ADHD Home > Concerta Warnings and Precautions
Some Concerta Warnings and PrecautionsSome Concerta warnings and precautions to be aware of include:
- Stimulants (including Concerta) are often abused. Taking high doses of Concerta for long lengths of time can lead to a dependence on Concerta (see Concerta Abuse for more information). Because Concerta is so commonly abused, there are special rules for prescribing Concerta (see Concerta: A Controlled Substance for more information).
- Concerta may affect your ability to perform certain tasks that require complete concentration, such as driving, operating machinery, or piloting an airplane, especially during the first few weeks of treatment. It is recommended that you discuss this with your healthcare provider.
- In people with psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder), Concerta can worsen psychotic symptoms that include thought disorders and behavior problems. Also, Concerta may worsen bipolar symptoms, especially manic symptoms.
- Sudden death has been reported in children and adolescents with heart problems who took normal doses of Concerta. If your child has heart problems, discuss whether Concerta is appropriate in this situation. Also, let your healthcare provider know if your child develops any chest tightness, chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting.
- Sudden death, strokes, and heart attacks have also been reported in adults taking normal doses of medications similar to Concerta. This seems to occur more often in adults with heart problems. If you have heart problems, discuss whether Concerta is appropriate in your situation. Also, let your healthcare provider know if you develop any chest tightness, chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting.
- There have been reports of priapism in people taking ADHD medications, including this one. This side effect is an abnormally long-lasting, painful erection and can cause serious, permanent damage to the penis. It can occur in males of any age. Young boys might not recognize this side effect, and males of any age might be hesitant to seek parental or medical attention, due to embarrassment. Prompt treatment is necessary to avoid damage.
- Concerta can cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. In most cases, the increase is small and does not cause problems. However, there is an increased risk for people who already have high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, certain irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias), or have recently had a heart attack.
- Concerta can cause a temporary slowing of growth in children. This slowing of growth is usually small (less than an inch and less than two pounds), and children usually catch up to within normal limits in time.
- Concerta may cause an increase in aggressive behavior in people with ADHD. Let your healthcare provider know of any increased aggressive behavior.
- Concerta can increase the risk of seizures, especially in people who have had seizures before. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking Concerta if you have a history of seizures.
- Concerta can cause blurred vision and other vision problems.
- Because the outer shell of the Concerta tablet does not dissolve, some people can develop an intestinal blockage or intestinal obstruction when taking Concerta. People with cystic fibrosis, trouble swallowing, and other problems with intestinal blockage should discuss this with their healthcare provider. Also, the outer shells may be seen in the stool. This is normal and does not change the effectiveness of Concerta.
- Stimulants used to treat ADHD have been associated with problems in blood vessels in the fingers and toes, sometimes causing problems such as Raynaud's disease. Alert your healthcare provider to any signs of this problem, such as cold or numb toes or fingers.
- Concerta can interact with certain medications (see Concerta Drug Interactions).
- Concerta is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider before using Concerta during pregnancy (see Concerta and Pregnancy for more information).
- It is not known if Concerta passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about this.