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Understanding Concerta, a Medication for ADHD

Living with ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is like trying to listen to the radio with static noise. It's hard to focus on the important bits. Concerta, a prescription medication, has been instrumental in fine-tuning that radio for many individuals, helping them focus on what matters most.

What Is Concerta?

Concerta, known by its scientific name as Methylphenidate, plays a significant role in managing ADHD symptoms. The medication helps individuals with ADHD increase their attention and decrease impulsivity and hyperactivity - some of the core symptoms of ADHD. The benefits of Concerta can be quite transformative for individuals with ADHD. By enhancing focus and attention, decreasing impulsivity, Concerta helps individuals carry out their daily tasks more effectively. This improvement often extends to better interactions in social and academic environments, enhancing the overall quality of life.

How Does It Work?

So, how does Concerta work its magic? It's all about the neurotransmitters, the body's chemical messengers in our brain. In people with ADHD, these messengers might not be doing their job efficiently. Concerta steps in to increase the levels of certain neurotransmitters, specifically dopamine and norepinephrine, which are responsible for focus and attention.

How Long Does It Take To Work?

Usually, Concerta starts to work within 1 to 2 hours after you take it, and its effects can last up to 12 hours. However, each person's experience might differ based on factors like their overall health, other medications, and individual response to medication.

Adverse Effects of Concerta

All medications have potential side effects, and Concerta is no different. Some people may experience decreased appetite, sleep difficulties, or stomachaches. In rare instances, it might increase blood pressure and heart rate. Remember, not everyone experiences these side effects, and many find the benefits of Concerta outweigh these potential challenges.

Who Will Concerta Work For?

Concerta is typically prescribed to people who are at least 6 years old and diagnosed with ADHD. But Concerta is not for everyone. It should not be used by individuals who are allergic to methylphenidate or other ingredients in Concerta, have certain types of glaucoma, or have a history of tics or Tourette's syndrome.

Alternatives to Concerta

If Concerta isn’t quite your fit, there are plenty of other fish in the sea, or in this case, medications in the pharmacy. Other stimulant medications like Adderall, Vyvanse, and Ritalin could be alternatives. Non-stimulant medications like Strattera or Intuniv may also be options. Behavioral therapy can be another crucial part of ADHD treatment. Always discuss these alternatives with your healthcare provider.

The Takeaway

Remember, everyone's journey with ADHD is unique, and the most effective treatment is often a combination of medication, therapy, and self-care practices. In our upcoming blog posts, we will continue to explore the fascinating world of ADHD and its management.


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: Author.

National Institute of Mental Health. (2020). Mental Health Information. Retrieved from

CADDRA: Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance (2020). ADHD medication comparison. Retrieved from

Concerta® (methylphenidate HCl) CII. (2020). Product Information. Retrieved from


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