ADHD Home > Concerta for Adults

Although Concerta was originally approved for use in children and teenagers only, the drug is now also licensed for treating ADHD in adults. However, this does not mean that it is safe or appropriate for all adults to take. To find out if this medication is right for you, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about Concerta for adults.

Use of Concerta for Adults: An Overview

Concerta® (methylphenidate extended release) is a prescription medication licensed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, teenagers, and adults up to age 65 years old. Concerta was not originally licensed to treat adult ADHD, but has since received approval for this use.

Concerta Use in Adults With ADHD

Originally, Concerta for ADHD treatment in adults had not been adequately studied, meaning that there had not been large studies conducted to look at the benefits and the risks of treating adult ADHD. As a result, any use of Concerta in adults was considered an "off-label" use. An off-label use is any use of a medication outside of the official FDA-approved guidelines (such as using it for a different disease or in a different age range).
After Concerta was initially approved, studies were done in adults, and the medication received approval for use in adults. You may still find outdated information that states that Concerta is not approved for use in adults, but this is no longer the case.
Most stimulants (including Concerta) should be used with caution in people with:

While this is not usually a concern for most children (who generally do not have these problems), it is definitely a cause for concern in adults. Be sure your healthcare provider checks you for these conditions before you start Concerta.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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