View Full Version : Ritalin works, Strattera works, but not Concerta, anyone?


Nonzens
08-22-13, 04:46 PM
Wondering if anyone has tried these three drugs and found that Ritalin worked, Strattera worked, but not Concerta? I have tried Ritalin, which worked very well, Concerta did not work at all, and now my psychiatrist wants to have me try Strattera. I initially objected to this because it sounded like just an even longer-acting methylphenidate, so if only the short-acting has worked so far, why would this work? With Concerta I seemed to develop tolerance very quickly, which I didn't with Ritalin. I think the way it's released evenly all day causes my brain to grow accustomed to it immediately.

My psych won't prescribe me Ritalin because she doesn't believe in it, but prescribed me Ritalin-LA. I decided that if my Ritalin-LA prescription doesn't work out due to insurance coverage, I will try Strattera. But is there any evidence to suggest whether Strattera would work for me based on experiences with previous drugs? I have to wait 2 weeks to find out once I start it, and I do not have time nor patience right now. I've already wasted nearly a year experimenting with drugs after Ritalin thanks to this psych.

ana futura
08-22-13, 08:53 PM
Your doctor sucks. Get a new one.

redpanda
08-23-13, 08:27 PM
Strattera is a completely different medicine from both Concerta and Ritalin. Concerta and Ritalin are both stimulants. Strattera is a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. Chemically, I think Strattera is more similar to an antidepressant than it is to Ritalin or Concerta, except that Strattera increases the levels of norepinephrine and dopamine in your brain, while antidepressants usually increase the levels of serotonin.

I know you don't want to wait a long time, but if you decide to try Strattera, you will probably be waiting more than two weeks to find out if it works. Most adults need a dosage between 40 and 100 mg/day to see results, but a lot of people have very bad side effects if they start at 40 mg. You should start at 10 or 18 mg/day and take that for a week or so, then go up to the next highest dosage, which is 25 mg/day, and take that for a week or so. Then you can start 40 mg/day, and you will need to take that for 3-4 weeks to see if that dosage works. If it doesn't work, you can increase to 60 mg/day and wait another 3-4 weeks. If that dosage doesn't work, you can try 80 mg/day and then 100 mg/day, waiting 3-4 weeks each time you increase.

I started this process 4 months ago, and I still haven't found a dosage that works. I just started 100 mg/day, and I am hoping that this will work. The two reasons I was motivated to stick with Strattera this long were that 1) I don't have an ADHD diagnosis, so I am not sure that my doctor would even give me stimulants, and 2) I am about to move from the US to a different country, where Adderall is illegal and Ritalin is very difficult to find, but Strattera can be mail ordered, so for me, it was pretty much Strattera or nothing.

Fraser_0762
08-23-13, 09:14 PM
Strattera isn't a stimulant, it's an anti depressant that is most commonly used to treat hyperactivity.

Concerta is the extended release version of Ritalin. It seems odd that she would prescribe Concerta or Ritalin LA, but not just Ritalin.

I would switch doctors and get put back on what actually worked for you. A working formula should never be altered.

Nonzens
08-24-13, 11:25 AM
RedPanda (nice name), hmm... if you are basing most of what you said on your experiences, I don't see how I should be convinced by much of what you say about Strattera seeing as you've never found Strattera useful whether at a low or high dose. My psych keeps saying that if a low dose doesn't work for me, maybe we just need to increase it. I just don't think this is true for me. She tried that with Concerta to no avail, and Adderall to no avail. I'm not just going to keep increasing the dosage because that just leads to tolerance, dependence, addiction. I felt like an addict on those drugs, which I did not feel when I was on Ritalin.

Honestly, I have doubts that Strattera is ever going to work for you, especially if 100mg doesn't work. Why put myself through a 4 month process on a drug that may not even work, particularly when I already know of one that will?

It's good to know that it takes 3-4 weeks, though. That sucks!!

"Concerta and Ritalin are both stimulants. Strattera is a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor." -redpanda
"methylphenidate's most obvious behavioral effects have largely been attributed to norepinephrine reuptake inhibition" -wikipedia
They're a little different, but they're also pretty similar from the sound of it. I'm not sure why Strattera isn't considered a stimulant since it works by a similar function as the stimulants. Like, Wellbutrin isn't considered a stimulant, but it also works by a similar function and according to Wikipedia is a "mild psychostimulant."

Strattera is a completely different medicine from both Concerta and Ritalin. Concerta and Ritalin are both stimulants. Strattera is a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. Chemically, I think Strattera is more similar to an antidepressant than it is to Ritalin or Concerta, except that Strattera increases the levels of norepinephrine and dopamine in your brain, while antidepressants usually increase the levels of serotonin.

I know you don't want to wait a long time, but if you decide to try Strattera, you will probably be waiting more than two weeks to find out if it works. Most adults need a dosage between 40 and 100 mg/day to see results, but a lot of people have very bad side effects if they start at 40 mg. You should start at 10 or 18 mg/day and take that for a week or so, then go up to the next highest dosage, which is 25 mg/day, and take that for a week or so. Then you can start 40 mg/day, and you will need to take that for 3-4 weeks to see if that dosage works. If it doesn't work, you can increase to 60 mg/day and wait another 3-4 weeks. If that dosage doesn't work, you can try 80 mg/day and then 100 mg/day, waiting 3-4 weeks each time you increase.

I started this process 4 months ago, and I still haven't found a dosage that works. I just started 100 mg/day, and I am hoping that this will work. The two reasons I was motivated to stick with Strattera this long were that 1) I don't have an ADHD diagnosis, so I am not sure that my doctor would even give me stimulants, and 2) I am about to move from the US to a different country, where Adderall is illegal and Ritalin is very difficult to find, but Strattera can be mail ordered, so for me, it was pretty much Strattera or nothing.

Nonzens
08-24-13, 11:28 AM
Strattera isn't a stimulant, it's an anti depressant that is most commonly used to treat hyperactivity.
Strattera isn't an antidepressant. According to Wikipedia, it was originally intended to be, but there was no conclusive evidence for that use, so it was then tried out and approved as a drug for ADHD due to the similarity of its chemical function to other ADHD drugs. Do you know any links talking about how it's used to treat hyperactivity? I'm not hyperactive at all, so if that's the case, I should probably avoid it.

Concerta is the extended release version of Ritalin. It seems odd that she would prescribe Concerta or Ritalin LA, but not just Ritalin.

I would switch doctors and get put back on what actually worked for you. A working formula should never be altered.

Agreed. The general opinion here appears to be: find a new doctor, period! That's what I will do... I just wish the process weren't so freaking complicated to do that.