How Is Concerta Abused?
Concerta is commonly abused or misused. Up to 25% of people prescribed a stimulant like Concerta misuse the drug. Most often, people take more of the drug than was prescribed. However, sometimes people without prescriptions for Concerta obtain the medication as well, either by stealing or buying it from people with a prescription. Most people who use stimulants like Concerta illicitly are under the age of 25 and get the drug from a friend. People without prescriptions for Concerta often take the drug to:
- Stay awake
- Improve attention
- Be alert
- Feel less drunk after drinking
- Get high
- Suppress appetite
- Prevent withdrawal from other stimulants, such as cocaine
Concerta is designed to only be taken orally. The medicine has a complex drug-release system that requires fluid to slowly push the drug out of the tablet over the course of hours. It does not work well if it is not used in this manner.
For this reason, Concerta is generally only taken by mouth and not other routes. Attempts to take the drug by other routes like snorting does not cause a high due to the complex drug design. However, other forms of methylphenidate may be snorted or injected.
Dangerous Drug Interactions
Concerta has several dangerous drug-drug interactions. These include:
Concertas Interactions with other Drugs
- Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors, or MAOIs
Using Concerta within 14 days of using an MAOI can cause dangerous spikes in blood pressure. Although rarely used, MAOIs include:
Isocarboxaxid, brand name Marplan
Phenelzine, brand name Nardil
Selegiline, brand names Emsam and Zelapar
Tranylcypromine, brand name Parnate
These drugs are designed to increase blood pressure. They are rarely given outside the hospital and include:
Concerta can increase the amount of this blood thinner in the body, leading to a higher risk of bleeding.
- Seizure Drugs
Concerta may increase the concentration of certain seizure drugs in the body. Although seizure drugs are most often used to prevent seizure, they can sometimes be used for other health problems. Seizure drugs that may interact with Concerta are:
Concerta may increase the level of some antidepressants, like:
Sertraline, brand name Zoloft
Fluoxetine, brand name Prozac
Escitalopram, brand name Lexapro
Further, the amount of Concerta in the blood may also be increased by some drugs. These include:
Drinking alcohol with Concerta is risky for many reasons. Besides increasing the amount of Concerta in the body, combining the substances may make a person feel less drunk than they really are. This can be very dangerous if they decide to drive a car because they think they are sober.
- Antipsychotic Drugs
These drugs can be used for many different mental health conditions and include:
Aripiprazole, brand name Abilify
Olanzapine, brand name Zyprexa
Risperidone, brand name Risperdal
Ziprasidone, brand name Geodon
This drug is sometimes used for mood and depression. However, it can also be used to help stop smoking. Because bupropion can increase seizure risk, combining it with Concerta, which can also increase seizure risk, may be dangerous.
Cannabis and cannabis-containing drugs can increase the level of Concerta in the body. Because cannabis can increase heart rate, and so can Concerta, they may have an additive effect on the heart.