View Full Version : Any Alternative When Run Out?


holden
06-15-09, 05:12 PM
What do you guys do when you run out of adderall before the end of the month? Is there anything to take that has similar effects? I'm studying for the bar exam and it looks like I'm going to run about a week short. Under normal circumstances, I'd never run short but studying for the bar exam requires me to study insane hours. Next month I'm going to have to pay a visit to me doctor and have my dosage upped for the next month but that doesn't help now.

Any suggestions?

Wintermute
06-15-09, 08:35 PM
Well the first legal alternative that comes to mind is Caffeine, which most of us know isn't really that big of a help. Also, depending on where you live, you might be able to find "supplements" that contain ephedra (legal, but banned in some states). I've made tea from plants containing it a long long time ago (also legal), and it didn't really do anything. Maybe because I have ADHD it didn't stimulate me like it does others? I don't know.

Anyway, it's more of a body feeling (sweating, heart rate increase) than any mental focus. It used to be in pills called "Yellowjackets", but they banned them in most states because the ephedrine can be used to manufacture methamphetamine.

If you ask me though, I'd just stick with caffeine and tough it out. It's a bummer, but if you're taking more than your prescribed it's inevitable.

holden
06-15-09, 09:09 PM
Well the first legal alternative that comes to mind is Caffeine, which most of us know isn't really that big of a help. Also, depending on where you live, you might be able to find "supplements" that contain ephedra (legal, but banned in some states). I've made tea from plants containing it a long long time ago (also legal), and it didn't really do anything. Maybe because I have ADHD it didn't stimulate me like it does others? I don't know.

Anyway, it's more of a body feeling (sweating, heart rate increase) than any mental focus. It used to be in pills called "Yellowjackets", but they banned them in most states because the ephedrine can be used to manufacture methamphetamine.

If you ask me though, I'd just stick with caffeine and tough it out. It's a bummer, but if you're taking more than your prescribed it's inevitable.

I really couldn't think of anything other than caffeine either. I always see those 5-hour Energy shots and thought that I might try one of those. But in reality I don't think that is going to help too much.

Wintermute
06-15-09, 11:38 PM
Well, don't lose hope. There's a chance that the adderall has helped you study often enough in the past that maybe now your brain will be a bit more "trained".

The idea, apparently, behind adderall is that after a while we're not supposed to need it anymore because it's helped us form the habits and coping mechanisms to manage. Try to remind yourself that at this point the adderall may have just been making it easier, and you're capable of studying without it :)

holden
06-16-09, 12:00 AM
Thanks for the words of encouragement. I'm afraid my brain may be more difficult to train because as soon as I stop taking my adderall all I want to do is sleep.

HypnicJerk
06-16-09, 02:23 PM
Hang in there. But I'd be wary of taking too much of the 5-Hr. Energy drinks. (And most likely one will not be enough to tune you up). Twice now, I took the energy drinks in grand excess, and I was just barely able to contain my nausea. It was horrible. (One of those times I took the drink and added a couple of the Kicker sprays under my tongue and became so fiercely sick.). Good luck to you; let us know if you find anything to supplement or get you through it.

Maurice
06-16-09, 02:43 PM
I avoid having to worry about running out by taking the dose I am prescribed. Pretty simple.

holden
06-16-09, 03:48 PM
I avoid having to worry about running out by taking the dose I am prescribed. Pretty simple.

Well Maurice, you are one of the lucky ones that have it all figured out. While I do envy you, I am faced with a rather unique situation. I choose to have my prescription amount lowered several months ago because in my day-to-day life I did not need such large dosages. Now, however, I am studying for the bar exam, which requires me to be up and studying by 8:00 a.m. and not finish until around 11:00 p.m. Under no other situation that I am aware of, would I ever expect to have to study so much. Once I see my doctor I can have my prescription increased but, as I'm not currently in my home state, I can't do that right now. Hence my request for suggestions.

I do appreciate you taking the time throw in your two cents but, as you seem to be one of the most together individuals I've come across, I don't know that you have too much to offer this discussion.

kara59
06-16-09, 04:07 PM
Rather than be angry at poster(s) responses, I would be calling my doctor's office, requesting that my rx be increased back to what it was before I asked it to be decreased.
kara59

CDRacingZX6R
06-16-09, 10:43 PM
I take supplements on days when I feel I need a break from Adderall.

Besides the obvious, a nice multivitamin... I take L-Tyrosine 500mg, couple times a day and it seems to help energy wise for me. I also take magnesium taurate at night, before bed when I am taking the medication because it seems to help keep the medication more effective throughout the day. So your smaller dosage may go further if you lower your tolerance a bit. (Depending on rather you believe this is even possible, I do it just in case and it feels like it's helping).

As for the anger at the previous response, you should understand that in a forum like this, people will be sensitive to situations of possible abuse. No saying your abusing, or that your excuse isn't possible.. I'm just saying that its not easy to get a doctor to trust you enough to prescribe a drug like adderall... And the more people who abuse it and get caught, the harder it becomes for the others who legitimately use it as prescribed to get.

PedroDaGr8
06-16-09, 10:46 PM
Rather than be angry at poster(s) responses, I would be calling my doctor's office, requesting that my rx be increased back to what it was before I asked it to be decreased.
kara59

I would call my doctor's office and ask for a short term script. I have done that before when I was in a similar situation (final's week) and ran out about 2 weeks before my appt. I called up the doctors office, explained everything to the receptionist. I came in, met with him for a few minutes in person and boom had a script to get me through. He wrote it for long enough to last me.

Haven't had to do that with my most recent doctor but I doubt she would have a problem either.

Sandy4957
06-17-09, 02:27 AM
Setting aside the ethical issues 'cause I'm just curious about the science of it... wouldn't pseudoephedrine be the closest OTC thing to Adderall?

Perhaps the ethical response is to point out that 10 minutes of exercise is like a dose of Ritalin. Having studied for a bar exam --- honestly, how DO doctors study like that for their board exams every four years or whatever it is? --- I hear you about how much time you're spending right now. You'll feel better if you take small breaks every few hours or so to go for a walk or run or whatever.

Good luck. Bear in mind that whatever the pass rate is in your state, it's still likely a majority that passes. I know that it's hard to see that at the time, but I realized in retrospect that I didn't need to be nearly as terrified as I was when I took it.

zandalm
06-17-09, 03:20 AM
Perhaps the ethical response is to point out that 10 minutes of exercise is like a dose of Ritalin. Having studied for a bar exam --- honestly, how DO doctors study like that for their board exams every four years or whatever it is? --- I hear you about how much time you're spending right now. You'll feel better if you take small breaks every few hours or so to go for a walk or run or whatever.
I'm pretty new to Ritalin (about 4 weeks) but have been exercising all my life (2-4 hours a day during my teens/early twenties, about 1-2 now that I'm in my late thirties) but to me there is comparison between 10 minutes of exercise and a dose of Ritalin.

Exercise might calm me down for a little while (def not as long as Ritalin does) but it does very little for my ability to focus.

I am curious about this though, have you got any links to info about studies that have come to the conclusion that exercise is as effective as Ritalin? Perhaps I should chose different forms of exercise.

meadd823
06-17-09, 03:30 AM
I am curious about this though, have you got any links to info about studies that have come to the conclusion that exercise is as effective as Ritalin? Perhaps I should chose different forms of exercise.

It is in a book written by John Ratey "Spark" he probably has the study listed some where on his web site -
John Ratey (http://johnratey.typepad.com/)


I am curious about this though, have you got any links to info about studies that have come to the conclusion that exercise is as effective as Ritalin? Perhaps I should chose different forms of exercise.


Vigorous aerobic - the effects are not as long lasting in some ways but are more so in others Only creatures that move have brains - there is no doubt a connection

holden
06-17-09, 03:39 AM
You'll feel better if you take small breaks every few hours or so to go for a walk or run or whatever.

Good luck. Bear in mind that whatever the pass rate is in your state, it's still likely a majority that passes. I know that it's hard to see that at the time, but I realized in retrospect that I didn't need to be nearly as terrified as I was when I took it.

Thanks for the suggestions - it's good to hear from someone that actually understands what I'm talking about with the massive amount of studying that you're forced to do in a relatively short period of time. I'm not as much terrified so far as I am overwhelmed by the amount of information that I'm expected to learn and be able to discuss. I'm sure that the next stage will be terror though.

As far as the small breaks go, I have two dogs (lab & shar-pei) so I'm forced to take breaks every few hours and take them for walks. I've actually started taking them for frequent long walks because they both come inside and pass out for a few hours and give me a few hours of quiet time.

Thanks again.

bratterscained
06-17-09, 12:08 PM
I've had some luck with the 5 hour energy shots. Just like anything else, you'll build up a tolerance to them if you use them frequently. Matter of fact, I was using mainly those and caffeine to self medicate before I was officially diagnosed and prescribed ADD meds. I'm also like you, in that without my meds... all I want to do is sleep and be a lazy bum. I have NO energy. I've always been like that - hence the insane dependence on 5 hour energy shots. I used to buy them in bulk from Sam's Club, seriously. Since being prescribed meds I haven't used them at all, but have recently considered using them on days when I need energy but don't need Adderall style focus. That way I can save my Adderall for time when I really need it.

Good luck on your exam!!!

zandalm
06-17-09, 07:02 PM
It is in a book written by John Ratey "Spark" he probably has the study listed some where on his web site -
John Ratey (http://johnratey.typepad.com/)

Thanks. Will look into it.


Vigorous aerobic - the effects are not as long lasting in some ways but are more so in others Only creatures that move have brains - there is no doubt a connectionThe health benefits are obvious and for a while I will be less restless. That said, I used to do mini triathlons before school and 2 hours of martial arts after school and as far as I can remember it didn't do much for my focusing and was therefor not helpful when it came to studying.

That said, at the time I had no idea I had ADHD so perhaps I would have noticed had I known and paid more attention to it :)

Either way, I like exercising so it can't hurt to try.:cool:

Old School MBD
06-17-09, 07:22 PM
I avoid having to worry about running out by taking the dose I am prescribed. Pretty simple.

It is best to take the prescribed dose each month, or the doctor can not evaluate the effectiveness of the dose that month. It is thru interviewing you at the end of each month that he/she can alter the dose. By doing that, My dose was stabelized in 3 months, and now I only have to go in every 90 days!

The fastest way to get the dose adjusted is follow dosing instructions. If your day is long, try coffee or mt. dew to supplement. don't take more adderall.

But as far as your question goes, If you know in advance you are about to run out (drop down toilet or something) if you normally take two a day for example, go down to one. Some each day will do better than none!

PedroDaGr8
06-17-09, 09:09 PM
Everyone is harassing him about running out. It's not like he is doubling up his prescription. It sounds to me like he is just taking an additional dose later in the day that normally he would not take. That's how mine is when I have to study hardcore. I have to take every 4 hrs. So if I start studying at 8am I take it at 8, 12, 4 and 8 again that evening (if I plan on studying after 8PM). Normal days, I would take it at 8, 12 and 4. My doctor knew this and would have the bottle written take 1 in the morning and every 4 hours after as needed.

MSKiles_ATX
06-18-09, 01:37 AM
What do you guys do when you run out of adderall before the end of the month? Is there anything to take that has similar effects? I'm studying for the bar exam and it looks like I'm going to run about a week short. Under normal circumstances, I'd never run short but studying for the bar exam requires me to study insane hours. Next month I'm going to have to pay a visit to me doctor and have my dosage upped for the next month but that doesn't help now.

Any suggestions?

What type of Adderall are you taking? IR? or XR?

Unfortunately, I run into the same situation one too many times. It is what it is though!

In my case, I run out of Adderall about a week before the meds can be refilled. I've been on Adderall for over 8 years (dosage: ~90mg/day IR prescribed by psychiatrist) and tried just about every ADHD medication on the market. Adderall appears to be the only one that does the trick. I'm looking forward to the new Amphetamine patches that will be released sometime in the upcoming future.

Some ideas ...

1) Legally, we have to wait "x" number of days before we can refill that same specific prescription at a pharmacy. The number of days we must wait to have a script refilled is dictated by the Insurance provider we go through.

A) (Depending on how bad you want Adderall) If you're taking Adderall IR, I would call either your current doctor or another one and have them write you a script for Adderall XR. You can legally fill another Adderall script before the current one runs out so long as its a different "type" of Adderall (i.e. XR). At least this way you could still have Adderall in your system.

2) Call your Doc up (or another Doctor) and ask them to put you on Dexadrine (similar to Adderall). After your exams are over, tell the Doctor to put you back on Adderall because the Dex isn't working.

3) 5 hour energy drinks and Red Bull - They don't do nearly as much as the Adderall does; however, anything is better than nothing.

4) The all-in-one vitamins from the grocery store can be of assistance

5) It may also help later to have another medicine added to your cocktail - perhaps an NDRI such as Wellbutrin which would assist in carrying you through the weeks that you're running low on Adderall (even if you intend to up your Adderall dosage at the next Doctor visit)

6) I've learned that it "sometimes" can be beneficial to NOT spread them out in small doses if you're running low. You'll reach a point where taking something small like 20 - 40 mg IR just doesn't cut it and there's no use in wasting the Adderall if you don't achieve the effect you're looking for. The best bet is to just take whatever your dose is and then some (from what it sounds like in your post) so as to achieve the full effect of the medication. Just make sure you use it to the fullest extent whenever you do take it and get as much done as possible while the Adderall is in your system.

7) Exercise helps out a lot in the fight against ADHD and the ability to focus.

8) Get plenty of rest! - Remember this, Adderall is completely useless without any sleep.

9) Ignore the other posts about taking caffeine (a diuretic). Caffeine will only dry you out and weaken the Adderall. Drink lots of water and nothing else.

--> Remember that Adderall is weakened by a number of things including fruit juices, alcohol, sodas, food (take adderall after you eat), physical activity, etc ... [Not Recommended but an idea] ... Eat a big breakfast, take your Adderall throughout the day and drink only water. Wait until dinner again before you eat. Perhaps you can get more study time that way.

Anywho ...

my 2 cents ...

Hope this helps!

Matt

selby
06-18-09, 01:47 AM
I made a thread about this but can't find it... 5 Hour Energy made me terribly depressed and angry. I noticed that Sudafed seemed to help a little as a side effect but that's definitely not a good idea. The one thing that helped the most was a supplement recommended in a thread called Neuro PS. Found it in Walgreens. The ingredient is phosphatidylserine. The front says "Nutritionally supports memory and learning". But its effect is nowhere near a stimulant's. Best thing to do is try and get some meds from your doctor because nothing else really compares at all.

PedroDaGr8
06-18-09, 12:25 PM
One more comment on the temp script. Often times if you are taking the generic IR, a temp script can be QUITE cheap. For example, a bottle of 30 count 20mg pills for me was $9.77, which is below my generic co-pay, so it wasn't even filed with my insurance. So if you need an amount to get you by, talk to your doctor and you may find out on generic that you can afford it out of pocket with no insurance.

Old School MBD
06-18-09, 01:01 PM
Everyone is harassing him about running out. It's not like he is doubling up his prescription. It sounds to me like he is just taking an additional dose later in the day that normally he would not take. That's how mine is when I have to study hardcore. I have to take every 4 hrs. So if I start studying at 8am I take it at 8, 12, 4 and 8 again that evening (if I plan on studying after 8PM). Normal days, I would take it at 8, 12 and 4. My doctor knew this and would have the bottle written take 1 in the morning and every 4 hours after as needed.

EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Take the prescribed dose, then relate your concerns to your dr so heshe can make the proper adjustments.

I am not harassing, but shareing my 37 years of adhd experience!

Old School MBD
06-18-09, 01:06 PM
What type of Adderall are you taking? IR? or XR?

Unfortunately, I run into the same situation one too many times. It is what it is though!

In my case, I run out of Adderall about a week before the meds can be refilled. I've been on Adderall for over 8 years (dosage: ~90mg/day IR prescribed by psychiatrist) and tried just about every ADHD medication on the market. Adderall appears to be the only one that does the trick. I'm looking forward to the new Amphetamine patches that will be released sometime in the upcoming future.

Some ideas ...

1) Legally, we have to wait "x" number of days before we can refill that same specific prescription at a pharmacy. The number of days we must wait to have a script refilled is dictated by the Insurance provider we go through.

A) (Depending on how bad you want Adderall) If you're taking Adderall IR, I would call either your current doctor or another one and have them write you a script for Adderall XR. You can legally fill another Adderall script before the current one runs out so long as its a different "type" of Adderall (i.e. XR). At least this way you could still have Adderall in your system.

2) Call your Doc up (or another Doctor) and ask them to put you on Dexadrine (similar to Adderall). After your exams are over, tell the Doctor to put you back on Adderall because the Dex isn't working.

3) 5 hour energy drinks and Red Bull - They don't do nearly as much as the Adderall does; however, anything is better than nothing.

4) The all-in-one vitamins from the grocery store can be of assistance

5) It may also help later to have another medicine added to your cocktail - perhaps an NDRI such as Wellbutrin which would assist in carrying you through the weeks that you're running low on Adderall (even if you intend to up your Adderall dosage at the next Doctor visit)

6) I've learned that it "sometimes" can be beneficial to NOT spread them out in small doses if you're running low. You'll reach a point where taking something small like 20 - 40 mg IR just doesn't cut it and there's no use in wasting the Adderall if you don't achieve the effect you're looking for. The best bet is to just take whatever your dose is and then some (from what it sounds like in your post) so as to achieve the full effect of the medication. Just make sure you use it to the fullest extent whenever you do take it and get as much done as possible while the Adderall is in your system.

7) Exercise helps out a lot in the fight against ADHD and the ability to focus.

8) Get plenty of rest! - Remember this, Adderall is completely useless without any sleep.

9) Ignore the other posts about taking caffeine (a diuretic). Caffeine will only dry you out and weaken the Adderall. Drink lots of water and nothing else.

--> Remember that Adderall is weakened by a number of things including fruit juices, alcohol, sodas, food (take adderall after you eat), physical activity, etc ... [Not Recommended but an idea] ... Eat a big breakfast, take your Adderall throughout the day and drink only water. Wait until dinner again before you eat. Perhaps you can get more study time that way.

Anywho ...

my 2 cents ...

Hope this helps!

Matt

Caffiene is for AFTER the adderal wears off, of like you said, it will flush it thru sooner

chartreuse
06-18-09, 07:02 PM
Years ago (before I even knew I had ADD) when I was pulling an all-nighter getting an issue to print, someone brought in some liquid ginseng. I added it to diet coke, and I remember it being pretty effective. I don't know if it was exactly this, but this looks close:

http://www.made-in-china.com/showroom/wangx2001/product-detailDEnmdvAGRJLK/China-Energy-Enhancer-Panax-Ginseng-Extractum-Oral-Liquid-Hd-002-.html

Wintermute
06-19-09, 12:08 PM
Yeah, taking an additional dose when you have an extra long day is not the same as taking double your dose. Like in my case tonight, I had a toilet explode and have been up all night. Of course if I take my first pill at 5AM instead of 10AM like usual, I'm very likely going to need an extra pill to get me through the evening. I can spare it I'm sure.

It's when you're taking 40mg instead of 20mg to get a rush or whatever, and then doing that again and again...that's abusing your meds. Sounds to me like the OP is doing everything right. People shouldn't be so quick to assume people are abusing. For most of us independent ADD'ers, we are our own best doctors (to a certain extent ;) )

Marmalade_man
06-19-09, 12:59 PM
Call your Doctor's office and explain the problem. Mine has always been good to help me when I get in a situation like that. If you are in a jurisdiction where the doctor can't just write you a new prescription for an extra week, perhaps your doctor can fill in with free samples. Mine has lots of them. That is why it is especially important to maintain a good relationship with your doctor.

I can see that you may have additional credibility because you recently asked to have your dosage reduced. Don't forget to mention that. However, he or she may not be impressed with the fact that you have taken more than prescribed and are now going to run out.

I would be VERY cautious about asking for a similar drug replacement unless that is the only way your doctor can do it and he or she suggests that as a way to get around restrictions. Perhaps a gentile suggestion "Do you have anything else that can help out?", might work but be cautious in the manner you make the request.

Doctors are continually confronted by drug addicts trying to get more and more restricted drugs for resale or illegal purposes so in some cases the request I mentioned above may be difficult. They also have problems with patients altering the dosages taken on their own and wanting more.

I take rather large doses of Concerta twice a day and a further small dose of regular Ritalin at bedtime.

I occasionally miss a dose and put that away in a safe place for the time when I forget to get my prescription renewed in a timely fashion. That might be a good idea for you to do in the future if you can or do miss doses occasionally. I have at least an extra week supply.

Oh, one final suggestion, when talking to your doctor, make sure you have recently taken your meds. You certainly don't want to be in need of your meds and sounding like a strung out addict desperate for a fix.

Good luck

SuzzanneX
06-19-09, 01:07 PM
what I do is...~Suck It UP~...because I'm a drug addict, and my doctor ain't playin' that......

it's a Med Holiday

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcwIEupH7UU


.......you actually feel so bad, you get in less trouble.

SuzzanneX
06-19-09, 01:20 PM
I'm not gonna go here...LOVE YA ADD FORUMS! *waves*

....nevermind.

holden
06-19-09, 04:46 PM
UPDATE:

Problem solved. Drove home and saw my doctor today. Dosage upped. Crisis averted. Thanks for all of the responses.

termaxlor
11-20-09, 11:19 AM
that is sooo true! I just posted on another topic about this same thing. I recently moved from Dallas to the rio grand valley, and could not find a doctor that would continue my treatment of adderall. I was actually going to drive 10 hours thanksgiving week to visit with my doctor in dallas. I found a doctor this week that agreed to continue my treatment. thank god! the other doctors are only willing to prescribe ssri or the such, and they didnt work.

whataboutufreak
11-20-09, 11:55 AM
alot of people wouldn't agree with me on this, but I have been off meds for add for several years, the condition didn't go away, I really hated the way the pills made me feel, I explained it to my dr and my psychologist, neither one of them understood what i was talking about, I would tell them i feel calm but nervous at the same time and i concentrate better taking them but i feel like a zombie with no feelings no expression, so they increased my dosage every time i complained.. And no taking myself off of them wasn't easy it went to other substances, but it didn't have to. That was my mistake, I have found that accepting myself and practicing not worrying about how other people evaluate me in the world, finding something about my condition that i appreciate and make it work for me, multi tasking is at the top, the fact that im unique with a sense of humor.. Knowing how to take time to myself and enjoy life, I dont suggest going off meds if they aren't giving you any trouble. Oh and if you are taking more than you are supposed to to get geeked up then i would suggest you come off of them, its alot more trouble than its worth believe me, been there. I hope that helped in some way? .. and like i always say if it doesn't apply then let it fly. :)