Concerta vs Ritalin is a great debate among those who suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD). As a doctor who specializes in treating ADHD, I am frequently asked which is better.
Concerta and Ritalin are both stimulants that are used to treat ADHD.
They work by interacting with the chemicals in the brain that contribute to hyperactivity and impulsivity, which are two of the most common behavioral manifestations of the condition.
The regular versions of each medication begins working in 30-60 minutes with a duration of about 3 hours (Ritalin) or up to 4 or 5 hours (Concerta). In addition, they are both offered in long-lasting versions that can last up to 12 hours (Ritalin) and 15 hours (Concerta).
Based on the research, and in my clinical experience, Concerta typically lasts longer than most other extended or sustained release stimulants which gives it an advantage.
In addition, Concerta is less likely to produce rebound which is the phenomenon where some patients may experience irritability or depression for up to an hour as the medication wears off.
It is important to keep in mind that it is difficult to make drug comparisons because medications affect every individual differently. What works for one person may not work for another, so individual results will vary.
As a result, it is important to attend regular medication monitoring appointments with your prescribing doctor in order to monitor your progress and raise any questions or concerns. Report any adverse drug reactions to your doctor.
In addition, do not alter doses, skip does, or abruptly stop taking any ADHD medication without consulting with your doctor.
Only take prescription medications as prescribed. Abusing stimulant-based ADHD medications can result in addiction and withdrawal.
Do not sell or trade your medications. Do not crush and snort any ADHD medications because it is dangerous due to releasing the full effect of the drug at once.
Remember, medications affect everyone differently so what works for your neighbor may not work for you. In the end, most likely through some trial and error, you will discover whether Concerta or Ritalin is right for you.
These are two popular ADHD medications that are popular for a reason. They are effective at reducing ADHD symptoms. So try one and see how your body reacts. If it does not agree with you, work with your doctor to find an ADHD medication that works for you.
Get Dr. Kensington's FREE ADHD Newsletter!