The Concerta® drug is an oral, prescription medication given to people who suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). One of its ingredients is methylphenidate, a stimulant affecting the central nervous system, which is said to counteract the symptoms of ADHD. Taking the drug is meant to positively affect attention spans, slow down overactivity and deter impulsiveness.
In the United States, Concerta® goes under the brand names Metadate CD®, Ritalin®, Ritalin-LA® and Ritalin-SR®. In Canada, it can be found under the names PMS-Methylphenidate®, Riphenidate®, ® and Ritalin® SR. Generic products are also available in the United States. Tablets and extended-release tablets are available in both the United States and Canada. Extended-release capsules are only available in the United States.
The medication is usually used in conjunction with other types of therapy which can include those that are educational, social and psychological. The total treatment program is evaluated and medication stopped every so often to ensure that the medication continues to work for the patient. The Concerta® drug is not to be used by children under six or the elderly.
Children react especially strongly to Concerta®. For this reason, Concerta® should only be given to children after a full diagnosis of ADHD is completed. For this to occur, the child should be monitored in environments and during times that are not conducive to stress so as not to skew the diagnosis.
Like with other prescription medications, the Concerta® drug does come with a list of possible side effects. Nausea, insomnia, stomach pain, headaches and loss of appetite are the most common side effects experienced. However, vomiting, dizziness, tics, high blood pressure, nervousness, allergic reactions and even psychosis have been linked to the use of the Concerta® drug. Medical histories and pre-existing conditions may factor into whether someone is suited to taking the drug.
Patients should not use the drug if they have chemical or substance dependency issues. Pregnant and lactating women also run the risk of passing the drug's effects on to their children. Stunted or slowed growth may also arise in children who take the drug; height and weight progress should be monitored if a child is currently receiving the medication.
The Concerta® drug is administered only once a day. Patients take the Concerta® drug in the morning and begin to feel the effects during the day. Patients do not have to experience all symptoms of ADHD to be a good candidate for the Concerta® drug or have it work effectively.