Does Concerta Show Up In a Drug Test? (What We Found)

A bottle of concerta spilled

If you’re taking Concerta, it’s important to know that the drug may appear on some drug tests but it depends on many factors.

As someone who has checked recent studies on Concerta use, I talked to a friend doctor and came to a few conclusions about Concerta detection on drug tests. Here is what I discovered. 

Summary of the Key Findings

  • The Concerta tablet releases the active ingredient at a controlled rate. The tablet is designed to let the active ingredient slowly enter your system.
  • If you are given a drug test that screens for Concerta, it is possible that the drug will show up in your test results even if it has been several days since you took it.
  • Concerta is mainly eliminated from the body through urine.

What is Concerta?

Close up shot of Alza 54 ConcertaConcerta (methylphenidate) is a central nervous system prescription drug that lasts 12 hours per dose and is used as part of a treatment program for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy [1].

This prescription drug helps those diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder by changing how natural substances work in the brain. It has been used to help people with attention, focus, and behavioral issues. It can also help with organizational skills and listening abilities.

Concerta is one of the prescription drugs that contain methylphenidate. It comes as a white, odorless powder soluble in water, methanol, and alcohol [2].

The biochemical effects of Concerta can be more severe than those experienced with cocaine, which is why some people may use it as a recreational drug. Prolonged use of this drug can lead to addiction and drug abuse. 

If you know anyone who uses Concerta or if you are suffering from Concerta addiction or are going through withdrawal symptoms from ADHD medication, please seek addiction treatment.

Factors That Influence How Long Does It Stay in Your System

Spilled concerta pills on a green table

Because everyone’s body is different, not everyone processes Concerta in the same way. There are several factors that can influence how long Concerta stays in your system. These factors include:

  • The dosage you take: The higher the dosage, the longer it concerta will stay.
  • Your metabolism: The faster your metabolism, the shorter Concerta will stay.
  • Your age: Older adults tend to metabolize Concerta more slowly than younger adults.
  • Your kidney function: If you have impaired kidney function, Concerta may stay longer in your system.
  • Your liver function: Concerta may stay longer in your system if you have impaired liver function.
  • How often you take it: Taking Concerta more frequently will increase the amount of time it stays.
  • Your weight: Heavier individuals tend to metabolize Concerta more slowly than thinner individuals.
  • The method used to take the drug: Taking Concerta orally will result in a longer detection time than snorting or injecting it.
  • Whether you have taken other drugs: If you are taking other medications, they may interact with Concerta and affect how long it stays.

Half-Life of Concerta

The half-life of a drug is the amount of time it takes for the concentration of the drug in your body to be reduced by 50%. The half-life of a Concerta is a short half-life of 3.5 hours. This means that after 3.5 hours, the concentration of the drug in your body will be reduced by 50% and may not show during your drug testing [3].

“This means the drug will have completely left your system in about 7-8 hours if you’re an adult. However, the therapeutic effects can last up to 12 hours.”

– Kimberly Langdon M.D., Physician, Board-Certified Obstetrician/Gynecologist

Detection of Concerta in Your Urine, Hair, and Blood

A beaker of urine in a labConcerta can be found in some drug tests days after you took it. There are different factors that will determine how long the drug will stay in your system or be detected through drug testing. For example, immediate-release tablets don’t stay in your system as long as extended-release ones. Therefore, it may be hard to detect through drug testing.

Concerta is mainly eliminated from the body through urine. How quickly someone gets rid of the drug varies. The following are estimates of how long Concerta can be detected in different types of drug tests.

1. Hair Analysis

Concerta can be detected in hair follicles for up to 90 days.

2. Blood Analysis

A person getting a blood testConcerta is detectable in your blood for up to 4 to 5 days.

This type of drug screening is not commonly used for recreational purposes because saliva, urine, and hair tests are more accurate and less expensive.

Blood-based screenings are typically used to see if a person who is prescribed a drug is getting the right dose or if they need to seek addiction treatment [4].

3. Urine Analysis

Concerta can be detected in urine samples for up to 72 hours.

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Can you become addicted to Concerta?

Yes, you can become addicted to Concerta. This risk is increased if the drug is abused or taken in higher-than-recommended doses. If you need addiction treatment, seek guidance from addiction treatment programs.

Does ADHD medication show up in urine tests?

Yes, ADHD medication can show up in urine tests. The detection time is typically 72 hours.

What does ADHD medication show up as on a drug test?

ADHD can show up as methylphenidate on a drug test. It is a stimulant medication used to treat ADHD.

Can ADHD meds cause positive drug tests?

Yes, ADHD can cause positive drug tests.  Methylphenidate produces a false positive in amphetamine screenings, and the detection time is typically 72 hours.

Can Concerta Show Up in a Drug Test?

The detection of Concerta time will depend on various factors such as your metabolism, how often you take the drug, and your age. The typical detection time is 72 hours. If you have a drug test coming up, I suggest that you stop using Concerta slowly and under your doctor’s supervision.

This allows your body to get used to the changes in norepinephrine and dopamine levels in your brain. If you are short on time and must take a drug screen for illicit drugs, I suggest you check out Clear Choice Solution as a quick fix for your drug test.

Clear Choice Solution is reliable synthetic urine that comes in powder form, allowing you to pass a drug test without the risk of the components separating and giving false results.



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