How Long Does Concerta Stay In Your System?

Concerta is a stimulant that stays in your body a little longer than one day. Learn more about the bioavailability of Concerta, its addiction potential and drug screening information here.

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Reviewed by: Dr. Dili Gonzalez, M.D. Dr. Juan Goecke, M.D.

Generally, Concerta is eliminated by the body within 2 days of taking the medication.   For comparison,  Adderall last in your system even longer.  Here you’ll find more information on how long Concerta affects the body, including peak levels, half life and elimination time.  And please ask your questions about Concerta use at the end.  We respond to all legitimate inquiries with a personal and prompt response.

How Do You Take Concerta?

Concerta is a tablet taken orally once daily in the morning with or without food. Therapeutically, Concerta is swallowed whole but can be abuse when chewed, divided, or crushed.

What Is Concerta Used For?

Concerta is central nervous system stimulant prescribed to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children and adults up to the age of 65.

Peak Levels And Half Life Of Concerta

Concerta is a formula which contains methylphenidate hydrochloride and has been designed as an extended release (ER) medication. Originally, ADHD medications containing methylphenidate were immediate release (IR) formulations, and had rapid onsets and short durations of action. However, IR formulas needed to be given least twice daily for optimal ADHD treatment throughout the day. Today, ER formulas are now considered more practical alternatives for treating symptoms of ADHD as once daily doses minimize the fluctuations between peak and minimum concentrations associated with IR methylphenidate.

Onset of effects occurs within 30-60 minutes after taking Concerta. After that, duration of action lasts from 8-12 hours. And the average times to reach peak plasma concentrations across all doses of Concerta occur between 6-10 hours. The average half-life for Concerta in adults is about 3.5 hours.

Concerta Drug Testing

Urinary excretion accounts for nearly all of the elimination of the stimulants and their metabolites. So urine screens are the most effective means for testing for Concerta use. The federal drug detection limit for methylphenidate HCl is 300 ng/mL. So how long does Concerta stay in the body? Concerta is generally eliminated from the body within 32 hours of last dose.

Concerta And Addiction

Although addiction liability (such as Adderall addictive properties)  is most high when you take a drug for effect or to get high, you can still get addicted to Concerta if you are taking it in doses or methods other than recommended by a doctor. In fact, chronic use of Concerta for effect can lead to tolerance (the need for higher doses for similar effect) and psychological dependence with varying degrees of abnormal behavior. This is why Concerta should be given cautiously to patients with a history of drug dependence or alcoholism.

Doctors need to monitor Concerta use to recommend dosage changes. If you’re not getting the right doses, you may mistakenly become physically dependent on the drug, and perhaps even develop a psychological dependence, too. And if you believe that you may be addicted to Concerta, you need medical supervision during withdrawal because severe depression may occur or reveal the symptoms of other underlying mental health disorders that may require follow-up. Learn more about Concerta Addiction and Treatment Program considerations, what you can do to address it, and your long-term rehab and recovery options. Help is available TODAY!

Problems With Concerta?

If you think that you have a problem with Concerta, you just well may. If you are misusing the stimulant to get high or have become physically and mentally dependent on Concerta to get through work or school…you can get help. If you are ready to stop using Concerta, or have questions about its use and abuse, please leave them in the comments section below. We respond to all legitimate concerns personally and will try to help you as best we can.

Reference sources: FDA: Concerta (Methylphenidate Hcl) Extended-Release Tablets
NCBI: Long-Acting Stimulants: Development And Dosing
NCJRS: Color Test Reagents/Kits For Preliminary Identification Of Drugs Of Abuse
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
Medical Reviewers
Dr. Dili Gonzalez, M.D. is a general surgeon practicing women's focused medici...
Dr. Goecke is a medical doctor and general surgeon with personal experience of...

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a licensed medical professional.

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