View Full Version : Me & ADD/I medications so far- Adderall & Concerta


IMR-4064
05-14-14, 12:00 PM
Registered here after reading an article on another site-

Here's a slightly edited version of my experience so far.



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Re:

http://adhdrollercoaster.org/the-basics/the-tragic-truth-of-adderal-or-madderall/comment-page-1/#comment-249802


I'm an over 50 male, diagnosed with adult ADD/inattentive and prescribed Adderall for a bit over a year now.

Diagnosis was spurred by a nephew who was diagnosed, and a belated recognition by a sibling that we kids had ALL had to various degrees (undiagnosed) forms of something on the ADD spectrum- This was 1960's-70's, not a "fashionable" diagnosis back then. We were all bright, articulate kids who got by anyhow, it didn't start to pile up to impossible levels until later in life- as noted by others here.

Both my parents had PHD's (dad in high energy physics, mom in PSYCHOLOGY?!) but I'd judge my dad had ADD inattentive and compensated by a very narrow hyper focus on his work along with self medicating via beer after work, mom had at least a mild case of ADD inattentive as well. Supporting family and different social norms got them through school and then grad school, but raising four ADD children pretty much pushed them past being able to cope too, looking at our home life in retrospect (and from far enough away in time to see it a bit more clearly than when it was happening!).

This article is pretty accurate as to my experience- Adderall is the all purpose noodle, and SOP is "throw the spaghetti at the wall and see if it sticks". If it isn't sticking, throw MORE spaghetti at the wall! STILL not sticking? THROW MORE AND THROW IT HARDER!!!

I went from experiencing some help with inatentive symptoms for the first 3 or so months on Adderall to progressively less and less help, telling my physician what was occurring and having the dose bumped up- and up, and up again.

The focus on important tasks became random flashes of hyper focus, the unwanted euphoric effects obscured the correct emotional re-enforcement for properly done work or from previously enjoyable leisure activities, along with disrupting my previous coping mechanism (feel panic, complete work at last minute). And the physical side effects built up- muscle tension headaches, changes in the way my teeth meet from constant grinding, raised blood pressure and tachycardia. Mental side effects too- Something that seems to be VERY like Tourette's syndrome set in, I am often muttering in a stream of consciousness monologue, kind of like Tom Wolfe's impression of Neil Cassidy in the Kessey years... along with a constant, corrosive ANGER that makes me want to avoid people I like because of the way I feel and possibly might treat them.

I tell my primary physician what is going on. He minimizes the importance of it, suggests other scenarios to account for symptoms and ups my dose. (he's an internist, and I really like him as person and respect him medically otherwise-) He's a good man with my aches & pains, infections, allergies, hernia and other physical issues, but out to sea on this business.

So here I am, with a medically sanctioned 30 - 40mg/day amphetamine addiction that doesn't address my original issue effectively- And is causing BAD, unpleasant things to happen in my personal and work life. I won't even pick up the phone to talk to my "significant other" many evenings, the downslope of the day's meds make my probable behavior far too poor for human company. I try to avoid seeing people, especially late in the day.

I'm on this page while researching the odds of unilaterally quitting Adderall cold turkey and NOT replacing it with other drugs. My research on alternative non amphetamine medications had led me to ask for a trial of Provigil- Which my insurer denied, after my physician reluctantly wrote an Rx. I have NO desire to substitute a different amphetamine/stimulant formulation for Adderall, speed is speed, even if it does come from big pharma rather than Walter White & Gus Fring.

The lovely hint that quitting this medication straight up may lead to suicidal depression is just the perfect icing for this **** cake-

Don't know what else you could suggest, but hey, at least I got this off my chest.


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I had another visit with my MD, and have started Concerta 54mg as of this morning. Seems to be a little calmer- I’m about to try working under the influence, we shall see. Rather surprised I wasn’t started at a lower dose and then worked up. I weigh about 200 to 210 lb., usually.

Asked my MD what his next plan was if this change in meds doesn’t produce a state of mind suitable for work and also allow “normal” behavior around other people… He didn’t have much to suggest, so I requested he immediately START looking for a psychiatrist with specialty or at least a lot of experience with adult ADD/inattentive. He agreed to look into finding who was available and could be used under my insurance.

Down side, he said it would likely be 3 to 4 months before I even got to talk to a psych. That’s not going to be a good thing if I really need one! He did suggest talking to a neurologist, not sure how useful that’s going to be?!

There’s this tactic I’ve heard of for cutting down wait time in getting to see an MD at the ER: You grab your left arm, and start talking about sudden chest pains, you can’t get your breath and “Oh, my left arm has just gone “funny”!”

I suspect the psych equivalent of such a tactic is not a good choice for keeping one’s various “safety sensitive position” related licenses and professional standing.

Oh well, the news just informed people in (major US city I lived in) that it will be 3 to 15 minutes before our local 911 calls are answered. That’s ANSWERED. As in, the operator picks up the phone. Hope we all don’t have any actual emergencies- Because the fire/police/EMS will be another 5 to 30 minutes responding.

Ah, brave new world! Take a number and a seat…

SASChii
05-14-14, 03:15 PM
I gave up on medication. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired due to side effects. My last psychiatric visit the doc gave me an Rx for Focalin IR. Took it to get filled and there was a backorder, then my Pharmacy said they are not going to stock it. Never got the Rx filled. Coincidentally, I forgot to reschedule a follow up appointment when I left the MDs office. I had some leftover Adderall XR, Vyvanse XR, Focalin XR, Concerta XR, and I decided to throw them all away.

I tried all the stims and there's nothing so far that seems to be remedy. they all increase my blood pressure and make me feel like I have GERT. Not to mention the costs of seeing the Psychiatrist and meds were continuing to add up.

In the end, I am trying so hard through medications that I realize I am trying to be someone else. I don't like the brain fog, the distractions, and drifting off, but I made this far in life how I guess I am doing something right.

IMR-4064
05-20-14, 09:24 AM
Well, Concerta 54 mg was WAY too much.

2 days were wasted on the experiment, after the first I messaged my MD that I wouldn't drive or use power tools at that level and he sent me a message suggesting I BREAK A CONCERTA IN TWO?!

Fortunately I had read the drug information sheet and knew better. After another medical message my MD did too, and I got an Rx at 27mg instead. 6 days into that now.

It's certainly not a magic pill that makes me into a normal person, whatever that is. At least I don't have tachycardia and it feels safe to drive or use a tool now. More later, after I see how much work gets done and what quality level my output has.

Pilgrim
05-20-14, 11:28 PM
Can I make a suggestion. I live in Australia and don't have Adderall. We use Dex. I think we also need a long acting one here.
Concerta is a safer drug. My Psyciatrist gave me Cetalopram also.
I think this works well. No comedown and when it works well my mind is quite incisive.
Just a thought

sarahsweets
05-21-14, 04:13 AM
Since provigil went generic I am surprised your insurance wouldnt cover it.

IMR-4064
05-21-14, 11:11 AM
Since provigil went generic I am surprised your insurance wouldnt cover it.

Not only that, when I offered to pay out of pocket for the Rx- I was told I WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO DO SO.

I still am ****** off and confused at this.

leftofnormal
07-27-14, 05:32 PM
you might want to read about adrafinil, a prodrug of modafinil. this is still (as far as i know, which isn't very) an unregulated, unscheduled drug & so is legal to possess without a prescription.

i have a very close friend with ADD who was given some modafinil by a friend of theirs and they reported that it did seem to help with ADD and had a very smooth curve of alertness for 4-6 hours without any feelings of euphoria or jitters that ended without the crash that some people experience with amphetamines. I think there is some clinical evidence, but not enough to be conclusive, to back this up. (I'm too lazy to find it.)

modafinil (and armodafinil) are not covered by insurance companies when used off label (as in treatment for ADHD), maybe there is some other concerns held by the government or something that make it unprofitable for insurance companies to endorse or whatever. modafinil comes with a black box warning about the possibility of a life-threatening rash as a side effect and, i think when cephalon tried to get it approved for treating ADHD the number of patients who would experience this was unacceptable (although it is a rare side-effect, when you apply the percentage to the # of people on medication for ADHD--like over 6 million kids alone--who could experience the scary deadly rash, well there probably isn't many governments who want to be responsible for that).

You might also want to look into non-amphetamine drugs used to treat ADHD... Strattera comes to mind. I hope that makes sense, I'm not super focused today, and I wish you good luck!

immago
07-29-14, 01:11 AM
Another non-stimulant option is Clonodine.

loverainbow
12-30-15, 03:08 PM
This is unrelated to your question but your dad is exactly who I was on track to become before meds. I don't want to hyperfocus on my research, all while throwing my life away because of my add. I am so done being a spectator and I will find the right treatment so I can be the leading actor/writer/producer of my life.

sarahsweets
12-31-15, 04:16 AM
So here I am, with a medically sanctioned 30 - 40mg/day amphetamine addiction that doesn't address my original issue effectively- And is causing BAD, unpleasant things to happen in my personal and work life. I won't even pick up the phone to talk to my "significant other" many evenings, the downslope of the day's meds make my probable behavior far too poor for human company. I try to avoid seeing people, especially late in the day.

You used the word addiction. Do you mean abuse of the medication, obsession about getting more of it and feeling out of control while taking it? There is a big difference between addiction and dependence.

I'm on this page while researching the odds of unilaterally quitting Adderall cold turkey and NOT replacing it with other drugs. My research on alternative non amphetamine medications had led me to ask for a trial of Provigil- Which my insurer denied, after my physician reluctantly wrote an Rx.
I would appeal this. It used to be that provigil was denied primarily because it was for narcolepsy and because there was no generic and it was ridiculously expensive. Now there is a generic so it might be something as simple as a prior authorization needed. My husband has adhd and narcolepsy and provigil treats both for him.
I have NO desire to substitute a different amphetamine/stimulant formulation for Adderall, speed is speed, even if it does come from big pharma rather than Walter White & Gus Fring.

I hear your frustration with this, but there is a huge difference between speed and prescription stimulants. I understand that people say that the only difference is who you are getting it from but I tend to get over sensitive about this analogy.

ToneTone
12-31-15, 11:44 AM
A few things.

First of all, are you seeing a really good psychiatrist. General doctors sometimes do prescribe, but in my experience finding a really good psychiatrist can make all the difference. They have much more an intuitive and research feel for how various medications work. Unfortunately many of the best psychiatrists don't take insurance.

Two, it's really helpful to go to therapy and to figure out some lifestyle issues. A lot of ADHDers, myself included, undermine the meds by not getting enough sleep, by failing to eat reasonably, by not exercising ...

Three, I've been on various dosages of the meds and I've read a lot, and I am from a highly addictive family and have had various addictions myself, and I have never felt addicted to any of the meds ... and I've taken Vyvanse and Adderall and Concerta ... There have been many times when just out of laziness or the weekend, when I've skipped taking the meds. No side effects that I recall.

Four, you do know that the vast majority of people with ADHD have another condition right? ... and that that other condition needs to be treated.

Raising and adjusting the dose is a standard treatment plan ... small changes in dose can make a huge difference. Yes, I think starting on 54mg Concerta is quite high ... I agree that that is really high ...

Anyway, good luck. There is hope ... Thanks for coming here.

Tone