What Are the Effects of Concerta With Alcohol?

Drugs.com warns users of Concerta that taking this medication with alcohol potentially increases side effects, including anxiety, depression, drowsiness and seizures. In some long-acting forms of methylphenidate, the active ingredient in Concerta, alcohol causes the release of too much of the drug into the body.

The full prescribing information provided by Janssen Pharmaceuticals for Concerta encourages patients to discuss problems with alcohol or drugs with their care provider before he prescribes Concerta. The use of this medication, especially when mixed with alcohol, sometimes affects one's ability to operate machinery. The manufacturer recommends patients take time to know the medication's effect to ensure it does not affect their ability to operate such devices.

Concerta is a name brand for an extended release form of methylphenidate HCl. This is the same active ingredient in several other attention deficit hyperactivity disorder medications, including Ritalin and Equasym XL. The FDA approved methylphenidate in 1955, but manufacturers did not provide it until 1960. As the diagnosis of ADHD became more widely accepted in the 1990s, methylphenidate was widely prescribed, according to Wikipedia.

Combining Concerta and alcohol increases the level of methylphenidate in the blood by 40 percent, warns the Independent Alcoholism Help Council. This increases the normal effect of the drug as well as the euphoria of alcohol, leading to the likelihood of increased dependence on both drugs. The negative effects of each substance also are amplified when mixed.