View Full Version : Adderall - Failure or Expectations?


adhbee
03-05-17, 01:36 PM
Hi All,

Some backstory: I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child but never properly treated. I'm in my early 30's now and have been seeing a psychiatrist since late last year. Anxiety is also an issue for me; the doctor wanted that under control before I thought about taking anything for ADHD. I was seriously messed up when I attempted an SSRI (zoloft), so was instead put on Gabapentin. No side effects, yay! I've also been working hard with my therapist. I wouldn't say the anxiety is gone, but I think I have better control of most aspects except maybe social anxiety (I hate phoning and emailing people).

I was put on generic Adderall (Aurobindo) 5mg on February 4th. No change on this, I felt pretty normal. On the 18th I started a higher 10mg dose. Since he told me this was more likely to be functional, and because of some recent epiphanies, I decided to try and come up with a better organization system to complement the medication.

That went "well". I love to organize by default and spent days going around in circles looking for apps that would help. Now, I'm not sure if this was hyperfocus or any effect from the Adderall. My appetite dropped, but again, I was focusing on a thing I enjoy. Besides this, I didn't notice any other changes from the Adderall. If anything, I felt less energetic than usual and had a hard time getting going because I dropped caffeine (tea) entirely during the med trials. It was kind of disappointing as I had high expectations.

However, I worry about whether it was working and was just subtle. :( My doctor was mixed as well but said that he gets the same reaction to tasks he enjoys, and I wasn't getting any work done on the tasks I needed to do. So he agreed that the Adderall probably wasn't working.

I started 10mg Ritalin yesterday, but that's a post for another board. Any thoughts? I'm a worrier and am already concerned that either I don't have ADHD (would it do anything if I didn't?) or that medication may not be effective!

sarahsweets
03-05-17, 03:14 PM
A question to ask yourself is...what were the worst and least bothersome adhd symptoms and were any of them-even a few better on the medication? Were there any side effects? if some of the symptoms got better and you didnt have horrible side effects then I personally would have tried a higher dose of adderall instead of switching to a different kind of medication.

adhbee
03-05-17, 03:34 PM
The worst aspects for me, I think, are trouble reading documents properly, paying full attention to conversations, holding focus on tasks, and forgetting/getting distracted. I don't think the Adderall was helping these issues. But, there weren't any side effects besides possibly decreased appetite.

I also thought they would increase the dose, but my doctor preferred to switch meds to upping. I was told that it was better to find something with a low effective dose, and he was concerned because I'm not a big person.

PaulCamR
03-05-17, 08:39 PM
The worst aspects for me, I think, are trouble reading documents properly, paying full attention to conversations, holding focus on tasks, and forgetting/getting distracted. I don't think the Adderall was helping these issues. But, there weren't any side effects besides possibly decreased appetite.

I also thought they would increase the dose, but my doctor preferred to switch meds to upping. I was told that it was better to find something with a low effective dose, and he was concerned because I'm not a big person.

If your doctor has a good reason, then that's fair. But titration standards tend to go a fair bit past 10mg before giving up on a medication.

Giving up caffeine while you trial a med definitely could change the way you see the medication. If I don't have coffee and I take Adderall, the Adderall doesn't feel like it works nearly as much. That's not an issue with Adderall, it's the fact that I rely on caffeine. If that's you, maybe trial Adderall without stopping caffeine (unless if you have a heart condition, blood pressure problems, etc).

Adderall and Methylphenidate products weren't magic for me. I flip-flopped around. I'm less than 2 months into trialing prescriptions. I'm on a longer-term trial of Adderall XR now. Everyone is *definitely* different, but I certainly can't self-assess how the meds work on me as well as I wish I could.

Definitely keep working with your doctor, but consider other factors that will help as well. Without proper planning initiatives, you might not see as much progress with the medication as you'd hoped. I have no organization-based planning initiatives, better sleep patterns, and I'm trying to do more cardio (I tend to just lift weights with no cardio). These all help. I've also started taking fish oil regularly, multivits, and I have a booster drink I make that has some things that help me (ALCAR, taurine, and a few other things). Me, I need energy boosts to focus, but I need to tailor those boosts to my needs otherwise I might have too much energy.

Long story short:

- Keep implementing strategies. Organization systems, exercise, food, relevant supplements.
- Try to keep track of how you're doing by other means than just "well I didn't feel anything today". Try to keep some more objective records.
- Don't necessarily give up one thing that you find beneficial in your life while you are trialing a medication. However, if your doctor says to give up caffeine while you trial the meds, then obviously do what the doctor says.

adhbee
03-05-17, 10:08 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, Paul. :) The reason I gave up tea was because of some "weirdness" after my second day of Adderall. I had oolong tea in the afternoon but also had a different organization project that I got sucked into. I was awake thinking most of the night and was jittery/racing heart the next day. I'm not sure if it was the 5mg Adderall + caffeine, the lack of sleep (which can mess with me), or the whole combo. My doctor did say that I should be able to have caffeine so I guess I'll reintroduce it in the mornings.

I also feel like my doctor may have given up on Adderall a bit too quickly. I have another appointment in two weeks to discuss the Ritalin trial.. We'll see how this med goes. So far it's pretty uneventful with no side effects, like the Adderall.