How Does Concerta Work?
Concerta (methylphenidate extended-release) works by enhancing the effects of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. These neurotransmitters are lower in patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Concerta releases a slow and steady dose of dopamine, which is similar to how the chemical is produced in the brain. Doctors typically prescribe Concerta in a gradually-increasing dose until a therapeutic effect is reached.
How Do You Take Concerta?
Concerta is a tablet that is taken orally once daily in the morning with or without food. The drug is meant to be swallowed whole but can be abused when chewed, divided or crushed.
How Long is it in Your System?
Onset of Concerta’s effects begin about 30-60 minutes after taking the drug. After that, duration of action lasts from 8-12 hours. The average half-life for Concerta in adults is about 3.5 hours.
Who Should Not Take Concerta?
Patients with the following conditions should avoid using Concerta:
- Hypersensitivity to methylphenidate
- Children under the age of 6
- Patients with a history of drug dependence or alcoholism
- Patients with high blood pressure or a history of heart failure, recent myocardial infarction or hyperthyroidism
Is Concerta Addictive?
Although abuse liability is highest when you take a drug for effect or to get high, patients can still become addicted to Concerta if they are taking it in doses or methods other than that recommended by a doctor. In fact, chronic use of Concerta for effect can lead to tolerance (the need for higher doses for similar effect) and psychological dependence with varying degrees of abnormal behavior. For this reason, Concerta should be prescribed cautiously to patients with a history of alcoholism or drug abuse.
What are the Side Effects of Concerta?
- Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
- Completed suicide
- Heart problems
- Drug addiction / abuse
- Mania / psychosis
- Disturbed sleep
- Priapism (painful, long-lasting erections)
- And more
What are Concerta Lawsuits Alleging?
Lawsuits filed against Janssen allege that the company failed to adequately warn about the risk of extreme suicidal thoughts in children and young adults who take Concerta. Plaintiffs argue that had the manufacturer properly warned of these risks, teens would have been prescribed a different drug to treat their ADHD.
Has a Class Action Been Filed?
No class action lawsuit has yet been filed in the Concerta litigation, and it is unlikely that any such action will be filed in the future. However, our lawyers are accepting potential individual lawsuits on behalf of family members whose children had extreme suicidal behavior or committed suicide after taking Concerta.
Have There Been Any Settlements?
To date, no significant settlements have been reached over damages alleged from Concerta. However, with the large number of prescriptions written for the drug, as well as its potential health risks acknowledged by the FDA, our lawyers feel that enough lawsuits will be filed over Concerta so that Janssen will eventually decide to settle some or all of the cases out of court.