What side effects does Concerta have?
Short Term Concerta Side Effects
The information on Concerta’s side effects come from the clinical trails undertaken during the approval process for its use an ADHD medication. It was tested on over 2100 people, some of whom were healthy adults but most were patients diagnosed with ADHD.
In a four week trial of children, the following Concerta side effect were reported. The percentages indicate the number of patients reporting side effects whilst on Concerta and those reporting side effects whilst (unknowingly) on a placebo.
Headache 14% / 10%
Abdominal pain (stomachache) 7% / 1%
Vomiting 4% / 3%
Anorexia (loss of appetite) 4% / 0%
Nervous Dizziness 2% / 0%
Insomnia 4% / 1%
Upper Respiratory Tract Infection 8% / 5%
Cough Increased 4% / 2%
Pharyngitis 4% / 3%
Sinusitis 3% / 0%
Trials on adolescents found a very similar level of Concerta side effects to the trials on children. One notably difference is that a notably increase in accident injury occurring when on medication compared to the placebo ( 6% to 3% ). This may indicate that heightened energy levels and improved concentration may cause adolescents to take part in new, higher risk activities.
Long Term Side Effects of Concerta
Unlike comparable drugs such as Ritalin or Adderall there is useful information on the long term side effects of Concerta. In two trails (one involving just children and the second a mixture of children, adolescents and adults) 6.7% of the patients discontinued using the drug because of side effects with insomnia being the leading cause.
One of the Concerta side effects reported in long term studies was facial tics. After an average of 7 months of treatment one study of 682 children found that 1% of patients developed facial tics. In a second study lasting 27 months, 9% of patients had developed tics.
In common with other stimulant medication there is a danger of patient’s abusing the drug. Patients with a history of drug or alcohol should not be prescribed Concerta. There has also been concerns that long-term use of ADHD medication in childhood may make patients more liable to legal and illegal stimulant use in adulthood.
Concerta Product Information [ PDF ]