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  • Concerta Crash | Timeline, Withdrawal Symptoms, & Treatment

    Concerta Crash | Timeline, Withdrawal Symptoms, & Treatment

    A Concerta crash happens after the effects of Concerta wear off, where the symptoms it was treating come back. The crash usually leads to reduced or hyperactive states, as well as irritability.

    Concerta is prescribed as an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder medication or ADHD medication. A crash means the symptoms of ADHD come back stronger for a short amount of time. Crashes are also known as medication rebounds.

    Concerta crashes may not be the same as Concerta withdrawal and vice versa. However, severe or long-lasting Concerta crashes can be signs of dependence, which can lead to withdrawal.

    Timeline Of A Concerta Crash

    Concerta crashes happen after Concerta reaches the maximum concentration in the body. Extended-release tablets of Concerta take between 6 to 10 hours to reach maximum concentration. The crash may start any time after this as the drug wears off.

    Rebound ADHD symptoms usually last for about an hour. They may be more severe than before treatment of ADHD started. 

    Rebounding or crashing can come with common side effects like:

    • reduced activity (tiredness, fatigue)
    • excessive activity (restlessness, twitchiness)
    • irritability

    Symptoms of a Concerta crash can be uncomfortable, but they may be managed with changes to your dose.

    Concerta Crash Vs. Concerta Withdrawal

    Rebounding is not the same as experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Both may be caused by changes in dopamine and norepinephrine (two vital neurotransmitters) in your brain but can be told apart by their long-lasting effects.

    Symptoms of a Concerta crash usually last for about an hour before going away. Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms can last for much longer and may be more severe.

    Multiple Concerta crashes over a short time, or crashes that last for a long time may be signs of more serious problems, such as dependency, potential withdrawal, and drug abuse.

    Managing A Concerta Crash

    If serious symptoms are not present, Concerta crashes can be managed by changing the dose. A small dose, or “booster,” of Concerta may be given around the time rebound starts. This booster is usually an immediate-release type of Concerta that can reduce or prevent rebound symptoms.

    Other dosing changes, such as going from high doses to low doses, switching to a long-acting formulation, or switching ADHD medications completely, can also help with medication rebound.

    Concerta Withdrawal Symptoms & Treatment

    Concerta withdrawal is caused by dependence on Concerta. Stimulant drugs and amphetamines like Ritalin, Adderall, Vyvanse, and others can cause similar withdrawal symptoms.

    Depending on the stimulant medication taken, withdrawal can last between several days to a few weeks and may include symptoms like:

    • psychotic episodes
    • sleeping problems
    • mood swings
    • reduced social skills
    • decline in mental health

    These symptoms may cause one to relapse, making it even more difficult to quit in the long term.

    Treatment Options For Concerta Withdrawal

    A professional treatment program for Concerta withdrawal can help you beat uncomfortable symptoms. Professional treatment may start with a detox program where Concerta is flushed out of your system. Your withdrawal symptoms will be carefully watched and managed.

    Treating Concerta withdrawal may also mean finding another treatment for attention deficit disorder. Many non-stimulant prescription drugs that treat ADHD exist, and some have much lower abuse potentials than amphetamines.

    Treatment For Concerta Crashes & Withdrawal

    Concerta can treat many forms of pediatric and adult ADHD. It is also a controlled substance with many potential risks. While Concerta crashes usually do not last long, they may be a sign that Concerta is not the best medication for you.

    If you are concerned about long-term risks of Concerta use, such as withdrawal, you may want to look for other treatments for ADHD. For people already struggling with amphetamine abuse, a dedicated treatment program can help them quit the drug safely.

    To find the best treatment for amphetamine use for yourself or a loved one, talk to your healthcare professional or contact us today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.
    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on April 26, 2022
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