View Full Version : who among us can't take stims?


smartestblonde
04-23-10, 09:30 PM
So I think I've decided tonight that my irritability/anger are too sensitive to stimulant medications. Based on what my psychiatrist described, I am taking what's considered to be the most mild of the stimulant meds, Focalin, after not having success on Concerta. Today was day 4 on Focalin, and as much as I wanted it to work, my mind felt like a pinball machine today and I had chest pains on and off all day, and when my husband got home from work, he doesn't believe it's helping based on my interactions with the kids. My irritability didn't get worse, but it's not improving, and my patience is still very limited to almost non existant.

I know that when I go back to see him next week that he's probably going to want to try me on a mood stabilizer...he mentioned abilify, but after reading up on it, I don't even want to try it. Options are obviously limited, and it's sort of depressing. Just curious how many don't/can't use stimulants and what you're doing....

FrazzleDazzle
04-23-10, 09:47 PM
I'm sorry the meds are not working well for you. It's a long and enduring trial to get the right med, the right dose, and heck....even the right med manufacturer with all the generics coming into play.

Some non-med things that have a positive effect on my son I learned from sharing on the forums here are the high EPA fish oils, a good vit B complex and multi. Hard for a teen to do, but it's also very important to get enough effective sleep every night, eat a good diet with good nutritious foods, exercise daily, all good things to take care of yourself to keep your body and thus your mind in top notch form. Even meds are not as effective when sleep and diet slip. If I could encourage him to work with a good CBT provider and and ADHD coach, I don't think there's much else non-med that we could do.

He tried the different stims but didn't do well after a while on each of them, and neither the doc or my son or I wanted to pursue the med issue (nonstims, antidepressants, whatever) for now.

CDank
04-23-10, 09:55 PM
I know that when I go back to see him next week that he's probably going to want to try me on a mood stabilizer...he mentioned abilify, but after reading up on it, I don't even want to try it. Options are obviously limited, and it's sort of depressing. Just curious how many don't/can't use stimulants and what you're doing....

You might just need to keep trying different medications. I've heard stories of people going through many different prescriptions before finding a medication that worked well for them.

Although I'm not a doctor or anything, I would recommend avoiding the mood stabilizers just from my personal observation. I have a friend who started taking them, and he's just not the same person when he's on his medication. Unless you have issues with impulsive violence and aggression, I don't think that's the right way to go.

smartestblonde
04-23-10, 09:56 PM
I'm sorry the meds are not working well for you. It's a long and enduring trial to get the right med, the right dose, and heck....even the right med manufacturer with all the generics coming into play.

Some non-med things that have a positive effect on my son I learned from sharing on the forums here are the high EPA fish oils, a good vit B complex and multi. Hard for a teen to do, but it's also very important to get enough effective sleep every night, eat a good diet with good nutritious foods, exercise daily, all good things to take care of yourself to keep your body and thus your mind in top notch form. Even meds are not as effective when sleep and diet slip. If I could encourage him to work with a good CBT provider and and ADHD coach, I don't think there's much else non-med that we could do.

He tried the different stims but didn't do well after a while on each of them, and neither the doc or my son or I wanted to pursue the med issue (nonstims, antidepressants, whatever) for now.

Thanks, and I agree....a healthly lifestyle is important. Unfortunately, exercise is something I have always struggled with...I truly want to do it, I just struggle with the movtivation to just get up and do it. I just don't get that immediate positive reaction from it, I've never gotten the "runner's high" that everyone talks about. And sleep is certainly not an issue...I usually get about 9 hours every night, and would easily sleep 11 hrs if I could.

mattdm
04-23-10, 09:59 PM
I've been doing Strattera for about twelve weeks now, and those are the main things they've helped me with. My memory/recall is still crap, but my irritability is down, my patience is up, and my "executive functions" are going better. Plus it has stablized my mood and allievated my anxiety. I'm going to see about adding a small dose stimulant booster for those times I need to really focus.

smartestblonde
04-23-10, 10:06 PM
Matt,

Did you initially try stimulants? Did you have a bad reaction to them?

Is it becoming more popular to combine Straterra and a small dose of stimulant?

jenninajam
04-24-10, 12:13 AM
I feel a lot of anxiety, as well as outbursts of anger over the slightest incident (which, like you worries me).
I take Adderall in A.M. Strattera P.M. and 1mg Klonopin as needed
When i started the stimulant, i felt some of the symptoms you did.... it took about 10 days or so to eliminate most of the negative side effects.
It is common (in my opinion) to take an anti-anxiety med w/ the stimulant. For me Klonopin would be a better choice over....xanax because it is not habit forming. Should probably speak to your doc about the chest pains...
Lamictal was a great mood stabilizer for me (for about a year) until i developed "the rash", pretty scary, but in my case not deadly. haha
I pray you find what works best for you. It can be discouraging, switching from med to med, but keep trying. :)

Nick
04-24-10, 09:55 AM
Klonopin is habit forming by the way.

I would recommend you try Vyvanze. Adderall can be nasty, and really mess up your emotions.

smartestblonde
04-24-10, 10:10 AM
Nick, that's pretty much what my psychiatrist told me and why he won't put me on Adderall.

Amtram
04-24-10, 10:48 AM
YMMV. Keep that in mind for everything. Vyvanse, supposedly "gentler" than Adderall, was horrible for me. Adderall, which worked incredibly well for me when I was also taking Cymbalta, was awful for me without it. Since it seems that I'm sensitive to stimulants without antidepressants, we're now trying Aplenzin (time-release buproprion, similar to Wellbutrin) and Focalin XR. So far, so good (except the Focalin doesn't last long enough for my tastes), and the Aplenzin by itself isn't seeming to give me the same problems that I had with Wellbutrin in combination with Paxil.

So. . .apparently I can't take stims. By themselves. Some people get great results from only one medication. Some people need to go through a lot of different ones before they find it. Some people need to have a combination, and they, too, may need to go through different combinations before they find it. There are no absolutes, and there are no one-size-fits all prescription. That's why psychiatry is specialized medicine.

livinginchaos
04-24-10, 11:22 AM
You've only tried 2 stimulant medications, you could certainly try the rest. Some peole react badly to 1 or 2 but may do well on a different one.

I'm on Strattera and I really like it. I was on Adderall for 9 years (which didn't mess with my emotions), but due to anxiety went on Strattera.


The hard part about meds is that each one reacts differently to each person. One person may have a great reaction to Adderall, while someone else reacts badly.
One person may do great with Vyvanse, while another doesn't. It's all trial and error.

Nick
04-24-10, 01:07 PM
Nick, that's pretty much what my psychiatrist told me and why he won't put me on Adderall.


I would try Vyvanze if I were you. Ritalin based medications don't work for a lot of people, and you are probably one of them.

Try Vyvanze first. It's smooth and easy going. Slow come up, and slow come down.

Then if that doesn't do the trick, consider adding something else. I would add an SSRI before anything else.

Have you ever used an SSRI antidepressant? They help take away of a lot of the anxiety and can help reduce the anger, irritability etc.

smartestblonde
04-24-10, 05:53 PM
Actually, yes....I'm also taking 10 mg of Lexapro and 150 mg of Wellbutrin. I have been on this combo for about 8 years as I was originally diagnosed with depression (really dysthmia). I actually decided to take a 2nd dose of the lexapro this evening to see if it will help with the irritability. I don't think I even need the Wellbutrin....