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Dr. Phil, MD
Dr. Phil, MD, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 55441
Experience:  GP in the United States
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I am taking concerta XL 54 mg and before I took 60 mg Ritalin

Customer Question

I am taking concerta XL 54 mg and before I took 60 mg Ritalin IR.
I found that when I took the IR it was more beneficial and do not feel that the concerta is so effective. How much is released from the concerta during the day from taking it compared to taking Ritalin IR every 3-4 hours?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.
Hello. I'm Dr. Phil, licensed and practicing internist. Excellent service is my goal.
Basically the amount of medicine that is released is the same. However, you are getting it more slowly throughout the take.
So 60 mg of ritalin IR is just a touch more than concerta 54 mg.
However, the effect from ritalin is more immediate and noticeable.
I would stick with whichever one works better.
I like concerta but some patients simply do better with ritalin
Dr. Phil, MD and 2 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Could you explain how concerta 54 mg works when it comes to release of the medication compared to taking 20mg Ritalin IR three times per day?

Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.
https://www.google.com/search?q=concerta+pharmacokinetics&espv=2&biw=881&bih=671&tbm=isch&imgil=sZrVx2LxFh4RsM%253A%253BJRbNUFf-C3O1yM%253Bhttps%25253A%25252F%25252Fdailymed.nlm.nih.gov%25252Fdailymed%25252Farchives%25252FfdaDrugInfo.cfm%25253Farchiveid%2525253D4528&source=iu&pf=m&fir=sZrVx2LxFh4RsM%253A%252CJRbNUFf-C3O1yM%252C_&usg=__MDkHfNgOr-WY7Zj3lw8eMYV0EmY%3D&ved=0CDYQyjdqFQoTCOL31vG81scCFVEMkgodU3IOjg&ei=y-_lVaLmCdGYyATT5LnwCA#imgrc=sZrVx2LxFh4RsM%3A&usg=__MDkHfNgOr-WY7Zj3lw8eMYV0EmY%3D
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.
go to that picture. As you can see, the concerta level rises and stays elevated and is a smoother curveritalin has more peaks and valleys
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok I think I understand.

But is it the same level of medication or how does the pill dissolve?

Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.
Well you can see in that graph that 18 mg of concerta was equivalent to 6 mg of ritalin 3 times a day basically without the peaks and valleys So the mg for mg dose is pretty similar
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.
https://www.google.com/search?q=pharmacokinetics+concerta&espv=2&biw=881&bih=671&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMIw_3lisDWxwIVyZENCh15nQp-#imgrc=gdSL3WVRynCkKM%3A
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.
that is how the pill dissolves. There are 3 compartments that the drug releases from slowly over the day
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.
https://www.google.com/search?q=pharmacokinetics+concerta&espv=2&biw=881&bih=671&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMIw_3lisDWxwIVyZENCh15nQp-#imgdii=gdSL3WVRynCkKM%3A%3BgdSL3WVRynCkKM%3A%3BxfuhtubYivoJbM%3A&imgrc=gdSL3WVRynCkKM%3A
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.
this pic explains better
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I dont understand it really. Its bit complicated.

So if I take 54mg in the morning then 20% is released and the remaining afterwords?

Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.
It is released in a sequential fashion. One releases then the next then the slow release over the day. It is actually quite an elegant design!
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.
http://www.ehow.com/about_5548621_three-parts-concerta.html
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.
that explains it better
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok. so initially I get a higher dose and then the latter is released during 8 hours ?

Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.
bingo

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