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Old 12-13-11, 08:55 PM
addicoe addicoe is offline
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Question How I feel on Adderall. Too early to tell if the dosage is right?

First of all a little about myself. I was diagnosed with ADD when I was 5, then re-diagnosed with ADHD-PI when I was 15. I took medication from 7-15 years old. I have taken Strattera, Ritalin, concerta, Adderall IR, and Adderall XR. I stopped taking them when I was 15 since I didn't like the stifled creativity and feeling of tunnel vision. I was then free of them through the rest of high school and all of college until now (I'm 22). I started a new full time job, my first one out of college and was having trouble getting my work done on time. So this week I started taking Adderall XR 20mg once a day to help me. My goals by taking this were to get mental clarity (get rid of the foggy feeling) and also increase my thought process (increased focus was not what I was most interested in). So far I've been on it for 3 days and this is how I've felt:

-very decreased appetite
-very noticeable feeling like a pressure in the front of my brain, like someone is grabbing the front of my brain. This goes away a while after the medicine wears off but seems to take a long time
-no increased memory
-slight increased ability to focus
-no clarity in the head (instead the foggy feeling was just replaced by the pressure feeling)
-no increase in thinking speed
-slight increase in heart rate
-more difficulty staying asleep (I woke up at 4:45 AM yesterday for no apparent reason)
-easier to fall asleep quickly
-not able to tell when the medicine is worn off (it feels like it's always working, the only time I feel like it's worn off is when I wake up in the morning)
-feeling more tired than usual when I wake up in the morning

by the way, I have been sleeping around 6hrs a day
The pressure in my head and no clarity is what is really bothering me, since that's what I wanted most. From what I've read the pressure could be because I'm not drinking enough water, eating enough or getting enough sleep.

About 3 months ago I had started taking concerta 36? mg once a day and the first day I took it I felt amazing. I had a super clear head, was able to think really quickly, and I had that euphoric feeling. But I only got it that first day, and never again after that. I actually felt like the medication wasn't doing anything after the first day.

So my question is: Is my dose too high, too low or is it too early to tell? If I keep taking the Adderall for a week will I eventually get the clear head I'm looking for? Or is Adderall only going to give me more focus? (which is totally useless if my brain can't think clearly or think faster).
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Old 12-13-11, 10:03 PM
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Re: How I feel on Adderall. Too early to tell if the dosage is right?

too early too tell.
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Old 12-13-11, 10:15 PM
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Re: How I feel on Adderall. Too early to tell if the dosage is right?

I've not used XR, so I can't speak of it's effects, but I can say for certain that sleeping, hydration, and nutritional intake certainly have an impact on how medication is used by your body.

I know with Adderall IR, I felt like it wasn't working (but I didn't really know what "working" felt like) and the doc kept increasing the dosage. The side effects became even more frequent and intense. We ended up having to lower it to less than the original prescription to find the therapeutic dose that worked for me.

Good luck in finding what works for you and be sure to stay in communication with your doc.
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Old 12-14-11, 02:32 AM
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Re: How I feel on Adderall. Too early to tell if the dosage is right?

It took me awhile to get used to remembering to drink enough fluids on Adderall. It was really obvious that I wasn't eating enough and I could make myself do that by making sure I always ate before I took it in the morning and before each dose. But drinking is different because you don't think of it as much. Plus, if you have dry mouth from the meds it is really hard to tell when you are actually thirsty.

So get more sleep if you can, maybe go to bed a bit earlier?, make sure you are getting enough calories, your brain requires glucose and can't think very well without it, and track what you drink and make sure you are getting enough. These should all make you feel better while your body adjusts.

I just didn't feel like I needed to eat, sleep or drink and my heart beat was really noticeably fast for the first month or 2. The first 3 problems made the 4th worse. Now they have all pretty much gone away. Some due to me creating new habits but mostly just because I guess my body has adjusted. I am not the same as I was before, especially about eating, but it isn't the struggle it was at first.

Good luck!
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Old 12-14-11, 08:58 PM
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Re: How I feel on Adderall. Too early to tell if the dosage is right?

I have heard that the intense headache can be a sign of taking too much... it is probably just that XR isn't right for you. Talk to your doctor about trying another med. Or IR. I had issues with XR but none with IR.
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Old 12-14-11, 10:49 PM
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Re: How I feel on Adderall. Too early to tell if the dosage is right?

Intense headache is also a symptom of dehydration or not eating enough, which is common when starting Adderall.
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Old 12-15-11, 12:59 AM
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Re: How I feel on Adderall. Too early to tell if the dosage is right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by addicoe View Post
:

-very decreased appetite
-very noticeable feeling like a pressure in the front of my brain, like someone is grabbing the front of my brain. This goes away a while after the medicine wears off but seems to take a long time
-no increased memory
-slight increased ability to focus
-no clarity in the head (instead the foggy feeling was just replaced by the pressure feeling)
-no increase in thinking speed
-slight increase in heart rate
-more difficulty staying asleep (I woke up at 4:45 AM yesterday for no apparent reason)
-not able to tell when the medicine is worn off (it feels like it's always working, the only time I feel like it's worn off is when I wake up in the morning)
-feeling more tired than usual when I wake up in the morning
These are very similar effects adderall XR gave me. Especially the one where you said "very noticeable feeling like a pressure in the front of my brain, like someone is grabbing the front of my brain. This goes away a while after the medicine wears off but seems to take a long time." I was just recently diagnosed with ADD as an adult (21yrs old), so I'm new to taking ADHD meds. I started on adderall XR 15mg and I took it for 2 months. My dose was prob too small because I'm 6'1 195lbs - but even for the short time it lasted, I really didnt like it that much. I was very socially isolated, anxious, and wouldn't eat at all. I could sit down in one place In focus on work longer, but I decided the side effects were outweighing the positives. I switched to Vyvanse 30mg's today, hopefully there aren't as many side effects with this med.
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Old 12-16-11, 10:53 AM
irishgirl49 irishgirl49 is offline
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Re: How I feel on Adderall. Too early to tell if the dosage is right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by addicoe View Post
-very decreased appetite
-very noticeable feeling like a pressure in the front of my brain, like someone is grabbing the front of my brain. This goes away a while after the medicine wears off but seems to take a long time
-no increased memory
-slight increased ability to focus
-no clarity in the head (instead the foggy feeling was just replaced by the pressure feeling)
-no increase in thinking speed
-slight increase in heart rate
-more difficulty staying asleep (I woke up at 4:45 AM yesterday for no apparent reason)
-easier to fall asleep quickly
-not able to tell when the medicine is worn off (it feels like it's always working, the only time I feel like it's worn off is when I wake up in the morning)
-feeling more tired than usual when I wake up in the morning

So... I have never experienced a true increase in memory from ADHD drugs. Just much more ability to hyper focus and come out of hyper focus when I need to. Additionally, mine make me pretty social.

Pressure in the front of the brain is something I have gotten before with adderall, make sure to drink a lot of water. I have noticed I get the least headaches if I take my pill with water and eat within 10-15 minutes.

Heart rate increase is normal. Sometimes the increased heart rate scares me when I am trying to go to sleep.

In terms of your sleeping... I feel your pain. Or have felt it. When I first went on medication, I used dextroamphetamine (and still do). Definitely abused it a bit in the beginning though. I would save up on days I didn't need it and use more when I needed to concentrate a lot.
Anyway. When I took more than I was supposed to, I could generally fall asleep just fine (so long as I slept less than 10-12 hrs the night before), but would wake up about four hours into sleep. Additionally, I would feel super tired in the morning and nonfunctional.

In my opinion... well. IR would cure you of the morning tiredness, one pill and you will be [very] awake for the rest of the morning. Actually, it may help with the sleeping problems as well... Talk to your doctor about taking 10 mg or 5 mg IR adderall 2-3 times a day. That may help.
**Everything said in the last paragraph is my opinion only, do not take it as fact or misinterpret it.
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Old 12-16-11, 03:52 PM
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Re: How I feel on Adderall. Too early to tell if the dosage is right?

Funny, I used to have that front-of-the-head feeling as a kid without taking any medication. Always wondered what it was all about. On Adderall my whole brain just feels, like it's got nerve endings of its own. I can feel it sitting in its brain juices in my skull. Weird.
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