How do Concerta and Adderall compare? What are the similarities and differences in Concerta vs. Adderall? What should you know about both in terms of dosage and high?

These two prescription drugs have many similarities to one another which is why it’s so common to hear comparisons between Concerta vs. Adderall.

Concerta is a prescription medication with the generic name methylphenidate that’s given to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. 

Methylphenidate is in a class of drugs that are called stimulants, and they alter the availability of certain substances in the brain to help people with ADHD concentrate, focus and control behaviors. For some users, it can also help with listening skills. 

Similarly, Adderall is another prescription medication used for the treatment of ADHD and Adderall is also a stimulant, which means it stimulates the activity of the central nervous system. Both are controlled substances, and both Concerta and Adderall have the risk for abuse, addiction, and physical dependence, meaning withdrawal symptoms if someone suddenly stops taking it. 

Both Concerta and Adderall have similar side effects. Some of the common side effects of both include headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, anxiety, insomnia and appetite loss as well as irritability and sweating. Both can also have severe side effects such as chest pain, shortness of breathing, fainting, hallucinations and slowed growth in children. These side effects should be discussed with your physician immediately. Concerta can cause painful erections that are long-lasting in men, which is a difference when comparing Concerta vs. Adderall.

There are warnings for people who have Tourette’s or motor tics against taking Concerta. People with cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and hyperthyroidism are warned not to take Adderall.

Concerta vs. Adderall High

Unfortunately, while Concerta and Adderall do have therapeutic benefits for people with ADHD and other certain conditions, they also have the potential for abuse. The reason is because when someone takes them, particularly at high doses, they alter the brain chemicals including dopamine in a way that can make that person feel euphoric, self-confident, energetic and other pleasurable feelings.

People may enjoy the Concerta or Adderall high on its own, or they may abuse the drugs for other reasons, such as to help them study for long periods or to help them lose weight because appetite suppression is a symptom of both. 

This can be extremely dangerous and can lead to an increased likelihood of addiction, as well as health risks that can include mental and cardiovascular issues. 

For most people who want to compare Concerta vs. Adderall high, the Adderall is a more pleasurable experience since Concerta taken at doses that are too high can actually lead to the opposite effect of what people want, such as making them feel sick or anxious. Concerta may also be more likely to cause mental side effects that aren’t necessarily desirable to someone who wants to compare a Concerta vs. Adderall high.

Concerta vs. Adderall for Studying

It’s a common practice for students to rely on stimulants like Concerta and Adderall not because they’re diagnosed with ADHD, but because they want to be able to study for long periods of time. For example, it’s almost become seen as normal for students on college campuses to take these kind of stimulants during exam time, but this can be dangerous, and it’s illegal to use either of these drugs without a valid prescription. 

With that being said, when comparing Concerta vs. Adderall for studying, which is more effective?

Some research has shown that the amphetamines which make up Adderall may be more effective in situations related to studying, however, Adderall also has more extreme side effects for most people.

Concerta vs. Adderall Dosage

There are a few differences when you’re looking at the Concerta vs. Adderall dosage. First, one of the biggest differences related to the Concerta vs. Adderall dosage is the fact that Concerta is only available in an extended-release version.

Adderall is available in both immediate-release and extended-release versions. When someone takes the immediate-release version of Adderall, it starts acting more quickly, but the effects also wear off faster. 

With extended-release Adderall it tends to start acting more slowly, but the effects can last up to 10 hours, and the comedown or crash following the use of it is a bit softer for most users. With extended-release Adderall, users are often only prescribed to take it once a day, whereas with immediate-release they might take more than one dose a day.

Other than that, the Concerta vs. Adderall dosages are pretty similar to one another. A standard dose of both usually starts at 10 to 20 mg a day, but there are individual factors a doctor will take into consideration such as the health of the person who’s taking it, their age, their size, and whether or not they’ve taken similar drugs and how they responded to them if so.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.