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Generic Name: Methylphenidate (METH il FEN i date)

Drug Class: CNS Stimulant

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Concerta (Methylphenidate) is used in patients to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and narcolepsy. It is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant medication. Doctors may also prescribe this medicine for other conditions as well.

It works by affecting nerve and brain chemicals that contribute to impulse control and hyperactivity.

Methylphenidate is not approved for children under the age of six.

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.

Side Effects

Side effects that may occur while taking this medicine include:

  • loss of appetite
  • sleep problems (insomnia)
  • dizziness
  • stomach pain
  • feeling irritable
  • headache
  • weight loss
  • nausea or vomiting

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • extreme fear, panic, delusion, hallucinations, muscle twitches or tics
  • chest pain or rapid or slow heartbeat
  • black, tarry stools
  • dangerously high blood pressure
  • skin color changes 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;
  • joint pain
  • mood swings or changes in behavior/personality  (hostility, aggression)
  • unusual bruising
  • soreness, scaling, severe redness or swelling of the skin
  • painful erection lasting 4 hours or longer (rare)

Warnings & Precautions

  • DO NOT stop taking this medicine without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel that the medicine is not working.
  • DO NOT take this medication if you have glaucoma, tics or Tourette’s syndrome, or severe anxiety.
  • Before you have any medical or dental appointments or surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medicine.
  • Methylphenidate may be habit forming. DO NOT share this medicine with another person.
  • This medicine may cause drowsiness, dizziness or lightheadedness. DO NOT drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to this medicine.
  • Do not give this medication to a child younger than 6 years old without a doctor’s orders.
  • This medication can slow growth in children. Tell your doctor if the child using this medication is not gaining weight or growing properly.
  • For an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. For non emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Drug Interactions

Before taking any new medicine, either prescription or over-the-counter, check with your doctor or pharmacist. This includes supplements and herbal products.

Dosage & Missed Dose

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

Some brands of this medication must be taken at least 30 minutes before a meal. Extended-release methylphenidate may be taken with or without food.

Follow directions on the prescription label. Your doctor may change your dose to ensure the best results.

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 or take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.


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 (preferably 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.

More Information

For more information, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or health care provider, or you can visit this website, for additional information from the manufacturer of this drug.



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APA Reference
Psych Central. (2018). Concerta. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 26, 2020, from


Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Oct 2018
Last reviewed: By Christine Traxler, M.D.
Published on All rights reserved.