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Although most people tolerate Concerta well, there are some potential side effects of the medication. Some of the most common side effects of Concerta include headaches, upper respiratory infections, and abdominal pain. In many cases, the side effects are minor and may easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. However, there are more serious side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider, including suicidal thoughts, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.

Concerta Side Effects: An Introduction

As with any medicine, there are possible side effects with Concerta® (methylphenidate extended release). However, not everyone who takes the drug will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate Concerta well. When people do develop side effects, in most cases they are minor, meaning they require no treatment or are easily treated by your or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Concerta. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of side effects with you.)

Common Side Effects of Concerta

Concerta has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials in which the side effects of a group of people taking the drug are documented and compared to another group not taking the medicine. As a result, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
Based on these studies, the most common side effects of Concerta include:
  • Loss of appetite -- in up to 25.3 percent of people
  • Headaches -- up to 22.2 percent
  • Dry mouth -- up to 14 percent
  • Nausea -- up to 12.8 percent
  • Insomnia -- up to 12.3 percent
  • Tics (uncontrolled movements) -- up to 9 percent
  • Upper respiratory infections (similar to the common cold) -- up to 8 percent
  • Abdominal pain (or stomach pain) -- up to 7 percent.
Other common side effects (occurring in 2 to 7 percent of people) included:
Concerta can also cause a temporary slowing of growth in children. This slowing of growth is usually small, and children usually catch up to within normal limits in time.
(You can also read about other possible Concerta side effects by going to:
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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