Are you a Health Professional? Jump over to the doctors only platform. Click Here

Concerta Extended-Release Tablets

Generic Name: Methylphenidate hydrochloride
Product Name: Concerta Extended-Release Tablets

Indication

Concerta is a medication used to treat individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is only prescribed by specialist doctors and not by general practitioners. It is used in conjunction with other ADHD treatment measures, such as social and educational treatments.

Concerta can also be used to treat narcolepsy.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Evaluation Tool

Does your child have problems paying attention?
Do they fidget, talk a lot, or run around with seemingly endless energy?
Do they have trouble waiting their turn, and ‘butt into’ games or conversations?

If the answer to any of these is yes, you might want to find out whether your child is exhibiting symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). All children at some time or another will tend to be inattentive, hyperactive or impulsive. However some children will exhibit these qualities most of the time, and more than their peers.

Please complete the survey below to find out if you need to consult your GP about these symptoms. It is important to keep in mind that symptoms of ADHD are often common in many energetic children; therefore it might help to compare your child to other children in the same age group.

  1. Does your child fail to pay attention to details during tasks? For example, a teacher may have reported careless errors in schoolwork.
    1. Yes
    2. Not more than other children of the same age
  2. Does your child have trouble sustaining attention during tasks or games? For example they appear to easily lose interest and become distracted.
    1. Yes
    2. Not more than other children of the same age
  3. Do they have trouble following through on instructions, and often fail to finish schoolwork, homework or chores?
    1. Yes
    2. Not more than other children of the same age
  4. Do they have trouble listening, even when spoken to directly?
    1. Yes
    2. Not more than other children of the same age
  5. Could your child be described using the following three words: forgetful; disorganised; or easily distracted?
    1. Yes, to all three
    2. Yes, to two only
    3. Yes, to one only
    4. None of these words could describe my child
  6. Does your child avoid or dislike activities that require sustained mental attention such as schoolwork or homework?
    1. Yes
    2. Not more than other children of the same age
  7. Does your child fidget, squirm in their seat, or get up from their seat in situations where sitting still or remaining seated are expected?
    1. Yes
    2. Not more than any other child of the same age
  8. Does your child have difficulty ‘playing quietly’?
    1. Yes
    2. Not more than any other child of the same age
  9. Does your child act as if driven by a motor, often running or climbing excessively, and in situations where it is inappropriate?
    1. Yes
    2. Not more than any other child of the same age
  10.  Does your child talk excessively and/or blurt out answers before questions have been completed?
    1. Yes, to both
    2. Yes, to one only
    3. Not compared to children of the same age
  11.  Does your child have difficulty waiting their turn and/or interrupt or intrude on the conversations or games of others?
    1. Yes, to both
    2. Yes, to one only
    3. Not compared to children of the same age
  12.  On the scale below, please indicate how much you feel these symptoms impact on your child’s quality and enjoyment of their social and academic life
    (1 indicates that their life is not affected by the symptoms and 10 indicates their life is severely affected).

    12345678910

References: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th Ed, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR). Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association 2000.

Evaluation

Your child is unlikely to be experiencing symptoms of ADHD. You probably don’t need to be concerned.

Evaluation

Your child is unlikely to be experiencing symptoms of ADHD. However, if you are concerned, you should show this survey to your GP at your next consult.

Evaluation

Your child may be experiencing some of the symptoms of ADHD. These symptoms may be able to be managed by your doctor. You should book an appointment with your GP and take this survey with you for further discussion.

Evaluation

Your child may be experiencing some of the symptoms of ADHD. These symptoms may be able to be managed by your doctor. You should book an appointment with your GP as soon as possible and take this survey with you for further discussion.

This information will be collected for educational purposes, however it will remain anonymous.

This tool needs Javascript enabled to run.

Add up your answers to the following questions:

  1. Does your child fail to pay attention to details during tasks? For example, a teacher may have reported careless errors in schoolwork.
    1. Yes: 1 point
    2. Not more than other children of the same age: 0 points
  2. Does your child have trouble sustaining attention during tasks or games? For example they appear to easily lose interest and become distracted.
    1. Yes: 1 point
    2. Not more than other children of the same age: 0 points
  3. Do they have trouble following through on instructions, and often fail to finish schoolwork, homework or chores?
    1. Yes: 1 points
    2. Not more than other children of the same age: 0 points
  4. Do they have trouble listening, even when spoken to directly?
    1. Yes: 1 point
    2. Not more than other children of the same age: 0 points
  5. Could your child be described using the following three words: forgetful; disorganised; or easily distracted?
    1. Yes, to all three: 3 points
    2. Yes, to two only: 2 points
    3. Yes, to one only: 1 point
    4. None of these words could describe my child: 0 points
  6. Does your child avoid or dislike activities that require sustained mental attention such as schoolwork or homework?
    1. Yes: 1 point
    2. Not more than other children of the same age: 0 points
  7. Does your child fidget, squirm in their seat, or get up from their seat in situations where sitting still or remaining seated are expected?
    1. Yes: 1 point
    2. Not more than any other child of the same age: 0 points
  8. Does your child have difficulty ‘playing quietly’?
    1. Yes: 1 point
    2. Not more than any other child of the same age: 0 points
  9. Does your child act as if driven by a motor, often running or climbing excessively, and in situations where it is inappropriate?
    1. Yes: 1 point
    2. Not more than any other child of the same age: 0 points
  10.  Does your child talk excessively and/or blurt out answers before questions have been completed?
    1. Yes, to both: 2 points
    2. Yes, to one only: 1 points
    3. Not compared to children of the same age: 0 points
  11.  Does your child have difficulty waiting their turn and/or interrupt or intrude on the conversations or games of others?
    1. Yes, to both: 2 points
    2. Yes, to one only: 1 point
    3. Not compared to children of the same age: 0 points
  12.  On the scale below, please indicate how much you feel these symptoms impact on your child’s quality and enjoyment of their social and academic life
    (1 indicates that their life is not affected by the symptoms and 10 indicates their life is severely affected).

    12345678910

    Scoring: a rating of 1-5 is worth 0 points, 6-10 is worth 1 point.

0 to 2 points

Your child is unlikely to be experiencing symptoms of ADHD. You probably don’t need to be concerned.

3 to 5 points

Your child is unlikely to be experiencing symptoms of ADHD. However, if you are concerned, you should show this survey to your GP at your next consult.

6 to 11 points

Your child may be experiencing some of the symptoms of ADHD. These symptoms may be able to be managed by your doctor. You should book an appointment with your GP and take this survey with you for further discussion.

12 and above

Your child may be experiencing some of the symptoms of ADHD. These symptoms may be able to be managed by your doctor. You should book an appointment with your GP as soon as possible and take this survey with you for further discussion.

Action

Concerta contains the active ingredient methylphenidate, which stimulates the central nervous system. The exact way by which it affects the central nervous system is not known, though it is believed to affect the release and reuptake of dopamine and noradrenaline.

Dose advice

Dose information

Concerta tablets should be swallowed whole – they should never be crushed, chewed or divided. This is because they have a special coating that releases the medications contained in the tablet slowly, rather than all at once when the tablet is taken. The tablet coating is not absorbed by the body and will be eliminated in the faeces. Individuals taking Concerta tablets should not be alarmed if they see the tablet coating in their faeces.

The correct dose of Concerta will depend on the individual, and will be calculated by a specialist doctor, based on the individual’s response to the drug. Individuals with questions about the correct dose or how to take Concerta should consult their specialist.

Contraindications

Concerta should not be used by individuals with any of the following conditions:

Concerta should not be used in children < 6 years of age. A doctor is likely to stop Concerta therapy if an older child taking the medication is not growing sufficiently or is not gaining sufficient weight.


Precautions

Concerta is more likely to result in negative side effects in some groups of people, and doctors will be more cautious about prescribing Concerta to these individuals. Doctors will be particularly cautious when prescribing Concerta to patients with a history of substance abuse, as Concerta abuse is associated with tolerance, psychological dependence and psychotic episodes.

If an individual has become addicted to the medication, stopping it can sometimes lead to severe depression. Doctors will closely supervise these individuals.

Doctors will be very cautious about prescribing Concerta for:

Caution will also be used when prescribing Concerta to individuals who experience any of the following conditions:

  • Bipolar disorder;
  • Difficulty swallowing;
  • History of seizures;
  • Abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG) results;
  • Motor or verbal tics (involuntary muscle spasms);
  • Serious heart conditions;
  • High blood pressure;
  • Conditions affected by elevated blood pressure or heart rate;
  • Liver or kidney disorders.

Individuals taking this medication will be regularly monitored by the doctor to assess:

  • Changes in blood concentrations, measured by periodic full blood counts;
  • Growth/weight gain;
  • Blood pressure;
  • Cardiovascular changes;
  • Whether or not there is a need for continuing treatment;
  • Aggressive behaviour;
  • Hostility.

Use in pregnancy

Concerta is a Pregnancy Category B3 medication. The safety of using Concerta during pregnancy has not yet been established, so doctors will be very cautious about prescribing this medicine to pregnant women.

Use in breastfeeding

It has not yet been established whether or not it is safe to use Concerta while breastfeeding.

Schedule

Concerta is Schedule 8.1

Common side effects

All medications result in some side effects. The side effects of Concerta are different for children and adults. The side effects of Concerta are typically minor; however, some very serious side effects have also been observed on rare occasions. A doctor will assess the likelihood of any side effects occurring before prescribing Concerta.


Children

Very common side effects in children 

Very common side effects are those which occur in more than 10% of people given Concerta. The only very common side effect for children taking Concerta is headaches.


Common side effects in children
 

Common side effects are those which occur in more than 1% of children given Concerta. These include:


Adults

Very common side effects in adults

In adults, the very common side effects (occurring in 10% or more of users) are:

Common side effects in adults

In adults, the common side effects (occurring in 1–10% of users) are:


Uncommon side effects in adults
 

Side effects that occur in less than 1% of patients are considered uncommon. Patients do not necessarily experience any of these side effects, so do not become alarmed by this list:

Rare side effects in adults 

In adults, rare side effects (occurring in 0.01–0.1% of users) are:

  • Hypersensitivity reactions;
  • Decreased response to therapy.

Very rare side effects in adults  

In adults, very rare side effects (occurring in < 0.01% of users) are:


If you experience any of the listed side effects, or any other symptoms that appear abnormal or unusual, please tell your doctor.

Useful information:

Child ADHD 
For more information on childhood ADHD and its symptoms and treatments, as well as some useful tools and animations, see Childhood ADHD.

 
Adult ADHDFor more information on ADHD in adults and its treatments, as well as some useful tools and animations, see Adult ADHD.

References:

 

  1. Concerta [online]. St Leonards, NSW: MIMS Online; 17 February 2009 [cited 16 September 2009]. Available from: URL link
  2. Concerta [online]. Adelaide, SA: Australian Medicines Handbook; July 2009 [cited 2 December 2009]. Available from: URL link
  3. Product Information: Concerta. North Ryde, NSW: Janssen-Cilag Pty Ltd; 17 February 2009.  

 

For further information talk to your doctor.

Dates

Posted On: 30 March, 2007
Modified On: 14 March, 2014
Reviewed On: 22 September, 2009


Created by: myVMC