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Old 11-20-13, 01:24 AM
funwithpinetree funwithpinetree is offline
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Considering Switching From Concerta to Something Else

Hi this is my first post. I have occasionally looked at some of the threads on this site and have found them helpful. I thought I would ask a question about alternatives to Concerta.

I am 23 and I have been taking Concerta 27 mg for two years (started on 18 mg for one month). I have really enjoyed and benefited a lot from taking Concerta, however I have been having some gastrointestinal side effects. They are definitely manageable but I notice that in addition to suppressing my appetite it can cause me to have diarrhea, stomach cramps, and gas. Another issue I have been dealing with is that I have been having some anxiety while taking it. Sometimes I have panic attacks when I take it. But I also have panic attacks when I don't take it. Sometimes I think that the panic attacks are harder to handle because I've taken it/ come one specifically because I have taken it. Other times I find that having taken Concerta has given me more focus/ clarity in getting through a panic attack. It is difficult to tell.

My questions are basically, if many ADHD medications are stimulant based, would I have basically the same side effects if I changed the medications? I guess a concern of mine is that switching to a different medication would not be as effective as what I am taking now.

Another concern I have is with my diagnosis of ADHD in general. Many people believe that ADHD is overdiagnosed in the United States (where I live.) I had a professor who has done research in the field and says that ADHD is more of a way of labeling those with deviance in attention span, than it is a psychiatric problem. I was diagnosed as an adult, while I have always had difficulty dealing with attention and time management, and things like that, maybe more so than I don't know if I have ADHD, or have it as bad as others. I had hoped that the diagnosis would allow for accommodations in taking tests and allow for a referral for psychotherapy. Instead I went to my PCP and he diagnosed me with ADHD and prescribed Concerta in the same visit. It did not seem thorough, and though I was hesitant at first, I have found myself to have benefited a lot from Concerta.

I just do not know if the benefits have been because it is a stimulant that would be helpful to everyone, or it I actually have ADHD. Taking Concerta really makes it easier for me to get things done, but sometimes I feel like I can get stuck on one problem for too long.

Could there be benefit in switching drugs? I'd say Concerta works for me, other than the stomach pains and anxiety.

Thanks let me know what you guys think. I know that you all probably are asked an arrangement of these questions a lot, I hope I can add to this forum too, but I was wondering what the opinion of many were on my specific case of life.

Thanks
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Old 03-02-14, 12:35 AM
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Re: Considering Switching From Concerta to Something Else

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Originally Posted by funwithpinetree View Post
Hi this is my first post. I have occasionally looked at some of the threads on this site and have found them helpful. I thought I would ask a question about alternatives to Concerta.

I am 23 and I have been taking Concerta 27 mg for two years (started on 18 mg for one month). I have really enjoyed and benefited a lot from taking Concerta, however I have been having some gastrointestinal side effects. They are definitely manageable but I notice that in addition to suppressing my appetite it can cause me to have diarrhea, stomach cramps, and gas. Another issue I have been dealing with is that I have been having some anxiety while taking it. Sometimes I have panic attacks when I take it. But I also have panic attacks when I don't take it. Sometimes I think that the panic attacks are harder to handle because I've taken it/ come one specifically because I have taken it. Other times I find that having taken Concerta has given me more focus/ clarity in getting through a panic attack. It is difficult to tell.

My questions are basically, if many ADHD medications are stimulant based, would I have basically the same side effects if I changed the medications? I guess a concern of mine is that switching to a different medication would not be as effective as what I am taking now.

Another concern I have is with my diagnosis of ADHD in general. Many people believe that ADHD is overdiagnosed in the United States (where I live.) I had a professor who has done research in the field and says that ADHD is more of a way of labeling those with deviance in attention span, than it is a psychiatric problem. I was diagnosed as an adult, while I have always had difficulty dealing with attention and time management, and things like that, maybe more so than I don't know if I have ADHD, or have it as bad as others. I had hoped that the diagnosis would allow for accommodations in taking tests and allow for a referral for psychotherapy. Instead I went to my PCP and he diagnosed me with ADHD and prescribed Concerta in the same visit. It did not seem thorough, and though I was hesitant at first, I have found myself to have benefited a lot from Concerta.

I just do not know if the benefits have been because it is a stimulant that would be helpful to everyone, or it I actually have ADHD. Taking Concerta really makes it easier for me to get things done, but sometimes I feel like I can get stuck on one problem for too long.

Could there be benefit in switching drugs? I'd say Concerta works for me, other than the stomach pains and anxiety.

Thanks let me know what you guys think. I know that you all probably are asked an arrangement of these questions a lot, I hope I can add to this forum too, but I was wondering what the opinion of many were on my specific case of life.

Thanks
Hi there!

I will try to help....
I tried 4 types - Ritalin IR, SR, LA and Concerta and i can tell you that if a med works for you and your side affects are minimal (from what you mention) i am not sure changing a med is the best idea.
I was switched from med to med due to horrible side effects....and the p doc tried to find the one that will improve my quality of life without causing depression, anxiety or tachycardia....

I do not know what is the procedure in the US but when i was diagnosed 5 years ago i got a long documents listing what stimulants i am allowed to take, all 4 were listed....
Sometimes people expect too much of this pill....i wish it was a magic pill that could make all the ADHD issues go away, but it is not magic sadly.
If it improves your concentration, why do you think another med can do better?
Just curious....
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