Concerta (Methylphenidate HCl) Patient Information

Find out why Concerta is prescribed, side effects of Concerta, Concerta warnings, abuse of methylphenidate, more - in plain English.

Concerta (Methylphenidate HCl) Medication Guide and Patient Counseling Information

Concerta (methylphenidate) Full Prescribing Information

Medication Guide

(kon SER-ta)
(methylphenidate HCl extended-release tablets CII)

Read the Medication Guide that comes with CONCERTA® before you or your child starts taking it and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This Medication Guide does not take the place of talking to your doctor about you or your child's treatment with CONCERTA®.

What is the most important information I should know about CONCERTA®?

The following have been reported with use of methylphenidate HCl and other stimulant medicines:

1. Heart-related problems:

  • sudden death in patients who have heart problems or heart defects
  • stroke and heart attack in adults
  • increased blood pressure and heart rate

Tell your doctor if you or your child have any heart problems, heart defects, high blood pressure, or a family history of these problems.

Your doctor should check you or your child carefully for heart problems before starting CONCERTA®.


Your doctor should check you or your child's blood pressure and heart rate regularly during treatment with CONCERTA®.

Call your doctor right away if you or your child has any signs of heart problems such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting while taking CONCERTA®.

2. Mental (Psychiatric) problems:

All Patients

  • new or worse behavior and thought problems
  • new or worse bipolar illness
  • new or worse aggressive behavior or hostility

Children and Teenagers

    • new psychotic symptoms (such as hearing voices, believing things that are not true, are suspicious) or new manic symptoms


Tell your doctor about any mental problems you or your child have, or about a family history of suicide, bipolar illness, or depression.

Call your doctor right away if you or your child have any new or worsening mental symptoms or problems while taking CONCERTA®, especially seeing or hearing things that are not real, believing things that are not real, or are suspicious.


CONCERTA® is a central nervous system stimulant prescription medicine. It is used for the treatment of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). CONCERTA® may help increase attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity in patients with ADHD.

CONCERTA® should be used as a part of a total treatment program for ADHD that may include counseling or other therapies.

CONCERTA® is a federally controlled substance (CII) because it can be abused or lead to dependence. Keep CONCERTA® in a safe place to prevent misuse and abuse. Selling or giving away CONCERTA® may harm others, and is against the law.

Tell your doctor if you or your child have (or have a family history of) ever abused or been dependent on alcohol, prescription medicines or street drugs.

Who should not take CONCERTA®?

CONCERTA® should not be taken if you or your child:

  • are very anxious, tense, or agitated
  • have an eye problem called glaucoma
  • have tics or Tourette's syndrome, or a family history of Tourette's syndrome. Tics are hard to control repeated movements or sounds.
  • are taking or have taken within the past 14 days an anti-depression medicine called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor or MAOI.
  • are allergic to anything in CONCERTA®. See the end of this Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients.

CONCERTA® should not be used in children less than 6 years old because it has not been studied in this age group.

CONCERTA® may not be right for you or your child. Before starting CONCERTA® tell your or your child's doctor about all health conditions (or a family history of) including:

  • heart problems, heart defects, or high blood pressure
  • mental problems including psychosis, mania, bipolar illness, or depression
  • tics or Tourette's syndrome
  • seizures or have had an abnormal brain wave test (EEG)
  • esophagus, stomach, or small or large intestine problems

Tell your doctor if you or your child is pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.

Can CONCERTA® be taken with other medicines?

Tell your doctor about all of the medicines that you or your child take including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. CONCERTA® and some medicines may interact with each other and cause serious side effects. Sometimes the doses of other medicines will need to be adjusted while taking CONCERTA®.

Your doctor will decide whether CONCERTA® can be taken with other medicines.

Especially tell your doctor if you or your child takes:

  • anti-depression medicines including MAOIs
  • seizure medicines
  • blood thinner medicines
  • blood pressure medicines
  • cold or allergy medicines that contain decongestants

Know the medicines that you or your child takes. Keep a list of your medicines with you to show your doctor and pharmacist.

Do not start any new medicine while taking CONCERTA® without talking to your doctor first.

How should CONCERTA® be taken?

  • Take CONCERTA® exactly as prescribed. Your doctor may adjust the dose until it is right for you or your child.
  • Do not chew, crush, or divide the tablets. Swallow CONCERTA® tablets whole with water or other liquids. Tell your doctor if you or your child cannot swallow CONCERTA® whole. A different medicine may need to be prescribed.
  • CONCERTA® can be taken with or without food.
  • Take CONCERTA® once each day in the morning. CONCERTA® is an extended release tablet. It releases medication into your/your child's body throughout the day.
  • The CONCERTA® tablet does not dissolve completely in the body after all the medicine has been released. You or your child may sometimes notice the empty tablet in a bowel movement. This is normal.
  • From time to time, your doctor may stop CONCERTA® treatment for a while to check ADHD symptoms.
  • Your doctor may do regular checks of the blood, heart, and blood pressure while taking CONCERTA®. Children should have their height and weight checked often while taking CONCERTA®. CONCERTA® treatment may be stopped if a problem is found during these check-ups.
  • If you or your child takes too much CONCERTA® or overdoses, call your doctor or poison control center right away, or get emergency treatment.

What are possible side effects of CONCERTA®?

See "What is the most important information I should know about CONCERTA®?" for information on reported heart and mental problems.

Other serious side effects include:

  • slowing of growth (height and weight) in children
  • seizures, mainly in patients with a history of seizures
  • eyesight changes or blurred vision
  • blockage of the esophagus, stomach, small or large intestine in patients who already have a narrowing in any of these organs

Common side effects include:

  • headache
  • stomach ache
  • trouble sleeping
  • decreased appetite
  • nervousness
  • dizziness

Talk to your doctor if you or your child has side effects that are bothersome or do not go away.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should I store CONCERTA®?

  • Store CONCERTA® in a safe place at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from moisture.
  • Keep CONCERTA® and all medicines out of the reach of children.

General information about CONCERTA®

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Medication Guide. Do not use CONCERTA® for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give CONCERTA® to other people, even if they have the same condition. It may harm them and it is against the law.

This Medication Guide summarizes the most important information about CONCERTA®. If you would like more information, talk with your doctor. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for information about CONCERTA® that was written for healthcare professionals. For more information about CONCERTA® call 1-888-440-7903 or visit

What are the ingredients in CONCERTA®?

Active Ingredient: methylphenidate HCl

Inactive Ingredients: butylated hydroxytoluene, carnuba wax, cellulose acetate, hypromellose, lactose, phosphoric acid, poloxamer, polyethylene glycol, polyethylene oxides, povidone, propylene glycol, sodium chloride, stearic acid, succinic acid, synthetic iron oxides, titanium dioxide, and triacetin.

This Medication Guide has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Manufactured by
ALZA Corporation, Mountain View, CA 94043

Distributed and Marketed by

McNeil Pediatrics
Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Inc., Titusville
NJ 08560

An ALZA OROS® Technology Product

CONCERTA® and OROS® are Registered Trademarks of ALZA Corporation.

Patient Counseling Information

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See Medication Guide

Information for Patients

Prescribers or other health professionals should inform patients, their families, and their caregivers about the benefits and risks associated with treatment with methylphenidate and should counsel them in its appropriate use. A patient Medication Guide is available for CONCERTA®. The prescriber or health professional should instruct patients, their families, and their caregivers to read the Medication Guide and should assist them in understanding its contents. Patients should be given the opportunity to discuss the contents of the Medication Guide and to obtain answers to any questions they may have. The complete text of the Medication Guide is reprinted at the end of this document.

Patients should be informed that CONCERTA® should be swallowed whole with the aid of liquids. Tablets should not be chewed, divided, or crushed. The medication is contained within a nonabsorbable shell designed to release the drug at a controlled rate. The tablet shell, along with insoluble core components, is eliminated from the body; patients should not be concerned if they occasionally notice in their stool something that looks like a tablet.

Stimulants may impair the ability of the patient to operate potentially hazardous machinery or vehicles. Patients should be cautioned accordingly until they are reasonably certain that does not adversely affect their ability to engage in such activities. CONCERTA®.

For more information call 1-888-440-7903.

Manufactured by:
ALZA Corporation
Mountain View, CA 94043

Manufactured for:
McNeil Pediatrics, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Titusville, NJ 08560

An ALZA OROS Technology Product
CONCERTA® and OROS are Registered Trademarks of ALZA Corporation.
Revised: June 2008

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last update 06/08

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APA Reference
Staff, H. (2009, January 3). Concerta (Methylphenidate HCl) Patient Information, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Last Updated: January 24, 2019

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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