Concerta is a specific preparation of methylphenidate, which physicians prescribe for disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. Concerta also has a strong potential for abuse due to its chemical similarity to amphetamines and cocaine. Find out more about Concerta detox centers by calling our helpline at .
The Food and Drug Administration approved Concerta for use in the United States in 2000. It is a time-release preparation that releases half its methylphenidate immediately and the remaining amount over a period of eight to 12 hours. This release profile is similar to that of Metadate CD. The standard dosages of Concerta range from 18 to 54 milligrams.
The general medical use of Concerta is to increase the activity of the central nervous system. It can improve attention, fight fatigue and maintain the patient’s level of alertness. The long-term effects of Concerta have not been well researched, and it is not approved for children younger than 6 years of age.
“Concerta can produce an extensive list of side effects…”
Physicians typically prescribe Concerta for chronic conditions, so patients usually take it for a long period. As a result, Concerta can produce an extensive list of side effects, the most common being drowsiness, insomnia and anxiety. Additional side effects of Concerta when taken in therapeutic doses include the following:
- Abdominal pain
- Chest pain
- Hair loss
- Loss of appetite
- Rapid heart rate
Did You Know?
The long half-life of Concerta makes it an effective replacement therapy for methamphetamine addicts. This therapy involves replacing methamphetamine with Concerta to break the addiction. Researchers are also studying the use Concerta for cocaine addiction.
Concerta’s potential for abuse comes from its ability to increase the level of dopamine in the brain, which occurs slowly in therapeutic doses. Large doses of Concerta cause a rapid increase in the dopamine level, resulting in euphoria. This generally requires very large doses when taking Concerta orally. Concerta can be prescribed legally in the United States, and many recreational users buy it from patients who have a legal prescription. Concerta is also frequently stolen from pharmacies and is consistently one of the 10 most stolen drugs in the United States.
College students often begin taking Concerta orally to maintain alertness while studying. Some of them become addicted and begin snorting the crushed pills to achieve a greater euphoric effect. Severe addicts may also inject Concerta to achieve a cocaine-like high. Some users mix this drug with benzocaine and caffeine to increase the effect; this became a popular method of taking Concerta recreationally during the mid-1970s.
Concerta withdrawal treatment facilities in the United States reported more than 8,000 cases of methylphenidate ingestion in 2004. The majority of these cases were due to recreational use, with suicide attempts comprising most of the remaining cases. The most common symptoms of a Concerta overdose include the following:
- Rapid heart rate
Heavy users of Concerta can experience withdrawal symptoms when they suddenly stop taking the drug. These symptoms include the following:
- Changes in heart rhythm
- Increased appetite
Detoxification is the first phase of the treatment process for Concerta addiction. It involves discontinuing the drug until the patient is no longer physically dependent upon its effects. Detoxification usually should be carried out in a Concerta detox center so the patient’s vital signs can be constantly monitored.
Did You Know?
Concerta is a Schedule II drug in the United States. This classification applies to drugs that have a medical value, but also have a high potential for abuse.
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