I finally had the delivery system of Concerta fully explained to me. It is amazing! Hooray technology! Here’s how it works: What looks like a normal capsule isn’t. There is a layer on the outside that is essentially a powdered coating of immediate release Methylphenidate. That is absorbed immediately by the body and brings our blood level up to a therapeutic level. What remains is a membrane that allows gastric juices (a.k.a.) liquid to seep in to the pill at a specific rate. Inside the pill, a sophisticated polymer expands at a controlled rate when it is exposed to the controlled amount of liquid. It, in turn, pushes the active ingredient (more powdered Methylphenidate) out through a laser drilled hole at the end of the capsule. For many of us this provides an extremely gentle, long lasting effect.
It also makes it much harder to abuse. I was told that if you smashed it, it would just goo-up because of the polymer. I didn’t want to waste one, but accidentally dropped one in a puddle yesterday. So, I figured I’d hit is with a meat mallet and see what happened. Didn’t goo-up, but pretty cool picture. You can pretty much see all the parts.
One other interesting thing is that not all the med has time to be pushed out before it goes through you. That is why Concerta is dosed in weird multiples of 9. Some of it goes right through you… along with the barrel shaped capsule.
Here’s a link if you want more info: FDA Concerta Info