Concerta is a prescription drug containing methylphenidate. Like other stimulants, Concerta may cause reduced appetite and weight loss in some users. While weight loss is sometimes desirable, it may be harmful for growing children and underweight individuals. If you experience problematic appetite loss while taking Concerta, contact your physician. Together, you can determine whether Concerta is the best treatment option for you.
Concerta is an extended-release form of methylphenidate — a medication used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. While not approved as a weight loss aid, Concerta may be prescribed off-label for this purpose, according to E Med TV. Concerta works by increasing levels of neurotransmitters that help regulate alertness, appetite and other functions. It is not a cure for ADHD or other conditions, and should be used as part of an overall treatment plan.
Concerta can cause a variety of unwanted effects. According to E Med TV, weight loss is among the most common side effects, occurring in 6.5 percent of adults and 4 percent of children taking the drug. PubMed Health lists nervousness, dry mouth, headache, dizziness and muscle tightness as other potential side effects. Because it raises heart rate and blood pressure, Concerta may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke in people with a history of heart disease. Like other drugs in its class, Concerta may be habit-forming and can lead to dependence when abused.
To prevent excessive weight loss, E Med TV recommends waiting until after breakfast to take Concerta. If you experience severe or persistent weight loss, your doctor may need to adjust the dose or change your medication. To prevent harmful side effects, tell your doctor if you have a history of substance abuse or heart disease before taking Concerta. Take Concerta exactly as directed and don't increase the dose without a doctor's permission. Don't stop taking Concerta abruptly, as this may cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
Concerta is a Schedule II controlled substance with a potential for abuse. While some people abuse Concerta for its mood-altering effects, it may also be misused as a weight loss aid. To avoid serious complications, never use Concerta for weight loss without a prescription from your doctor.