Comment from: MOM, 25-34 on Treatment for 2-5 years Published: April 02

I laugh, (then get very sad) when I hear people say that parents who give their children the gift of focus, are lazy parents. I fought the teachers and doctors when they told me my son may need medication. I remember leaving a meeting in tears. Yet when my son was in third grade and not reading yet, I knew he needed help. I let his doctor put him on a min dose of Concerta, and pulled him out of school to homeschool. I was shocked at the change in his work! The first few weeks of homeschooling were "un-medicated" so when we finally filled the RX, the VERY next day his work was more neat, he didn't fight about working, HE was so happy that he could actually listen to what I was saying! I have to say that I was very upset that I had denied my son of this medication for so long. It has been almost 4 years now, and he is doing wonderful! The days he does not take his medication it's like he can't control himself, it has nothing to do with our parenting at all. He is a well behaved, loving, sweet kid who just needs help to focus. I pray that he grows out of it, or that I will be able to teach him skills to deal with his ADD for adulthood,(I won't always be here to pick up all the lost items and help him to remember EVERYTHING!) but whatever happens, I am glad that we found this medication.

Related Reading: concerta | parenting

Comment from: dnm, 13-18 Female on Treatment for 1-6 months Published: September 25

My son has ADD inattentive type; he does not have hyperactivity, just a complete inability to concentrate, remain organized, filter out ambient noise, remember tasks or finish tests on time. This medication has helped him greatly in all of those areas and he now finishes timed tests on time at school, a first in many years. He gets mild headaches, which is thus far the only ill effect. It's great to have a kid who does A work actually have the teacher see the work because tests are completed and homework is not continually lost, left on the printer, left in the car, on the steps, etc. Having resisted medication for 5 years while all else was tried, we're very happy with the result. The worry that the medication might make this laid back kid hyper turned out to not me an issue at all, and his sleep has not been impacted.

Comment from: Lane Myers, 25-34 Female on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: April 29

I was diagnosed with ADHD three years ago after both college and graduating from a difficult top tier law school. Had I known I had the disorder sooner, things may have been easier. However, I was leery of Adderall or Ritalin because students would deal them and take them with other illicit drugs to study. I wanted nothing to do with it, though it was prescribed. Just this year, I started working 2 hrs away from home, 11 hrs or so a day. I had to do SOMETHING. I was in a large room filled with chatty attorneys, constantly distracted, and was drinking 4 redbulls a day, 2 cups of coffee, AND popping no-doze for my sleepiness. My doctor said "I prescribed something for you three years ago. You didn't take it. But now there's something new and less habit forming." He put me on Concerta, and I haven't touched a redbull in a month, after having taken copious amounts of caffeine (vivarin, coffee, jolt, no-doze, green tea) since I was in Boarding School! Suddenly, I need none of it. I can focus on my work, I stay awake, I don't get sleepy driving anymore, and I feel much better without all the caffeine running rampant in my system. I'm calm, I'm effective, I'm productive. I get the apprehension many have with Adderall or Ritalin or even Concerta, but if you are prescribed any of these medicines LEGITIMATELY, I suggest you take it. There is no reason to live in a cloud. Oh, and for creative types: there is no need to fear the idea that it somehow takes your creativity away from you. I am also a songwriter and have been for many years. I have no trouble writing even AFTER taking the concerta.

Related Reading: adderall | ritalin | green tea

Comment from: tell33bops, 19-24 on Treatment for 5-10 years (Patient) Published: October 09

I have ADD, I am not hyperactivity. Concerta is a Godsend. I started taking Ritalin but didn't like the ups and downs of a 4 hour pill, plus remembering to take it once it had worn off was darn near impossible. When I started taking the Concerta I was at 54 mg. I found that I would think about all the stuff I had to do but I couldn't seem to act on it. I would be completely immobilized by the thought of all the work. My doctor and I slowly moved the dosage up. My dosage was 108 mg but I was completely organized and able to focus. My room was even clean and stayed clean (much to the surprise of my mom.) I was treated by an ADD specialist that had been seeing me since I was diagnosed at the age of 6. Even though my dosage was considered high by most medical journals, my doctor and I both agreed that it was what I needed. However, when she passed away unexpectedly I could not find another physician that was willing to write a prescription for that dosage. Every doctor I saw kept saying that it was twice the recommended dose and then they would try to send me to a shrink. During this time everything suffered. My apartment became cluttered and disorganized, my grades plummeted (until then I had maintained a 3.8 through my junior year of college), and I was late for appointments and classes. I was even more impulsive. I was finally able to find a doctor that was willing to work with me. She is a specialist that works specifically with women that have ADD. She built me slowly back up to the needed dosage over the course of two month. I am happy to say that I am back on track. I have found that the medication only lasts 8 hours and if I am trying to study after that I will take 30 mg of Ritalin to get me through the rest of the day. No medical journal knows what is right for you, you know your body and whether a medication is working or not. Your doctor should realize this and take the steps necessary to give you the medication YOUR body needs.

Comment from: Fairmont, 35-44 Female on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: November 30

I've been on Concerta for a week. I am 43, and for the first time in my life I can hold still. I can maintain attention, I'm patient, and I'm a lot happier. I'm far less irritable. I'm not as easily frustrated, and I'm only juggling two or three thoughts instead of five or six. I'm also far less impulsive. I am not constantly wanting new things, and my moods are calm. I haven't lost my creativity or imagination. In fact, it improved. I don't procrastinate as much, and organization is easier. Finally, I can stay on task without getting distracted as easily. I am so much happier. The fact is that, for me, it feels too good to be true. I wish Concerta worked for everyone who has ADHD. But it doesn't. No drug works for everyone. But this one worked for me. I wish I had been diagnosed a medicated 35 years ago when I started failing in school. I spent years struggling and suffering. Worst of all my impulsivity caused me social conflicts, and romance difficulties. Thank goodness I sought help. My psychiatrist is amazing. Everyone who struggles with mental illness or disabilities should seek help.

Related Reading: concerta | mental illness

Comment from: svjohnston80, 25-34 on Treatment for 1-2 years Published: February 13

My 5 year old has been taking this medication for about a year and I would have to say overall I am satisfied.  I have noticed like another parent who posted on here that when it wears off, she is a moster, but it works while she is in school and has helped her be a great student.  One more comment I would like to make is that I don't think calling parents who use concerta "lazy parents" is appropriate.  I personally have tried everything, including behavior management and researched all of the medications and struggled a lot when making the decision to medicate my daughter and what to medicate my child with, so please don't insult people.  You don't know their situation until you have walked a mile in their shoes.

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Comment from: Spazzylady, 35-44 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: December 14

Just diagnosed as an adult with ADHD, always suspected my lack of focus, follow through and flitting about from job to job, relationships and manic-like episodes were more than they appeared. Within the first week of taking Concerta, I was calmer, more focused, slept better, got more done systematically and specifically was able to "shut off" my compulsive thinking patterns.

Comment from: shane, 13-18 Female on Treatment for 5-10 years (Patient) Published: May 14

I have taken Concerta for about 7 years now. I am almost 19 at the moment. I was diagnosed with ADHD at age 6. I have since been rediagnosed with ADD. I grew out of the hyperactivity. I have tried many medications throughout the years and always come back to Concerta. I take 72mg daily. It is great for focusing on anything. But thats also the problem, ANYTHING includes slacking. In order for any medication to work, the patient must be willing to helo it. I have to motivate myself to start homework, but once i do, i stay focused. SIDE AFFECTS: There are many side affects im afraid. Excessive sweating caused by the stimulants in the drug, loss of appitite, i got migraines at age 13. Daily headaches, stomach pains, insomnia. My doctor told me that Concerta was probably the cause of all of it. But a word of advice for any parent or patient, if you have trouble sleeping at night becuase you are coming down off the drug, look into the over-the-counter suppliment MELATONIN. its not a sleeping pill but it helps to relax so you can fall asleep. Also try taking the medication as early as 6:00am, you should be tired enough to sleep at around 10:30 if you are like me. In my opinion, Concerta is pretty good, I'd rather be on it that Vyvance, Focalin, Adderall, or Strattera. Please compare side affects if you are considering changing. Adderall is a living h*ll when you come down off of it, and vyvnace can make you tempermental. Straterra made my neighbor start pulling out her hair and she thought the toothfairy lived in her doll house. Im not joking. It was very serious. Focalin makes the patient a emotionless zombie. Concerta has been the best so far. Hope this helps.

Related Reading: excessive sweating | insomnia | melatonin

Comment from: ADHD_Guy, 25-34 Female on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: December 14

I was 26 when I was diagnosed with ADHD, I was prescribed this drug (36mg slow release) and found it worked fantastically for the first month. I took my pill at 08:30 every morning and after that first month I found I would be drained and anxious after 4pm, this feeling would last all evening I consulted my doctor and was told that propranolol would balance things out but this only worked for about a month or so. In the end Concerta left me feeling anxious, twitchy, on edge and paranoid every evening. I can honestly say this drug made me feel like I was someone else, like I was disconnected from who I really was Coming off Concerta was also an awful experience. I had to continue using the propranolol for a further 3 months just to get the anxiety under control. Now I use nothing to treat my ADHD other than my own focus. If you can realise where and when ADHD affects you, you can learn to overcome it without the need for drugs. This may sound harsh but those of us who have ADHD can't live with a "poor me" attitude, we need to be held accountable for our shortcomings, not necessarily in a sense that we have done something badly or wrong but acknowledging we have made a mistake. This helps us grow and overcome our problem I'm sure Concerta has positive effects on many people so please use your own judgement when choosing this medication, I simply want to give my side of the story and let people know this isn't a wonder drug

Related Reading: propranolol | anxiety


The abbreviated term ADHD denotes the condition commonly known as: See Answer
Comment from: emsmom, 7-12 on Treatment for 6 months - 1 year Published: October 20

Took my daughter off completely after lowering the dosage did not help with the side effects: weight loss, behavioral changes, stuffy nose leading to bleeds (about a dozen a day - worse at nights), tummy & headaches, lack of growth. A Zombie at school (but focused) as well as at home. There was also increased irritability and lack of emotions. She stated that she 'did not feel right' on Concerta. Withdrawl after stopping Concerta as bad as the side effects while taking them. She is now on natural dietary supplements as well as doing 'Play Attention'. I finally have my child back!! She will not be ever drugged by Concerta again! Of course the teacher is not happy that I took her off the 'quick fix pill' but my childs overall health and wellbeing is my foremost concern. Grades and performance at school are important but priority is her health. After reading up diligently on Concerta with its side effects and unknown long term effects I am in shock that these meds are prescribed on a daily basis to our children!!

Related Reading: concerta | shock

Comment from: sakura_aoki, 13-18 on Treatment for 1-2 years (Patient) Published: December 21

I personally did great on it. IT is the first and only Add drug i have ever had and it works great with anti-depressants that i have tried. For about a month i had to go on buspar for anxiety but that went away. I didn't feel like i was drugged, i just felt more focused. It is nothing like caffeine for me (which i tend to subconsciously medicate if i miss a dose). It is a drug you can miss a dose and not fall apart as long as you aren't Hyperactive (maybe it is ok to do that too but i wouldn't know). It takes about thirty minutes to kick in so if you are in school then take it early. It really is what i needed even though my father does not like me on stimulants and my mother took about 6 years to finally agree. It also makes driving much much easier, but be careful if you learn on it do not drive without it. I got in every accident i have on days i missed it. To tell the truth it isn't addicting, it is more fun for me not to take it, but it really helps focus and sometimes even sleep. And parents should listen to their kids more if they think they might have it, it is very depressing to be told you are wrong when you know something isn't working right.

Related Reading: buspar | anxiety

Comment from: ajmom, 7-12 Female on Treatment for 6 months - 1 year Published: October 15

My 9 year old son started this mid-year of his third grade. This was the hardest decision for me. I felt I was drugging my kid. However, I am so glad I did it. Yes, the C's have turned to A and B's however this is not why I did it. His self esteem has skyrocketed. Every night isn't spent crying over school, begging to take the grade over again and making up fake ailments to get out of going to school. He was below state average in reading and is now in accelerated. He could read anything but close the book and not have any clue what he read. Now he actually enjoys reading. He did tell me I should go to the dr and tell him the medicine didn't work because "he still doesn't like school". Having a 9 year old that doesn't like school isn't out of the norm. He did lose some weight and seems to be overly thirsty. He only takes it on school days; he doesn't take on weekends or summer. I like that he doesn't have to be on it all the time.

Comment from: Loving mom of teenage son, 35-44 on Treatment for 2-5 years Published: November 27

My 15 year old son has been on Concerta for 3 years. Our Dr. started him on the 27mg dose & has increased him to the 36mg. My son has never been hyperactive, just not able to stay focused or complete multi tasks. Since he has been taking the Concerta, his ability to remain focused and actually remember things has been amazing. Concerta started working within 3 days for him. He did loose 2 lbs when he first started taking it, and will have some evenings when it is harder for him to get to sleep, but nothing bad. I am amazed at his willingness and ability to interact with family and friends. I have seen a whole new kid come to life. He doesn't have any side effects at all. I feel that Concerta has given him the ability to fully enjoy life instead of missing it because he couldn't concentrate. I highly recommend Concerta and after reviewing other meds, I feel confident in giving my son his Concerta daily. We did try Neuro feedback for 3 months and I do feel like that also helped in many ways. My son use to say that the medicine didn't help him, until I decided not to give it to him for 3 days (he doesn't remember to take it), and one day he came home from school and said that he needs to take his Concerta tomorrow, because he noticed he was having a hard time focusing in class. That sold me right there! I was happy to hear him say that he noticed a difference. Nobody likes to have to medicate their child, but when you witness first hand the benefits it brings to your childs life, it may change your mind. I also like the fact that the drug doesn't stay in their body for more than 8 hours. I am sold and recommend Concerta.

Comment from: chris, 13-18 Female on Treatment for 5-10 years (Patient) Published: June 14

I have been taking concerta since about 3rd grade. There are some side effects such as loss of hunger that I have recently stopped experiencing. I take 135mg of concerta and am finishing ninth grade. Some of the side effects I still have would be a lack of emotion, increased heart rate, and a cold personality. The increased heart rate is a thing to be concerned about if you are taking a higher dose(be careful what you do and just be aware of this). I recently went to a cardiologist for an Electrocardiogram and my heart was healthy and normal. Though during more intense workouts it gets to around 210-220 which I try to monitor to prevent this. Normally it is at 110, 20bpm above normal. But the effects it has had, I am getting better grade, I am in all honors, I am a much more intelligent person that I thought I was. Some helpful tips I have -try to limit the times you need to increase your dose -Monitor your heart rate -Eat when you don't want to because you are hungry you just don't feel it -Never take anything above your dose or if you must then make try to use a different drug, I recommend Focalian(Probably incorrectly spelled) -Monitor your supply of pills to make sure you don't run out(had this happen once or twice it was not fun) -Take you pills as soon as you wake up they last about 12-15 hours and you will not be able to get to sleep easily when you are on them I hoped this has helped you.

Related Reading: concerta

Comment from: diamarben, 19-24 on Treatment for 10+ years (Patient) Published: December 03

I've been medicated for ADD since second grade. I'm 19 now. I was originally on Ritalin and then put on Concerta when the FDA approved it. There was a huge improvement with my behavior and grades. My impulsiveness also ceased. Concerta (54mg) has always made me feel more emotionless and spaced-out. It felt like the only part of my body present was my brain, which absorbed information nonstop. Over the last year, I started to show signs of anxiety. I come back from college classes, go in my room, and cry for no reason. I'm tired all the time and have no motivation. I don't feel as emotionally attached to anyone and I'm no longer passionate about things I used to love. I feel as though I am existing, rather than living. While I originally had success with Concerta throughout my elementary and secondary education, school has become more difficult because of the new side-effects. My doctor gave me the okay to finally try Adderall. I'm absolutely petrified to try a new medication, but I'm hoping it will relieve my anxiety and give me back the energy I used to have to get things done. Concerta may work for you or your child, but pay attention to how they feel. While education is important in adolescence, emotional development is something you can never get back.

Related Reading: ritalin | concerta | anxiety

Comment from: dmckoy, on Treatment for 2-5 years Published: December 18

My daughter had ADHD and we used this medication for 4 years and she did great on the medicine and she is off of it now and is doing great. We had to work at home and at school with coping skills and stay consistant and she was able maintain and as a middle schooler is doing better then I could expect. I recommend this with medication and a plan to help your child, it can be done.

Comment from: Jason, 25-34 Female on Treatment for 2-5 years (Patient) Published: December 04

54mg of Concerta every morning has enabled me to be focussed,calm, and less aggressive. There is a definite night and day difference if I miss a dose. It gives me the patience to get through the things in life that used to set me off. I don't feel like a zombie nor am I flying high on it. I simply feel better, and those who know me say its made a huge difference. People used to say that I made them nervous just being around them because I was so spastic and fidgety. People can get to know the real me and not be turned away by the spastic, nervous ball of energy I once was. Concerta does not change your personality, it allows you focus and express it. I don't suffer from any adverse side effects from this product but I do feel it has lost a bit of its effectiveness over the years. Maybe my body has developed a bit of a tolorence over the years to it. I'll discuss this with my doctor in a few weeks. For parents of children with ADD or ADHD take note that this product does really work. It is, however, very expensive at approx $160 a month. Don't let this steer you away though; because there are patient assistance plans out there that will cover the entire cost of this any many other medications.

Comment from: jarvistrac, 7-12 Female on Treatment for 1-6 months Published: September 25

My son's use of Concerta tremendously improved his concentration and ability to function in school on a normal basis.

Comment from: 19-24 on Treatment for 5-10 years (Patient) Published: June 24

I started out on Concerta when I was 13, it worked great in the beginning, but my body kept adjusting to the dose and my dosage just kept going up and up. I'm 21 now, and up until two weeks ago, I was taking two 36 and two 54's each day, so 180 overall. Of course, on this high dose, I began to notice heart palpatations, extreme anxiety, and paranoia, but my doctor said this was all normal. I finally decided my heart pals and shortness of breath were too much and went to get my heart checked out. They found some serious heart rythem problems and trachycardia issues that I have to see electrocardisit specialists for and possibly get surgery to correct. Though Concerta helped me maintain a 4.0 all through college, I'm not so sure it's worth this. I know they say Concerta doesn't create heart problems, or there is very little risk, but I come from a family of absolutely NO HEART DISEASE and this is pretty serious. And even if Concerta didn't create the problem, there is no doubt in my mind that it made it worse. Basically, if you are considering putting yourself or your child on Concerta, make sure you have constant, regular doctors check up, specifically for your heart, make sure you keep an eye on your heart rate/pulse, and don't take palpatations or shortness of breath lightly.

Related Reading: heart disease

Comment from: kah930, 25-34 on Treatment for less than 1 month Published: October 25

18mg of Concerta has done wonders for my 7 year old struggling with a severe case of ADHD. He is easing through 2nd grade after a frightening time in kindergarten and 1st time. There were times when I wanted to escape the angry, unattentive, sometimes violent little boy, but since he started on his medication and routine schedule, he is one of the happiest children I've ever met.

Comment from: 35-44 on Treatment for 6 months - 1 year Published: January 27

My husband and I were concerned about putting our son on any medications because he was 6 years old. We told ourselves it was his age and that he would grow out of this behavior. The problem started in preschool and in to 1st grade. We dreaded seeing his teacher to hear about his behavior that day and what happened in class. It was always that he couldn't sit still or wouldn't comlete his work and wouldn't stop talking in class. We finally went to the doctor and poured our hearts out to her and asked for help. She explained that it is an age and maturity factor but there were some ADHD symptons based on what we described. We chose concerta and started out with the 18mg dosage and noticed a difference within a couple of days. We made his teacher aware of the medicine and after a few weeks and discussions with his teacher we went back to the doctors and decided to go with the 27mg dosage. That was the magic number! Our son has made a 180 degree transformation. He pays attention in class, follows directions, completes his work and receives high marks from his teacher daily. It's a great feeling knowing he's doing so well in and out of school. I have to say that even though I was against putting our son on medication, it was the best decision we made. We are so proud of him and he knows that. He even reminds me eveery morning that it's time to take his "vitamin".

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ADHD Symptoms in Children See Slideshow
Comment from: Liz, 25-34 on Treatment for 1-6 months Published: January 10

My 5 year old son is on 18mg of concerta a day and he is doing wonderful. He has been through so much Telephic's, physicoligist and therapy, not to mention me feeling not only helpless but being picked apart by children services likeits my fault. He could not help how he was feeling or acting, it was a nightmnare for all of us and espeically my son. Now he is doing better expressing himself in a healthy way rather than aggressive and he has friends. Seeing him smile and play without trying just being a kid and really enjoying himself, its so great to see! Finially I ve met my son.

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Comment from: 35-44 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: December 16

I was taking Ritalin LA which seemed to come on very strong and wear off drastically by mid-afternoon. Concerta, on the other hand, gives a slower, smoother experience and tapers down without the headache. It also allows me to focus on one thing at a time. I have a much better quality of life with this med.

Related Reading: ritalin la | concerta | headache

Comment from: on Treatment for 10+ years (Patient) Published: November 25

To any parents considering Concerta, here is some insight from a college junior. Concerta is effective for school kids but, I have had some issues. I had been on a relitively small dosage of ritalin for a long time befor switching to concerta and upon switching I ran into dosage problems. I had been 130lbs before changing dosage at 225. I had been put upwards of 54 mg of concerta and after a couple of months I was a zombie. Totally apathetic. So, monitor dosage. The other problem was that because I wasnt taking it at school anymore none of my teachers knew my situation so make sure to inform them. In a bunch of situations I have found ritalin to be better then concerta. The first was high school football. My doctor and I decided that by kick off at 7 I had no concerta in my system and to supplement this he gave me 10-10mg ritalins for the season. This is better then concerta because if you take a fool dosage of concerta you could not sleep and on ritalin you can at least get to sleep although it is still difficult. College is also better for ritalin because, you dont go to class from 8-3 so concerta is useless. The thing to do is to be on small dosages of ritalin through out the day so that your covered for your 9 am class and you 8pm study group. I hope I helped.

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Comment from: Vellicate, 7-12 on Treatment for 6 months - 1 year Published: August 21

My 8yr old son has taken this medicaton for nearly 12months. it has been amazing, he is now able to be his happy relaxed self. The lessened appetite is a struggle but he more than makes up for it when his 36mg dose wears off around 5pm. The only drawback is a rebound effect he gets where all his energy for the day surges thru and he gets an intense hyperactivity with sensitivity (mood) he takes catapres to help with this. Which also makes sleep very easy for him. He has gone from being disruptive and having no focus (or friends) to being top of his class and a kind and helpful student. ( and very popular) This has been a miracle for my family and i would highly recommend this to anyone accurately diagnosed with adhd. all 3 of my children are adhd and i would say this drug has less side affects in my experience to dex anphetimine (my 20yr old daughter takes this). In my experience everyone is different in how they present adhd and the meds they respond to. Trial and adjustment is well worth the end results when you find the right medication.

Related Reading: catapres


Pharmacy Editor: Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

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