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Long-Term Side-Effects of Seroquel and Concerta

"My son with Asperger's is currently on Seroquel and Concerta. I would like to know the long-term side effects of these medications."

Just as a precursor to this question (as it covers medication), I need to point out that I am not a doctor or medically trained individual and any information in this article is for information purposes only. You must seek appropriate medical advice from an approved health care practitioner for medical diagnosis and treatment.

O.K., boring legal jargon out of the way, so let’s get on with the article …

Seroquel is an antipsychotic medication that changes the chemical activity within the brain. It treats the symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (manic depression), which are psychotic disorders. Be aware that the following is a comprehensive list of possible reactions to Seroquel. It is rare that most or all of these symptoms will occur.

As with most other medications, there are side effects when taking Seroquel. This medication might cause high blood sugar, diabetes, and suicidal thoughts. Also, Seroquel might cause impairment of thoughts or reactions to external events, and it is not recommended to take Seroquel if you are going to operate a motor vehicle. Another side effect of Seroquel includes adverse reactions if alcohol is consumed.

Please be careful if you are also taking medicine for colds/allergies, sleeping pills, muscle relaxants, or antidepressants. You can become sleepy if Seroquel interacts with these medications. You will need to contact an emergency medical facility if the following reactions occur: difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worse symptoms such as: mood or behaviour changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself.

Concerta is widely known to be a medication that treats Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). While Concerta offers a number of advantages over pre-existing ADHD medications, it has side effects that you should know about.

Concerta is taken once a day because it is a timed-release medication. It comes in capsule form, and it has an outer coating of medication that quickly dissolves when swallowed. The medicinal effect of Concerta lasts twelve hours, and the following need to be considered when taking this medication:
  • It should be taken in the morning hours. If a dose is skipped, wait until the following day; otherwise, your sleep/wake cycle will be affected.
  • A dose of Concerta cannot be adjusted. Any change in milligrams must be done with a new prescription. 
  • A Concerta capsule cannot be mixed with food; this will prevent the proper release of the medication.
  • Concerta is not recommended for people with digestive problems.

A comprehensive list of Concerta side effects includes: abdominal pain aggravation, aggression, anxiety, depression, hostility, insomnia and prolonged sleepiness, loss of appetite, increased coughing, nervousness, sadness, drug dependence, dizziness, headache, tics, sinusitis, upper respiratory tract infection, vomiting, allergic reactions, increased blood pressure, and psychosis.

Concerta is not recommended for children under the age of six. Also, Concerta may be habit forming.

Best Comments:

Anonymous said...
I would like to add something to this as well...our son (4 yrs old, high functioning Aspergers) tried Concerta for the first time yesterday...and tho we were warned about possible "letdown" effects; when the medication is done after the 12 hrs, usually starting at 10-11 hrs...It was a nightmare! Now NOT all kids are going to experience these issues, however if your dr has not warned you, please be aware. Needless to say, this med is a no-go for our son :-/ I wish everyone luck, as this med has done wonders for some...just not our little Aspie.

Anonymous said...
I believe there CAN BE some serious long term affects of seroquel, but they are rare. Seroquel is very sedating...which may be something your looking for is sleep is an issue. Have you tried risperdal? Or abilify? Abilify works great for my aspie and little to no side affects. Concerta was a nightmare for us as were all stimulants. Abilify has helped slow him down enough that he can focus alot better. But I know of no long term affect from concerta.

Anonymous said...
We do ambilify and rispidone with our high aspie 13 year old. Works great but we've been having to give him double the dose of rispidone when he has an evening event like scouts or soccer. The only side effect is weight gain and sometimes trouble sleeping. But we are happy with the results overall.

Anonymous said...
My 12 year old aspie boy (also diagnosed with O.D.D. and O.C.D.) is currently on valproic acid. He has tried concerta in the past -when he was increased his anxiety, caused him to be overly focused on what he was already worried or obsessed about, and paranoid (almost hallucinating). Tried seroquel around age 9...caused rapid weight gain and sedative...without really addressing his symptoms effectively. We have also tried him on risperdal (caused him to be more obsessive, agitated); clomipramine, zoloft, dexadrine (stimulant kept him awake all night) name a few. We have never found something that is extremely effective at addressing his main symptoms. If anyone has any suggestions of what has worked with their child I would appreciate your input. The main symptoms we would like to alleviate are anxiety (school and social), obsessions (extreme preoccupation with body image, hair, face, etc) depression, without weight gain or serious side effects. Thank you.

Anonymous said...
My 5 yr old who has only ADHD takes concerta and srtaterra. He does fine on those two. My 7 yr old Aspie takes straterra for his ADHD and rispadol. No problems.

Anonymous said...
My 9 year old son has been on Concerta XL for a year now. The only side affect is loss of appitite - which we were warned about. It isn't too much of a problem as he eats in the evening and when he has a day off it.

Anonymous said...
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Unknown said...

long term side effects of any stimulant medication (Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta) can be a retardation of physical growth. Some parents take medication "breaks" on weekends and summer time when the kids aren't in school. I am a psych nurse, and I believe the mental wellbeing of the child and the mental development of a child is more important than having a "tall" kid. The breaks can cause anxiety in a child because of the irregularity of the meds (when the parents don't give the meds on the weekends). I like the combo of Abilify and fluoxetine (Prozac). It seems to work well in my High Functioning Autism child. I hope this has been some help. :-)

Ama Lytikal said...

My son age 11 ( diagnosed with Aspergers) started out taking risperdone 0.5 mg morning noon and night and ritalin 10 mg morning noon and 4 pm for a year then we switched to focalin xr 20 mg after a year to cut down on his intake.. so he is taking focalin xr in the morning and risperdone 0.5 mg morning noon and night. we have had alot of success with both of these combinations. I have found that consistancy in times taking the meds make a HUGE difference :) he went from 27 traits daily too just an average of 2 traits daily. hope this was some help!

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