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  • Concerta (the brand name for methylphenidate HC1) is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. 

    It is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that is primarily used in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or narcolepsy. Concerta is prescribed to treat symptoms of ADHD like inattention and hyperactivity.

    Because this prescription stimulant can cause euphoria, weight loss, and other sensations similar to that of Ritalin or Adderall, it has the potential to be abused. 

    Those with Concerta addiction may even resort to other methods of administration such as snorting or injecting the substance, increasing the risk of overdose. 

    How Much Concerta Is Too Much?

    When it comes to abusing an ADHD medication such as Concerta, there are many risks, including an overdose. So, how much is too much Concerta?

    Concerta pills are available in four tablet strengths: 18 mg, 27 mg, 46 mg, or 54 mg of methylphenidate HC1 USP. The same goes for Concerta extended-release tablets.

    Concerta is not available in immediate-release form although other stimulants can be. If you’re taking more Concerta than what was prescribed by your doctor, you are taking too much, abusing the medication, and increasing your risk of overdose.

    Concerta Overdose Symptoms

    Abusing Concerta by mismanaging the dosing or administering the drug in a different way than prescribed can lead to an accidental overdose. Concerta overdose symptoms may include:

    • agitation 
    • psychosis
    • fluctuations in heart rate and blood pressure
    • vomiting 
    • blurred vision
    • irregular heart beat
    • muscle twitching

    Concerta Overdose Risk Factors

    When taking higher doses or larger quantities of Concerta, an accidental overdose can occur. Overdoses generally occur when the person has become addicted and begins to use other methods of ingesting the stimulant medication.

    If you’re snorting or injecting this ADHD medication, it will enter your bloodstream much more quickly and the side effects can be more intense. Because of this, an overdose can easily occur.

    Increased Side Effects Of Concerta

    The following is a list of common side effects one might experience while taking Concerta:

    • nausea
    • headache
    • chest pain 
    • decreased appetite
    • dry mouth
    • anxiety 
    • high blood pressure
    • dizziness 
    • abdominal pain
    • mood swings

    Any of these symptoms can be made worse if the dose of Concerta you’re taking is a higher dose than what was prescribed to you. This can add to the severity of Concerta withdrawal symptoms as well.

    Substance Abuse

    Those partaking in Concerta abuse can make matters worse if they’re also:

    • abusing other stimulants, benzodiazepines, opioids, or prescription medications
    • mixing alcohol with Concerta
    • snorting or injecting the stimulant

    Medical/Mental Health History

    Concerta can affect those who have a family history of heart problems or those on antidepressants. More specifically, those struggling with mental health issues like bipolar disorder. 

    Psychotic episodes may happen when certain medications are combined or if a high dose of Concerta enters the person’s system. This can lead to manic episodes. When withdrawal of Concerta happens, severe depression can occur.

    On top of this, those dealing with glaucoma should steer clear of this medication. If you have cardiovascular issues, Concerta should be avoided. 

    Sudden death has been reported among those who have had previous heart problems. Be sure to get medical advice from your doctor or a healthcare professional before taking this drug. 

    Treating Concerta Addiction

    If you or a loved one are suffering from drug abuse, now is the time to get help. We offer several treatment programs at our facilities where you’ll receive top-quality care.

    We have detox programs that can help treat Concerta withdrawal. We also have inpatient and outpatient programs that include evidence-based therapies. Call our helpline today and find a safe place to focus on recovery.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Food & Drug Administration - Concerta
    Food & Drug Administration - Highlights of Prescribing Information for Concerta
    National Alliance on Mental Illness - ADHD
    National Alliance on Mental Illness - Methylphenidate or Dexmethylphenidate
    National Institute on Drug Abuse - Stimulant ADHD Medications

    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on April 26, 2022
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