Managing Concerta Crash: What You Need to Know

What Is Concerta?

Concerta is a drug used to treat depression. It is usually taken once or twice daily. There are several types of it, but most contain the same active ingredient, norfluoxetine (Nuvaring). Nuvaring was developed in Germany and licensed by Eli Lilly & Co., Inc. in the United States in 1999. It was approved by the FDA in 2002.

How Does Concerta Work?

The antidepressant effect of concerta is due to its ability to increase serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical involved with mood regulation and feelings of well being. Serotonin deficiency is associated with many mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other forms of psychosis.

Serotonin is released into the bloodstream when it binds to certain receptors located throughout the body. When there is too little serotonin in the blood stream, these receptors become less responsive and less likely to respond to signals from other parts of the brain.

This results in a decrease in mood, sleepiness, irritability and restlessness. Serotonin also plays a role in memory formation and learning. If this neurotransmitter level becomes low enough, it may result in mania or even suicidal thoughts.

When taken as directed by a medical professional, concerta should increase the amount of serotonin available to bind to these receptors. This, in turn, is expected to alleviate the symptoms of various mental health issues.

How Do I Take It?

Concerta is only available in pill form. The tablet must be chewed before being swallowed and should never be crushed or cut.

The recommended dosage varies based on several factors. It is always best to ask your doctor what the right dosage for you is.

You should never increase your dose or take more than prescribed.

Adolescents (age six to 17) start with a dosage of 18mg once daily. After one week, the dosage can be increased to 36mg once daily if necessary.

Those who are 18 or older with a lower risk of cardiovascular problems begin with a dosage of 36mg once daily for one week. The dosage can be increased to 54mg once daily after one week if necessary.

Adults who are at higher risk of cardiovascular problems begin with a dosage of 54mg once daily for one week. The dosage can be increased to 72mg once daily after one week if necessary.

You should never take more than 90mg per day, regardless of your age or health status.

What Are the Potential Side Effects?

Concerta may cause side effects in some people. The likelihood of experiencing one of these side effects increases with higher dosages. This is why it is important to follow your doctor’s recommendations as to how much you should take and when you should take it. The side effects that may occur are:






Increased heart rate and decreased heart rate (for high and low doses, respectively)

Stomach pain or heartburn

Decreased appetite or weight loss

Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)

Headache or pain in the jawbone area

Feeling nervous or anxious


Loss of motor control


Skin rash or hives

Unusual bruising or bleeding

Restlessness or inability to sit still

Suicidal thoughts

Who Should Not Take Concerta?

There are several medical conditions and situations in which the use of concerta is not advised. It is important that you tell your doctor about any and all medical conditions you have before trying this drug. If you are pregnant or think you may be, it is crucial to let your doctor know. If you are breastfeeding, it is best to talk to your physician as well since the drug might get into the milk and be ingested by the child.

Those with the following conditions should not take concerta include:

Allergy to any of the drug’s ingredients

Heart disease


Severe anxiety or manic-depressive psychosis

Seizure disorders

Glaucoma or increased pressure in the eye due to another medical condition

Taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) within the last two weeks. MAOIs are a type of antidepressant.

Taking any other drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) besides Adderall and Strattera

Taking any other stimulants, including herbal supplements or caffeine

How Do I Take Concerta?

Concerta comes in several different forms depending on how long you want the effects to last. Concerta tablets come in 18mg, 27mg, 36mg, and 54mg dosages.

Sources & references used in this article:

The Complete Family Guide to Addiction: Everything You Need to Know Now to Help Your Loved One and Yourself by TF Harrison, HS Connery – 2019 –

International and cross-cultural management research by JC Usunier – 1998 –

Assessment and management of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults by M Weiss, C Murray – Cmaj, 2003 – Can Med Assoc