DrugLib.com — Drug Information Portal

Rx drug information, pharmaceutical research, clinical trials, news, and more

Concerta (Methylphenidate Hydrochloride) - Side Effects and Adverse Reactions



The development program for CONCERTA® included exposures in a total of 2121 participants in clinical trials (1797 patients, 324 healthy adult subjects). These participants received CONCERTA® 18, 36, 54 and/or 72 mg/day. Children, adolescents, and adults with ADHD were evaluated in four controlled clinical studies, three open-label clinical studies and two clinical pharmacology studies. Adverse reactions were assessed by collecting adverse events, results of physical examinations, vital signs, weights, laboratory analyses, and ECGs.

Adverse events during exposure were obtained primarily by general inquiry and recorded by clinical investigators using terminology of their own choosing. Consequently, it is not possible to provide a meaningful estimate of the proportion of individuals experiencing adverse events without first grouping similar types of events into a smaller number of standardized event categories. In the tables and listings that follow, COSTART terminology has been used to classify reported adverse events.

The stated frequencies of adverse events represent the proportion of individuals who experienced, at least once, a treatment-emergent adverse event of the type listed. An event was considered treatment emergent if it occurred for the first time or worsened while receiving therapy following baseline evaluation.

Adverse Findings in Clinical Trials with CONCERTA®

Adverse Events Associated with Discontinuation of Treatment

In the 4-week placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial in children (Study 3) one CONCERTA®-treated patient (0.9%; 1/106) and one placebo-treated patient (1.0%; 1/99) discontinued due to an adverse event (sadness and increase in tics, respectively).

In the 2-week placebo-controlled phase of a trial in adolescents (Study 4), no CONCERTA®-treated patients (0%; 0/87) and 1 placebo-treated patient (1.1%; 1/90) discontinued due to an adverse event (increased mood irritability).

In the two open-label, long-term safety trials (Studies 5 and 6: one 24-month study in children aged 6 to 13 and one 9-month study in child, adolescent and adult patients treated with CONCERTA®) 6.7% (101/1514) of patients discontinued due to adverse events. These events with an incidence of >0.5% included: insomnia (1.5%), twitching (1.0%), nervousness (0.7%), emotional lability (0.7%), abdominal pain (0.7%), and anorexia (0.7%).

Treatment-Emergent Adverse Events Among CONCERTA®-Treated Patients

Table 2 enumerates, for a 4-week placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial (Study 3) in children with ADHD at CONCERTA® doses of 18, 36, or 54 mg/day, theincidence of treatment-emergent adverse events. The table includes only those events that occurred in 1% or more of patients treated with CONCERTA® where the incidence in patients treated with CONCERTA® was greater than the incidence in placebo-treated patients.

The prescriber should be aware that these figures cannot be used to predict the incidence of adverse events in the course of usual medical practice where patient characteristics and other factors differ from those which prevailed in the clinical trials. Similarly, the cited frequencies cannot be compared with figures obtained from other clinical investigations involving different treatments, uses, and investigators. The cited figures, however, do provide the prescribing physician with some basis for estimating the relative contribution of drug and non-drug factors to the adverse event incidence rate in the population studied.

TABLE 2 Incidence of Treatment-Emergent Events1 in a 4-Week Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial of CONCERTA® In Children
Body System Preferred Term CONCERTA ®
(n= 99)

1: Events, regardless of causality, for which the incidence for patients treated with CONCERTA® was at least 1% and greater than the incidence among placebo-treated patients. Incidence has been rounded to the nearest whole number.

General Headache 14 % 10 %
Abdominal pain (stomachache) 7 % 1 %
Digestive Vomiting 4 % 3 %
Anorexia (loss of appetite) 4 % 0 %
Nervous Dizziness 2 % 0 %
Insomnia 4 % 1 %
Respiratory Upper Respiratory Tract Infection 8 % 5 %
Cough Increased 4 % 2 %
Pharyngitis 4 % 3 %
Sinusitis 3 % 0 %

Table 3 lists the incidence of treatment-emergent adverse events for a 2-week placebo-controlled trial (Study 4) in adolescents with ADHD at CONCERTA® doses of 18, 36, 54 or 72 mg/day.

TABLE 3 Incidence of Treatment-Emergent Events1 in a 2-Week Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial of CONCERTA® in Adolescents

1: Events, regardless of causality, for which the incidence for patients treated with CONCERTA® was at least 2% and greater than the incidence among placebo-treated patients. Incidence has been rounded to the nearest whole number.

Accidental injury
6 %
3 %
9 %
3 %
0 %
8 %
2 %
2 %
3 %
0 %
0 %
0 %
Nervous Insomnia 5 % 0 %
2 %
3 %
1 %
2 %
Dysmenorrhea 2 % 0 %


In a long-term uncontrolled study (n=432 children), the cumulative incidence of new onset of tics was 9% after 27 months of treatment with CONCERTA®.

In a second uncontrolled study (n=682 children) the cumulative incidence of new onset tics was 1% (9/682 children). The treatment period was up to 9 months with mean treatment duration of 7.2 months.


In the laboratory classroom clinical trials in children (Studies 1 and 2), both CONCERTA ® qd and methylphenidate tid increased resting pulse by an average of 2-6 bpm and produced average increases of systolic and diastolic blood pressure of roughly 1-4 mm Hg during the day, relative to placebo.

In the placebo-controlled adolescent trial (Study 4), mean increases from baseline in resting pulse rate were observed with CONCERTA ® and placebo at the end of the double-blind phase (5 and 3 beats/minute, respectively). Mean increases from baseline in blood pressure at the end of the double-blind phase for CONCERTA ® and placebo-treated patients were 0.7 and 0.7 mm Hg (systolic) and 2.6 and 1.4 mm Hg (diastolic), respectively (see WARNINGS).

Post-Marketing Experience with CONCERTA®:

Post-marketing experiences with CONCERTAâ have revealed spontaneous reports of the following adverse events: difficulties in visual accommodation; mydriasis; blurred vision; blood alkaline phosphatase increased; blood bilirubin increased; abnormal liver function test (e.g., transaminase elevation); bradycardia; palpitations; arrhythmia; chest discomfort; restlessness; Raynaud’s phenomenon; erythema; hyperhidrosis; arthralgia; myalgia; muscle twitching; therapeutic response decreased; drug effect decreased; hyperpyrexia; weight decreased; leucopenia; white blood cell count abnormal; pancytopenia; thrombocytopenia; platelet count decreased; confusional state; disorientation; alopecia; and hypersensitivity reactions such as angioedema, anaphylactic reactions, auricular swelling, bullous conditions, exfoliative conditions, urticarias, pruritus NEC, rashes, eruptions, and exanthemas NEC.

Adverse Events with Other Methylphenidate HCl Products

Nervousness and insomnia are the most common adverse reactions reported with other methylphenidate products. Other reactions include hypersensitivity (including skin rash, urticaria, fever, arthralgia, exfoliative dermatitis, erythema multiforme with histopathological findings of necrotizing vasculitis, and thrombocytopenic purpura); anorexia; nausea; dizziness; headache; dyskinesia; drowsiness; blood pressure and pulse changes, both up and down; tachycardia; angina; abdominal pain; weight loss during prolonged therapy. There have been rare reports of Tourette's syndrome. Toxic psychosis has been reported. Although a definite causal relationship has not been established, the following have been reported in patients taking this drug: hepatic coma; isolated cases of cerebral arteritis and/or occlusion; anemia; transient depressed mood; a few instances of scalp hair loss. Very rare reports of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) have been received, and, in most of these, patients were concurrently receiving therapies associated with NMS. In a single report, a ten-year-old boy who had been taking methylphenidate for approximately 18 months experienced an NMS-like event within 45 minutes of ingesting his first dose of venlafaxine. It is uncertain whether this case represented a drug-drug interaction, a response to either drug alone, or some other cause.

In children, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, weight loss during prolonged therapy, insomnia, and tachycardia may occur more frequently; however, any of the other adverse reactions listed above may also occur.


Below is a sample of reports where side effects / adverse reactions may be related to Concerta. The information is not vetted and should not be considered as verified clinical evidence.

Possible Concerta side effects / adverse reactions in 13 year old female

Reported by a physician from Spain on 2011-10-03

Patient: 13 year old female weighing 50.0 kg (110.0 pounds)

Reactions: Nephrotic Syndrome

Suspect drug(s):
    Start date: 2009-12-01
    End date: 2011-01-01

    Indication: Attention Deficit/hyperactivity Disorder
    Start date: 2011-01-01
    End date: 2011-01-01

Possible Concerta side effects / adverse reactions in 6 year old male

Reported by a physician from United States on 2011-10-06

Patient: 6 year old male

Reactions: Drug Effect Decreased, Abnormal Behaviour

Suspect drug(s):

Possible Concerta side effects / adverse reactions in 8 year old female

Reported by a pharmacist from Japan on 2011-10-06

Patient: 8 year old female

Reactions: Breast Mass

Suspect drug(s):
    Administration route: Oral
    Indication: Product Used FOR Unknown Indication
    Start date: 2009-10-01

    Administration route: Oral
    Indication: Product Used FOR Unknown Indication

    Administration route: Oral
    Indication: Product Used FOR Unknown Indication

See index of all Concerta side effect reports >>

Drug label data at the top of this Page last updated: 2007-05-22

-- advertisement -- The American Red Cross
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Site usage policy | Privacy policy

All Rights reserved - Copyright DrugLib.com, 2006-2015