Review of ADHD Drugs – Children on Concerta



Each person responds differently to medication.

My son was prescribed Concerta when he was 5 years old. Concerta was the second ADHD drug that we tried. This is not a recommendation to put children on Concerta. It was prescribed to replace Vyvanse which made him overly fearful and heightened his senses. He also began taking Strattera with it. We stayed with the Concerta for almost a year before I told the pediatrician it was definitely not going to work. On the Concerta, he was a whole lot more emotional than normal, he was very anxious and irritable, and he was very tired.


Concerta is a stimulant medication. In essence, it stimulates the brain and nervous system for the purpose of improving hyperactivity and impulse control in people with ADHD. It can help people pay attention, stay focused, and control behavior. It can also improve listening skills and increase organization skills.

 Improves academic issues
 Increased ability to focus
 Price

 Caused major fatigue/insomnia is a listed side effect
 He became very emotional/depression is a listed side effect and can lead to suicidal thoughts
 He became very anxious/nervousness is a listed side effect
 Concerta is addictive and withdrawals can occur upon stopping the medication
 Long-term use can slow the growth of a child


$34.85 after insurance. This was a good price in comparison to other ADHD meds. Prices start at $183 without insurance.


Overall Rating

3 on a scale of 1-5.





If you have any questions or would like to share your personal experience, please be sure to leave a comment below by clicking on the response link next to my name.  I welcome all feedback and will respond to each comment.

4 thoughts on “Review of ADHD Drugs – Children on Concerta

  1. I’m always skeptical of new drugs aimed at controling conditions I feel we can take care of naturally. As you showed, there are some serious side effects to this drug. I don’t have kids, but if I did, I doubt I would ever want to give my kid any medication unless I first study it myself. I’m glad you’re showing us this!

    • Thank you for the feedback Vitaliy. It’s very scary. We tend to forget that our kids may not be able to communicate to us well if they’re feeling off. Some of the side effects of these drugs are just downright scary.

      • My 9 yr old developed tics from the Ritalin he was on with his Concerta. The dotocr stopped the Ritalin adn gave me the free trial pack for my son to try because it helps resolve tics. The doc had me give it to him at night because it tends to make the child sleepy so I started with the minimum dose of 1 mg which is good because as a mom thats what I do anyway. My son was very sleepy the next day, but after a few doses he was fine it leveled off. So I saw a difference after the trial with the tics and called the doc and stated I didn’t want to try the 2mg for the next period that since the 1 was working I wanted to remain at that. Over the summer I noticed no change in needing ti for focus so we stopped all together after taking it for a month and now he still has no tics and is just taking the Concerta minimum dose for his size and age (18mg) 60lbs. Now we are running into the concerta wearing off after 4-5 hrs and needing a second dose. I asked doc about giving him another dose of the Concerta 18mg since its only lasting 4/5 hrs and since I am so happy with how it works in his system and she said sure lets se hwo he does. If it doesn’t help or he can’t sleep or eat then we will try something else within that drug group of Concerta since it seems tyo work best for him. We have already tried increasing his dose last year to 27 and 36 but neither of those worked he was agitated when it wore off and emotional and I really didn’t see achange in lasting effect. But we will see. This is the part I hate the trial and error part. Let me know if you have any information for me.

        • Hi Elahe,

          The trial and error part is often very scary and frustrating. How great that his tics went away! My son’s tics went away also, now they only come back when he’s super stressed. I’m not able to give you medical advice or advice on medications, as I am not a doctor, the best I can do is give you my own experience. We did a lot of trial and error with my son and it was quite often the case that some symptoms would improve with the change while other symptoms would be worse or new symptoms would develop. When I finally convinced doctors to order a sleep study on him, we quickly found out that he had Epilepsy. This meant that the whole time we were giving him medications for ADHD, we were making the Epilepsy worse. We stopped the ADHD meds immediately and started Epilepsy meds. His ADHD is secondary to the Epilepsy, meaning once we got the Epilepsy under control, the ADHD became more controlled as well. He’s not cured by any means. But he is 12 now and has much more self-control.

          I have heard many stories of kids that came off of their ADHD meds at some point and learned how to control their symptoms on their own. There isn’t any one pill that serves as an end-all, be-all when it comes to ADHD. All drugs have potential side effects. There are also many medical conditions that mimic ADHD which has contributed to ADHD being overly diagnosed. The best advice I could give you would be to maybe get other medical opinions and tests done to ensure you are treating the correct condition. I would also advise looking into other forms of therapy. Behavior modification therapy often works well for ADHD kids. I wish you the best of luck, I know it’s a scary road.


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