Generic Name: methylphenidate (METH il FEN i date)

Drug Class: CNS Stimulant


Drug Uses

This medicine is used in patients to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults and in children (6 years old and older). It is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant medication. Doctors may also prescribe this medicine for other conditions as well.

General Information

This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your health care provider.

How to Take It

Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor. Concerta can be taken with or without food.

To prevent sleep problems, take this medication in the morning.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using Concerta. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Do not crush, chew, break, or divide this medication. Take this medicine regularly, do not skip doses.

Possible Side Effects

Side effects that this medicine may cause include:

  • loss of appetite, weight loss;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • dizziness, headache, feeling irritable;
  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, upset stomach.

If these side effects are bothersome check with your health care provider.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of the following:

  • new or worsening symptoms such as mood swings, aggression, hostility, or changes in personality or behavior;
  • panic, delusion, extreme fear, hallucinations, unusual behavior, motor tics (muscle twitches);
  • chest pain, fast or slow heart rate, pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest, feeling like you might pass out;
  • numbness, pain, unexplained wounds, cold feeling, or skin color changes (pale, red, or blue appearance) in your fingers or toes;
  • sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance;
  • easy bruising, purple spots on your skin;
  • fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;
  • erection that is painful or lasts 4 hours or longer (rare); or
  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

If you experience other bothersome side effects, contact your health care provider.


  • Do NOT stop taking this medicine without first checking with your doctor.
  • Before you have any medical or dental appointments or surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medicine.
  • This medicine can cause dizziness or drowsiness.
  • The side effects may affect your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.


  • Seek medical attention immediately. For non emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor if you're currently taking any of the following:

  • clonidine;
  • guanethidine;
  • a blood thinner such as warfarin, Coumadin;
  • an antidepressant--amitriptyline, citalopram, doxepin, fluoxetine, nortriptyline, paroxetine, sertraline, and others;
  • cold or allergy medicine that contains a decongestant;
  • medications to treat high or low blood pressure;
  • seizure medications, such as phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone;
  • stimulant medications or diet pills.

You should not use this medication if you have:

  • glaucoma;
  • taken an MAOI inhibitor in the past 2 weeks;
  • a personal or family history of tics (muscle twitches) or Tourette's syndrome; or
  • severe anxiety, tension, or agitation (methylphenidate can make these symptoms worse).

Before taking any new prescription or over-the-counter medicine, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Other medicine can affect the way carbamazepine works in the body.

Missed Dose

Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses.


Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.


FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether this medication will harm an unborn baby. However, lisdexamfetamine may cause premature birth, low birth weight, or withdrawal symptoms in a newborn if the mother takes Vyvanse during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

Lisdexamfetamine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Concerta Dosing

Usual Adult Dose for Attention Deficit Disorder:

  • Initial dose: 18 or 36 mg orally once a day
    If necessary, the initial daily dose may be increased by 18 mg approximately once a week up to a maximum daily dose of 72 mg. Maintain patients on their optimal dose.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Attention Deficit Disorder:

  • 6 years or older:
    Initial dose: 18 mg orally once a day If necessary, the initial daily dose may be increased by 18 mg approximately once a week up to a maximum daily dose of 54 mg. Maintain patients on their optimal dose.

More Information

For more information, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or health care provider.

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Jun 2015
    Published on All rights reserved.