Concerta vs. Ritalin dosages--HELP!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-22-2003
Concerta vs. Ritalin dosages--HELP!
Tue, 07-22-2003 - 5:21pm
My 5 yr. son has ADHD, big problems with impulsivity and focus. Ped first started him on Focalin (like Ritalin) and the 5 mg dose was too strong (he only weighs 39 lbs. now)...he was too "drugged" and calm. So we changed to 2.5 mg and gave him 1 1/2 tablets which worked pretty well, but I wanted to get him on extended release so he won't have to take a second pill during the school day this fall. We tried Straterra samples with no success, and then tried 18mg Concerta, which he is on now, and it is not working well either (he has also lost 3 lbs in 3 months)

The 18 mg Concerta says it is equivalent to three 5mg ritalin doses a day, so I thought it would be TOO strong due to the Focalin experience, but it just has not worked well. So now I'm wondering, should I ask his ped to try the next dosage up of Concerta (I know you can't split the pills), or should I just go back to the Ritalin and have him stand in the line for the school nurse?? Anyone have any experience in changing from Ritalin to Concerta and what dosage levels worked for you? Thanks!!
Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 07-23-2003 - 9:31pm
First off, I do not want anyone administering meds other than me/DH if at all possible, so my thing when putting Kevin on meds was to do something that the school would NOT be involved in. Thus, the Concerta was our solution. Strattera did nothing for Kevin, either. He was on 18, then 36 mg. of Concerta, with much success. They make a 27 mg dose now, so you can increase some without doubling it, and that may be a good option for you. If the Concerta isn't working, there is a longer acting Ritalin (Ritalin LA) which is effective ... not as long as Concerta, but perhaps long enough so you don't need to involve the nurse. We had Kevin on that, plus a small dose of Focalin after school. For us, nothing worked (other than the Concerta which worked well for 15-16 months, then lost its effectiveness, and now he's off meds) but not all meds have the same effect for all kids. Just know that there are other options for long-term effects.



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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 07-23-2003 - 9:59pm
Regular ritalin was too short acting for us, and Concerta was too long acting. My son has taken Metadate ER now for the past two school years. It's ritalin, in a extended release form. It is something he only takes in the morning. But it wears off a little earlier than Concerta so he isn't up too late. You may want to see what the ped. thinks of that? I know it's frustrating till you find the right fit!
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Wed, 07-23-2003 - 11:32pm
We switched from 10 mg of Ritalin in the am and 5 mg after lunch to 27 mg of Concerta when the Ritalin didn't seem to be getting the job done as well as it previously had. Probably could have just increased the Ritalin, but we wanted to try something longer acting.

I find that the Concerta has more negative side effects for us, but does seem to get the job done better than the Ritalin was.

My DS just turned 8, and weighs in the 65 pound range, for what it's worth.



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