How Much Does Concerta Cost?

Written by: Staff

Concerta, a prescription-based drug used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), can also be used to treat narcolepsy.  By activating the areas of your brain that are responsible for focusing and paying attention, Concerta is the brand name of the generic medication, methylphenidate, and is primarily designed to help control constant activity related to ADHD such as fidgeting and impulsive actions commonly found among certain forms of ADHD.

Available in both generic and brand name versions, we compared the prices of your options by calling a few of the nation’s most popular pharmacies.

How much does Concerta cost?

The cost of Concerta will depend on a few factors, including the quantity/dosage, the pharmacy you choose, which type (generic vs. branded) and your health insurance.

Unless your doctor notates prescribe as a “brand only – no substitutions” or in the case of Concerta, “OROS only”, all pharmacies will give you the generic version, Methylphenidate ER, 99 percent of the time.  According to and the FDA, however, Concerta and generic products are not interchangeable, simply meaning they are no longer recommended as substitutes if your doctor prescribes Concerta.  At the time of this publishing, Actavis methylphenidate ER tablets are the ONLY generic equivalent available for Concerta.

Also, if you’re already on Concerta and do not want to risk switching to a generic, then your doctor may not take the risk since many people find the generic often does not work as well since generics will not use the patented OROS delivery system Concerta uses.  Do keep in mind, though, that some insurance carriers will only cover the generic versions only as many policies claim you must accept the generic if it’s available.

As there are multiple options, refer to our chart below for the average cost without any type of insurance coverage:

Concerta or Generic?TypeDosageAverage Reported Price (without insurance)
Generic (Methylphenidate)Oral Capsule, Extended Release10 mg/24 hr$125 per 30
Generic (Methylphenidate)Oral Capsule, Extended Release20 mg/24 hr$350 per 100
Generic (Methylphenidate)Oral Capsule, Extended Release30 mg/24 hr$125 per 30
Generic (Methylphenidate)Oral Capsule, Extended Release40 mg/24 hr$375 per 100
Generic (Methylphenidate)Oral Capsule, Extended Release50 mg/24 hr$665 per 100
Generic (Methylphenidate)Oral Capsule, Extended Release60 mg/24 hr$265 per 30

Generic (Methylphenidate)Oral Solution5 mg/ 5 mL$325
Generic (Methylphenidate)Oral Solution10 mg/ 5 mL$450

Generic (Methylphenidate)Oral Tablet5 mg$25 per 30
Generic (Methylphenidate)Oral Tablet10 mg$70 per 100
Generic (Methylphenidate)Oral Tablet20 mg$30 per 30

Generic (Methylphenidate)Oral Tablet, Chewable2.5 mg$225 per 100
Generic (Methylphenidate)Oral Tablet, Chewable5 mg$325 per 100
Generic (Methylphenidate)Oral Tablet, Chewable10 mg$450 per 100

Generic (Methylphenidate)Oral Tablet, Extended Release10 mg/ 8 hr$325 per 60
Generic (Methylphenidate)Oral Tablet, Extended Release18 mg/ 24 hr$445 per 100
Generic (Methylphenidate)Oral Tablet, Extended Release20 mg/ 8 hr$185 per 100
Generic (Methylphenidate)Oral Tablet, Extended Release27 mg/ 24 hr$175 per 30
Generic (Methylphenidate)Oral Tablet, Extended Release36 mg/ 24 hr$160 per 30
Generic (Methylphenidate)Oral Tablet, Extended Release54 mg/ 24 hr$200 per 30
Generic (Methylphenidate)Oral Tablet, Extended Release72 mg/ 24 hr$1,650 per 100

ConcertaOral Tablet, Extended Release18 mg/ 24 hr$1,150 per 100
ConcertaOral Tablet, Extended Release27 mg/ 24 hr$1,175 per 100
ConcertaOral Tablet, Extended Release36 mg/ 24 hr$1,225 per 100
ConcertaOral Tablet, Extended Release54 mg/ 24 hr$1,350 per 100

NOTE: These prices are accurate at the time of this publishing and can greatly vary depending upon the factors mentioned above.  Use this as a reference point only.

How to save on Concerta

Prescription assistance:  The official manufacturer of the drug offers a prescription assistance program for those who meet certain eligibility requirements, regardless of if you have health insurance or not.  To see if you qualify, visit the company’s official website for more information.

Savings cards:, for example, and other prescription coupon-based websites allow you to print savings cards directly from their website for free.  All you need to do is search for the prescription drug you need, the pharmacy you want to use and the type of dosage/quantity you need.  With this information, print the free coupon and present it at your pharmacy as you would with your health insurance card.  This savings card cannot work in conjunction with your health insurance, so if you find the savings card is cheaper than your health insurance, it would be better using this option instead.

Private insurance:  If you have a health insurance policy, check with both your health insurance policy and pharmacy to see what you would be responsible for as most policies do cover the medication.

Drug overview

As noted in the table above, Concerta is only available as an extended-release tablet, meaning the capsule will slowly release a certain amount of medication throughout your body for the duration of the day, and in most cases, your doctor will ask you to take one dose per day to help manage your symptoms.  According to, the standard dosage starts at 10 to 20 milligrams per day, but this dosage greatly depends upon various factors, including your age, how well you respond to the drug and if you have any underlying health issues.

The medication can be taken either with or without food and needs to be swallowed whole with a full glass of water unless specified.  As with any prescription drug, always follow your dosage chart as per your doctor; never take less, too much or stop taking it without your doctor’s permission.

Concerta side effects

Common side effects for Concerta, according to the FDA, include headaches, dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, irritability and/or excessive sweating.  More serious side effects, which require immediate medical attention, can include chest pains, a shortness of breath, numb body parts, fainting, violent thoughts, hallucinations and/or slowed growth found in children.  This is not a full list of side effects, and as always, talk with a medical professional immediately if you experience any side effects while taking the drug.

Tips to know

At the time of this publishing, three companies make the generic for Concerta:  Trigen Laboratories, Mylan and Impax Laboratories.

To know, for certain, you have the branded Concerta brand capsule, it will have the words “alza” on it, as seen here.

What’s the difference between Concerta and Adderall? and both created an in-depth article explaining the key differences.

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