View Full Version : Adderall XR, Birth Control, Hormone Fluctuations... Journal Thread!


heylookacastle!
06-30-14, 10:59 PM
When I started Adderall XR 2+ years ago, I was on the Depo-Provera shot. At the time, I absolutely love it. From the first couple weeks onward, I felt dramatically better. I remember my skin cleared up after 10+ years with terrible acne that plagued me since puberty. My Adderall worked like a charm and if it cut out it was for a couple days here and there. Nothing strange, I thought I had found the answer to achieving stability and functioning at an optimal level. This lasted for about a year or so.

Then I forgot to get my shot before I went out of town and ended up saying screw it all together. I honestly didn't think it would be a terrible thing because I was told to avoid spending more than 2 years on it, and at this point it has been 4. Well about two weeks after missing my depo shot, my whole life fell apart. My medication completely stopped working. I fell into a deep depression and my doctor tried multiple med changes and doses to see if I could get back to where I was... it took about 6 months before I was able to restart taking the Adderall XR again and even then, it only worked for 2 weeks out of the month. The other two weeks it didn't even feel like I took anything. At one point my doctor said to increase until I double the dosage. I did and had ZERO effect still. I very quickly gave up on attempting meds for the two weeks out of the month where it didn't work. Then I would restart my meds and it would be fine.

I had to take a couple months off Adderall since I was getting off Klonopin and I became hyper sensitive to the Adderall all of a sudden. Well that's passed and now I am back on it. Started it right after getting my period, tracked the day and watched for when it cut out since I had a hunch about my hormones thanks to these boards and voila! it cut out right around the time of ovulation and has not returned in effectiveness. This was last Tuesday.

I discussed it with my doctor and was told to quick start Seasonique today and hopefully this would help to level out and regulate my hormones. I was weary of the depo shot because it was so damn hard to stop taking. This BC pill has progesterone AND estrogen. I am concerned since it is different from the depo with regards to the inclusion of estrogen but I thought it was worth a shot before committing to the depo provera again.

I guess I will be posting this to update my progress as to whether or not this hormonal science experiment works..... I really hope it does because having symptom control for two weeks, only to have any progress I've made fall apart in the two weeks afterwards has been really demotivating and has made me wonder why I try to make this work in the first place?

I need to get my actual hormones tested soon, forgot to ask my doctor about this today.

Any comments are welcome!

heylookacastle!
07-01-14, 10:50 AM
Well that didn't work well. I ended up doubled over in pain in the middle of the night that was reminiscent of when I had gall stones and needed my gall bladder removed. This was accompanied by a flushing fever and nausea.

Any clues as to what this was? Never had it with the depo shot. Is this normal? I didn't feel like it was something I wanted to experience again.

Any thoughts? Suggestions?

heylookacastle!
07-03-14, 08:45 AM
Ok so it turns out the stomach cramps and nausea were either unrelated to the Seasonique or it was a one time thing. I've continued to take it and have not had any troubles the last two nights that I've taken it. I also have experienced a noticeable improvement in mood over the past couple days but this could be due to any number of things.

I've started taking 5HTP as well as omega 3's which could have improved things. My energy levels have increased which is really helpful. Last week I was in a really dark place and I'm just happy the fog is starting to clear. I did notice some chest fluttering (anxiety?) today which I heard was pretty common after starting any BC but it's manageable.

My Adderall has still not had any noticeable effects but I am taking it as prescribed on a regular basis and hoping I'll be able to start seeing some improvements in ADHD symptoms. When I mention not noticing any effects, I'm referring to not being able to tell I've taking it. Before I used to be able to gauge whether or not it was doing something when I would notice a subtle difference as it was wearing off... my processing got a little slower and I was sometimes lost for words and kind of spacey. I haven't been noticing this at all lately. Perhaps it's just become undetectable in my system as my body has adapted to it. I always need to check to make sure I've even taken it. Writing it down helps when I am unsure of whether I have or not.

I keep reading about people losing their hair while taking Seasonique which is definitely a concern since Adderall seems to already dry my skin and hair out causing noticeable breakage. Would taking a prenatal vitamin help with this perhaps?

That's where I am at. Doing a lot better I'd say. :)

Timberline
07-03-14, 09:26 AM
Thanks for posting this log- I hope you get it all sorted out soon!

For BC, I recently got a Mirena placed. It has low levels of hormone placed in the uterus, where it is active, with very little of the hormone circulating (according to the propaganda). Anyhow, it is supposed to be a viable BC for 5 years. I don't think it has caused any change in my ADD symptoms, but I'm not officially diagnosed and totally unmedicated. If you have any questions about Mirena placement, just PM me.

Hope you have a great weekend!
T-line

heylookacastle!
07-04-14, 05:16 PM
Thanks for posting this log- I hope you get it all sorted out soon!

For BC, I recently got a Mirena placed. It has low levels of hormone placed in the uterus, where it is active, with very little of the hormone circulating (according to the propaganda). Anyhow, it is supposed to be a viable BC for 5 years. I don't think it has caused any change in my ADD symptoms, but I'm not officially diagnosed and totally unmedicated. If you have any questions about Mirena placement, just PM me.

Hope you have a great weekend!
T-line

My old gyno recommended an IUD as an option after I had given birth to my daughter. I barely remember the convo, but she did show it to me and I remember thinking it looked WAY too uncomfortable for me to ever want to try. lol She was terrible at trying to ease my concerns since she went on and on about the possibility of painful side effects. Plus it looked awfully sharp to me. lol (now this conversation was awhile ago, and i am a massive wimp, so it was probably not as scary as I remember it).

I don't really get to hear about that particular option alot from first hand experiences since I find everyone is on some sort of combo pill... depo and IUD's definitely seemed to be the 'red headed step children' of birth control options...

I might end up on that option at some point if I find the combo pill isn't working and I need a progestin only option.... I know they say the depo is safe to take long term now (if your one of the lucky few) but it still sounds rather dicey to me.

heylookacastle!
07-04-14, 05:46 PM
I've noticed a couple side effects that I think should be noted.

I haven't been able to wear contacts at all since I started Seasonique thanks to extra "sleep" build up in my eyes. I don't actually know what it's called since my mom always told me to "wash the sleep" out of my eyes when I was little but it's basically the fluid that causes the white crusty stuff that accumulates in the corners of our eyes while we sleep. I wake up in the morning and this stuff has been working overload. It's like an oily clear fluid that seems to be going at all times now. Not impressed but I can live with it.

The second side effect is my boobs look awesome and actually hurt a little less than they did when I started! lol Could be worse I guess.

My Adderall seems to have started to work a tiny bit today which is a good sign. I'm still interrupting others like crazy, and can't seem to absorb anything said to me but I have noticed an improvement in my ability to focus on thoughts of my own without getting distracted by the tiniest thing. I'm still second guessing every word that comes out of my mouth since lately it's been insanely inappropriate or down right insensitive at times but I have hopes that this will soon improve and my ability to take a moment to think things through before blurting whatever pops into my head will come back.

To summarize:
- experienced two not so bad side effects
- ability to focus improved slightly (YAY!)
- verbal impulsiveness still super outta control
- hyperactivity symptoms still rampant

Definitely some improvement. Hopefully this pattern continues!

willow129
07-04-14, 11:18 PM
My friend got an IUD and it was rough at first (cramps) but I think now it's fine. At least, I haven't heard any complaints in months. It seems like a logical way to deal with birth control without having prolonged side effects.

Birth control used to make my boobs big too! Sometimes it still does. Boyfriend loves it hahaha he immediately notices :P

Timberline
07-05-14, 02:59 PM
HeyLook, I'm getting along fine with my IUD. The procedure to place it was uncomfortable, but it was quick. I am not one to have a hard time with most things, pain-wise. I had read lots of reviews and some people said it was painful but I just figured they were not being tough about it. So on the way home I had some really nasty cramps, that would persist for a minute or so then let up for 5 minutes, then come back (almost like labor). This lasted for about 2 hours, then everything has been fine. I feel like that is a reasonable price to pay for 5 years of no worry BC.

zilphy
07-12-14, 08:39 AM
Lower estrogen levels impact the efficacy of Adderall. I become more "ADHD" the closer I get to starting my period. I have to increase the Adderall during this time so I can remain productive at work. Taking a low dose of Zoloft during this time can help with the angst of feeling sad and out of control. I rarely take the Zoloft, but it's nice to have the option. Unfortunately, the impact of hormone levels on ADHD only intensify until we complete menopause. As you know first-hand, women with ADHD are chemically complicated. Hang in there. I hate you are having to experience all of this. Please continue to share your story. It can really help other ADHD women.

heylookacastle!
07-22-14, 09:52 PM
Lower estrogen levels impact the efficacy of Adderall. I become more "ADHD" the closer I get to starting my period. I have to increase the Adderall during this time so I can remain productive at work. Taking a low dose of Zoloft during this time can help with the angst of feeling sad and out of control. I rarely take the Zoloft, but it's nice to have the option. Unfortunately, the impact of hormone levels on ADHD only intensify until we complete menopause. As you know first-hand, women with ADHD are chemically complicated. Hang in there. I hate you are having to experience all of this. Please continue to share your story. It can really help other ADHD women.

Thanks so much for this post! I'm so confused about my actual hormonal levels... I took the Seasonique for about 2 weeks before I ended up experiencing extreme tics and involuntary muscle movements from a low dose of Ritalin. The same thing happened on the Adderall before I switched over to Ritalin. I went on a hunch and decided to go back on the Depo shot and wow, the difference is AMAZING. My doctor is now starting to wonder if I was just estrogen dominant and since my hormone levels were so imbalance, that perhaps that may have caused the issues.

The combination birth control caused severe involuntary movements immediately after administration of both Adderall XR, as well as Ritalin (both taken on separate days, not taken together and at previously well tolerated doses). Look up chorea on youtube, and this is basically what I looked like. Despite no history of Tourette's, or tics...

The nausea from the Seasonique was so extreme that I actually had to take multiple tests because I could have sworn I was pregnant, thankfully... this was not the case.

I was very concerned about restarting the Depo shot because I've read the horror stories and I experienced the hell of getting off it but I always remembered from Day 1 that I felt like it "fixed" something in me.

Thankfully this time around I have had the exact same result. I'm less lethargic than I was, no more afternoon naps, overall improvement in mood and energy.... overall... I just feel stable again.

So that's where I am at on the hormonal struggles...

Doc thinks estrogen dominance... anyone else have any experiences similar to this??

As per usual, I feel like the alien who experiences medication effects completely differently than the majority of the population... lol

I'm just happy I feel back to myself...

Thanks to everyone for the feedback!