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Old 09-03-09, 10:28 PM
BTCruiser BTCruiser is offline
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Adderall XR to Concerta for inattentive - experiences?

So when I was first diagnosed about 4 1/2 years ago (at the age of 31), my doc at the time put me on Strattera. I know it's not a well-liked drug, but for me, it was a miracle drug. It was awesome. I wanted to avoid stimulants because I didn't think I could handle them (I had recently gone through rehab for a painkiller addiction - I have been clean for four years now, and can take painkillers properly, ie, for my C-section, or a broken bone, and haven't touched the one painkiller that was responsible for my addiction since my very last one in April of 2005.). Thanks to therapy for my painkiller addiction, my therapist and I made the connection to my ADD, and I was diagnosed with ADD - inattentive-type. (The usual story - pronounced gifted in school, to the point where they wanted to skip me several grades in elementary school, but could never follow through on anything, rarely had to study, but got decent grades, got in trouble for not doing homework, etc. Buckled down in college, somehow, but couldn't figure out a career path - so wandered from job to job, got fired and let go from several jobs, tried to become a TV writer in NYC and actually made some headway, but came to an impasse. Ended up working as an administrative assistant until four years ago).

So my doctor at the time put me on Strattera. And it was a HUGE turning point in my life. My thoughts and my head were together, I got myself and my career together, and found what I wanted to do with my life (work in the non-profit industry doing community programs and relations). I went off of the Strattera a few months later because we were attempting to get pregnant.

Got pregnant in December of 2005, and for some odd reason, pregnancy and breastfeeding hormones actually helped my focus. So that helped for about 18 months. Once I stopped breastfeeding, I asked my doctor to put me back on Strattera, and was on 80 mg for almost a year. In that time, in June of 2008, we moved back to my hometown and I started seeing my old doctor again (I've seen him off and on since I was about 13, so he's known me for a very long time). The Strattera was beginning to cause some massive anxiety issues and wasn't working as well as it had been, so he and I discussed it, and started on Adderall, short-acting, 10 mg two times a day.

I immediately noticed a change, but while it felt okay at the time, it's only now, a year later, that I know it was NOT the right medication. Basically, it would wear off and I would be dead tired for the rest of the day. So we tried Vyvanse (several dosages), and that turned me into a zombie. Went back to Adderall, but the XR version, and had the same effects as the short-term, only at a higher dosage. Both the Adderall and the Vyvanse caused me to hyper-focus, and become almost manic at times. (in fact, my husband hated the Adderall).

So I quit taking my Adderall last week, and decided to try to wing it without meds. However, while my energy levels have been good (I've been making sure to get enough sleep and eat right), my mind has been all over the place. When I was acting manic earlier this week (and I am NOT bipolar, have been diagnosed with depression, PD, and GAD, but not bipolar), I couldn't get a thought straight in my head. So I called my doc and asked if we could try Concerta because my cousin takes it for her ADD, and it has done wonders for her. For some reason, we seem to be able to take the same kinds of meds in my family, and I wish I had thought about it earlier.

So I am now on 36 mg of Concerta daily. I took it late today, mainly because I wanted to make sure it wasn't going to make me crazy at work tomorrow, so I may be up a little late tonight, but I have appointments tomorrow for work, and can leave a little later than usual. So far, it seems GREAT. It kicked in very, very slowly, which I appreciated, compared to the mad manic kick-in of the Adderall. In fact, I didn't really even notice that it had kicked in until I noticed that I was focusing better and wasn't jumping around from subject to subject with my mom while talking. I have energy, but not the "OMG, I have to be up doing something, anything RIGHT NOW" energy of that first Adderall burst.

I have asked my husband to keep an eye on my behavior tonight, and he seems to think it's working well, too. He said I'm not hyperfocusing, I'm able to keep track of what I'm doing, I can sit and relax without getting the ants in my pants feeling, but if I need to get up and do something (for example, I've been making cupcakes for a fundraiser tomorrow, and I'm not up checking the oven timer every 30 seconds), I can get up, do it, and come back to sit with him and talk.

I was under the impression that Concerta/Ritalin were more for those with ADHD, not ADD-inattentive, so I'm pleasantly surprised so far. I did have some stomach cramps earlier, and I do have a slight headache, but nothing unbearable. And I feel like I have a running list in my head that's not making me crazy, but it's helping me keep my thoughts in check.

FWIW, I am also on Lexapro, 10 mg a day, and Xanax, 1 mg 3x/day as needed (I typically take 1 mg a day, if that). Is this a pretty standard reaction for Concerta? Is it too soon for an 'A-HA!' moment with this med? Because I honestly feel like after trying Strattera, Adderall, and Vyvanse, THIS is the med that has immediately felt right for me.

Anyone else care to share their experiences with Concerta so I know what to look for as time goes on? If today is an indication, I'm thinking that I may have finally hit on the right medication.

If you read my book, thank you . I'm really eager to hear experiences of those who've had success switching from Adderall to Concerta.
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Old 09-04-09, 01:47 PM
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Re: Adderall XR to Concerta for inattentive - experiences?


I am a recent Concerta / methylphenidate user. I have no experience with adderall or any other adhd-medication, but maybe my experience with concerta can help you anayway. I was diagnosed as the 'combined type' of ADHD.

I read different opinions if methylphenidate (MPH: Concerta, Ritalin etc.) or amphetamines (Adderall, Dex, Vyanse etc.) are better for the inattentive type. I have the impression that some people respond better to MPH and others to AMP, regardless if they are ADD or ADHD.

The main effect of MPH on me it that it makes me 'mellow'. I feel more relaxed and I have less urge to move. Less impatient, less angry as well. It took me a while to fully appreciate these effects. First I found it boring, dull and I felt slow, but I like it now.

However, I don't see much effect on my concentration or my motivation. For that reason I might ask my doctor for an AMP, I my case dexamphetamine (the only AMP prescribed here in Europe).

What happened to me in (only) 3 weeks use of Concerta and Ritalin is that the rapid heartbeat is less prominent now and I also feel less 'knocked out' than I did before, feels more natural and less 'drugged' so to speak, which is nice.

Hope this helps!
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Old 09-09-09, 07:59 PM
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Re: Adderall XR to Concerta for inattentive - experiences?

Hey, I've been putting off reading your post for a while now due to ADD I would imagine. I'm done and it was worth the read. I myself am going from Adderall XR to concerta, and I'm finding myself really struggling in my classes.

I get the thing where I'm randomly daydreaming beyond my control even though I'm really desperate to get my assignments done. With Adderall, that daydreaming business wouldn't kick in until 4hours after taking it or so, but with this stuff it seems to be all the time. Overall I'm feeling out of it with classes. I used to be listening well, but it doesn't feel like it's happening anymore.

I'm finding myself way less eager to post on the forums (I used to love doing it on Adderall, but now I'm really just forcing it out of habit or something). I definately feel less of a "rush" on this stuff but I think I need that.

The good news is that I was able to sit and read your very long (yet pleasant) post and even at a reasonable speed... If only I could do that with my college texts =(
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Old 09-09-09, 09:38 PM
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Re: Adderall XR to Concerta for inattentive - experiences?

I'm ADD (ADHD-I) and I've been on Concerta, and now am on Ritalin. Amphetamine variants are pretty much not available in europe. There is Strattera, but the price is totally crazy, goes about $160/month. The only way to get it at a decent price is basically to go into a trial.

Concerta is what usually gets prescribed, and then Ritalin and then Rubifen (the brand equivalent of straight methylphenidate with no weird delivery mechanisms). This is regardless of whether you're an inattentive type or not, it works equally well on both. Frankly, I like the kick that ritalin gives, Concerta was way too soft and mild and just basically made me stressy and gave me the shakes continuously throughout the day. IMHO, it's more to do with your basic personality and how you are then with the ADHD type. I'm so mellow it doesn't even get my pressure up :P
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Old 09-10-09, 03:38 PM
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Re: Adderall XR to Concerta for inattentive - experiences?

what if you increase the dose to have the same amount released as the ir ritalin but obviously it would release evenly and longer throughout the day. I kinda agree here, I don't think concerta works as well but ir ritalin comes on strong and doesn't last too long , but adding ritalin in combo to concerta is a good method to get blood levels back up to where your being un adhd.
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Old 03-29-10, 12:46 PM
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Re: Adderall XR to Concerta for inattentive - experiences?

I know this is an old post, and BTC has probably moved on to bigger and better things, but since I am experiencing the change in meds myself, I thought I would add my experience to help anyone else who happens along this thread. The short answer is that I was able to read the lengthy initial post and the others that followed because of Concerta.

The long answer: I was diagnosed two years ago and put on 50 mg Vyvanse, which I loved. It was my miracle drug. Then, sadly, my insurance company stopped covering it, so I was switched to Adderall XR, 20 mg. I immediately had problems focusing, ate everything in sight, had the usual problems with starting yet not finishing tasks, forgot people's names, meetings, appointments, etc. etc. The only way I got Adderall to work tolerably well was to take two of them a day, and even then something just wasn't right. I felt spacey on it sometimes, rather than focused and productive. So, the Dr. switched me to Concerta 54. The first couple of days irritability was a major side effect: hair-trigger temper, snippy, *****y, just plain angry at nothing. After two days, though, the irritability/moodiness subsided, and now Concerta works very well. Concentration is great, lasts 10-12 hours, moods have stablized, and combined with my Franklin Planner, I am super organized and super-productive. (Well, ok, maybe not "super" organized and productive as normal people would define it, but to those of us with ADD, keeping your personal and professional life together counts as "super organized and super productive.)

I still have problems with folding the laundry I washed, putting away the dishes I ran through the dishwasher, reading mail, and clearing the dining room table of the professional books I bring home and never read. Clearing my inbox at work is still a twice yearly activity. However, for me, the switch from Adderall to Concerta was a good one.
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Old 03-30-10, 11:57 PM
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Re: Adderall XR to Concerta for inattentive - experiences?

I too am considering the change in meds I have been doing a lot of research on the different types of add-ADHD and have come to the conclusion that mine is the inattentive type ADD; I have been on vyvanse for almost 3 months started out on 40mg and titrated up to 70mg- I am also on 100mg of sertraline (generic for zoloft) I Have been taking the zoloft for almost 8 yrs for GAD and previos panic attacks. I feel "ok" on the vyvanse but I truelly don't feel like it's doing what it should be doing. I lose my focus often a work even less than an hour after I take it; not to mention it's by no means cheap drug; my doctor has only menioned trying one other drug and that is concerta; my only fear is taking it and risking the trigger of the panic attacks again, would it be worth switching both my meds? Anyone have any experience taking zoloft with ADD meds? Specifically concerta?
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