ADHD Home > Concerta: A Controlled Substance

Concerta is a controlled substance that can become very habit-forming. Because it has been classified as a Schedule II controlled substance, Concerta has special rules for how it is prescribed. For example, a prescription for Concerta must be written in a "hard copy" form. In addition, you cannot have any refills on the medication. There may be other rules that your healthcare provider must follow for prescribing Concerta, depending on the laws of your state.

Concerta as a Controlled Substance

Concerta® (methylphenidate extended release) is a prescription medication that is classified as a controlled substance. Controlled substances are medications or drugs that are very habit-forming or are very likely to be abused. Certain prescription medications and most illegal street drugs are controlled substances. There are special rules for medications that are controlled substances. Also, there are five different groups (or "schedules") of controlled substances. Each schedule has its own specific rules.
Concerta, along with most other stimulants, is a Schedule II controlled substance. This means that Concerta has a legitimate medical purpose, but is very likely to be abused (see Concerta Abuse for more information). Because it is a Schedule II controlled substance, there are special rules for Concerta. Prescriptions for Concerta must be written in a "hard copy" form (they cannot be phoned or faxed to a pharmacy). Also, Concerta prescriptions cannot have any refills (you must get a new prescription each month).
All the special rules and "red tape" surrounding the use of Concerta may seem inconvenient, but they were put in place to prevent abuse of medications like Concerta. There may be other rules your healthcare providers must follow for Concerta, depending on the laws of your particular state.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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