Concerta, a Guide to the Use in Childhood ADHD

ADHD impacts more children than realized. With many children falling quickly behind both academically and socially, the opportunity to provide improved concentration, socialization and emotional health is a complicated goal to achieve especially with a child diagnosed with ADHD. With a push by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Concerta has been introduced to the public and with great reception as its documented success continues in the relief of symptoms associated the disorder. As a first line of therapy in the treatment of ADHD, understanding the basis for the use of Concerta, the recommended diagnosing, side effects and contraindications, will place you, as the parent, in the best possible position to improve your child’s ADHD symptoms.

Concerta, manufactured by McNeil-PPC, is considered a mild central nervous system stimulant. Originally created in the treatment of narcolepsy, Concerta has been proven effective in the treatment of ADHD. The method by which Concerta lends its success has yet to be determined but it is believed to suppress specific brain receptor which are hypersensitive in an ADHD child.

When attempting to treat ADHD through medications, side effects and contraindications are not uncommon. For patient’s suffering from high blood pressure, anxiety, glaucoma, Tourette’s Syndrome, depression or GI dysfunction, Concerta may not be the appropriate treatment option. As a Category C drug, Concerta has an unknown impact in pregnancy and, therefore, should not be used by women who are pregnant or may become pregnant.

Side effects of the medication may include abnormal weight gain or loss. As a result, Concerta is not indicated in patient’s currently suffering from anorexia or bulemia. As a sustained release tablet, it is not necessary to take the medication with food however a full eight ounces of water should be taken to ensure the tablet does not become lodged in the throat resulting in swelling and choaking. Sustained tablets should also never be broken or crushed and provide up to 12 hours of treatment. Concerta does not come in a chewable format as with other ADHD medications.

Concerta is habit forming and should be taken once a day, everyday, as directed by your physician. Provided in four dosing levels, side effects, which will decrease with treatment, include dizziness, headache, drowsiness, insomnia, abdominal pain and weight fluctuations as described previously. If these symptoms are persistent, consult your physician.

Studies have shown that most children, diagnosed with ADHD, suffer from low self esteem which usually begins due to social awkwardness associated with the disorder. Once medication therapy has begun, your child will begin to notice a change in his or her own approach to the world around him. When this occurs, they are more apt to socialize in a more well liked fashion. This is not to say that each child shouldn’t be encouraged to remain true to their identity. However, in those children with ADHD, the impact of medication can be significant in setting the path to recovery from an emotional, physical and social path.

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