When it comes to treating ADHD, methylphenidate is one of the common medications given to patients. It works the same way as Ritalin, but its effects last longer than the latter.
Despite its medicinal benefits, people are abusing this drug for recreational use, that’s why the government has placed it under controlled substances. If you or your loved one is addicted to Concerta, consult a doctor immediately to prevent further damage to your body.
What’s The Medical Function of Concerta?
This drug is a stimulant that is mainly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It comes in capsules with varying strengths: 18 mg, 27 mg, 36 mg, and 54 mg. You take one pill a day every morning, and that can be with or without a meal.
Once taken, this substance helps people with ADHD focus more on their work, school, or activities. They work on the brain and help the patient be more relaxed since there is higher production of dopamine.
Why Is Concerta Addictive?
This drug induces higher production of dopamine, which gives you that pleasurable feeling that motivates you to abuse it. As you take more beyond your prescription, you will start developing tolerance and dependence. If you let this continue for a longer period, you will be addicted to the drug.
There are many reasons why you or anyone is addicted to methylphenidate, and here are the common reasons:
Better Academic or Work Performance
Because it’s a stimulant, it helps you have better concentration and energy for work or school. This is one main reason why it’s commonly abused among high school and college students in the U.S. They call it a “study drug” for this purpose.
You will get “high” upon taking this drug, and it’s one of the driving factors why it’s being abused. The increased dopamine levels in your blood give you that pleasurable feeling, which is addictive through time.
Cut Down Weight
Besides giving you a euphoric sensation and enhancing your focus, stimulants are also known to suppress your appetite. Those who aim to lose a few pounds are tempted to misuse this substance.
Which Is More Addictive, Concerta or Adderall?
Adderall is more addictive and dangerous than Concerta since it has amphetamines as its main component. The active ingredient of the latter is methylphenidate, which is less addictive and toxic. However, both substances can cause addiction when you don’t control your intake.
What DEA Drug Class Is Concerta Under?
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has five drug classifications for all substances sold in the market. They have done this to help the community segregate which drugs are dangerous and addictive for the people.
It also serves as a guide for doctors and patients in controlling the prescription of medicines which can easily cause dependence and later abuse. Concerta is one good example and it’s under Schedule II controlled substances.
Substances under Schedule II are considered dangerous and highly addictive, that’s why their prescription is limited and monitored. You will also be told to avoid mixing substances under this class with alcohol and other illicit substances.
Adderall and Ritalin are stimulants that are also under Schedule II controlled substances.
What Are Some Precautions Before Taking Concerta?
When taking any medications, it’s wise to read and know the precautions to avoid complications in your treatment. Here are some precautions you need to observe before medicating with methylphenidate:
- Tell your doctor if you have any allergies or specific allergic reactions with dexmethylphenidate.
- If you have a history of substance abuse, you also need to tell your doctor about it.
- If you have pre-existing health problems like high blood pressure or stroke in your family history, you need to advise your doctor about it.
- You also need to confess if you are suffering from depression or any behavioral disorders so that they can prescribe a separate medicine and treatment for that.
- This drug will only be used when necessary for pregnant women and for those who are breastfeeding.
- The side effects of this medicine are higher for the elderly.
What Are Symptoms for Concerta Overdose?
If you go beyond the dose prescribed by your doctor, you will likely suffer the symptoms of overdose. Here are the common signs that you have overdosed with this drug:
- Pain in your stomach
- Increased breathing patterns
- Inability to sleep
- Tremors and vomiting
- Headache and dryness of your mouth
- Slight fever and fast heartbeat
For you to avoid getting an overdose, you need to abide by your prescription. Here are the starting doses for this medicine.
- For children ages 6 to 12 years, starting dose is 18 mg pill daily
- For teens ages 13 to 17 years, starting dose is 18 mg pill daily
- For adults 18 years and older, the starting dose is between 18 to 36 mg daily
How To Avoid Concerta Side Effects and Overdose?
This medicine is known to help patients with ADHD gain better concentration in their studies and work. However, you need to be careful with your medication since it’s a Schedule II controlled substance.
For you to avoid its severe side effects and chance of an overdose, here are some tips:
- Always take the minimum prescribed dose based on your age and your doctor’s assessment.
- You need to be transparent so you have to disclose any allergies and your full medical history to your doctor.
- Never use other drugs or illicit substances while medicating with methylphenidate to avoid abuse and complications.
- Always abide by your prescription.
Here are the substances you need to avoid when medicating with methylphenidate. If you inevitably need any of them, let your doctor know beforehand.
- Medicines for colds and allergies
- Other brands of stimulants
- Medicines for blood thinning
- Medicines for high blood pressure
When Do You Need To Start Treating Concerta Addiction?
Once you are using this medicine, the side effects start and get worse over time. Things will be worse if you are taking beyond your prescription, and along with other substances without your doctor’s knowledge.
For your welfare, you need to undergo treatment as early as today to help you recover from substance use disorder. Call a reliable doctor or addiction specialist to help you with your personalized treatment program.