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Concerta Overdose: Symptoms, Lethal Dose, & Treatment

Concerta Overdose: Symptoms, Lethal Dose, & Treatment

Concerta is the brand name for the central nervous system (CNS) stimulant methylphenidate. Also known as Ritalin and Ritalin LA, Concerta is prescribed to people with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to treat symptoms like poor concentration and focus as well as impulsive behavior. Although the drug is effective in treating these symptoms, it can also be abused by people who are looking to get high or for improving their academic or work performance. With abuse comes the risk of Concerta overdose, which can be fatal without medical support.

Can You Overdose On Concerta?

Yes, you can overdose on Concerta. Concerta and other prescription stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin have the potential for abuse because they act on neurotransmitters in the brain to increase confidence and energy and produce euphoria. Stimulants also increase talkativeness, focus, and alertness. For these reasons, stimulant abuse has become more common among young adults and professionals who want to get high or improve their skills at school or work.

However, what many of these users neglect is Concerta’s potential for addiction and overdose. Drug overdoses can occur accidentally, but they’re most common among recreational drug users who purposely take large doses to get high. An overdose refers to toxicity that occurs when a person takes more of a substance than the body can process.

Overdoses can occur with addictive and non-addictive drugs. However, when the drug in question is addictive, like Concerta, overdose becomes more of a risk. The longer a person takes methylphenidate, the more tolerant their body becomes tolerant to its effects. As tolerance grows, the person will need higher doses to experience the same effects as before.

Tolerance goes hand-in-hand with physical dependence, which takes place when the person gets to the point where they can’t function “normally” without the drug. Over time as the person increases their doses, the risk of overdose becomes more and more of a possibility.

Concerta Overdose Symptoms

Concerta abuse can cause major damage to the cardiovascular and circulatory systems. Eventually, side effects like high blood pressure and heart rate can lead to heart attack, stroke, circulatory failure, coma, and even death. Despite these risks, as well as the risk of addiction, many people still misuse stimulants for the energy and high they produce.

One of the most serious and lethal side effects of Concerta is toxicity or overdose, which can lead to both physical and psychological problems. Common Concerta (methylphenidate) overdose symptoms include:

  • Agitation
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Death
  • Dry mouth and/or nose
  • Fainting
  • Feeling flushed
  • Fever
  • High blood pressure
  • Inappropriate state of happiness
  • Irregular, fast, or pounding heart rate
  • Muscle twitching
  • Nausea
  • Psychosis
  • Seizures
  • Severe headache
  • Uncontrollable tremors
  • Vomiting

Because you can die from a methylphenidate overdose, medical attention or poison control should immediately be sought if any of the symptoms listed above occur. If you or someone in your household takes this medication, watch out for Concerta overdose effects, as it can occur either intentionally or accidentally.

How Much Concerta to Overdose?

So what is the Concerta overdose amount that can tip the scales? Typically, doctors start their patients off with a low dosage and then slightly adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for them. Doctors will immediately prescribe the smallest dose and then work their way up from there to prevent a negative reaction in the patient.

Extended-release Concerta pills are available in four tablet strengths or doses: 18 mg, 27 mg, 46 mg, and 54 mg. Extended-release medications produce side effects that last around 12 to 14 hours, which is why Concerta is only taken once daily. The drug is not available in immediate-release formulations like other prescription stimulants are.

Taking higher doses of Concerta or taking it more frequently than prescribed can lead to overdose. In other words, the Concerta overdose dosage is anything higher than the person’s average daily dose. So if someone usually takes 54 mg of Concerta daily, they’re at risk of overdosing if they take double the amount or more.

The methylphenidate overdose amount also varies depending on whether the individual mixes the drug with another substance, such as alcohol, stimulants, or benzos. Mixing drugs often heightens their side effects and makes it more difficult for the body to process them efficiently. Overdose can occur as a result.

Concerta Addiction Treatment

When Concerta is abused in high doses for long periods, whether that be recreationally or with a prescription, it's not advised to stop taking it cold turkey. Instead, it’s advised that people who have been using either prescription or illicit drugs for long periods receive medically monitored detox so they can receive medication and 24-hour care for their withdrawals.

Furthermore, Concerta addiction can develop as a result of long-term abuse, which can be difficult to recover from without professional assistance. If you or a loved one is battling a drug use disorder, our drug rehab in Massachusetts offers various levels of care for substance abuse treatment, including PHP and outpatient services to help people in all stages of addiction find sobriety.


For more information about our Boston addiction treatment services and how to get started, call Banyan Treatment Centers today at 888-280-4763.


Related Reading:

How Long Does Concerta Stay in Your System?

Concerta and Alcohol Effects

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.