ADHD Home > Concerta Dosing

Dosing guidelines when using Concerta to treat ADHD will vary, depending on several factors, such as age and if other medical conditions are present. People generally start with a low Concerta dose, which is increased slowly and only if necessary. The medication is designed to be taken first thing in the morning because if taken later in the day, it can cause problems sleeping.

Dosing With Concerta: An Overview

The dosage of Concerta® (methylphenidate extended release) your healthcare provider prescribes will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
  • Your age
  • Other ADHD medications you may have tried
  • Other medical conditions you may have
  • Other medications you may be taking.
As is always the case, do not adjust this dose unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.

Concerta Dose for ADHD

Refer to the following table for the Concerta dosage for people who have never taken methylphenidate (including Metadate CD®, Metadate ER®, Methylin®, Ritalin®, Ritalin LA®, or Ritalin SR®).
 Concerta Dosages for People New to Methylphenidate
Starting Dosage
Maximum Dosage
6 to 12 years old
18 mg once daily
54 mg once daily
13 to 17 years old
18 mg once daily
72 mg once daily*
18 to 65 years old
18 or 36 mg once daily
72 mg once daily
* This maximum dose should not be greater than 0.9 mg per pound of body weight.
Refer to the following table for the dose of Concerta for people who have previously taken methylphenidate:
Concerta Dosages for People Who Have Been on Methylphenidate
Previous Dose
Starting Dose
5 mg two or three times a day
18 mg once daily
10 mg two or three times a day
36 mg once daily
15 mg two or three times a day
54 mg once daily
20 mg two or three times a day
72 mg once daily
Generally, the lower amount should be tried first. The dose should be increased slowly and only if necessary.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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