Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental condition that most often occurs in children (over 6.4 million children ages 4-17 have been diagnosed with the disorder), though approximately 4% of adults over 18 are afflicted with ADHD as well. Children who are diagnosed with ADHD may exhibit symptoms like having trouble paying attention, staying organized, and practicing proper attention to detail.
To manage the symptoms of a child’s ADHD, many physicians prescribe Concerta. Concerta is a central nervous system stimulant that increases the amount of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. Unlike Ritalin, Concerta is an extended-release tablet that allows one to better focus and be organized throughout the day. In addition, Concerta helps decrease acts of impulsivity and can help someone with ADHD gain control over their movement.
Things to Know Before You or Your Child Uses Concerta
You must be aware of a variety of things before you or your child starts taking Concerta.
1. Side Effects Are Possible
Patients who have taken this medication have reported side effects from Concerta. Some of the most commonly reported side effects include:
• Dry mouth
• Sleep difficulties
• Blurry vision or changes to eyesight
• Anxiety or irritability
• Abdominal pain or nausea
Some patients have also experienced severe side effects. A small percentage of those taking Concerta have had psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, as well as seizures. Patients should be wary about taking Concerta if they have experienced these symptoms before, as taking the medicine may exacerbate these side effects.
As Concerta is a stimulant, patients can also experience high blood pressure and an increased heart rate, increasing a patient’s rate of stroke or a heart attack.
2. Concerta Is Not Approved for All Patients
Concerta is not for everyone, and those who have any of the conditions below are advised to not take Concerta.
• Frequent anxiety or agitation
• Tics, Tourette’s syndrome, or a family history of Tourette’s syndrome
Women who are pregnant or nursing are also advised not to take Concerta.
3. It’s Very Important to Take The Right Dosage
Ensuring that you are prescribed with the right Concerta dosage is key. A patient who takes Concerta in high doses may experience a euphoric feeling due to dopamine levels rising quickly in the body. This may lead to dependence on the drug. High doses of Concerta can also lead to psychosis, mania, or thought disorders, while a patient who stops taking the drug completely can suffer from withdrawal symptoms. Also, a doctor can ensure that your children receive the correct dosage for Concerta.
Do not overdose on Concerta. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible, unless it is within twelve hours of another dose.
4. Concerta Needs to Be Stored Safely
It is important to undertake proper storage of the medicine to ensure that it works to its fullest potential. Keep Concerta in its original container, out of the reach of children, and store in a cool, dry place away from the extremes of temperature and humidity. To prevent overdose or drug abuse, keep track of the amount of Concerta pills taken each month in order to detect any unauthorized access.
For more information about Concerta and to get a free coupon on the medication, visit our Concerta Drug Page.