View Full Version : Insomnia/Anxiety meds interacting w/ ADD meds

12-15-08, 09:57 PM
I've suffered from ADD for most of my life, along with Anxiety and Insomnia. I recently(around a year ago) was diagnosed with ADD, Insomnia, Anxiety, and Depression, but i had/have been wanting to be prescribed ADD, Insomnia, and Anxiety medication(i have no desire to medicate my "depression") for about two years.
When I went to the doctor he prescribed me only medecine for my ADD(Vyvanse). I didn't like how i was reacting to it and have since tried Ritalin, Focalin, Concerta, Adderall, and Dexedrine. I am currently on Dexedrine and am still not being treated for my Insomnia and Anxiety.
I believe that if my Insomnia is treated that my Anxiety will get better, so I have been taking all kinds of Over The Counter, and Homeopathic medications(so please do not suggest Melatonin or anything like that, they don't help for me). I am going to the dr. tomorrow and I want to get prescribed a "Nonbenzodiazepine", (like Ambien, or Sonota. Not Lunesta, it doesn't really help as much as I bet the others would) and I just want to know if there would be any reactions between taking Stimulant ADD medications in the morning along with Nonbenzodiazepine Insomnia medications in the night

08-24-09, 02:47 AM
I have been on this formula of medication (since 1997) for my A.D.D. my
co-morbid Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and for my Insomnia, all by the same Psychiatrist. We have meddled around with the formula over the yrs,
but we always come back to this:
One Dexedrine Spansule 15 mg. (upon awakening) for A.D.D.
One Adderall 10mg IR (upon awakening) for A.D.D.
One Adderall 10mg IR (between 1PM and 3PM) for A.D.D.
One 10 mg. Ambien (between 8PM and 10PM) for Insomnia
One 100 mg. Trazodone (between (9PM and 10PM) for Dysthymic Disorder

I also see a Dermatologist for urtacaria (hives) who prescribes me
2 x 10mg. Atarax (hydroxyzine) a tranquilizer-antihistimine for flare-ups
that I historically take between 8PM and 10PM (hives), for flare-ups of
extreme anxiety with agitation, I substitute one 10 mg generic Valium,
in needed. If the flare-up is near my bedtime, I substitute the Valium for
the Ambien, (not taken together) which happens infrequently, maybe
once or twice per week. I am authorized to take the Atarax (if needed)
anytime of the day, but, in my experience, it interferes with my ADD meds (thus it tends to weaken my ability to focus & concentrate) as the
Atarax (hydroxyzine) tends to make you tired and lethargic, while it is a excellent med to stop the symptoms of facial itching (hives), thus I try
to postpone my use of this med until the evening hours, as it also slows
me down so I can wind down and minimize my insomnia.

08-25-09, 04:31 PM
so you say you have generalized anxiety but your not treating it correct? Maybe mph facilitates this behavior while dex is better for it.

08-27-09, 01:14 AM
Thank you for your fast response. Yes, I do have Generalized Anxiety
Disorder, and my Psychiatrist, and my Dermatologist, have been trying to
treat my ADD. I was once on 60 mg. daily of either Ritalin IR, or Dexedrine
IR, in the middle 1990's, and my Psychiatrist's had reduced my doses down
to 35 mg. total for the past 8 to 9 years, now. He felt the fast release
methyphenidate, and/or the fast release (immediate release dexedrine sulfate "increased my anxiety too much", thus he switched me years ago,
to the "sustained release Dexedrine sulfate 15mg. capsules" and the intermediate release Adderall 10 mg. tabs. I often "reduce my Adderall dose by 1/2 a lot" and have built up a excess 4 month supply of it, due to
my continuation of dose reductions, do control my anxiety. I also am in
cognitive-behavioral individual counseling, (9th year) for behavior modification for guidance. Also had 100 sessions of Dialectic Behavior Therapy 2004 thru 2006 for my anxiety.
I am a bit said "maybe mph facilitates this behavior,
while dex is better for it" What does "mph" stand for? The sustained
release dexedrine is smoother, and is easier to manage than IR Ritalin,
IR Dexedrine 5mg. sulfate, (for me) thus ...yes, this capsule of dex will
usually last about 7 to 8 hrs for me. I use the Adderall as a "booster" when the Dex Spansules "poop out" before the day is over.
I have tried to take hydroxyzine 10 mg. during the day for my anxiety,
(Atarax/Vistaril) but 10 or 20mg. dose of it, waters down the effects of the stimulants, so much, that, I get drowsy, and lethargic from that
antihistamine/tranquilizer. But I will take it when I have a bad flareup of
daytime "hives". On a real bad day, I will take a 10 mg. Diazepam (Valium),
I also go the the gym 3 times per week for physical conditioning for my
I mostly was just curious what drug you meant by the term "mph"
Thanks in advance!

08-27-09, 01:26 PM
MPH, is just another name for ritalin.

I've been told that if you have anxiety or generalized low grade worry thoughts then in order to get full adhd symptom control you must treat them both. Early on in adhd treatment usually the rush from the stimulants treats anxiety as your boost in confidence and boost in mental processing logically allows you to interpret a more logical line of what to think of daily in the daily hierarchy of most important things to do and worry about to those things of the least value , ie ( Doing your job and doing whats important instead of worrying or hyperfocusing on irrational thoughts and later obsessing about them spending hours wasting time and then later forgetting about it.... In the long term things like this can change the way your mind and brain reacts... it's like a chain reaction. I know all to well the sides of ssri's and how sedating they can be and trust me I know it can make your adhd temporarily worse but honestly if you have adhd and you have anxiety then naturally your anxiety will be worse because your worries become unrealistic because if your worrying all the time then over time you become stressed and that interferes with the way psychostimulants affect your brain ... so honestly over time it becomes a two headed dragon .... One subfunction working against the other. Now, on the good side , if you do have adhd and anxiety then if you take something for anxiety like a generalized anxiety medication in a very low dose well then your probability for successful treatment is far better than the general population with just anxiety because the person with adhd probably has a lower grade of anxiety but over time the adhd makes it worse... Thus when you treat the anxiety in a small dose of medication and after a few weeks you will often notice full relief and your back to baseline. That baseline being a full back fo full symptom control and trust me it can happen . Treating my anxiety with low dose cymbalta currently , you can always add a medication like wellbutrin if you feel the fatigue is interferring with your adhd

10-18-09, 11:58 PM
That's basically the situation I'm experiencing, Hollywood, except my problem is ability to sleep, not GAD. I've never been able to sleep very well, it takes me a long time to get to sleep, and regardless of how much sleep I get, I rarely feel really recharged by a night of sleep. This wasn't really to big of a deal for the past few years, as I wasn't on any medication and I had accepted (decided?) that I was not by any means capable of doing better in school than I already was.

Since I've been working with Adderall, though, I find that making my medication as effective as possible means getting a full nights sleep, which, as you can guess, a CNS doesn't help ^_^

So my psych prescribed me 10mg Zolpidem Tartrate (Ambien) to take as-needed for sleep. As I got them on friday, I have yet to take one, but I am going to tonight around 10, which should give me plenty of time to wake up by 7:15ish. Anyways, I hope it works out, I'll let you guys know how things go, ie sleeping throughout the night, waking up rested, you know, the things you expect to get from a nights sleep ^_^

10-24-09, 09:44 AM

I took ambien briefly way back a few years ago, at first it works well then it lost its effect and I stopped them and am back to normal sleep. I'll never take a sleep aid ever again. Thats just me though.

10-25-09, 07:11 PM
What happens when you try to sleep?

I have GAD, ADD, and BPD, as well as insomnia.

My insomnia is probably due to all of the above lol.

For me when I finally lay down part of what keeps me from falling asleep is shutting down my brain, "letting go", my thoughts just wont stop, the just keep rattling on, and on and on. I have a hard time letting go of the night. I have to try and "unfocus" on something that takes minimal effort/thinking that will distract my brain from "real thinking", like a white noise or fan loud enough so it's comforting and not annoying. Sometimes that does help and I can allow myself to let go.

I will tell myself to "sink in" to the relaxing feeling of the pillows and covers, and each time I catch myself going back into those "thoughts" i do it again. I pay attention to how it feels to be in soft covers and not the crap in my head. Im not saying it happens quickly but it helps, it's better than nothing.

I have a bf that just plops on the bed, lays his head down and he's out, it's so ANNOYING lol. It's like a stupid human trick, except it's not stupid it's bloody brillant.

For me it's partially (ive allowed myself to get stuck in a pattern) the ADD/GAD that distracts me from going to bed at a decent hour, and the anxiety that keeps my brain from being quiet that causes the insomnia. Not the other way around.

For me my anxiety makes my add worse and my add makes my anxiety worse. It's like running in circles your not getting anywhere but tired and then you still cant sleep, now *that* is a pain in the butt! =)

10-27-09, 01:18 AM
Well, for me, the first battle is getting to sleep. Like you said, getting all those thoughts to cool down takes so much energy that my body is all riled up by the time I quiet my brain... talk about crappy cycle. Normally though, I can get to sleep within an hour or two of laying down to bed, it's like a certain amount of time without any stimulus and my brain just flicks the off switch, and goes from 100mph to zero, so I never remember actually falling asleep.

The thing that made me mention it to my pdoc is that I would fall alseep, and then wake up three hours later, brain running full tilt, and it'd be impossible to get to sleep, which would be frustrating because I know the adderall doesn't work nearly as well with no sleep, further contributing to my never getting back to sleep, uugh.

I find that a half an ambien (5mg zolpidem tartrate) is enough to knock me out pretty quickly, within 20min, but it doesn't do much to keep me alseep beyond five hours or so.

Right now I'm experimenting with taking my adderall with some grain-based product, like oatmeal, to help temper it a bit, so that maybe I won't be so racey by the time it's bed-time.

10-27-09, 01:34 AM
I have taken AmbienCR for several years now for insomnia and it works very well. I would recommend it to anyone that has a problem getting a good nights rest. The regular Ambien 10mg. is O.K. but the Ambien CR 12.5mg. is better because you use half of the pill to get to sleep and then the other half is released later so you stay asleep.

10-27-09, 10:08 AM
that stuff never worked longterm for me.. wonder why? Oh well , I don't need it anyway

10-27-09, 01:02 PM
Yeah, after I got it prescribed, I read up on some of the side effects, and there's some crazy stuff, sleep walking, sleep eating, sleep sex, sleep driving, hallucinations.

So basically I decided that I'm not going to use it unless getting to sleep on my own isn't a possibility.