View Full Version : Adderall and benzos - questions and concerns?


yevonite
09-15-11, 01:10 AM
First off, hello, and I know this has been discussed before, but please hear me out for I have my own unique problems being an individual.

My name is Ryan and I am currently 22. I have been diagnosed with ADD for two years now. I got a script for Adderall around March of 2009 and stuck with it for about a year. I stopped taking classes at this time (summer 2010) so I stopped asking my doc for the prescription.

I took a class in the summer of 2011 and did terribly (without medication), so now that I started taking classes again this fall, I asked my doc for the prescription and he had no problem giving it to me once again (wrote me triplicates in fact).

Adderall works wonders for me. I wouldn't take it if it didn't, no mystery there. My prescription directs me to take one 20mg IR at morning and another 10mg IR in the afternoon everyday. However, I have talked to my doctor about this and he understands that tolerance can build and I can adjust my dose accordingly. He told me not to exceed 90mg per day, and to of course come see him if I permanently need a higher dose. Also, I told him I don't like or need to take it everyday, and he also said that was fine. He said I know my body better than anyone else, so I should just take as needed. He was very understanding, while still giving me legitimate medical information, not just throwing medicine down my throat (like my old psychiatrist used to do).

Getting to the main point now, the one problem I have with Adderall is that sometimes (consistently, but not always) I get a comedown which consists of 1) anxiousness, and 2) inability to sleep.

When the comedown occurs, the anxiousness can be pretty awful, to varying degrees. It can be mild, just like a hard to sit still and wait type of thing, or it can be terribly awful where I just cannot relax, sit still, have racing thoughts, on the virge of panic even.

The insomnia is just as bad. If I don't sleep, I don't take adderall the next day, which can affect my school work, and I also obviously suffer from sleep deprivation. It is not fun at all.

I'm pretty sure whether or not I get a comedown has everything to do with other substances I put into my body that day. Foods and drinks definitely change how adderall effects me. Unfortunately, I only know how a few things work with adderall. Like orange juice and grapefruit juice make it hit harder but last shorter. Milk, other basic foods, and green vegetables, seem to make it stay in my system longer.

OKAY, so here is the thought I've come to, and the point of this thread. I've been talking to friends and classmates who take either Adderall, Vyvanse, or Ritalin for ADD or ADHD and also take benzos.

Example, a classmate of mine takes adderall IR and XR, and then at the end of the day he takes a 2mg Xanax as needed. He says this totally eliminates the comedown, and usually just puts him to bed and wakes up feeling completely normal in the morning.

Another friend of mine takes Adderall IR everyday and is also prescribed to take klonopin every day at night to ease the anxiety and help sleep.

I'm not stupid, I know what benzos are, I've taken valium and klonopin before (my grandma had been prescribed them but never used them, I tried only a couple for my comedowns the first time around I was prescribed adderall. worked like a charm).
I know they are drugs of abuse but honestly I am not one to abuse drugs, I got that experimentation out of my way in highschool. I know people who abuse adderall too, but I hate the feeling of too much adderall.

So I want to bring this up with a doctor, I would like script for a benzo at night to take when needed if I have anxiety or insomnia. Does anyone have any recommendations as far as benzos go? I have tried other things to help me sleep but benzos are just the only surefire way to negate the end effects of adderall.

My doctor is very understanding, he will listen to me and if I make a suggestion he will likely give it to me. I was thinking either klonopin or xanax. Klonopin has a longer half life, so I'm worried about feeling it in the morning, but xanax is more powerful and doesn't last very long. What would you recommend, for those of you who are prescribed amphetamines and benzos?

Thank you.

sarahsweets
09-15-11, 05:37 AM
I really feel your safest bet is to thoroughly monitor your dose. Most often a harsh crash is because of to much pns stimulation from adderall. If you have a small milder crash from say 40mg but at huge one at 90 then its a dose issue. I'm not anti benzo just really cautious. Adding a benzo can be really helpful but the problem always comes back to tolerance just like adderall. I'm not saying addiction just dependence. You can become defendant on say xanax for your crashes and then there may come a time when your crashes are more frequent and you need the xanax more often. Eventually you will need more xanax. 90 mg of adderall is a lot. I'm not saying that its not good just that its a large dose. I personally would consider some other lifestyle changes and dose adjustments before a benzo. No one tries to abuse or become addicted to xanax but it can sneak up on you.

yevonite
09-15-11, 04:50 PM
Thank you for your response.

I should have been more specific - my doctor said not to exceed 90mg in a day but I have never reached that amount and rarely exceed 40mg a day. I am very meticulous about my dosing, and as I am very familiar with the effects of Adderall, it is easy for me to adjust my dose according to its varying effectiveness (the effectiveness does waver for me, from day to day, and this is unrelated to tolerance). I also rarely take more than 10mg at once and at most I take 20 mg at once, then wait four hours or more for my next dose.

I definitely appreciate your concern. I know benzos, Xanax especially, have dangerous addiction and lethal potential. I personally know someone who died from mixing Xanax and Alcohol.

But the reason I have come to the decision to pursue benzos as a medication is that I feel they are the only medication that work for these unwanted amphetamine side effects, especially since I am already a high anxiety person by nature. I have tried nearly every medication, supplement, and remedy to help insomnia, but none of them have worked for Adderall induced insomnia except for benzos. To name a few I have tried Rozerum, Melatonin, Trazadone, Ambien (works but makes me sick every time the morning after), and many more. My psychiatrist also tried many medications on me for anxiety such as Lyrica, Gabapentin, Lamictal, and additional antipsychotics and antideppressants. I stopped seeing her because she was treating me like a guinea pig. She had me go through at least 10 different medications in the course of 2 months and didn't believe me when I told her none of them were having a helpful effect.

Anyhow, I just want to have them on hand in case I need them, as a last resort. Like I said, I don't always have negative effects from adderall, just occasionally. I feel like I have the privilege to be anxiety free, calm, and able to sleep well on these occasions as a person diagnosed with ADD and general anxiety disorder.

ChronicADD
09-17-11, 06:38 PM
Have you tried Unisom? Its an OTC used to help people go to sleep. It is basically Benadryl with a different brand name.

As a person with ADHD and GAD, I know how you feel. I would definitely try diphenhydramine(sp?) if you haven't already.

SweetCode
09-18-11, 01:31 AM
I really don't like benzos , tried Xanax once and I was kind of high on the next day... I was feeling like a bomb could explode next to me that I wouldn't care... Tried klonopin recently and had no effect other than not wanting to get off the couch...

The only thing that really knocks me out is Dramamine (Dimenhydrinate) , I take 100mg then in 40 min I ready to go sleep.

sarahsweets
09-18-11, 08:35 AM
I can't tolerate that specific chemical in benedryl but unisom contains a different antihistamine called doxylamine succinate which works well for me.

danpan
10-14-11, 12:23 PM
I would avoid benzos if I were you.

In my personal experience, the side effects always outweigh the benefits in the long term. Whether I take them once a day, or three times a day as my doctor has prescribed now, they start to affect my memory and alertness round-the-clock. Nothing too severe, mind you, but my memories wind up feeling a bit... fuzzy... somewhere between a real memory and a dream. The practical consequence of which is that I could have a really awesome day, or go on a fantastic vacation, and then a week later, my memory of it lacks a certain substance. To this day I cannot think back to some of the really fun stuff I did while on it and experience any kind of nostalgia or good feelings. It just... happened.

This time around, I'm also on Adderall. And I can tell from altering my Ativan dose that it's making the Adderall less effective. Specifically, it's limiting the feeling of clarity and motivation the medication would normally give me, leaving me with some of the brain fog that Adderall should be clearing up. My memory is also worse on Adderall + Ativan than it was when I was just my normal ADHD self. Something to keep in mind.

So again, I would recommend against the benzos, unless you absolutely need them. Personally, I will be asking my doctor to taper me off of them at my next appointment.

JJBP92
10-21-11, 06:38 PM
I can only answer from my personal experience. I had the similar issues you described and a very empathetic psychiatrist and he had a more open mind about dosing and patience respect.

To back track he was the doctor that allow me and my body decide what dose worked not the FDA some 5,000 page prescription guide out of volume that fills a room. He learned about to treat symptoms of ADHD based on how they effected my life and caused the most grief and I lacked most of the guilt of using medications that I normally have. He wrote the prescription for Adderall with the intent of having a month's supply or triplicating prescriptions which I feel is wrong and just a prescription benefit coverage provider Medco, CVC Care-mark etc.

Any way I started taking adderall 5mg IR 2x a day. Dr. was real and said you will know if works the first time you take : either feel "normal or a little bit more normal since we were finding the right dose or you'll feel you are about to lose your mind. Learned early on 2 dosages did not last long enough. Went to 30mg a day started with 10mg 3xs a day that was not a demand or verbatim. He said only I would know if that would work and we would try to fix what didn't since i responded well. At first though I was a nervous insomniac reck. 5mg made me want to vomit and I sweated enough to fill a bathtub every 10 minutes.

He would write a prescription when I ran out I would give him a call personally. He'd make the appointment usually that day or next. Saw him every 2-3 weeks. He knew somedays I took 30mg 3xs a day others such as the day I had my class 20mg about a half an hour before the class followed by 20mg spilit however needed.

My point if somebody is still reading by now. Eventually I learned I could take 30 to 40mg of adderall ir never took XR he told me many doctor prescribe XR because they are afraid of what their patients do. He believe me to be smart and allowed me to tailor the dose to the task before me.

Closing point, for me when i took the 30-40mg dose it was as if I took a different medication. Aneixty gone. No jitters. The come down like a feather floating down.

I researched took classes worked toward a degree. I learned why that was so. It takes longer for the body to fully reach peak plasma levels at higher doses so the build up is slower than the smaller doses. Logically as well it takes long for the body to eliminate the CNS stimulating properties from the brain. So by the time much of the dose was leaving the brain. The Adderall ir was taking it's observed and documented second plasma rise lower, that initial but note worthily present. Lighting the come down if done appropriately.

Point blank. Eat with it. Avoid vitamin C. Eat. Eat protein. Eat often and light every 2 hours if possible something even small. Eating well and consistent stopped my anxiety associated with the med. I took clonazapem (Klonipin) did work until 1mg sometimes 2mg was needed. Not because of getting tolerance. Never did anything until those doses. I don't take it daily I do in context and use it learn what to do in situations that are too uncomfortable then go without it and not realize a problem ever existed. It has been 6 months have not noticed in the least bit it lessening adderall or the klonopin losing its efficiency.

AddYourAll
09-22-12, 01:41 AM
Thank you for your response.

I should have been more specific - my doctor said not to exceed 90mg in a day but I have never reached that amount and rarely exceed 40mg a day. I am very meticulous about my dosing, and as I am very familiar with the effects of Adderall, it is easy for me to adjust my dose according to its varying effectiveness (the effectiveness does waver for me, from day to day, and this is unrelated to tolerance). I also rarely take more than 10mg at once and at most I take 20 mg at once, then wait four hours or more for my next dose.

I definitely appreciate your concern. I know benzos, Xanax especially, have dangerous addiction and lethal potential. I personally know someone who died from mixing Xanax and Alcohol.

But the reason I have come to the decision to pursue benzos as a medication is that I feel they are the only medication that work for these unwanted amphetamine side effects, especially since I am already a high anxiety person by nature. I have tried nearly every medication, supplement, and remedy to help insomnia, but none of them have worked for Adderall induced insomnia except for benzos. To name a few I have tried Rozerum, Melatonin, Trazadone, Ambien (works but makes me sick every time the morning after), and many more. My psychiatrist also tried many medications on me for anxiety such as Lyrica, Gabapentin, Lamictal, and additional antipsychotics and antideppressants. I stopped seeing her because she was treating me like a guinea pig. She had me go through at least 10 different medications in the course of 2 months and didn't believe me when I told her none of them were having a helpful effect.

Anyhow, I just want to have them on hand in case I need them, as a last resort. Like I said, I don't always have negative effects from adderall, just occasionally. I feel like I have the privilege to be anxiety free, calm, and able to sleep well on these occasions as a person diagnosed with ADD and general anxiety disorder.

of course you have the right, not privilege to be anxiety free. I don't know how bad your anxiety is on a continuum 1-10 ; 10 being an anxiety attack requiring medical attention. I have mild PTSD, NOW. Before I went to cognitive behavior therapy, I had moderate anxiety everyday. This was a process of finding the right shrink after 12 or so.. they key is to identify where or whats causing anxiety, and that is where a good shrink can help or psychologist (as long as the shrink and psych are close because without the bond a psychologist is useless when RXing )

I'm almost twice your age and I remember many shrinks would not write benzos. They assume you're a kid that want's xanax "totem poles" (I actually had my 1st shrink at 18 refer to poles and footballs as xanax 1mg and 2mg. Lol
Because of the stigma back then, he would RX two footballs 2 times/daily instead of half the number of pills in a stronger dose.anyway...

benzos are extremely difficult to get off - I don't know enough about you to advise, but generally speaking shrinks rxing young patients new to benzos is like opening pandoras box. clonopin is a good drug with a moderate half-life. xanax can be insidious with rebound anxiety, and tolerance develops quick. I take 70 mg vyvance and 60 mg of dexedrine spansules. 70 mg vyvance-is equal to about 30mg dex ER so my dose is considered high. I've always taken clonidine too. great drug .I take the patch .2 trans delivery/day(mylan generic)
I have always has anxiety and now take 2mg xanax at night and 1mg as needed. restoril is for occasional use. I haven't had to take one in three weeks.

Be careful and listen to your Dr. Ask what he thinks of clonodine for anxiety? children commonly take it for insomnia or adhd.It took me along time to ween down from 12mg klonopin at 22yrs old. Then I spent 3 yrs off benzos and tried every other thing under the sun. Don't start with benzos if u dont have to. First, identify the cause of the anxiety and do a scientific approach as to why you can't sleep on only some days of the adderall Best of luck and this is just my experience from my life. I'm not your Dr.

AddYourAll
09-22-12, 02:07 AM
maybe u need to change generic? many describe corepharma generic amphetamine salts as jittery, added anxiety than normal; everyone is different and lastly have u tried dexedrine? no levo? u need to find a correct dosing schedule. some take med holidays, but it seems counterproductive to me. Lastly, we are talking neurotransmitter's here-something to keep in mind

LaMbaL
09-22-12, 05:49 AM
I suffered from anxiety and borderline panic-attacks last year after trying out ritalin for a while, which made me decide that methylphenidate wasnt right for me. At this point I asked my pdoc about trying out other medications, and eventually we settled on Wellbutrin. It worked great in stabilizing and improving my mood, it calmed me down and made me feel 'in control', not just emotion-wise but also with respect to everyday life.

After having been on Wellbutrin for about half a year, I decided that although I much liked its effects, it didnt do much for me with respect to the classic ADD-I symptoms: concentration, focus and low energy. I went back to my pdoc and asked to try out the Concerta (which he had offered me earlier already, but I declined because of my earlier experience with methylphenidate) alongside the Wellbutrin. It worked - and still works - great, and even though im not completely sure about the ideal dose yet, I feel that together they effectively treat most of my symptoms, and finally put me in a spot where I can actually take charge of my life rather than just drift along.

Point being, Wellbutrin worked for me both in itself, and to mitigate the negative side-effects I experienced from Methylphenidate. Im not sure how this translates to Adderall, but it might be worth checking out.

Rajon9Rond
08-15-13, 03:33 PM
Melatonin always helps me sleep if im comming off adderall