View Full Version : hormone changes and response to meds?

06-17-14, 05:42 PM
I'm post menopausal and using bioidentical estrogen and testosterone with tiny amounts of progesterone. Only recently dx'd and started meds. I'd suspected I had ADD for some years and did all I could to check out and clear underlying causes before trying meds.

I've been getting tested and having my sex hormones adjusted for the past 6 years of post menopause. So my hormone doses have been adjusted according to symptoms and lab work for years. I also found I had low level hypothyroid levels, adjusted that also with Armour thyroid.

Tried Ritalin first, side effects unfun. Switched to generic Adderall, first generic much better. Had my sex hormones tested again with estrogen bumped up, testosterone lowered. next refill of generic adderall the pharmacy gave me a different one, orange/pink ovals with sweet taste. First batch not too bad but didn't feel as smooth. second refill seemed like inconsistent batch with one tab not being too bad but the next random one making me feel like bad coffee jitters, cranky, pulse and BP going up more than the other 2 scripts had. Pharmacy trying to get the first generic for me. But also wondering if the higher estrogen may be increasing my sensitivity? I know hormones and receptors for neurotransmitters interact. How much does any hormone change affect many women's response to meds? Whether on BC, hormone therapy or natural cycles? Today I felt like the 10 mgs dose was even a worse response than the other half of the same tablet gave me as yesterday's last afternoon dose. I tend to low BP so the blood pressure going to 124/80 is no big deal but I feel like I have some toxic effect. I have chemical sensitivities and it has this same sort of dirty feel. Pulse was about 15 points higher than usual also.
Does this sound like a hormonal response or a crappy generic with poor quality control?

06-17-14, 08:34 PM
Try to get that original generic OR get prescribed Vyvanse. It works very smoothly :)

Stop all caffeine intake. It really helps cut down on 90 per cent of side effects.

I dont use BC Pills. All natural cycle. I notice that meds dont work well a week or so before "that time of the month" and I take a break off meds when it's "that time of the month".
It probably helps with med tolerance too :)

06-17-14, 10:08 PM
Hoping the other generic is in tomorrow as promised or will holler.
I was lucky that most of my life I literally had no PMS. Only on BC pills a few years as I knew motherhood was not for me and had my tubes cut. So didn't track my cycles and had to be sure to keep some tampons in my locker at work, gym locker and gym bag, in the car and pack some when traveling. Perimenopause shocked me with the mood swings, short term memory loss and feeling like I'd lost most of my IQ points.
I will check into Vyvanse and see if insurance will cover it. The come down on this generic is cruddy.
I drink 2-3 cups of GOOD coffee a day without issue. My sweetheart roasts raw beans and all Arabica strains. Lower caffeine and acid than usual grocery store comes in a can Robusta coffee. That crap gives me a sour stomach and jitters.
Caffeine tolerance is interesting. People have different genes for metabolizing and excreting it. Some faster/slower but another aspect is not just how long it hangs around in your body but that the metabolites for some people are worse than the coffee. So a cup of coffee and they may feel ok for an hour or so and then have hours of jitters.
And progesterone does the same thing. In some women, a metabolite affects the same GABA receptors that valium class meds do. I test low on progesterone but the amount needed to get me into normal range and normal doesn't mean optimal, just the bell curve most fall into, and I am a zombie, takes days to wear off. A tiny bit of P cream once every few days and I feel a bit more balanced. But I have to time the application to after 10 a.m. as the sedating effect hits about 12 hours later. When I tried the normal use, at bed time, I'd wake up ok but a few hours later get so groggy it would be unsafe to drive. last about 3 hours and I'd come around.
These come down jitters don't seem to be the same thing. If I time it right and get another dose going before the come down, no jitters until like now, as last dose is wearing off.
thanks for the info. it does sound like our hormones, symptoms and meds all interact enough to make dosing a bit tricky.

06-18-14, 03:36 AM
Not that I have scientific proof, but experience from dozens of chat board posts say that Progesterone might be a big no-no for people with ADHD and ADD.

06-18-14, 05:24 AM
I do not know about your private situation but lately i was forced to buy the morning-after pill and all i can say is that i felt like i am going insane for a week.
The hormones and the steroids in it drove me crazy, i had anxiety attacks, over stimulation, extremely high heart rate and on several days i would just start crying for no reason and then snapping out of it in the evening.
It was horrible.

06-18-14, 05:25 AM
Try to get that original generic OR get prescribed Vyvanse. It works very smoothly :)

Stop all caffeine intake. It really helps cut down on 90 per cent of side effects.

I dont use BC Pills. All natural cycle. I notice that meds dont work well a week or so before "that time of the month" and I take a break off meds when it's "that time of the month".
It probably helps with med tolerance too :)

@Twiggy - I could not agree more!
I noticed caffeine makes things much much worse on a very extreme level.
So i recently stopped completely.

06-18-14, 08:59 AM
thanks all for the replies.
re progesterone, interesting that a reaction to it is frequent enough to have some other reports of it being contraindicated. I'll check it further.

I am using bioidentical, no pregnant mare urine or artificial progestins which are NOT progesterone for me. Since this can be so sedating for me and also drops my blood pressure, either one alone would be enough to mess up brain function. But estrogen and progesterone work together to balance out cellular response. I think the key is finding what amounts and what timing works best for each of us and that will change over time. Easier for women to understand this concept than men, we're used to hormones shifting. And since our hormones can effect the receptors and more, they can likely skew the responses to our own neurotransmitter production as well as how the meds affect the NT's.

with the morning after pill, I can understand how that could make someone have emotional storms. It does contain progestin, the artificial progesterone and estrogen but no info on the source of the estrogen and what type, I suspect more PMU and horses do NOT produce the same forms of estrogen women do. The short time I was on the pill, a very low dose was effective and I don't recall much of side effects. But I have heard of a number of women reacting badly to either pills or implants with high levels of progestin. the sudden surge of hormones when your body isn't prepared for it could easily cause emotional storms especially since our bodymind already tends to be turbulent.

The interactions of all hormones, sex hormones, adrenal, thyroid, and brain function need a lot more study. We are all exposed to chemicals in the environment that are endocrine disruptors--chemicals that may mimic hormones or interfere with hormonal effects. It's depressing as heck if I dwell on it too much. I go as green as I can in my lifestyle with using the least toxic products I can, including things like unscented soaps, shampoo, detergent, as my chemical sensitivities make my symptoms worse. But the crap we can't get away from or had early exposure to can sure mess with us. My mother had heavy second hand smoke exposure during pregnancy since my father smoked 3 packs a day. Plus the town sprayed for mosquitoes during the summer, probably DDT.

So much medical testing is done on men and the gender differences in how long meds take to clear our bodies, our responses can be so different that we don't have good info on how meds work for women. This is starting to change but for now we are too often flying blind.

This morning I feel much better. A low dose of P cream mid afternoon seemed to time it right. This is rather like trying to fix the foundation of a house by leveling the corners with jacks. lift each one a little bit, let everything settle, jack up the ones that are low, any too high drop back down. Not a good analogy as its more like riding the waves of ups and downs in life plus our own body's own cycles. Life isn't a straight line. If you flat line you're dead!

Here's to hoping we all find our own balance riding the waves.

06-20-14, 03:49 PM
BTW, I am perimenopausal. During my period I have to increase my Adderall to maintain focus. Otherwise, I become fairly non-functional. Usually I take 10mg early morning and 5mg at lunch. During my period I take 10mg early morning, 5mg before lunch and 5mg mid afternoon.

06-20-14, 05:33 PM
Well a good change. The pharmacy I've been using is next door to my doc's clinic. Their supplier doesn't stock the original generic, that one was a fluke when the usual generic was out. With new insurance plans having started up in January with ACA, clinics, pharmacies and patients are all still often unsure what is covered. But the pharmacist checked and a doc's over ride signature for name brand is ok with my new plan without a waiting period. He called my doc's office, explained the issue, walked over and picked up the new script and I got my first bottle of name brand Adderall yesterday afternoon. Significant differences, so far all good.
Jitters and muscle twitch in my eye gone, some slight tight feeling in my chest/throat on the come down but overall I feel much calmer, more stable, tolerance for human stupidity improved and functioning better.
I'll be making notes and trying small variations in dosing to see if that tightness can be prevented. I'll do some more scanning the archives on side effects to see if higher or lower doses affect these much. My hunch is with the new higher estrogen cream that a bit lower will be better.
Thanks all!