ADHD. Fortunately, there are several alternatives to Concerta for ADHD treatment.
Some of these Concerta alternatives include:
  • Lifestyle changes, including therapy
  • Other stimulant ADHD medications
  • A non-stimulant ADHD medication
  • Off-label medications.
This article will focus on the different treatment options for children.

Lifestyle Changes

Regardless of whether ADHD medications are used, there are several steps that can be taken to help children with ADHD. Helping the child develop a routine is often useful. Developing systems to keep the child organized (such as notebooks or binders for homework) can also be helpful.
Be sure to talk to your child's school about a 504 plan. A 504 plan (named after the law that requires public schools to accommodate children with disabilities) outlines the steps the school will take to help your child to do his or her best at school. The 504 plan also addresses how your child will receive medication at school.
Any behavioral change involves a well-balanced ADHD treatment plan, including social, educational, and mental therapy. There are several different types of therapy for ADHD, including:
  • Psychotherapy
  • Behavior therapy
  • Social skills training
  • Support groups
  • Parenting skill training
  • Behavioral interventions.
Sometimes, only the child with ADHD needs counseling support. But in many cases -- because the problem affects the family as a whole -- the entire family may need help. If lifestyle changes alone are not effective at improving ADHD symptoms, medications, such as Concerta, may be necessary.
(Click Behavior Therapy for ADHD for more information about the different types of ADHD therapy.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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