View Full Version : ADHD Medication Help Needed-


BearsFan12
09-13-11, 02:42 PM
I have discovered that these forums can be a very effective way to get honest and valuable information from others who actually suffer through the same thing that I do each and every day.

I was medically separated from the Air Force in 2007 with a Bi-Polar II and ADHD diagnosis which was determined to be service-connected. I have tried numerous medications over the years and I thought that I had found a suitable combination until just recently. I was put on Adderall and Prozac. I take 40mg per day of Prozac which I use to offset some of my mood swings, help with a little anxiety, and stabilize my impulses. The Adderall was to help me increase my attention and focus, help me become more organized at work and elevate my mood (which it did for a while.) I started out by taking 15mg (once daily) of generic Adderall (peach round pill) because I don't have insurance that covers Adderall for adults over 18. It was a very nice combination for the first few weeks, then I felt less and less of an effect from the Adderall. Accordingly I had my dosage increased to 20mg once daily. I truly didn't notice a difference. I am now at 30mg (double what I started with back in July 2011) and I am concerned that I have now developed a tolerance. My phychiatrist insists that I can't develop a tolerance but that is a bunch of BS in my opinion. I am very health conscience. I exercise 6 days a week, eat very healthy and want to take care of my heart, but also improve the quality of my life; and I know that there is a trade-off to acheive that balance which I have accepted. I have had blood work done and an EKG performed and eveything came back great. I hadn't suffered from some of the marque side effects of Adderall until just recently. The initial "take off" feeling you get when it first kicks into gear only lasts about an hour now and then wears off. I feel exhausted all the time now, and even when I am on the Adderall I sometimes feel drained. I sleep enough, stay hydrated, eat healthy and don't live a stressful lifestyle so I really can't explain it. In order to get the best advise, here is a bit about me:

I am 27, I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't do drugs.

I am 6'2" 180 lbs

Overall very good health

So the quesions that I have for all of you knowledgable and experienced members of the ADD Forums:

1. Would I benefit from the generic Adderall XR if I can get it?
2. Would Dexedrine, Vyvanse or other be a better fit for someone like me?
3. Should I be worried about the continuous increase in required dosage to maintain beneficial effects of the generic Adderall (i.e. for my size am I still at a reasonable dosage level)?

The most debilitating symptoms I am trying to overcome with my Bi-Polar II and ADHD are:

- Poor attention span (lack of attention to detail)
- Inability to focus
- Severe and explosive mood swings (don't want my kids to see their daddy acting like a 8 year old that got put in a timeout.)
- Moderate Fatigue/ Sleepiness
- Impulsiveness (spending money/ not able to rationalize or put things in perspective.)

I know that was a lot, but I know that there are many out there who are in a position similar to mine who have found a successful treatment plan to manage their symptoms. Please advise and thank you in advance for any advise you can offer!

Psychomaze
09-18-11, 11:14 PM
My phychiatrist insists that I can't develop a tolerance but that is a bunch of BS in my opinion.You are absolutely correct in your assumption. According to the Controlled Substances Act (http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/21usc/812.htm), Adderall (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adderall) is a schedule II controlled substance. Yes, you can and will build up a tolerance through extended use. (the link is strait to the relevant section within the act)1. Would I benefit from the generic Adderall XR if I can get it?
2. Would Dexedrine, Vyvanse or other be a better fit for someone like me?
3. Should I be worried about the continuous increase in required dosage to maintain beneficial effects of the generic Adderall (i.e. for my size am I still at a reasonable dosage level)?I am sorry, but I am not a certified professional to give you advice on that, but if you ever wanted to know what "XR" stands for, it means "extended release" and "IR" means "instant release"

The types medications that are the most effective for bipolar are anticonvulsants, mood stabilizers, and lithium. If you are taking something else for a condition that you have not been diagnosed with (ex. antidepressants if you are not diagnosed with depression), then you may want to ask a few questions. I'm a bit bothered about why your doctor would say that Adderall isn't habit forming, so I'm throwing in my vote for "something seems fishy here".The most debilitating symptoms I am trying to overcome with my Bi-Polar II and ADHD are:
- Poor attention span (lack of attention to detail)
- Inability to focus
- Severe and explosive mood swings (don't want my kids to see their daddy acting like a 8 year old that got put in a timeout.)
- Moderate Fatigue/ Sleepiness
- Impulsiveness (spending money/ not able to rationalize or put things in perspective.)

I know that was a lot, but I know that there are many out there who are in a position similar to mine who have found a successful treatment plan to manage their symptoms. Please advise and thank you in advance for any advise you can offer!As for fatigue, try vitamin B12 shots (make an appointment with your primary care physician) or as a cheaper alternative, try something that's called B12 Sublinqual Liquid (just go to any grocery store, walmart, or pharmacy and its under vitamin supplements - you will have better luck asking for someone to help you to find it) I actually got diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for that but this is my way of working with/around it.

There is also another form of therapy that may help that does not involve prescriptions that could help supplement your treatment plan. It's called Cognitive Therapy. Basically, you are taught how to change your habits and behaviors as a means to put a curb on the impulsive spending - this includes self-education to know when you are about to hit a phase so that you can prepare yourself to buckle down and wait it out (I think of it as "damage control" and it's saved my butt many times)

So to recap, you can develop a tolerance to Adderall, I am not qualified to recommend which medications would work, but the types of medications typically used for bipolar (types I and II) are anticonvulsants, mood stabilizers, and lithium - ask your Dr. some questions, consider taking B12 shots or sublinqual liquid (but not both at the same time), consider looking into cognitive therapy, and (most importantly) learn more about bipolar as in learn to identify your symptoms so that you can adapt as needed.

Oh, and one more thing: There is no such thing as a "magic pill"

I hope that this helps - I've been dealing with rapid cycling bipolar for almost 10 years now (... or was it longer? meh, who cares?)

Maverick420
10-26-11, 12:24 AM
Hello!

I do have ADD with Bipolar I disorders. I have some experience on my own with stimulants, mainly Methylphenidat but also Amphetamine. What I can see in bipolar ADHD friends is, that people with Bipolar-ADHD may need higher doses of stimulants. The bipolar disorder seems to be a factor here. It also depends on what other medication you take. Antipsychotics for example really can kill the effects of the stimulants. Best way to go seems to take one of the classic mood stabalizers. Evidence suggests Lithium here. My opinion: a working mood stabalizer is much better then taking SSRi. Maybe you are balancing mood swings with the stimulans. You can switch to Methylphenidat and later go back to Amphetamin. I am swichting from Methylphenidat to Dexamphetamine and hope that this works better now. Was on 120 mg Methylphenidat/day.

Good Luck!

selita
10-26-11, 12:48 AM
I hadn't suffered from some of the marque side effects of Adderall until just recently. The initial "take off" feeling you get when it first kicks into gear only lasts about an hour now and then wears off. I feel exhausted all the time now, and even when I am on the Adderall I sometimes feel drained. I sleep enough, stay hydrated, eat healthy and don't live a stressful lifestyle so I really can't explain it. In order to get the best advise, here is a bit about me:

This is not a sign of tolerance. It's actually a sign that your dose is too high.

What happens when it's too high is your sleep becomes shallow. You still sleep, maybe just as long or longer than before. But you get less deep sleep, and less REM sleep. Adderall doesn't work properly without sufficient deep sleep. It just props you up.

Something like pulling an all-nighter and then drinking a whole lot of coffee.

I went through the same thing when I first moved from 10mg to 20mg a day. But, I recognized it right away (I've slept badly many times) and cut back. I still take 10mg a day now, almost 2 years later.

There are other minor differences between Adderall XR (extended release) and IR (instant release), but basically XR is just two IR doses a few hours apart. If you cut a tablet in half, take half when you wake up, and half 4-5 hours later, it's very similar.

Normally you don't take one IR dose a day. You'd take 1 XR dose a day or 2 IR doses half the size of the XR. (Or maybe 3 IR doses.)

Consider going off it entirely for a few days and see how you feel. You'll be really tired for a bit but recover quickly. After that, try a low dose twice a day. Split the pills if you have to.

mokeone11
09-29-12, 02:33 AM
Thank you or serving in our armed forces firs of all. I think if you keep doing what you are doing well you know. What will you get? Vyvance is a highly recommended medicine by various doctors and myself. I used. Take adderall
And it brought more harm than good. I got off of it altogether and 4 months later got on vyvance. It's reaction such as effect of medication is very different. Adderall is salts to make up a dextroamphetamine. Vyvance is basically pure dextro amphetamine, but it relaxes you. It calms you down and brings you more present. I is not all glittery like adderall. You do not get the speedy type of feeling. And they do no wear off or 12-14 hours. It will make you awake but not hyper. It helps those with severe anxiety. It has low potential for abuse. As you being in the armed forces I give the best data from personal and other viewpoints. I see where you are headed if you continue the adderall. Extended release will only last 6 hours or less from experience. Vyvance cannot be overdosed as in euphoria or speedy feeling. It gives energy in a differ way. Talk to your doctor about it, and try a dose of 60-70Mg. Those are two of the highest doses, but you have a tolerance for adderall so that dose is logical and experience of vyvance and adderall a recommendation.
I have discovered that these forums can be a very effective way to get honest and valuable information from others who actually suffer through the same thing that I do each and every day.

I was medically separated from the Air Force in 2007 with a Bi-Polar II and ADHD diagnosis which was determined to be service-connected. I have tried numerous medications over the years and I thought that I had found a suitable combination until just recently. I was put on Adderall and Prozac. I take 40mg per day of Prozac which I use to offset some of my mood swings, help with a little anxiety, and stabilize my impulses. The Adderall was to help me increase my attention and focus, help me become more organized at work and elevate my mood (which it did for a while.) I started out by taking 15mg (once daily) of generic Adderall (peach round pill) because I don't have insurance that covers Adderall for adults over 18. It was a very nice combination for the first few weeks, then I felt less and less of an effect from the Adderall. Accordingly I had my dosage increased to 20mg once daily. I truly didn't notice a difference. I am now at 30mg (double what I started with back in July 2011) and I am concerned that I have now developed a tolerance. My phychiatrist insists that I can't develop a tolerance but that is a bunch of BS in my opinion. I am very health conscience. I exercise 6 days a week, eat very healthy and want to take care of my heart, but also improve the quality of my life; and I know that there is a trade-off to acheive that balance which I have accepted. I have had blood work done and an EKG performed and eveything came back great. I hadn't suffered from some of the marque side effects of Adderall until just recently. The initial "take off" feeling you get when it first kicks into gear only lasts about an hour now and then wears off. I feel exhausted all the time now, and even when I am on the Adderall I sometimes feel drained. I sleep enough, stay hydrated, eat healthy and don't live a stressful lifestyle so I really can't explain it. In order to get the best advise, here is a bit about me:

I am 27, I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't do drugs.

I am 6'2" 180 lbs

Overall very good health

So the quesions that I have for all of you knowledgable and experienced members of the ADD Forums:

1. Would I benefit from the generic Adderall XR if I can get it?
2. Would Dexedrine, Vyvanse or other be a better fit for someone like me?
3. Should I be worried about the continuous increase in required dosage to maintain beneficial effects of the generic Adderall (i.e. for my size am I still at a reasonable dosage level)?

The most debilitating symptoms I am trying to overcome with my Bi-Polar II and ADHD are:

- Poor attention span (lack of attention to detail)
- Inability to focus
- Severe and explosive mood swings (don't want my kids to see their daddy acting like a 8 year old that got put in a timeout.)
- Moderate Fatigue/ Sleepiness
- Impulsiveness (spending money/ not able to rationalize or put things in perspective.)

I know that was a lot, but I know that there are many out there who are in a position similar to mine who have found a successful treatment plan to manage their symptoms. Please advise and thank you in advance for any advise you can offer!

sarahsweets
09-30-12, 06:26 AM
One thing to remember is with the exception of a new generic that starts with an "a"( which I have no experience with) all other generic adderall xr is manufactured by shire, the brand name.

PQLICE
02-02-13, 11:31 PM
Doesn't seem like your on much of a mood stabilizer for servere mood swings. What works for me is Depakote it's an anticonvulsant (anti-seizure) medication used as a mood stabilizer in the treatment of bipolar disorder. Generic names are epival, divalproex sodium, sodium valproate and valproic acid. Takes away impulsive burning sensation in my brain and anxiety.

Bipolars usually need less stimulants, because bipolars are sensitive to drugs which may cause rapid cycling and mixed states.

1. Would I benefit from the generic Adderall XR if I can get it?

Yes. There isn't a generic brand of Adderall XR, said my pharmacist 2 days ago. I stay away from generics drugs purposefully.

2. Would Dexedrine, Vyvanse or other be a better fit for someone like me?
Sure. From other users experiences: Dex>Adderall>methylphenidate in strength and better come downs.

3. Should I be worried about the continuous increase in required dosage to maintain beneficial effects of the generic Adderall (i.e. for my size am I still at a reasonable dosage level)? Yes your dosage is about right. Users range from 15-30mg Adderall XR. Once at a therapeutic dose, it should be increased by 5mg every 2-6 months.

ms1025
02-04-13, 05:43 AM
What works for one person may be a horrible experience for other trying s. Treating with medication is not down to an exact science. I have been on almost all mood stabilizers/anti depressants together or alone. For me it took me and my P doc experimenting with different meds for 5 years until I found the right ones for myself. I found for bi polar lamictal was a godsend. Being a combination mood stabilizer/anti depressant. I went from 6 meds daily to one.
As for adhd I first tried strattera at 16 years old. Did nothing for my adhd and made me feel suicidal. I was off add meds for 13 years until 6 months ago trying ritalin first, then adderall XR, now Dexedrine IR and Dexedrine SR. Ritalin did absolutly nothing. Adderall worked great but the side effects were horrible. Once it wore off I had horrible mood swings that took a toll on my marriage and felt extremely fatigued. Then dex Sr and IR daily and I am so glad I switched. Adderall is a combo dex/amphetamine salts and dex is 100% dextroamphetamine. Main difference is they work different ways on the brain. Most ADHD prefer one over the other so every person is different. Unfortunatly we just have to try different meds but you'll be amazed when you get the right combo. Amphetamines can be very addicting but at theraputic doses I would not be concerned. The increase in dosage is part of treatment. Start low and slowly titrate up until you and your doc find the right dosage. Some need more or less. Just be careful not to dose more than prescribed and you'll be ok. Hope this helped and I understand and feel for you with the medication. But it pays off in the end