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Concerta® is a widely used narcotic that is prescribed for ailments such as: attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention hyperactivity deficit disorder (ADHD), and narcolepsy (Concerta). This 3rd generation drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000 (Pediatrics). It carries the generic and chemical nomenclature that chemists are familiar with which is methylphenidate and brand names that are more recognizable to the public such as Ritalin®, Ritalin-SR®, and Methylin® (Angel). Two major breakthroughs that Concerta® contributes is that it is the first actual once a day medicine for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and children can even begin taking the drug at the age of 6 (Pediatrics). The effectiveness of the drug has already been meticulously monitored in a long-term study. The results yield that Concerta® stabilizes ADHD symptoms and does not appear to contain any potential safety hazards to the patients over a period of time ( Unfortunately, with any medication there will always be side effects and certain restrictions. The side effects are as follows: headaches (14%), stomach pains (7%), nausea (4%), dizziness (2%), increased blood pressure, hallucinations, tics and allergic reactions. There are few restrictions on the use of Concerta®. The drug requires that the patient should not have glaucoma, any allergic reaction to methylphenidate HCL or any of its ingredients, anxiety, tension, agitation, Tourette’s syndrome or a family history of Tourette’s syndrome. Lastly, pregnant women may be restricted from the use of Concerta® due to methylphenidate HCL that could possibly contaminate their breast milk which could potentially cause harm to their newborn. This has not yet been proved, but is mainly a precaution used for the safety of the baby (Concerta). The biological process of Concerta® uses Methylphenidate HCl as a Central Nervous System (CNS) stimulant. Methylphenidate is a racemic mixture comprised of the d- and l-isomers. The d-isomer is said to be the isomer that proves to be the active ingredient in the mode of action. “The mode of therapeutic action in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is not known, but the Methylphenidate is thought to block the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine into the presynaptic neuron and increase the release of these monoamines into the extraneuronal space”(Rx List). As of now Concerta® is still under patent as being a successful treatment for ADHD and other disorders (Hasty Pastry). Until Concerta® is taken off patent, there will be no generic brands to compete with their prices. Concerta® on a normal course will cost anywhere from 55-75 dollars, depending on how many milligrams the patient has been prescribed (Additude). Since first released in 2000, Concerta® was only available in 18 or 36 milligram tablets. Recently, the FDA approved the new 72 milligram tablet. "This additional dosage form offers doctors, parents and patients greater dosing flexibility for the management and treatment of ADHD" (Medical News). No matter the dosage consumed by the patient the duration of the drug is 10-12 hours (Pediatrics).


Works Cited

Additude Magazine
Medical News
Johnson and Johnson
Hasty Pastry
Rx List