What is Concerta?
Concerta (generic: methylphenidate) is a central nervous system stimulant that affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. The drug is approved to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Concerta is made by Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a Johnson & Johnson company) and was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in August 2000.
What’s the Problem?
A common misconception about ADHD medications is that they can improve grades by enhancing students’ ability to learn and focus on homework. However, this is just a myth, as these drugs have been demonstrated to have no effect other than to promote wakefulness. In fact, the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) has warned about a serious risk of adverse reactions such as hostility and paranoia, which may result in suicidal thoughts or actions.
Concerta and Suicide
In March 2006, the FDA issued a review (PDF) of psychiatric adverse events associated with drug treatment of ADHD. With regards to Concerta, the review found a total of 121 reports which included incidences of “overdose, suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, completed suicide and self injurious behavior.”
Most reports were in children and adolescents, with 34% in children age 10 or younger and 38% in patients age 11 to 20. A fatal outcome was reported in 6 cases, and the events were considered life-threatening in one case. The events resolved after treatment with Concerta was stopped in 26% of cases, and a positive rechallenge was reported in 4 cases.
Suicide Warning Signs
- Talking about suicide and/or death
- Extreme risk taking
- Loss of interest in things one used to care about
- Making comments about being hopeless, helpless or worthless
- Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will
- Sudden, unexpected switch from being sad to being calm or appearing to be happy
- Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
ADHD Drugs Widely Over-Prescribed
Prescriptions for Concerta and other ADHD medications have been skyrocketing in recent years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of children diagnosed with ADHD has increased to 3.5 million from 600,000 over the past two decades. The number of prescriptions for drugs to treat the condition keeps growing each year, and nearly 15% of high school students are now said to have ADHD. Unless we’re facing an epidemic of massive proportions, the vast majority of these prescriptions are unnecessary.
Concerta Side Effects
- Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
- Heart problems
- Drug addiction / abuse
- Mania / psychosis
- Disturbed sleep
Do I Have a Concerta Lawsuit?
The Class Action Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Concerta lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new suicide cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if someone you know committed suicide after using Concerta, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.