View Full Version : Ritalin - varying effectiveness?

11-27-14, 09:18 AM
Hi - Apologies if this in the wrong place. My First post. I have a few questions about medication. I also apologise for my meandering post, I'm not great at articulating myself. You can probably skip to the last paragraph.

I'm a 30yo Male that - originally seeking help with anxiety - has just been diagnosed with ADHD by my psychiatrist, and started on 10mg Ritalin, 3 times per day as a trial. (With instructions to vary as needed).

It's been about a week so far, and I'm have a few questions about what to expect with Ritalin. I have an appointment with my Doctor next week to discuss as well, but I wanted to get some first hand experiences from people that have gone through what I just did.

The first dose I took after the Drs appointment (late afternoon) was incredible. I didn't really feel any different - but after a couple of hours I looked back and realised I'd spent the last couple of hours working productivity without stopping once to check Reddit.

This might sound like much. But it's an incredible achievement for me.

I followed through with a fully productive 8 hour workday, which almost brought me to tears. I've been averaging about 1-2 hours of actual "work" per day pretty much my entire career, and somehow managing to scrape by.

The rest of the week I've been taking 3 x 10mg doses. for the most part I find it's extremely effective. I find the first dose in the morning isn't as effective, but once the second dose at lunch kicks in I tend to get into the flow.

I still have to push myself a little bit to overcome some initial inertia and to keep focussed, but it's a fraction of what I'm like normally. In addition, my mind has quietened and I feel like I'm not longer trying to grasp at random thoughts through a blizzard.

Today was a bit different though

Initially the medication felt like it wasn't working - I had a lot of difficulty staying on task. In hindsight I think it was having mild some effect, but a lot less than previously.

I took an additional fourth 10mg dose early evening in the expectation that I would work late (Storm flooded me into the office, so why not right?) - but then this seemed to have some pretty significant side effects. It didn't help with my attention at all and I got no work done, and then when it started wearing off I was having chest pain reminiscent of an anxiety attack.

I'm now starting to worry that perhaps I've already build up a tolerance, and that my body won't be able to handle an increased dosage.

After spending my entire life in this foggy bubble, I feel like I've woken up for the first time. And now I'm scared I'll have to go back into the box due to medication intolerance, having had a brief glimpse of what it's like to actually have calm, coherent thoughts.

I apologies for the long incoherent brain dump - I guess I'm just trying to get some reassurance and feedback - is this kind of experience normal? I notice other posts mentioning tolerance building up, but usually talking about months and years, not after a week!

Due to coincidence of timing, I took each dose today on an empty stomach (whereas previously was with meals), so I'm wondering if perhaps that's affected things?

11-28-14, 07:20 AM
Don't freak out about tolerance. Its the new buzz word IMO and its very rarely the actual cause of med issues. As far as the extra dose goes, did your doctor say take as much as you think you needed? If he gave you Ritalin for three times a day and no other guidance about what would be the ideal dosage I would be a little concerned. You are not the one e with the medical degree and trying to fool a round with your dose beyond the 3 times a day is risky for anyone. It sounds like what you took was too much.

12-19-14, 07:20 PM
Ritalin is like that. Sometimes it works better than others.

This graph shows what's happening when taken every 4 hours:

Notice the top of the first spike is lowest - it agrees with it seeming less effective.

As it tends to build up over the day, if you need to take a forth, may want to take less.

Good luck.