Experts estimate as many as 10 percent of all children in the United States have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Many turn to medications like Concerta and Ritalin to help manage the symptoms. Unfortunately, Concerta carries major risks like suicide, especially to children and adolescents. This horrible side effect that can destroy an entire family.
Approved in 2000 by the FDA, Concerta was first made by Alza Corporation before Johnson & Johnson purchased it. The medication was one of the first extended-release versions of methylphenidate (generic Ritalin) to treat ADHD. It is active for 12 hours. This time period helps ensure kids receive the medication during school hours. This extended release replaced the 3 daily doses previously needed.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, ADHD is one of the most common mental disorders affecting children. The disorder brings inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity along with symptoms of:
- Carelessness or overlooking details
- Losing things
- Easily distracted
- Not following instructions
- Constant talking
- Always moving
- Trouble following conversations
Concerta treats ADHD by acting as a stimulant of the central nervous system. The central nervous system plays an important role in the body by taking in information, processing that information, and reacting accordingly. Despite being called a stimulant of the central nervous system, Concerta actually calms the brain by releasing chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine. The two chemicals are responsible for regulating movement, attention, pleasure, and mobility. By increasing the chemical levels, it is believed to help increase attention, memory formation, and alertness.
Concerta Study Linking to Teen Suicide
There have been multiple studies linking Concerta to teen suicide. The Drug Safety Journal found a 162-fold increase in suicide rates for those under age 14 and taking ADHD medications including methylphenidate (the same active ingredient found in Concerta). However, the suicide rate could be even higher since there is evidence of an underestimation of the prevalence of suicide.
The Indian Journal of Psychiatry published two case reports of suicidal ideation in children taking methylphenidate. In one case, an 8-year-old started saying alarming things in the first week of taking the drug in small amounts. The first day, the child said: “I wish to commit suicide.” On the second day, he said: “don’t cremate me if I die.” After stopping the medication, the child stopped expressing suicidal thoughts. In the second case, a 7-year-old reportedly said, “I want to die,” while lying in bed under several quilts within the first two weeks of taking methylphenidate. Again, the suicidal expressions stopped shortly after the child stopped treatment.
Another study from the journal of Pediatrics saw that 67% of those in the study developed psychosis or mania adverse side effects. The FDA also noticed the risk of teen suicide increased while taking the ADHD drug. As early as 2006, the FDA issued a warning of psychiatric side effects after a routine review found more reports of psychiatric reactions like suicidal thoughts and hallucinations than expected.
One of the most serious and devastating potential side effects and risks caused by the use Concerta is extreme suicidal thoughts, especially in children under twenty-one.
|Additional Potential Side Effects|
|Disturbed Sleep||Drug Addiction/Abuse|
Warning Signs of Suicide
One of the most common warning signs of suicide is a change in behavior or new behaviors, especially after a painful event. Other symptoms may include:
- Talking: Talking about being a burden, feeling trapped, unbearable pain, having no reason to live, or wanting to kill themselves
- Behavior: Looking for a way to kill themselves, acting recklessly, withdrawing from activities, isolation, sleeping too much or too little, saying goodbye, giving things away, aggression
- Mood: Depression, loss of interest, rage, irritability, humiliation, anxiety
Teenage suicide rates are soaring, and we want to make sure that families get the help they need.
We Want to Help Concerta Victims
Undeniably, it is your right to be informed about the long-term risks associated with the medications you take, and it is the responsibility of drug companies to provide this information. We want to also help send a message that this is not acceptable if they don’t warn you. We are advocates for consumers who have been harmed by dangerous products, and we have the experience necessary to successfully litigate these cases.
Contact the Michael Brady Lynch Firm today for a free consultation to learn more about seeking justice. They are responsible for harming your child. They should be held accountable for all the pain and suffering from your child taking his or her own life. Our consultations are free and without obligation.
If a jury finds the conduct of a drug company responsible for the death of your child, they may award punitive damages. These damages aim to punish the company and deter similar conduct in the future. Therefore, if your child attempted or committed suicide after taking Concerta, please speak to us to learn more about your rights.