View Full Version : Ritalin LA, great but also not (please help me)

11-20-15, 07:03 PM
I have some issues with the stability and duration, so I seek your advice and experiences, to help me getting to the right dose.
Because my previous dose (40-20) resulted in a crash around 6 o'clock, in the middle of my work day, (i only work from 1630-2130), my psychiatrist upped me to 40-40 (i only havd 20mg capsules atm)

This was way too much, I got a really unpleasant jittery feeling, and the heart beat, and shaking hands.

So after getting the grren light from my psychiatrist, I could split one my capsules, and take 30mg so 40-30

Even though it last me long enough, the effects are so unstable. I believe there is a gap between the ending of the first release, and the beginning of the next. This gap usually makes me tired/drowsy and hungry (If I forget to eat), and possibly a little chilly (?) for about 45min - 1hour.

So yesterday I tried taking my second dose half an hour earlier. But this did not go over well. The heartbeat, jitters, and shaking started again, only lasted 30min or so, but I really can't deal with that.

So today i tried 30-30, to see if that was enough, and also because yesterday scared me a little. It was fine, focus was good, maybe even better than the 40(is this possible?) and no jitters, but the afternoon crash, put me to sleep for 2 hours in the afternoon. Since focus is good, on 30mg isn't that better than the 40mg?
And is it possible to maybe take like 10 more in the afternoon? (initially I am not supposed to take any pills after 1400)

What might be the consequences of this?
And if I also could have some help figuring out the best timing so the gaps aren't as bad. I will of course talk this over with my doc, before I do anything she hasn't allowed.

11-20-15, 08:19 PM
Ritalin was the first I took. I finally switched because Ritalin and Concerta the extended release version made me crash and I could sleep for like 2 hours. It also caused my blood pressure to skyrocket to hypertension. That was on low and high dose. I didn't notice till I monitored my heart at resting. Anyways when my doc was trying to figure out my dosage for Concerta he had me start with 10mg 3x a day and then move to 20mg 3x a day. The 20 worked best. To avoid a little of the crash I took it every 3.5 hours. Because it only lasts about 4 hours, and since it takes about 30 minutes to kick in this helped me avoid the crash between pills. A little at least. I'm on Adderall now anyways.
Also the if the 30mg are working for you versus the 40mg take 30mg. Sometimes when your body has too much of a high stimulant dose it will do the opposite of help you. It will cause tiredness or lots of jitters and higher heart rate or anxiety. As far as taking an extra 10mg I don't see why that could be a problem, but I'm not advising you to make that decision. I vote talk to your doc.

ALSO Ritalin is like the oldest med for ADHD. If you are getting side effects like jitters or crashing, I would talk to your do. About switching to an extended release to avoid the I between crashes and switching to something newer that may have less issues. Ritalin is a good started med, but becareful with the sides effects. I'm a fit 100lb female and it caused me to have high blood pressure and too high a resting heart rate. Adderall hasn't done that to me now. Good luck!

11-20-15, 08:28 PM
How long have you been taking it? I ask because I have been on Adderall for quite some time and I have watched how many of the things that you have described eventually dissipated in time and seemed to level out.

I'm not a medical professional...but I have had my time with drug experimentation in the past on a limited recreational basis when I was years younger. If this is your first trip to the may be simply experiencing the world of unpredictability when introducing a foreign substance in your body that changes things like heart rate and metabolism. You may be more sensitive to these things and you may be psyching yourself out a bit too? It's a bit unnerving when you start noticing you heart racing which can cause some palpitations all by itself if you are prone to panic a little when that happens?

Putting that aside....I was on the same dosage as you were to start and experiencing a number of changes like you are experiencing. You must realize too...things will not always remain the same. It took me a year to dial this in so if it hasn't been that need to give it some time.

What I wouldn't do is keep experimenting and chasing after it and just stay on one dose for long enough to see what happens. You will's inevitable.

About the afternoon crash. I (being somewhat experimental by nature) wanted to see what happened when I snorted it. I know I know...but I did have to try just to see what happened. What I discovered was actually very useful. If you get too big a dump all at will peak hard and crash very quickly. Once that happens....I got very tired and sleepy as you said. No benefit here aside from feeling jittery for a half hour and then feeling tired after that.

Here's where I can draw from my past and give you a couple of hints. I'm sorry if it sounds like I am taking a higher position with you and assuming that you don't know any of this. I'm just assuming you don't and throwing it out there for anyone else who might be reading this since I volunteered to be my own guinea pig.
Once you take the first dose of anything like this...the second dose is not going to get you to the same place. You probably already know that.
But here's where you might be going in the wrong direction. In the case with me I found two things that happen. As I was saying with snorting my dose. Too much at once will work the opposite of taking less or titrating more slowly. Since you can't really control how fast it tritrates in your system (actually yes you can but I will come back here) might try breaking you doses up into even smaller amounts and taking more of them. This is the kind of thing that the doctors can't do for each and every person. Just because the pharmaceutical companies like even numbers..doesn't mean you are stuck with it.

If you body seems to process it quickly and burn through it fast which makes you crash and burn. It would make sense to take less and then keep taking it as time goes on to try and keep your level from peaking and crashing.

Also...just so you know. If you are on generic meds...the long acting Adderal I take in generic form is not much different than the so called fast acting for me. I hardly can tell the difference. Having said that....I did get a real prescription of time released Adderal in capsule form which I really didn't notice too big a difference in the over all effect....but the time release capsule with the little BB's in them titrated much more slowly and evenly than the generic brand that I normally take. It sounds like this would solve your problem if that is the case.

One more thing to consider here. No matter what they say to the contrary....not all manufacturers are the same. The pharmacists (or chemist in your case?) will tell you otherwise but they are being conservative and not wanting to hand out the wrong advise to anyone for legal reasons. Since you are experimenting should try another brand and see if that helps. I say this because out of all the brands I have had the exact same effect with me yet..none of the others did. When questioned about this...I got the same patent answer from the pharmacists which did not explain this to me. I finally got one to admit that there is a legal range or % or purity for potency and the range was surprisingly large. On top of that...the binders and buffers that are used can be slightly different from one manufacturer to the next which is directly related to how it titrates. What they were accurate in saying is that different people will react differently to these things so there is no way to tell from one person to the next how the same ones will be.

As far as slowing your bodies natural titration speed down..eating a big meal vs empty stomach will have an effect on this. It is also good to remember....this is going to be different every time you eat or if you take you dose at different times of the day and keep changing that.

The best thing to do and the only way to reduce the variables to really know is to try and take them exactly at the same time and stay there for a while and take note of the changes.

If I had to give you any immediate recommendation base on what I learned that worked for me. Don't mess with you first dose once you get that dialed and it works. If you feel too speedy right need to find a way to slow that down because that is what's causing you to crash. It should feel like a strong cup of coffee not like you just snorted a line of Cocaine. Once you get that consistent...leave that alone and work on getting your second dose right by doing the things that I suggested. If you first dose is too big and you need to bring that down even more...try dividing it up into even smaller ones and see if that helps?

And try not to bounce around too much and be impatient. Give it time and make changes slowly. If you keep chasing after it like it sounds your doing....your body will keep trying to adjust and never get a chance to stabilize. Your going to have days for whatever reason....are not going to work the same as the day before. Don't change every time that happens.
This is normal to a lessor degree. Eventually...the overall effect will start to diminish from where it was at first and the only thing you can do is to stop taking it entirely and start over again. Cycling my meds only made this worse since my body had no idea what to expect. Up..down...up...down. This makes no sense to me but I know it works for some.....I guess? What ever works is the right thing for you. Take the advise of others with a grain of salt...including me:)

11-20-15, 09:17 PM
If this is your first trip to the may be simply experiencing the world of unpredictability when introducing a foreign substance in your body that changes things like heart rate and metabolism. You may be more sensitive to these things and you may be psyching yourself out a bit too?

This ^

Ritalin/Concerta is a hard one to adjust to but through experience if you can grin and bare it- it may give the best results overall.

Take it from someone who has been to the MPH and AMPH family and back.

MPH is harsh as hell to start with- that's why most people switch to AMPH which brings to you into the super relaxed world of no two fcks given....but it really isn't productive, I need productivity.

But everyone is different...just throwing an individuals point across.

11-21-15, 05:06 AM
Thank you all, this was very helpful.
I am of course new at the Rodeo, been riding for about 6weeks now, and yes also a bit panicky about the heart thing. I am on the Ritalin LA (which I thought was extended?) and it's not generic. As far as I know we only have Novartis here in Norway.

If i understand the release mechanism right my actual doses now are 15-30-15.

I am now a little confused, should I stick to my 40-30 and ride it out? I mean, the heart thing was only once, but the crash between the doses are worse than with 30. But I have only done that once, so I really can't know that. Also I am a very reluctant to push it back again.

But also It would definitely be easier if I can stick to only two doses a day. But the Rollercoaster ride is not something I can live with for a year, i think. I want it to work so bad.

How long does it take to get a sort of sense of which it is working or not. I will also do my best on the breakfast. I am far more likely to keep to routines now, so it might actually work.

Is concerta equally unstable as Ritalin LA?

11-21-15, 09:44 AM
I know this can be frustrating to get it right, your not alone. I had to take Ritalin once as alternative to Adderall because there was and availability problem at the time. I do remember that it had a harsher effect than the Adderall and I think that has a lot to do with the binder that help buffer this effect. Not sure you can do much about this but just ride it through and see if it settles.
I settled in at 40mg and 20mg....only after starting with 10mg and 20mg... then 20mg and 20mg....40mg and 20mg....60mg and 20mg (too much)...and then finally back down to 40mg x 20mg. As you see...I kept going up thinking I needed more when all I needed to do was stay at 40mg and 20mg but I couldn't know that until I hit the level where it started to become uncomfortable.
Right now...after 5 years of this working with me. I'm noticing changes in the afternoon where the second does of 20mg is not enough and I need to take and additional 10mg to 20mg ( 30mg or 40mg total per second dose). This appears to be the thing that is always hard to know still because it does shift around a little even to this day but my first dose still remains stable. As I was saying....I've found that it's only the second dose that I need to adjust anymore ever. I've just learned to know the signs that give me a better idea of what I need at any given day.

One more thing to pay note to and something that I experience even now. You mentioned needing to get to work and this was interfering with that some which brought this to mind. I did the same thing you are doing at first so don't feel like I'm telling you something that is really obvious even if it's not something that you have noticed this far....

At's really easy to start paying attention to the obvious. Reverting back to slang is speed you are taking after all (by any other name). It still has this effect on us just like everyone else. The things you mentioned are all physical signs of stimulants. That includes extra energy (for work and getting things done) and the crashes like you've found. This is the same for everyone but it's not why they prescribe it too us. For the ADHD specifically...these things are just the side effects including the energy it gives you. ( as well as the heart rate and blood pressure increases).

Another side effect has to do with this blood pressure changes caused me to have changes in my ability to maintain an erection (ED). This effect was short lived up to a point....but at first...this freaked me out since I had never experienced this before. The mental aspect (or physching myself out in this case) was more problematic than the effect it self until I discovered it was connected to the Adderall. Once I included that into my thinking...this went away and returned to almost normal. It still has and effect if my doses start getting too high. I was kind of upset that my Doctor didn't warn me of this which would have saved me a lot of stress which only made this worse in the beginning.

The desired effect is the ability to focus and stay that way for longer uninterrupted periods of time consistently. This is really the criteria you need to watch for more than the other side effects and use that to determine how much and when to take it. In other words...there are two things going on that you have to watch but only one of them should make this determination for you. Once you find that should just ride out any side effects for a while see if they settle down at that level. If anything, I would try not approaching these changes to your entire dose....(completely shifting in amounts and numbers of times per day) making changes 10mg at a time (and possibly only the second dose) and waiting to see if your body catches up at each level before you change it again.

To emphasize concisely.....the physical side effects and the focus ability are not exactly tied together and sometimes have an inverse relationship to other things like crashes and peaks (whether you are moving up....or moving down) which means something is always going to be a little off on a day to day level.

Hoping not to offend anyone here...but it might be compared to a woman's menstrual cycle ( hormones rising and falling inversely to one another?) on a daily basis in this one aspect that I am trying to describe. That's why you should not be using or chasing after both of them at the same time since they are always moving and sometimes criss crossing in opposite directions depending on which criteria you are using. It's good to be aware of this and avoid making the same mistake that I made by doing exactly what I just said. Focus on the focus and get that dialed in then move on to fine tuning the physical side effects and make only tiny adjustments as needed.

What really throws me off to this day is the fact that now I am so use to not cycling any more since I have been on it. Now I get confused or panicy sometimes when I start going back to being the way I was before. I've already forgotten what that was like and it feels strange in reverse when I'm not this way. Consistency should be your target across the board but you are already aware of that. It does seem to be the most elusive part in getting to a balance it seems since things are constantly moving and shifting over time. That's the wonderful world of unpredictability I was talking about. Its just a different one than the one you are use to.

This pretty much sums up the process I went through and the things that I discovered if this will help you...hopefully?

I hope that isn't too confusing?

11-21-15, 02:34 PM
I think I get it, and I think you are right.

I do focus on the side effects, but I assure you that I also focus on the positive effects. And mainly I have pretty good effects when it is working. I am much more focused, calm and better with concentration, also I am not even nearly as impatient as I used to be, the frustration, and feelings of being trapped (in lectures, busses, queues, waiting for people, for dinner to get done, Comercials and so on) are rarely there. This works in my opinion equally whether I take 30 or 40mg in the morning (essentially it is only a 5mg difference), 20 does not work at all. So i just figured that if 30 worked, maybe that was the better choice.

But after reading this, I think that I will switch back to 40-30 again, as I do know that it works good, and for as long as I need it to. And I will keep it up for a while, and cross my fingers that the bad stuff will go away eventually.

And yes the whole menstrual cycle thing definitely is an issue. I am however on the pill so my hormone levels are fairly stable, but on my week of, all bets are off. Luckily I was reminded that I actually don't need to take a week off, so that hopefully fixes that.

How long do you suggest I try this before all hope is lost?

11-21-15, 04:58 PM
I'm trying to remember how long it took before I finally felt like things were stable? About 4 months after I finally stuck to one dose and stayed with it I think. A lot of it I think is just getting use to all of the changes and figuring out what those are. I think it can take a very long time to actually begin to notice them all. The physical side effects are easy and like you were saying, they aren't the only ones you notice.

Specifically for me. I'm still discovering all the ways that I use to be before taking the meds and noticing how I have changed. The subtle ones are really the ones that you begin realize since they are the ones you probably never noticed before?

Probably didn't notice because you had nothing else to compare to. Now you do takes time.

One thing that I cannot know and hasn't happened with me is high blood pressure. That can really mess you up if that is happening and you don't realize it. If what you are experiencing isn't any of things I'm speculating and something might be good to run this by your doctor and see what he/she says?

Have you had your blood pressure checked after taking you meds to find this out?

11-21-15, 06:55 PM
No not yet, I am doing it at my next appointment, in a few weeks. But I had a full check up before I started, and BP has been measured several other times, because og my birth control pills, and I have never had any problems with it, so I'm not to worried about that.

Hypertension rarely if ever show any symptoms anyways, so it is impossible to say how it is at this point. (I unfortunately haven't got the right equipment to get ED) .

I know what you mean, I did not expect the calmness it gives me, the calmness was actually the first thing I noticed (my very first dose of only 20mg)it was like the feeling you get, when you leave the kitchen fan on, and don't notice, until someone turns it off. Hyperactivity was not something that I ever considered to be a symptom. I honestly thought I had pi, but my shrink dug up some stuff from the past, and also pointed out, that I didn't ever sit still during our sessions. And I now realize that it probably had as big a part as the consentration issues, in my absolute unbearable frustration and hatered about my school and homework as a child.

:thankyou: for all the help jjamieson , I did not expect to land on the conclusion of continuing on this road, but I think that if it might work in the end, I can give it some more time. I too as Abcdef (haha just realized the name) want productivity, more than anything else. I can't wait to forget how it feels to be a failure. Wish me luck 🍀 🐇

11-22-15, 03:02 PM
Yes. This so true. Even if you aren't suppose to take it for getting more things done from having more endurance and energy, being able to work longer and not get tired and having a bit of super human ability at times compared to the way you normally goes with the territory and who's complaining? Not me...but somehow you still feel guilty since they say it's not why you should take it. I get that in you don't want to be kidding yourself or talk yourself into justifying using it for that reason only.

But how can you not notice and why should you feel guilty if the side effects are positive? This seems a little A** backwards to me?

It sounds like you've got the right idea....and it is difficult to know what to expect if you haven't been there before. I think in time this will all be academic for you if you can try and take a back seat to tinkering with it and just leave it alone for long enough to find this all out for yourself. If anything....expect the unexpected and you won't be disappointed. lol

I do wish you will be'll get use the benefits a lot faster than any negatives after a while and it will just be another day in the life of having ADHD.

"It's not a's an adventure!":) (That one may have missed you if you aren't from the USA and seen this advertisement for Joining the Marines ) having to explain that joke any further would be like bringing a TV with you on your

Take care:)

11-23-15, 05:28 AM
In my experience, when ritalin doesnt work for someone it can be REALLY noticeable. For me, ritalin worked great except fot the fact that I had the worst mood swings ever and wanted to crawl in a hole and die when it wore off. A lot of other people, when they share that they have issues with ritalin, report very promient issues with it. It could just be that its not the right med for you.