View Full Version : Considering requesting Dexedrine due to Adderall side effects.


Jwright7784
06-28-16, 12:59 AM
So, I am currently taking Adderall (30-40mg a day as needed) and am having some physical side effects from it. I have been doing some research and it seems like Dexedrine may be a suitable alternative for me. Other than a minor "crash" at the end of the day the only other side effect I have experienced is an increase in pulse rate. My blood pressure is usually 102-118 systolic and 75-88 diastolic but my pulse is consistently between 100-120 dropping to about 88 or so at night.

Today I started having some minor chest pain and upon taking my blood pressure/pulse I saw my pulse was 130. I've read that a pulse rate above 100 for long periods of time can cause some cardiovascular issues including cardiomyopathy but the stimulants really help. In my research it seems that people have stated that Dexedrine doesn't really have many cardiovascular side effects and in fact is my potent when it comes to mental clarity/focus. I was just wondering how true this is and see what other people think and have experienced. My insurance won't pay for the extended release version so how often would I need to take a pill for all day coverage (about 10am to at least 6pm)?

emperorpenguin
06-28-16, 07:21 PM
TL;DR: I'm in the same situation, recently switched from Adderall to Dexedrine due primarily to tachycardia, and I enthusiastically recommend trying it.

...

I think I'm in a pretty good position to offer insight as I'm in exactly the same situation! A couple of months ago I was diagnosed with ADHD and started on Adderall IR 20mg twice a day. I found it very effective, but the side effects were awful. I lost 15lbs in the span of 6 weeks (I was not overweight to begin with) because I lost all interest in food when I was on it. My blood pressure, which has always been right around 120/80, shot through the roof some days and I'd have a constant headache from that. I started taking some supplements (fish oil, grape seed, et al) and those seem to keep it under control.

Worst of all, my resting pulse went from my norm of 65-70 all the way up to 95-100. This last point concerned my psychiatrist, who ordered an EKG and a bunch of labs--all of which came back normal. Nonetheless, I really did not like the feeling of sitting at my desk with my heart pounding all day. I'm a little anxiety-prone also, and the jittery/flighty feeling from Adderall did not help me in social situations.

How's your caffeine intake? I will say that part of the problem for me was my enthusiastic coffee consumption. If you can reduce your intake, or better yet switch to decaf or cut it out entirely (I know, I know), it will probably lessen your tachycardia and high BP. It did for me...but even with no coffee, my pulse was still unusually high.

Anyway, I'd been researching Dexedrine as well and asked my doc about it at our last appointment. She agreed that we could give it a try, and RX'd me Dexedrine ER 15mg, 3x/day. That's actually a pretty big increase from my 40mg/day of Adderall, Dexedrine being more potent overall. In fact I wasn't even taking my full dose of Adderall; usually I'd take either 10mg or nothing in the afternoon. But hey, this way I'll have a good backup supply in case I switch docs, move, etc.

I only switched a few days ago, but I already MUCH, MUCH prefer it. It gives me the clarity, focus, and motivation I need without making me feel cracked-out and jumpy. I don't *feel* medicated. I just feel like I'm in a good mood and want to get work done--in other words, exactly what an ADHD drug is supposed to do! To me, at least, it's all the effectiveness of Adderall without the nasty side effects. I can eat, my weight has stabilized and I don't feel awkward or paranoid every time I have a conversation with a coworker.

You mentioned instant-release due to insurance. According to my psychiatrist (who looked it up on some smartphone reference app) there is only extended-release Dexedrine available (at least in the U.S. where I am), in 5, 10, and 15mg. I would have preferred IR as I like having fine-grained control over dosing, due to my insomnia, but it doesn't seem to be available. I could be wrong, though. A pharmacist would probably be able to give an authoritative answer.

Anyway, take all this with a grain of salt as each person responds differently to each drug. For me, though, Dexedrine has been far superior to Adderall. Good luck!

Jwright7784
06-29-16, 03:20 AM
Well, technically my blood pressure falls in the ideal range. It's mostly a tad bit under normal. But my pulse rate is always pretty high. I don't usually consume caffeine anymore, I pretty much quit when I started the Adderall. But your post has pretty much cemented my decision for me. At my next appointment I am going to request switching to Dexedrine. I had to look up to make sure they did in fact make IR, it seems they do. I also noticed a new post in this forum listing off IR manufacturers so that kinda confirms it as well.

I like the idea of being more clear minded without feeling medicated. Honestly, it's almost like Adderall has no positives for me. It feels like a crap shoot. Some days it works ok, some days it seems to make me very sleepy and some days I feel overstimulated to the point that I can't think clearly. Adderall doesn't even suppress my appetite (which kinda sucks cause I am overweight, that was kinda like a bonus for me) I actually get more hungry on it. I would say it breaks down like this:

20% of the time it works
20% of the time I feel over stimulated
60% of the time it makes me sleepy and does not work at all yet still raised my pulse rate

I was taking Acatavis brand XR 20mg but I found out lots of bad stuff about that brand so I started taking my IR's in leiu of the XR's and I haven't noticed much of a difference. I just kind of feel I shouldn't be putting myself at risk of cardiovascular issues with very little benefit.

emperorpenguin
06-29-16, 09:43 AM
Sorry for the bad info about the IR, I noticed the other post you mentioned and it does seem to be available. I'm very happy to have been wrong!

Laserbeak
06-29-16, 10:31 AM
That's what I did. It it is much smoother. No jitteriness or heart awareness or palpitations.

Jwright7784
06-29-16, 08:16 PM
Just spoke to my psych doc on the phone. She is going to write a script for dexedrine for me tommorow.

emperorpenguin
06-30-16, 10:59 AM
Just spoke to my psych doc on the phone. She is going to write a script for dexedrine for me tommorow.

Awesome! Glad you have a doc who listens.

Jwright7784
06-30-16, 08:56 PM
Got my Dexedrine today, well Dextroamphetamine anyway. It seems I got the Mallinckrodt brand. From what I have read in older posts Mallinckrodt is actually a really good brand so I am happy about that. I got stuck with Actavis for my Adderall XR (WORST BRAND EVER!!). I then got CorePharma for my Adderall IR's, they worked decent but I started getting really tired and VERY irritable. Hopefully this Mallinckrodt Dex works out for me. I won't be starting until tommorow since it is about 6 PM here now (I want to be able to sleep at a reasonable time, lol). I will post an update once I get to how well (or not well) these work.