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General Medication Discussion This section is to be used for general medication discussion and other medications not broken out in their own respective forums.

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Old 10-15-11, 12:53 PM
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My ADD Meds Dramas! I want my life back!

Okay, I guess I should introduce myself. My name is... hmm... Flutterby lol. This is sort of a brief overview of my story as well as a bit of a description of some issues I am currently having. I would adore some feedback!

I took Ritalin as a child, but I was too young to really remember how I did with it. I know my mum wasn't happy with it and as a result I spent most of my life untreated despite multiple diagnosis. I was briefly treated again with ritalin at around the age of 12. It was a very short period of time- maybe 6 months, but I DO remember then still getting in trouble for not handing in homework. My mum had a parent/teacher conference confused about this ordeal during which she proceeded to pull all of said assignments out of my backpack. She'd made me do them, but I just wasn't handing them in. I think at that point she'd had enough and decided I was gonna have to tough it out myself, which I did until the end of high school. This was not easy!

When I was 18, I was briefly treated with Adderall, which was really helpful, but because my mum had become such a skeptic, she convinced me not to continue with it. Two years later, I'd had enough. I was by then living with who is now my husband, and I found a doc I trusted. He put me on 25 mg dexamphetamine which worked brilliantly for about 5 years. For about the last 2+ years I've been seeing a different doc (my previous one retired) who is also amazing! He has taught me to feel empowered and to harness my ADD.

My script in the last two years has allowed me to take up to 60mg of dex a day, but I have always felt a very strong sense of discomfort with being on meds. I have never once taken this dosage. Instead I have increased to about 35-40 mgs.

The last 12-18 months I have been like a slow process of reverting back to that internal chaos I felt at the worst points of my life in terms of my ADD. I know that my tolerance to the dex is increasing, but again, I am so uncomfortable with just constantly increasing my dosage!

Also, I am sick of my chemist humiliating me every time I get a script filled. I just moved, so the chemist I currently use is one that I used to only use if it was more convenient (when I was visiting my mum). Once happened to be just before I was going overseas for 5 weeks, so I had to get 3 scripts filled at once. It was a public holiday, and of course I was leaving the next morning. He refused to fill my script! I ended up spending an hour at the chemist and having to contact the on-call doc myself for him to fill it! Last time, he made a huge scene in front of a lot of other customers about how soon I was getting my script refilled. He called my doctor AT THE DESK and very loudly made his complaints. My doctor told him he'd read my script wrong. Did I get an apology? Nope!

So, my doctor has suggested that I try 72 mgs Concerta with 15-20 mg dex boosters. The idea is that eventually I would swap the Dex boosters with Ritalin boosters. It's been five days now and it's awful. I seem to have times where my focus is really strong, but they are brief. It's like being on a roller coaster. I have spent two days in bed for almost 24 hours eating ice cream. Two days, I would have spent in bed, but I left the bed only for work. One day, I had to literally force myself out of bed to do some gardening (on that day, I took an extra dose of my concerta and dex because my husband, not realising I'd already taken both doses (that says a lot in itself) gave me a third and I simply wasn't thinking straight. It took me 2 hours to realise it).

Two nights ago I drove three exits past my house after work before I realised it.

The last 12-18 months have been hard as I've been 'reverting back' but it's been a slow process. The last 5 days combined with that has given me this sudden feeling of "I WANT MY LIFE BACK!!!" I want whatever treatment I am on to be as successful as the first 5 years of this treatment period was. I feel as though in that time, I improved so much, and I built so much! Now I feel like it's all being taken from me!

The stupid thing is, it's probably my own fault. But I really don't want to end up taking a crapload of dex.

So, I'm going to wait a few more days and see how I go. Adderall, another med that worked for me years ago, is not available in the country I now live in. Aside from ritalin, dex and Concerta, I have not been on any other medications for my adhd. I am not keen on going on a merry-go-round of experimenting with every drug under the sun either. Clearly, ritalian-based meds suck for me and dex/Adderall types work for me. But then I just go back to not wanting to be on a high dose of dex...

I'm so sorry for my emotional spewage. If anyone has any experience or suggestions, I would be most grateful!
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Old 10-15-11, 01:41 PM
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Re: My ADD Meds Dramas! I want my life back!

What kind of dosing schedule were you on with dex?
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Old 10-15-11, 01:49 PM
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Re: My ADD Meds Dramas! I want my life back!

I was on 10 mgs when I got up, 10 mgs around lunchtime and 5 mgs about 2 hours before bed. This stayed the same throughout the last 7 years. the other 10-5 mgs that I increased to were at my discretion. My doctor helped to work out how to recognise when I should take them. What ended up sorta being the pattern was 5 mgs at dinner time and 5 mgs just before bed almost always. When I took the other 5 mgs, which wasn't often, it would usually be doubling one of the other dosages if I had homework or a project for work...
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Old 10-15-11, 03:54 PM
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Re: My ADD Meds Dramas! I want my life back!

That's not really an extreme amount of Dexedrine, you shouldn't feel bad about it (and your chemist is a jerk!), but I can understand wanting to reduce your dependence on it.

Make sure your sleep is OK, and eat well. Vitamin B supplements and Omega-3 (especially EPA and DHA, from fish oil) can really help. Omega-3 is supposed to be good for ADHD-related depression and mood problems.

Mixing methylphenidate and amphetamines is rare. They're somewhat different in how they work and a bit unpredictable when combined. They usually make each other stronger.

That's a fairly high dose of Concerta... not extreme but high... and a big problem with Mph is that it wears off fast. So you can end up with extremely deep crashes.

If Methylphenidate doesn't work for you, has never worked for you... it probably won't start working now. I've used both... I always found Mph helped my symptoms but made my days uneven. I had to be so careful about when I took it. I've pretty much given up on it now. I think I'll only consider using it again if I travel somewhere where amphetamines are illegal.

If you want to continue trying it though, I would try taking one of your Dex boosters in the morning before or with the Concerta. Mph is mainly a "reuptake inhibitor" and Dex is mainly a "releasing agent"... but Mph can't inhibit reuptake if nothing is released.

Instead of Mph, you might consider something like Wellbutrin (Bupropion) which might help you move to a lower dose of Dexedrine. It's an antidepressant that is also helpful for ADHD. ADHD can be worsened by even mild depression
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Old 10-15-11, 04:37 PM
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Re: My ADD Meds Dramas! I want my life back!

Bupropion works in a different way than most anitdepressants. Instead of addressing serotonin levels, it increases dopamine levels. Briefly put, ADD is a dopamine problem; so bupropion can really help.
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Old 10-15-11, 04:38 PM
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Re: My ADD Meds Dramas! I want my life back!

Selita,

I am about to head off for work, but I just saw your post and I wanted to say thank-you. I've been hunting these forums off and on like crazy the last couple of days and I've found some really useful advice. Feedback is invaluable to me. Today, I have decided to revert back to my usual Dex regime and see how I go.

I've read about the 'crashes' with Concerta, but I don't have that. I've also read that people can be really sleepy after coming off of Dex, but I am still taking Dex so that can't be the problem. However, I have noticed that some other people on Concerta have had similar issues to me. It's hard to explain- while I have noticed that for brief periods my focus is very strong, it's only like a little at a time. Mostly, I'm just 'scattered'.

Your feedback on Wellbutrin is really awesome. I forgot to mention it in my post, but I also was diagnosed with mild dysthymia about 12 years ago. It's not a huge issue for me, I've only have a few episodes since and though they've lasted up to six months, it's always been very mild and I cope with it well. However, I guess that even though I am not 'depressed' right now,, it could still be a factor that changes how I react to certain meds. I'll bring that up with my doc. THANKYOU!!!
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Old 03-30-12, 12:09 PM
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Re: My ADD Meds Dramas! I want my life back!

I am struggling to read through long posts at the moment (despite not being able to stop myself from writing stupidly long replies), but i did have a scan through and i don't think you mentioned if you were on any other medications besides the stimulants. I know from personal experience that SSRI's really degrade the effects of dex, for me, it was barely even worth me taking the dex. Since coming off it and trying a different type of AD, i have barely been able to take close to my prescribed dosage because it feels so strong whereas before i was sometimes having MORE.

Tolerance is always going to be an issue and 5 years is a long time to get the same effects from the same dosage, did you try to increase it slightly before trying other medications? Have you ever tried taking a break from them all together for a week or two?
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