View Full Version : Meds Advice for a Newbie recently diagnosed

05-12-16, 07:22 AM
Hi All,

Firstly, it's refreshing to know these support forums exist, I don't feel so alone.

For background: I was recently diagnosed with Adult ADHD at the age of 41 in the UK by one of the foremost specialists in the field. I was diagnosed as 'low to moderate' because in reality I function well in life but it has impairment on areas of personal relationships, work focus, and discontentment/boredom. To be honest, I'm always a bit sceptical about these things because the diagnosis isn't about blood tests or brain scans, so it always worries me if they misdiagnose.

I'm an organised person, in particular with finances and appointments. My impairment is that I am restless, I don't exist well 'doing nothing' and get bored easily. This has negative knock ons to things like relationships as I enjoy the excitement of the honeymoon period, before the routine day to day kicks in. Work wise I've done ok despite the fact I find it difficult to maintain focus on mundane activities and certainly no attention to detail.

On a personal front, I have a constant 'brain chatter' that leads me to get anxious about situations when I shouldn't be. I also struggle to live in the moment a lot of the time, something I do crave. I want to be more 'present' for my kids than I am, more able to play games with them without being distracted, I struggle with this.

Anyway, here's my questions!

I was initially prescribed Concerta XL 2 weeks ago, 18mg and 27mg (to try). I've always found myself very sensitive to dosages and my experience was interesting. In short, on 18mg I found myself quite 'buzzy' and it wasn't comfortable, like a minor adrenalin rush constantly. I did feel very much less anxious, the brain chatter disappeared, this was great ! However I also found myself slurring words and a bit detached. Not the focus I hoped for at all. I tried 36mg and it just made me feel sick, cold sweats, not comfortable.

My Psychiatrist suggests ditching the Concerta and moving to 30mg Vyvanse to try. Happy to do this, she thinks it'll be far less buzzy and more calming and focussed. I'm tempted to actually take only half of this to see if a super low dosage works for me, the less the better....

Has anyone had negative experiences with Concerta and positive when moving to Vyvanse ?

The only thing that ever worries me is these stories of dependency. I absolutely want to be a better version of myself, hence the motivation to get the ADHD assessment done. I just never feel comfortable with the idea of being reliant on Meds, but I guess I can use them occasionally like 3 days on, 3 days off to avoid tolerance?

Any advice or supportive words/guidance welcomed

Thanks again

05-12-16, 12:21 PM
Unfortunately I haven't tried Vyvanse, but I am on Adderall Xr which is basically the same, just older. I'm sure doses aren't the same, but I started with 10mg a day and it only made drowsy and really relaxed. Uped the doseage to 20mg and I was amazed at the difference it has made.
I had No idea that I had ADHD or how much it really was affecting me in pretty much everything I do. When you've lived your entire life with undiagnosed ADHD it just becomes normal really. Adderall XR has changed all of that for me, I finally get to live the life I have wanted for so long.
I know this really doesn't answer your question, but wanted to share my experiences. Different medicines will have sometimes very different results and even doseage can make all the difference.
Give the Vyvanse a try, but don't get discouraged if that doesn't work for you, there's many other prescriptions you can try.
As for the feeling of being misdiagnosed, I really think that is something that is really common with adults just getting diagnosed. I went thru it, it was a struggle to accept, even though looking back at my life, it all made sense.
As far as dependency, I would say not to worry about that. As long as you are not adusing the meds you should be fine. I have come to the conclusion, I don't care if I have to take these pills the rest of my life, I don't care if I have to deal with the side effects, the good out weighs the negatives.
Hope this helps a little, welcome to the forum.

05-12-16, 12:51 PM
Hey Mark you sound a lot like me. I used to smoke weed and alcohol just so I could slow down enough to take everything in. Off all that now so I am back to 1000 mph! You are not alone my friend. I'm on no meds at the moment. Just being diagnosed myself at 39. Keep us up to date and let us know how you are doing maybe we can bounce ideas off of each other.

05-12-16, 01:01 PM
Hi There. The difference for me was that on concerta I was an anxious wreck although it did help me focus. It also felt much more buzzy like your on drugs. For me vyvanse is night and day. It calms down all of my intrusive/racing thoughts and allows me to feel focused and think In straight lines I also feel much more in control and optimistic about my future. I know that it depends on person to person but for me, vyvanse feels a lot milder but also allot more effective (if that makes sense). Good luck! I hope it is successfull

Little Nut
05-12-16, 01:55 PM
Hey MrC, Welcome.

For that period when trying to find the right drug FOR YOU, and the right dosage FOR YOU, and the right frequency of dosing FOR YOU, I felt it was very important that my Doc and I were always "on the same page" as to how much latitude I had/have. My doc actually gave/gives me quite a bit of latitude to adjust dosing and other things. The reason I point this out is that you mention that you are "tempted to actually take only half of"..., I wondered if your Doc is generally or specifically aware that you may do this?

I can't speak to the concerta, but 30mg of Vyvanse in a day is kinda equivalent to ~12mg of dexedrine spread out in a day. These are relatively low doses. Best Wishes, -LN

05-13-16, 08:21 AM

Firstly, THANK YOU so much to those who have replied, I never expected to hear from you and it's very much appreciated.

What is fascinating, hearing from Gonzo (above) is that I'm not alone in feeling like the way I am is the only way I've known. As a result, I have no reference point for feeling any other way, so it makes it uncomfortable to truly know if I'm ADHD or if the way I am is just normal. This is only really a concern because I don't like the idea of taking meds if I'm not truly ADHD (especially when I hear of people mis-using it for exams and studying), and you can never be 100% sure, despite the diagnosis.

The reality is that when you look at the list of typical symptoms, I tick 50% as present and the other 50% as not. I guess that's the way for most ADHD'ers ? I'm definitely on the inattentive scale of ADHD, I lack concentration and get bored easily, but I'm not chaotic or unstructured in my professional or personal life. I do look back and laugh at the list of unfinished entrepreneurial business ideas I've started, hyperfocussed on, and then dropped when I realise it's not as exciting as I first thought.

As mentioned with Concerta, it didn't work for me at all, so I've not yet reached or seen 'another way to be' as such. Hopefully Vyvanse will be like lifting a veil on what life is like to not be preoccupied with juggling balls and thoughts inside my head so often. I just want to be free from the anxiety I live with.

Everyone who doesn't know my inner anxieties describes me as gregarious and confident, very charming and fun. What they don't see is that I'm like a duck, calm on the top and yet paddling furiously underneath. How many other ADHD'ers are perceived this way ? I present one version of the truth because it suits me professionally and personally, I'll keep the other side of myself to myself.

Thanks again for listening, I'll update you soon with the wonders (or not) of Vyvanse