Concerta (methylphenidate) is a long-acting medication for kids with ADHD. Unfortunately, it has been associated with a risk of extremely serious suicidal thoughts and behaviors, especially in younger patients.
Need a Texas Concerta Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was injured, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
What is Concerta?
Concerta (methylphenidate HCl) is an extended-release medication that is used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Concerta is active for 12 hours, which helps avoid taking the medication in school. Concerta was specifically developed to replace 3 doses of immediate-release methylphenidate given every 4 hours.
Concerta and Suicide
The psychiatric side effects of Concerta include mood swings, depressive mood, and thoughts of suicide. Patients with ADHD have problems with impulsivity, which may result in suicide attempts or death — especially in children and teenagers. The label on Concerta includes warnings about psychiatric adverse events, but patients may not realize that suicide is a potential risk.
FDA Investigates Suicide Risk
In June 2005, NBC News reported that the FDA was reviewing reports linking Concerta and other ADHD medications with suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, and violent behavior. According to Kathleen Phelan, a safety investigator with the FDA:
“Stimulant drugs may exacerbate symptoms and reveal them for the first time in children with previously unrecognized psychiatric illnesses.”
Concerta Suicide Warnings Updated in Canada
In March 2015, Health Canada updated the label on Concerta with stronger, clearer warnings about suicidal thoughts and behaviors. The agency also received a small number of reports of completed suicides. Most of the events occurred at the start of treatment, during dose adjustments, or after stopping treatment.
Reports of Suicidal Thoughts in Children
There are a number of case reports linking methylphenidate with suicidal thoughts in young children, for example:
- Case Report #1: 8 year-old boy prescribed 5-mg/day — In the first two days of treatment, he said “I wish to commit suicide” and “don’t cremate me if I die” out of context in a conversation.
- Case Report #2: 7 year-old boy prescribed 10-mg/day — In the first 12 days of treatment, he buried himself under six or seven quilts and said “I want to die.” He also tied a hose around his neck and began slapping himself.
Warning Signs of Suicide
- Unusual changes in behavior
- Talking about wanting to die
- Feeling like a burden, trapped, worthless, or no reason to live
- Feeling unbearable emotional pain
- Looking for a way to kill themselves
- Reckless behavior
- Isolation or withdrawing from activities
- Sleeping too much or not enough
- Depressed mood
- Loss of interest in activities
- Irritability, rage
- And more
The FDA has found a link between ADHD drugs and cardiovascular events, including heart attack. FDA data suggested that methylphenidate may be responsible for 25 deaths between 1999 and 2003, including 19 death in children. There were also 54 reports of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, heart palpitations, and arrhythmia in adults and children with ADHD.
Priapism (Long-Lasting Erections)
In December 2013, the FDA issued a warning about a rare but serious side effect called priapism. This long-lasting erection (4 hours or more) occurs when blood is trapped inside the penis. It can occur in males of any age. Left untreated, it can cause permanent erectile dysfunction. Between 1997 and 2012, the FDA linked methylphenidate drugs with 15 cases of priapism, including 12 cases in children (median age 12.5 years).
Concerta Class Action
The Clark Firm, LLP is nationally recognized as a class action law firm in Texas, but our lawyers are not filing a Concerta class action lawsuit. Instead, we are filing individual lawsuits for people who had suicidal behavior or loved ones of people who committed suicide on Concerta.
Need a Concerta Lawyer in Texas?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our Texas Concerta lawyers for a free lawsuit review.