Concerta Dose: Getting It Right

Concerta is a newer, long acting preparation of Methylphenidate – which is the medication name for Ritalin.

It has been out for several years in the USA and Canada, and many other countries in the world.

Despite the fact that it has been around for quite some time, I still see dosing mistakes in patients who are sent to my office.

Allow me to explain to you how Concerta should be dosed.

To start off, we need to go back to the original Ritalin.

Here are the dosing guidelines for Ritalin:

Recommended daily max = 60 mg
Timing: as each dose only lasts 3-4 hours, it is generally dosed 3 times daily – i.e. morning, noon and 4 pm
It is not dosed too late in the day, as it may lead to insomnia
Children would be started at 5 mg twice to three times daily, and the dose would be increased upwards as needed.

When Concerta was developed, they used a fascinating technology called OROS. OROS refers to: osmotic-controlled release oral delivery system. What OROS does, is use the water in the gut to cause the medicine to be absorbed gradually, through osmosis. Suffice it to say that this new pill takes a medicine that has to be taken 3 times daily, and makes it once per day. You can see a short video of how this works here.

Concerta comes in 4 doses:

18 mg
27 mg
36 mg
54 mg

The way to convert Concerta doses into the equivalent of Ritalin doses is this:
Take 22% of the Concerta dose, and that becomes the effective Ritalin dose, three times daily. In other words, the initial 22% is quickly released, and the whole rest of the pill supports that dose.

You need to remember that not all of the medicine is released from the Concerta pill – about 10% is not absorbed.


Just picture a ketchup bottle – can you ever get the last bit out?

So, here is a conversion:

18 mg Concerta = 4 mg Ritalin 3 times per day
27 mg Concerta = 6 mg Ritalin 3 times per day
36 mg Concerta = 8 mg Ritalin 3 times per day
54 mg Concerta = 12 mg Ritalin 3 times per day

Here is an example of how some people get into trouble:

Let’s say that a teen required 60 mg of Ritalin per day – i.e. 20 mg three times daily.

If the doctor converts the dose of 60 mg Ritalin to 54 mg of Concerta – because they seem close, this can have dire consequences.

54 mg of Concerta is like 12 mg of Ritalin 3 times per day, so there would be a significant dose drop from 20 mg 3 times per day to 12 mg 3 times per day (i.e. a 40 % dose reduction!). It would be no surprise if the people noticed a change and felt that Concerta wasn’t working.

In the recent past, there has been approval in the US for 72 mg of Concerta for teenagers if needed.

Recent ADHD practice guidelines published by CADDRA – the Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance, suggest that teens and adults with ADHD may require up to 108 mg of Concerta daily.

To put these doses into perspective:

72 mg Concerta = 16 mg 3 times per day
90 mg Concerta = 20 mg 3 times per day
108 mg Concerta = 24 mg 3 times per day

To achieve these doses, you can use:

72 mg Concerta = two 36 mg tablets, or 54 mg + 18 mg
90 mg Concerta = 54 mg tablet + 36 mg tablet
108 mg Concerta = two 54 mg tablets

What’s the bottom line ?

If you or your loved one was switched from another form of methylphenidate to Concerta, and it seemed that Concerta didn’t work, please consider the information above.

You may even want to print this article, so that you can take it with you to your next doctor’s appointment.

Concerta is a great preparation of methylphenidate, and can work very well.
Don’t give up on it unless you are sure you have had the right dose.


  1. Hello

    I started taking concerta 18mg about a month ago. It makes me incredibly sleepy, even zombie like. I stopped taking it and my doc today said that I need to increase my dosage to not feel so sleepy. I am afraid to take the new 36mg rx because I do not want to be zombie like again. What do you think? Will taking a higher dose actually make me feel more alert than tired?

    • Concerta ER @ 18 mg made me feel kind of sleepy the first few days to week when I began to take it. But it also made it hard for me to fall asleep at night. Besides for that and my mouth feeling dry, I didn’t feel any other effects. I tend to be very sensitive to medication, so I tried for a week by cutting the med in half (that defeats the capsules mechanism) but it helped me w trouble sleeping at night. By the third week, I was ok with a full capsule. After bumping it up to 36 mg a month later. I started feeling really depressed and agitated. My Doctor claims she’s never observed such side effects. But I’ve read from forums that lots of people have had similar experiences.
      Jeri I wanted to write to let you know these medications make different people feel differently. The doctors I’ve seen and articles I’ve read all seem to say they “don’t exactly know how these medications work, and side effects vary.” You may or may not have these side effects, and maybe you’ll get used to the sleepiness. Perhaps consult with your doctor if you can try cutting the pill in half for a few days, then trying it full again. Just be careful and mindful of how this and any medication makes you feel, consult your doctor to try different doses or medication.
      Btw, I didn’t want to mention what I’m on now to prevent you from giving up hope on Concerta (some people really like it and find it helpful). But it may be helpful to let you know.. I started taking Ritalin and it made me so tired by the end of the day / early evening. Within the first week, that phased out. And I realized this sleepy-tranquil feeling was almost calming. I think that’s what focus and non-adhd feels like. It was pretty interesting. Unfortunately, that seemed to have stopped working, I may have to bump up my dose. But anyway, I wanted to mention this because that sleepiness went away within a week with both medications (for me). And I’m concluding that this “sleepiness” may transmute itself to a calming effect – essentially, what the medication’s supposed to do! 🙂 good luck to you Jeri.

    • I took the 36 mg for something like 6 years, and it’s been good for me. But then again, different drugs work for different people, so if you’re feeling like a zombie, maybe your body just doesn’t like Concerta. Everyone reacts differently, so it doesn’t hurt to at least try the higher dosage and see

      • Great advice. I’m on year 7 and feel like I too can help people. We gather so much information from such experiences.

        Anyway, thank you for your comments. If you ever feel you need to talk,,. Real personal info like name, location is unnecessary.

        Just in case your initial thought of me is:

        “yikes what a flirty douche who only likes my picture.”

        You being so pretty matters not. I really did enjoy what you wrote. Very well done.

        Mine is under R. Todd Riley from today’s date. Read if you’re not too busy. I love all feedback, good and not nice. People are meanies 🙂

      • So 36mg for 6 years has worked welk for you? Also did you start at 18mg and go through the process of seeing which dose worked better for you?

    • Hello Jeri! I have lupus and MS along with my ADHD, and have to take many prescription medications that make me/anyone very sleepy. So I f course when I started taking Concerta 27 mg I thought it was making me sleepy. It turns out that it was just my other medications (like Lyrica and Cymbalta) that were tiring me out. My doctor explained in detail that If you truly have ADD or ADHD (like me and many others) it should not make you sleepy, but instead, should give you extra energy then normal. Upping the dose should give you even more energy.
      If there was a mistake and you do not have ADHD or ADD it will make you sleepy and a higher dose will make it even sleepier. :O I hope this helps! And maybe you should talk to your doctor again for further help in making sure you weren’t misdiagnosed or that you’re on the right medication 😀

      • Jeeez dude, you got that wrong, or, even worse, your doctor has it wrong. Its the other way around, they say. Its a f**ing stimulant so of course it makes you wired and up and certainly not sleepy!

        • Yes, the medication is a stimulant and will stigmate the average person
          However, when a ADHD diagnosed person take it, it does the opposite effect. It calms the down.

  2. Does anyone know approximately what dose of concerta I should take after taking 60 mg of adderall a day?

    • Well the above article wasn’t about Adderall whatsoever…it was about Ritalin and concerta. Your comment clearly shows that you are seeking out the medication that will get you high. That is so sad and I just really hope you don’t have children. Best of luck fighting your battle Mr. Harmon!

      • You do realize the adderal person meant he was now starting concerta or thinking to switch to it and wanted advice on the dosing to take based on his previous rx of 60mg a day of adderal. Susie being a bully isn’t nice and maybe you should read before treating someone like an addict.

      • Well now wait a second here, let’s not jump to conclusions. It may be that he finds that his current medication regimen is no longer helping him and he needs some guidance in finding something new from people who share the same struggles as he does. Some people don’t feel the need to share their entire story in order to ask a question. We need to be supportive of one another. I wish I could answer this question, but I can’t. Just felt the need to defend, because that could really hurt a person’s feelings.

        • Thank you for defending this person
          I have the same question as he did, I have been on Adderall 30xr twice a day for a year and a half and don’t feel like it’s working anymore. I have always had an attention disorder, I have Lupus and I struggle even more because of my medication. I can’t even have a conversation without my mind wandering,
          I hate taking any medication, I’ve tried to stop a few years ago and couldn’t even drive, I was so scared because I would end up some where and didn’t know how I ended up there. I asked my Dr if we could try something different, I’m hoping that Concerta 18mg XR helps
          I wish I didn’t have to take anything!!

    • As each medication works differently, you would have to start at the smallest dose and thrn titrate up as instructed by your doctor on a monthly/bi-weekly basis.

  3. I am a 57 year old man and I’m currently taking 36 mg of Concerta. I started taking this at 27 mg back in October. The first week was probably the best week that I could remember having in terms of energy, focus, getting a lot done, increased confidence, more talkative, and reduced fear of public speaking. I have had attention issues my whole life but one once tried Ritalin when I was like 10 years old but my parents took me off it because my mother said it made me like a zombie. I don’t really remember what the effects were like back then. So I learned to live with it and did well in my school work although it took more effort but I did fine. I have never been much of a book reader, mainly shorter articles, newspapers, magazines, etc. I would finish one chapter of a book and pat myself on the back and never pick it up again. I used to get sleepy often, especially a problem when driving. The Concerta solved that problem. I also have Ritalin 10 mg that I take occasionally when I need it. The biggest problem that I have suffered from, most noticeably the last 10 years, is social anxiety. I would embarrass myself sometimes because I felt uneasy and would over compensate being friendly or smiling, etc. and come off being creepy. The Concerta 36 and Ritalin have helped me with these issues more than anything. This morning I didn’t have my Concerta 36 so I took 20 mg Ritalin, now I read above that is equivalent to Concerta 90 initial dose!! Before I read this I took 20 mg again and I’m doing fine. Concerta 36 may not seen the same tomorrow, LOL. BTW, I don’t think it is the best thing to cut a Concerta tablet in half because of the way that the tablet is constructed. One half is the medicine in two different dosage strengths and the other half is a substance that expands to slowly push the medicine out over time. I look forward to your replies and to read your experience with Concerta and Ritalin.

    • Thanks for the post my husband is struggling with his concerta, and diagnosis . maybe 2 men can chat together and share insights on ADHD.

  4. I take 54mg Concerta and have a similar experience to you Paul i.e., similar age, the Concerta has helped with my attention and I have social anxiety. I find that the Concerta makes me initially jittery in the morning but wears off by mid-day. Except if I’m overtired I am realizing that and I am more jittery than usual throughout the day. Sometimes my heart is pounding and I am very anxious. Today though, after a good night’s sleep I am less jittery. The Concerta seems to have helped with keeping me on task when I am working on something. I still struggle with executive functioning at times, understanding and processing things that are said to me . I believe (though not confirmed) that I also have a Learning Disability.

    I’m interested in knowing more about the ritalin PRN option as it might help me. I did once take 18mg concerta in the late morning after taking 36 mg at 7am and it made me quite jittery.

  5. Alo my child is using 18mg concerta she did not eat or she did not sleep at night now its about 3months she stil using it and act like a normal child play sleeps well eat again is it because the mg is now low for her must she be on a higher dose now?????

  6. I was fortunate to have worked with a Psychiatrist/MD who had advanced medication insight. He was of the opinion that Concerta was a literal life saver vs IR stimulants. Lower abuse potential, flexibility of dosing, with a slow enough release it reduces euphoric activity (euphoria increases irresponsible use).

    ADD and ADHD brothers and sisters, start engaging your doctor in conversations regarding Concerta. Take articles like the one above. Autonomy is critical in the patient/doctor, trusting relationship. Self advocate. Show passion while showing all due respect. Contention breeds chaos which then is the focus

    My apologies for the length of my comments. I hope it helps in some way.

    RTR – Diagnosed with PTSD, major depression, panic & anxiety disorders, as well as a form of bipolar II, 7-years ago. I’m a writer working on a new book. My brand new Twitter is @rtoddoriginal

  7. Hi there
    I currently have 18 mg of concerta to help ease my very anxious self !! But I am so scared to take it as my anxiety makes me think bad thoughts !!what if ,what if ??? So I have it here in my hand try to take it every Morninv but my anxiety goes through the roof and I put it aside …… Can anyone help me make me feel a little more at ease to take this medication ???? Maybe tell me how I will feel how it will hit me what I will feel like tonight ??? If anyone can help would be much appreciated

    • I know you posted this over a year ago but I just had to respond. I will tell you what my perfect pairings are. I do know everyone is different but I too could have written what you did at one time having the same concerns back then. I have extreme anxiety and some PTSD which made me feel like a social rejects because I never wanted to leave the house in fear of……well many possibilities. When I first added an ADD med it did make me tired. I would later find out that the dosage was WAY to low. I now take 2mg Clonazapam, 50mg Prestiq (wonderful) and …..don’t let this scare you but 72mg Concerta. I take a 36 mg in the morning and the other 36mg about 3 hours later. It has been LIFE CHANGING!!!! Don’t be scared to try it. Anxiety can be debilitating but don’t give up. Maybe my combination would work for you maybe not but who would ever have guessed that 72mg of Concerta would have been the magic number. I feel normal happy and not afraid to leave the house. Calm but not tired. Focused and energy but very even. No anxiety! At first I would suggest taking a Clonazapam with the ADD med until you get use to it. Before long you can get rid of that safety blanket. I hope you have found something that has worked. God bless 🙂

    • Um what the he*l, you can’t compare the two… at all. Caffeine is a stimulant, but it has still different effects and mechanisms of action than Methylphenidate. Caffeine gives you too much physical stimulation. If you take a dose that has the same mental stimulation comparable to 54 mg Concerta, i’ll guarantee you’ll not like it. You will almost certainly have horrible side effects. This is mainly because caffeine causes less dopamine release and more epinephrine/norepinephrine release. It’s just hard to balance. In conclusion, you cannot have the same effects from these do. But if we could just measure “stimulation”, it’s probably something like ~300mg caffeine taken 2 times a day.

  8. I am a mother of a 8 year old boy who we can not seem to get on the right meds! He is a extremely clever child, but battles to concentrate at school! He has been on it all you can say! Ritalin, concerta, risperdal ect! He gets in trouble at scool because he battles to concentrate! He has been with so many drs, professors, neurologists, developmental pediatricians and the list goes on! He only seems to be hyperactive when the tablets is leaving the system, which is no problem, but tge thing is it is like the meds do not do the job it is supposed to do! He has been ons so many different tablets the last 3 years i fear that it dos not work! Ritalin makes him very aggressive, risperdal makes him very active (apperantly this happens to 1 out of 100), and the concerta at a 27mg is like there is nothing in his system! I have changed him to a 36 mg he has been on it for 3 days now, but i do not see a difference! I do not mind the hyperactive but i do mind him getting in trouble for not being able to focus in class! I give the concerta with the ADDVance vitamin! Please i need advice i hate to see my child suffer like this! And our schools in south africa have big classes, and i know he battles with that! But the remedial schools that i took him to for tests all say the same! He should be able to cope in normal school as he is not a typical candidate for their schools! Sorry for the life story, i am a mother in pain to see my child suffer!

    • High intelligence is absolutely dreadful when combined with ADHD. The individual tends to display alot of aggresive behaviour due to being unable to communicate comfortably.
      When he gets emotional, his ability to reason and undersrand goes out the window leading him to become more frustrated, people will negatively react to his actions and he’ll feel like everybody is against him, leading him to get angrier, rinse, repeat.
      Its hard to regulate your emotion when you can’t think clear and as you mentioned, he’s a smart kid, looking back on times hes acted out and know he was capable of so much better might evoke a feelin of shame for him that makes it harder to talk.

      If the concerta is causing him to be less hyperactive and moreso in the evenings then that might be when the medication is wearing off, maybe speak to your psychiatrist about staggering the dose.
      Can you give more info?
      What time does he take the meds?
      Does he eat regularly? Even when taking meds?
      Sleeps enough? Exercises?
      Does he do anything to keep his mind active?

      • You speak as if you know him! Everything you said is just the way he is!
        He takes meds at half past 6 in the morning, after breakfast! He does not eat enough he weight currently is 21kg! He eats a slice of toast in the morning, does nit eat his lunch at school, and then maybe he will eat at night!
        He is very restless when sleeping! Sometimes he will sleep with no troubles, but other times he can not fall asleep!
        He did play some rugby, but he stoped as it always ended up in a figt as he wants to do his own thing! He loves to draw and that is what he does to keep himself busy! He also likes to build stuff! He is the child who wants to be a Archiologest and open a Museum as he will say, so all can learn what he knows! Other than that he keeps to himself! And you are right, people do not understand him, so they tend to push him away and not like him! It is sad for me as a mom to see this as he tries hard to get their attention

        • I just read your post about your son. How is he doing. Reading about your son was like reading about my own 8 yr old!

          • My daughter is ADHD and is now 7years old. she was on Ritalin 20mg and we have just changed it to 18mg Concerta. I have noticed in this couple of days that she is tending to forget what she is being thought. I don’t know if I am rushing this or should i just wait a while for the meds to settle in or should i go to the doctor and get another dosage. Help!!

    • My son is 13 and in the 8th grade. He has been taking Concert since the 3rd grade. He has been on a 90mg of Concerta for 3 years now. Concert is the only drug we have found so far that does not make him feel like a zombie. I did notice this year he needed more help the first 2 hours of school, so his doctor added a morning short acting 10mg of Ritalin to his 90mg of Concerta. At first we started out by halfing the Ritalin. This seams to be helping him. It seams to take about 2 hours to really have enough effect in him, which the short acting only takes about 20 mins but only last about 3 hours. He only takes the Ritalin during school, but takes Concerta everyday.
      This drug does effect his appetite. He eats a good breakfast and then takes his meds. He does not eat lunch at school most days, but eats after school and then he eats dinner and snacks. On the weekends he eats lunch about 2:00. I stopped worrying about him not eating lunch around noon because he does eat later.

    • My 12 year son started on Ritalin 5mg then 10 mg when he was 8 years old. As he got older we switched him to 20 mg as the 10 didn’t seem to be working. However, because the school had to administer the medication it got a little complicated. So we switched to Concerta 18 then 36mg. Didn’t seem to work. We have moved him to 54mg. Doesn’t seem to be working either. He is still very hyperactive and has not been doing well in school. We are
      now trying 10 mg Ritalin at 5:30 in the morning and the 54 mg Concerta at 6:30 at it takes about 2 hours to start working. Failing any noticeable difference we will try the Concerta 72 mg dispensing at 5:30 a.m.
      Still trying to find the right combinations.

    • Hi,
      I know it’s been quite a while since your post but I am curious if your concerns with your son were ever resolved? Did you find answers or meds that worked? I too have an 8yo that on Concerta still struggles with focusing in school. We haven’t found any that have helped yet. Would love any advice.

    • The problem may be the ADDvance. Many ADD and ADHD children have the opposite result using omega oils. Dont give it to him. Only the Concerta. When I give my son Omega oils. He goes ballistic

  9. I use both concerta and ritalin for over 10 years. I was on 54 mg concerta and 25 mg ritalin first thing in morning. Due to a separate medical problem last year, I lost over a 100 pounds and have decreased my concerta to 36 mg and ritalin 20 mg. Hoping to just use concerta eventually.

  10. Hello, this is Paul again, 57 (now 58) YO
    male taking 36 mg Methylphenidate ER.

    I just wanted to let people know about another
    prescription that I have for public speaking.
    Do you have a fear of public speaking and/or
    do you get nervous speaking in front of a group?

    If so, you may benefit from Inderal, generic Propranolol. I take 40 mg occasionally when I attend meetings, etc. where I may need to speak.
    It helps a lot.

    • Thanks for the post my husband is struggling with his concerta, and diagnosis . maybe 2 men can chat together and share insights on ADHD.

  11. Hello.. i started Ritalin 10mg morning and lunch approx 6 weeks ago for ADHD. It increased my sustaining energy .. i have been able to study for longer during day.. when i start to crash from it wearing off it is time for second dose.. it has been a God sent. The first few days of taking it i didnt think i was going to be able to contine.. it literally felt like some had reached into top of my head and took my brain in hands and twisted it.. like ringing the water out of a face wazher.. the migraine was so bad.. i had some heart palpitations. . The wringing stopped after 1st week.. migraines have halved but come and go.. my sleeping went from waking up 5 to 10 times per night down to 3 to 4 times…. after 6 weeks the night waking increased to 4 to 5 times.. some minor hot flushes…. as a result of a car accidebt 8 years ago i have migraines and a lressure numbing / pain sensatins on the top of my head and fore head.. as ritalin is fast acting my doctor thought i may benefit to swap to concerta slow release 18mg initially in mornings.. as it may not add to my migraine issue… if i want to increase it to 27mg after a week i can… this is my second day on 18mg… i have felt non stop nausea and some belchi g probably reflux… it is not giving me the sustained energy burst i need… as following my neck surgery they impinged my sympathetic nervous system in my neck which caused horners syndrome and chronic tiredness ….. i am back to tired as on concerta. .. i am hoping once my brain adjusts i will increase the dose… if i dont get the energy boost back i will be going back on to ritalin fast acting….i hate this concerta so far.. but so i did ritalin to start with.. and i have a splitting migraine now at 6.30pm 2nd day … argggggg .. time will tell .. i will update on here in couple of days.. my doctor said that concerta is rutalin in SR… if thats zo then why would i have nausea if it is same ingredients ? Seems strange .. good luck to all you fellow ADHD’ERS ????????????????????????

  12. HI Need a little guidance adhd impulsive behavior here i’m kinda down i am 57 cant seem to stay on track i’m broke again married quit another job burn my bridges wake uo next day asking whats wrong with me tell lies to mask my mental illness out of shame i just want to be normal and make everyone around me happy can any one help?

    • Hi dan, I have stopped hiding my inexhaustible recklessness.
      I take 72mg concertaxl and see my gps.
      I was self employed now am employed and looking towards a rewarding future.
      Everything is great.
      However this week I’m not functioning.
      I pre warned bosses of my increase (56mg-72mg) and said what support if any I would need. Because we are the best self managers.
      This week I’ve had sweats so bad I had to change all my clothes, after dressing.
      Sick stomache, toilet near is best.
      And some anxiety and headache.
      I realised I am over doing my life input and need to down time.
      In the past I would have lied to cover my tracks so to speak.
      Now it’s accepted.
      Part of my process has been to look at how I process my emotions.
      And food and drink study.
      I love coffee. Snack during the day on bit food, nuts dates, mini sausages bits of cheese. Evening I have a meal.
      And then maybe snack – or stuff my face with crisps ( salt makes a disturbed sleep) but crisps are nice.
      Breakfast 6.00 meds, coffee shredded wheat. Then yoga and work out b4 cycle to work.
      I’m lucky and I know it.
      Last year I was ready to end my life.
      I didn’t. I’m glad.
      ADHD, Asperger, OCD and Spd.
      Now I know what to manage I manage.
      But I still get over tired kinda monthly then I rest.
      What I’m saying is when u get tired rest rest rest. Est well and healthily drink and pay atttntion to you.
      When you are ready- then go for it again.
      Please consider exhaustion as a rest demand rather than as I used to and feel if failed and let everyone down.
      Cos u haven’t let anyone down.
      Talk to gp and rest.
      These meds are effective but rest is also needed.
      Cumulative effect of a little less sleep, backing up with sugar, only exacerbates the personal dread feeling.
      You are not alone in this.
      There are loads of us.
      Best wishes.

      • Great advice, Barny.

        Dan, I know I am late coming to you with advice…I am hoping that did find some guidance and help…and that you are doing ok. I have been there, in the spot as you last year, but a little earlier on in 2017, but my struggle has been for years before that. Long story short: I am a mom in my early 40’s with 4 children. My life seemed like a big mess….and anyways, it took a gang of police cars surrounding a hotel to convince me that life will get better. After years of trying to just “fit in” and dealing with life’s situations as they arise, by myself, I finally gave into a group of professions and therapists – and surrounded myself with people like me (as in others with ADHD). I was literally in tears for months, just from the shire relief that there IS help out there. And if you are sitting there, in the same place as you were last year, please find the energy to locate those services, or at the least find a group, that can relate…even if that group is just a forum or on social media.

        I too, stopped hiding behind a wall of trying to be “normal”. It has been such a big relief. Apparently, my doctors were surprised that I was able to hide all of my diagnoses so well, but I think it’s because I was taught mindful meditation as a child, and unknowingly used the concepts as I grew. I actually know think it saved my life. But, eventually, just as people get a tolerance to meds…whatever I was doing was not helping and I started to slip really fast. After a near suicide attempt and now “functioning” on meds, I decided to go back to meditation.,

        Meditation along with my meds have really helped me cope, I even got off my anxiety meds….the turn around has even encouraged me to get my meditation instructors certification, and I am working towards my Yoga certification and taking MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) courses. Now, the odd thing was, I started to hide the fact that I am on medication because “Zen” people should not need meds! I quickly stopped hiding behind that wall, and I am completely open about my medication and my bevy of diagnoses.

        {Severe ADHD, PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, Short Term Memory Disorder – 3% function, 2 learning disabilities, sensory disorder and I am sure I am missing something)

        Dan, don’t aim for “normal”, just aim for happy or even some-what-happy. Because who is normal these days…but I do get what you mean, and before you can make everyone else happy, you have to make yourself happy first. I know, it sounds so cheezy, but in my experience so very true. Look at me, I was aiming for normal….then I was aiming for happy….and now I am a hippy(I have a pair of outrageous hippy pants to prove it).

        Sending you sweet blessing, and I am hoping the both of you are well.

  13. hi will like to know.

    i on conserta 54 mg and 10mg ritalin one dose.

    but it given me ED will like to know if i take ritalin LA will it help. and what my dose should i starts

  14. Hello. My family physician who prescribed Concerta (36 mg) for me 6 years ago has moved and the new Doctor does not want me (age: 55) to continue on it. I remember what life was like before and do not want to go back. She wants me to try Wellbutrin. I tried Straterra back when I was first diagnosed and it did nothing for me. I am very concerned and worried. Does anyone have any advice?

  15. I just started concerta I am 17 years old and I felt so bad all day I haven’t taken medicine for my adhd since I was 10 and they started me at 27 mg of concerta and for the first few hours I felt my brain slowing down and I couldn’t tell if it was good or bad and then after that around lunch I really enjoyed how I felt and then an hour later after lunch I started getting so hyper more than I ever have before and my hands were shaking and I couldn’t do anything I was having horrible tremors and I couldn’t think and I had ringing in my ears and I had a resting heart rate of around 100 a minute and I started to freak out because I couldn’t hear or think and I started freaking out and my chest was pounding I couldn’t swallow cause my mouth was so dry and I felt horrible idk if I got overdosed or if I just need to adjust to the medicine but could someone please help me

    • I posted my story on the post below and one from 2016 if you want to read that. I wanted to ask you if you have considered seeing if you could take a Clonazapam with the Concerta until you get use to it. That’s what worked for me. I have explained in more detail in the other posts. Good luck and God bless!

  16. I am becoming increasingly concerned that 36mg of Concerta is turning me into a zombie. I haven’t done anything meaningful for at least three days and I am back to being rather foggy-minded and inattentive.

    Is it a sign my dose is too low or high?

    The 18mgs did nothing at all.
    The 27mgs were a slight improvement but still nowhere near as beneficial as IR Ritalin.

    It’s day 10 for me on the 36 milligrams but I’ve been rather useless for about a week now.

    • Hi. I posted something earlier but I wanted to share what worked for me. I had those same concerns and problems that you are speaking of. With the combo of what I take now being soooo unbelievably great I just want to tell everyone. I have struggled so many years to get it right and I’m so surprised as to what it ended up being. I now take 72mg of Concerta. My initial thought was WHOE!!! Waaayyyy to much!!!! But WOW! Huge difference and not the outcome I would have expected. I must tell you I take 50mg Prestiq. When I started that much Concerta I would take the first 36mg pill in the morning before work with a 1-2 mg Clonazapam because I was worried about the Concerta dosage being too high. 3 hours later I took the other 36mg of Concerta. This has worked like a charm!!!! No grogginess, no anxiety, no agitation etc… How I would explain it would be calm, efficient, happy and confident. I know each person is different but I just wanted to share my story and hope maybe it can help you. I know the struggle believe me and I never want to return to that sad anxious procrastinating self loathing person again nor do I want anyone else to feel that way. It’s important that we share because I really feared taking that much Concerta but I am living proof that it’s not a scary number after all. At least not in my case. Peace and blessings to you 🙂

      • Btw……I was on 27 mg of Concerta before the dosage was upped to 72mg and I would have thought that was too high. It definitely wasn’t 😉

        • Hey there, thank you for sharing, quick question though, when on Ritalin would you take 20mg a day ?

  17. Hi all, first and foremost THIS was the most helpful guide I got a chance to read, thank you very much Dr. Kenny.

    I live on a tiny island in the Arabian peninsula called Bahrain and as modern and forefront as the country maybe, ADHD treatment/understanding is very new here. After being diagnosed I was given 20mg of Ritalin 3 times a day, which worked perfectly, but as mentioned above it’s effects aren’t as lon lasting. I was then given the wrong dose of Concerta 36 mg twice a day (which didn’t work), finally moved to 108mg which was perfect just as you mentioned.

    However the supply of the medication in Bahrain is erratic to say the least as they have an internal issue with the Bahraini ministry of health (again they’re just getting used to it and I understand that), the only available tablets Atm are 18mg and 36mg. I initially started taking 6 18mg tablets once a day in the morning which was perfect once my body got used to the initial release. Now I’ve been given a mix of both 18mg and 36mg ( still at 108mg per day) and I noticed that it’s taking time for me to get used to the initial 3.5 hour initial release mark.

    Will this always be the case ? (Also keep in mind that supply shortages are possible every 3 – 4 months with a lul of 2 – 3 weeks of medication. Should I expect to go through the same experience every time ? Should I maybe split the medication to two times a day ?

    Any insight on the matter would be really appreciated, thank you very much.

  18. I have been switched from 18mg to 27mg concerta… took it for 3 days… heart racing feel like im driving a race car but stuck in traffic.. tingling in fingers wanna runn up and down.. not condusive to work at all…. took a weekend break tried again on monday… same thing.. today same thing… is this initial reaction normal or is this too high a dose ?

    Want to ask my psychiatrist to switch me back to 18mg… even tho i was on go slow on 18mg when compared to when i was unmediated … the 18mg did help with thoughts and focus tho… just made me feel like neo in matrix with bullets flying at him..

    Sigh… wanna be normal.. but it seems that normal is slow… i love the quickness of my mind etc… i just wanna get it under control to get things done and be an effective parent…


    Anyone had this reaction?

  19. I experienced the same symptoms as you. I was on 18 mg and then thought bumping it up to 27 mg would make the effects even better…man I was so wrong. Jitters. Crazy thoughts. Anxiety. I run a large business and need to think clearly and at 27 mg it just makes it unbearable. I’m dropping back down to 18 mg and will see how that ends up working.

  20. I’m on Concerta 72mg daily.

    It just doesn’t seem like enough. I am reading where (at least in Canada) that it can be dosed up to 90 or 108 mg daily. I did ask my psychiatrist about it, but she said the top dosage is 72mg daily.

    I’m looking for experience by anyone who has taken the doses up to 108mg daily.

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