Concerta, the brand name of the medication methylphenidate, is prescribed for the treatment of attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Although it can be an effective treatment, there are several warnings that people should know about before taking the medication. People should talk to a doctor about these warnings before deciding if Concerta is right for them or their child.
Serious Cardioascular Events
Serious cardiovascular events are possible for both children and adults taking Concerta. Strokes and myocardinal infarction have occurred in adults taking Concerta, and sudden deaths have occurred in both children and adults, says the popular medication website RxList.com. Therefore, any child or adult with heart conditions should avoid taking Concerta.
The product information guide of Concerta states that the medication may lower the convulsive threshold for some people, especially those with a prior history of seizures or EEG abnormalities. If a seizure occurs, discontinue Concerta and consult a doctor.
People with mental conditions, such as bipolar disorder or depression, should be aware that taking stimulant medications such as Concerta may exacerbate symptoms. Concerta can also cause emergence of new psychotic symptoms, as well as aggression, according to RxList.com. All patients taking Concerta should be monitored closely for changes in their mental state.
People often abuse stimulant drugs, and Concerta is no exception. Because of its status as a stimulant drug, you should take precautions to decrease the likelihood of becoming dependent on the medication. Taking Concerta at as low of a dose as possible and for as short of a time period as possible is encouraged.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Concerns
Concerta is classified as a Category C medication, which means that it may not be safe for pregnant women to use. It is also unknown whether the medication passes through breast milk. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should talk to their doctor before using the medication.
Slowed Growth in Children
Concerta also has some risks particular to children. A temporary slowdown in growth has occurred in some children. However, this slowing of growth is usually slight, typically less than 1 inch and 2 lbs., and the children usually will resume their normal growth patterns and catch up in their growth with time, according to the website eMedTV.com.
Concerta may interact negatively with many other medications. Some of these medications include MAO inhibitors, vasopressors, coumarin anticoagulants, anticonvulsants and some antidepressants, according to the Concerta product information sheet. In addition, adverse reactions also occurred when using Concerta in combination with clonidine.
Those with certain medication conditions may have serious complications if they use Concerta. Those with these medical conditions should avoid Concerta. These include those with any kind of heart problems, high blood pressure, mental illness, a history or seizures or epilepsy, Tourette syndrome, glaucoma, cystic fibrosis, substance abuse issues, intestinal blockages or obstructions, difficulty swallowing and those with allergies, according to the popular health website eMedTV.com.
Some people who take Concerta will experience adverse reactions. The most common adverse reactions include loss of appetite, headaches, dry mouth, nausea, insomnia, tics, upper respiratory infections or abdominal pain. Other adverse reactions include dizziness, weight loss, accidental injury, irritability, increased sweating, vomiting, cough, irritated or sore throat, sinus irritation, fever, runny nose, shakiness or tremors, indigestion, heartburn, painful menstrual period and diarrhea. Although most of these side effects are mild or will dissipate as the body gets used to the medication, but any persistent or particularly bothersome symptoms may be a sign of a more serious medical condition and should be reported to a doctor.