Concerta Side Effects

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Klissy, May 22, 2010.

  1. Klissy

    Klissy Guest

    My difficult child has been on Ritalin for a couple of months with fairly good results at school. Let's not talk about the rebound :(. His Dr suggested that Concerta would be a good next step to cover the small bumps in the day he is experiencing. We gave him his first 27mg dose yesterday but it didn't seem to kick in for at least 3 hours! It almost appeared that he wasn't medicated at all for this time. His mood stabalised for about 4 hours in the afternoon but then he was either racing around or very subdued. Couldn't sleep until almost 11:30. Luckily this is not a school day!

    I know that all drugs have different side effects but am surprised that the long acting version of the drug can be so different to the short acting version. Is this something others have experienced or is it just my bundle of joy! Or maybe I don't have full details of this drug's inter reactions.
  2. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Hi Klissy,

    I have tried almost all the ADD medications including Concerta. I forget why I went off it -- I think GI side effects (incredible gas -- sorry if too much information!) I dind't have good luck with Ritalin IR either.

    Anyway I really researched each ADD medication as I tried it (my psychiatrist was really generous in letting me try until something really worked - for me it ended up being Adderall short-acting -- the last one on my list).

    Anyway, I read a lot about Concerta on the manufacturer's website. As I remember it's an osmotic pump mechanism so it's best when a lot of water or other fluid is ingested -- there's a little sponge inside the capsule which absorbs fluid and pushes the longer-acting medication out into the system. Also I read not to take it with Vit. C which was a bummer because my kid always had OJ for breakfast.

    Maybe the 27 mg doesn't release enough medicine for the instant release piece or the longer-acting. The next dose up is 36 mg which still isn't that high. One the mfg'rs website, info is given about how much is released at different times. My son had very good results on 54 mg for a lot of years.

    There's a lot of info about ADD medications at I learned a ton there and lots of tips that seemed fairly significant that my psychiatrist never told me about. Also regarding the part where your son was subdued -- I've read that Concerta can make people feel numb or zombie-ish.

    Anyway, I never thought I'd be a short-acting gal, but the Adderall IR is the only thing that works for me (tried the XR and it makes me real anxious).

    HTH some, I was diagnosis with ADD about a year and a half ago and I did lots of research on the medications.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    GREAT info, Barney's Mom!

    My son just started Concerta recently and had stomach aches and reflux. He missed two days of school. Turned out he had stayed up most of the night, eating junk food and fruity Pebbles.
    The dr explained in great detail the difference between what my difficult child had and what he would experience with-GI issues on Concerta. He said it's more of a dull ache in the lower abdomen, and difficult child had reflux up higher, 3 hrs after he ate (he also stole some cake I stupidly had at home).

    We've had very good luck so far. The drug has smoothed things out so difficult child doesn't have the huge mood drop right when we pick him up from school, IOW, his Adderall used to wear off exactly 12 hrs after he took it, but started to wear off around 3 p.m. We don't give him his Imiprimine until 6, so that's 3 hrs of dealing with-Mr. Jerkface.
    The Concerta has smoothed that out.

    I don't know how much your son weighs, but it's worth a call to ask the dr if you can increase the XR dose.
  4. Klissy

    Klissy Guest

    Thanks for those clues. :D

    My difficult child is not a great eater in the morning with or without the medications and with I have trouble getting anything down his throat. I will check out the pump mechanism on the web as he only had a juice that morning which which would have been high in vit c. That could explain why he didn't take it up quickly and as it is cold weather here he is not drinking as much as usual. Will be contacting his Dr tomorrow but nice to know that I am not going crazy as none of this is listed on the notes given with the pills.
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    When we used Concerta, it typically did not take more than an hour to see results. Usually it was more like 30 minutes. And we got 8-9 hours of coverage. What you are experiencing, in my opinion, is not typical. You might also want to call the psychiatrist to let him/her know what you are observing. Either this dosage is not high enough or this is just not the right medication for your difficult child. Good luck!
  6. Klissy

    Klissy Guest

    Thank you all for your information and suggestions. I did go back to the Dr and will be trialling Dex over the weekend, so keep your fingers crossed that it doesn't muck us up. In the meantime I will start searching some of the websites mentioned for more information on this one. :D