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Old 03-09-12, 04:30 PM
BklynStar555 BklynStar555 is offline
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Unhappy Adderall maxed out and not really working anymore :(

I'll try to keep this brief (not my forte)..

I'm a 38-year-old female diagnosed with ADHD two years ago (while trying to figure out why my daughter was not passing 1st grade). I have always had issues and was relieved to discover that it was (pretty obvious) ADHD and I wasn't just "nuts". I have panic attacks, sleep problems, rage outbursts, a history of severe trauma and substance abuse.

I had been diagnosed with anxiety disorder when I went to rehab in 1996 (I was obviously self-medicating, my "drug of choice" was crystal/ecstasy (amphetamines). I went through a parade of medications for my anxiety and sleep problems...

nortyptaline - BLECH! Made me feel drugged, sleepy, and FAT

trazadone - EW! Trapped me in my sleep with nightmares

celexa - made me a shell, no more creativity, sexual side effects

I stopped taking all of them.

Had a relapse with drugs and sought help again, this time diagnosed as bipolar with panic disorder, meds this time:

xanax - Lower dose (.5) and I still take as needed ("in case of emergency") and usually it is enough to have it in my bag. I try to not take this often but it neutralizes my panic attacks, which are sudden, unpredictable, and usually without any warning or obvious trigger (also super physical, like a heart attack)

lamictal - I used to think it worked, but I think probably not doing drugs made more of an impact. Ultimately, it didn't do anything for my attention issues and might have made me lose focus, actually. Didn't really help my "meltdowns" either, which can be super-violent (not good for a mom, although I only hurt myself physically, not my daughter)

ambien - works for sure, I still have a script and take 4-5 nights/week

I ended up switching doctors, due to a number of things (traumatic life events mainly) and picked up with the same meds, after the issues with the school, I realized I may have ADHD and talked to my doctor and my therapist, who both agreed, so it began..

seroquel - scary, felt like it was going to kill me in my sleep (I know that sounds crazy, but it's accurate) I refused to take it.

strattera - partly based on my history of drug abuse, we went this route first. DID NOT WORK. Totally disrupted my sleep, which was already tenuous, and I could not go to the bathroom... like for DAYS. Not good. Didn't do a thing for my attention either.

ritalin - worked on some of my symptoms, but i needed a larger dose to be effective, which brought on panic attacks. It felt like bad cocaine, which i DID NOT LIKE (never liked to do coke either, hated how it made me feel) although it did seem to regulate my sleep

adderall -we switched to the adderall and it was like the planets aligned. The chatter in my brain stopped, I could LISTEN to people! I was able to follow through on my usually grand ideas and not leave piles of unfinished projects every 2 feet. Panic attacks almost disappeared. I don't snap out as much either.
Eventually, we settled on a regimen of 20 IR in the morning, 30 XR mid-day, and usually another 10 IR in the evening, as I have a long workday and it seems to burn through my system at the speed of light (3hrs for the IR, 6hrs TOPS for the XR) I usually take an ambien at night (which also burns through my system in about 4 hrs) I started to feel the effects of dependence and wanted to switch it up.

dexadrine - I liked the dex spansule, but it felt a little less effective than the adderall, but "cleaner" and somehow different, not better or worse really, just seemed to work on different things, like follow-through. I DID NOT like the IR version, it felt chemically, and gave me headaches. I missed the adderall.

I went back onto the adderall, with the 30 IR split up however I feel works best throughout the day and usually the 30 XR mid-day. But it's not working as well anymore. I'm afraid to switch altogether to a different drug. I think the adderall is best for me as a drug, the problem is the tolerance.

Does anyone have any suggestions of what to talk to my doctor about? An adjunct perhaps? I did gain some weight, so I don't know if that makes a difference. I'm currently at the max my doc says for the adderall (90mg/day).

What about nutritional supplements? A way to "trick my body"?

Unfortunately, I am a working single mom with NO SUPPORT (yes, stress is also not helping, nor is lack of rest or proper nutrition) so a "vacation" isn't all that feasible in reality, though I do try to take a day off when I can, or at least take a lower dose.

I have become very overwhelmed trying to research on my own, even within this forum.

I know about fatty acids and exercise (works in progress)

I should add that I have also been battling some other health issues - namely persistent ringworm (m.canis) and possible bartonella. I work with rescue cats and this is an occupational hazard unfortunately realized. My immune system is destroyed right now.

If anyone has any suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 03-09-12, 05:14 PM
Massari Massari is offline
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Re: Adderall maxed out and not really working anymore :(

Quote:
seroquel
Quote:
- scary, felt like it was going to kill me in my sleep (I know that sounds crazy, but it's accurate) I refused to take it.
What seroquel does is it keeps you aware while falling asleep, usually you're not aware. It feels like dying yes but that's how falling asleep feels like ^.^

It may be a stupid question because nobody knows the doses of street drugs but how much meth/ecstasy did you use to do daily? I'm just trying to see if you burned your receptors or if you're just experiencing legitimate tolerance.
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Old 03-09-12, 11:07 PM
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Re: Adderall maxed out and not really working anymore :(

Thanks for your response...

It was never ever day (I had to sleep and "recover"), but for about 1 1/2 years, it was most weekends. It has been about 10 years since I have messed with that stuff at all ... most of it occurred between 1994-1996 (thanks, rave scene!). I did a LOT, lines instead of bumps and I took multiple pills over a weekend (in succession, not at the same time.) Plus this was when drugs were more "pure" than they apparently are these days (ie, stronger) so I'm sure I did screw myself up. But the adderall was working well, and is still helping, just seems to be fading...

Just to note here, as soon as I started taking stimulants for my "crazy", I totally have NO desire for street drugs, which now scare the living crap out of me... it was like magic.
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Old 03-10-12, 03:39 PM
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Re: Adderall maxed out and not really working anymore :(

Are you saying adderall is no longer effective?
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Old 03-10-12, 05:57 PM
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Re: Adderall maxed out and not really working anymore :(

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Originally Posted by BklynStar555 View Post
Thanks for your response...

It was never ever day (I had to sleep and "recover"), but for about 1 1/2 years, it was most weekends. It has been about 10 years since I have messed with that stuff at all ... most of it occurred between 1994-1996 (thanks, rave scene!). I did a LOT, lines instead of bumps and I took multiple pills over a weekend (in succession, not at the same time.) Plus this was when drugs were more "pure" than they apparently are these days (ie, stronger) so I'm sure I did screw myself up. But the adderall was working well, and is still helping, just seems to be fading...

Just to note here, as soon as I started taking stimulants for my "crazy", I totally have NO desire for street drugs, which now scare the living crap out of me... it was like magic.
Yes because it repaired a deficit. I still don't understand the self-medicated drug quantity you took. Taking pills and doing lines doesn't say anything. If you do a line of 2mg Adderall IR every 30 minutes it's as legit and therapeutic as taking a 30mg XR.

To damage receptors you need to IV amounts of 100-300mg single dose for a year or 2, with the dose making you freeze in your chair and not be able to move for 10-20 minutes.
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Old 03-11-12, 05:34 PM
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Re: Adderall maxed out and not really working anymore :(

Hi there,

I don't know how useful this will be to you, but I will say this: When I first started taking adderall, I felt like it stopped working after awhile too. I didn't give up on it, but instead I started reading every book I could get my hands on regarding ADD.

I found out a lot of the behaviors that at first went away when beginning the medication came back because they were honestly engraved into me by the years of incorrect diagnosis. Reading up on it helped me realize the pitfalls I was running back into despite being medicated. The separation of understanding what was simply me and what was the ADD really helped me see what I could change and what I would have to "work with."

Perhaps your adderall honestly isn't working for you anymore, but it may help to read up as much as you can on it. Many books also list other disorders that masquerade as ADD, and this may actually be why adderall doesn't help you anymore. This may be completely untrue, of course; I'm not saying I doubt your diagnosis, but I'm sure that you went through what I did: wrong diagnosis after wrong diagnosis. Nothing's worse. You just want to know what it is so you can get better, darn it, am I right?

Either way, good luck! I hope you find out what's going on.
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Old 03-12-12, 01:11 AM
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Re: Adderall maxed out and not really working anymore :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by BklynStar555 View Post
Thanks for your response...

It was never ever day (I had to sleep and "recover"), but for about 1 1/2 years, it was most weekends. It has been about 10 years since I have messed with that stuff at all ... most of it occurred between 1994-1996 (thanks, rave scene!). I did a LOT, lines instead of bumps and I took multiple pills over a weekend (in succession, not at the same time.) Plus this was when drugs were more "pure" than they apparently are these days (ie, stronger) so I'm sure I did screw myself up. But the adderall was working well, and is still helping, just seems to be fading...

Just to note here, as soon as I started taking stimulants for my "crazy", I totally have NO desire for street drugs, which now scare the living crap out of me... it was like magic.
No offense, but I don't understand why you are on this medication if you have a past of drug abuse. It would also seem logical not to do any other street drug (* I'm guessing uppers? *) if you're already taking adderall which is lets not forget - amphetamine.

I also, cannot for the life of me understand how you've maxed out on adderall and it simply "does not work".

What does not work anymore?

The ability to focus, or the euphoria?
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Old 03-12-12, 02:25 AM
BklynStar555 BklynStar555 is offline
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Re: Adderall maxed out and not really working anymore :(

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Originally Posted by fatality View Post
No offense, but I don't understand why you are on this medication if you have a past of drug abuse. It would also seem logical not to do any other street drug (* I'm guessing uppers? *) if you're already taking adderall which is lets not forget - amphetamine.

I also, cannot for the life of me understand how you've maxed out on adderall and it simply "does not work".

What does not work anymore?

The ability to focus, or the euphoria?
Actually, it is not uncommon for people with undiagnosed conditions to self-medicate. You don't seem to know what you are talking about.

I cannot "for the life of me" understand why you think you can judge people without knowing them. Or at the very least doing a cursory google search before you attack a person who is genuinely asking for input based on experience.

I would answer your question, but it is obvious you do not come from a place of wanting to offer help. So thanks for making it clear that this is not a safe place to discuss something that has given me a lifetime of struggle.

To the others that replied, I posted a response earlier, which isn't showing up. I'm glad now, since clearly that would open me up for a public judgment/attack.
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Old 03-12-12, 02:31 AM
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Re: Adderall maxed out and not really working anymore :(

Incidentally, you can't just say "no offense, but.." and then go on to say something totally offensive (and mean) and get a free pass. I mean, you CAN, but it's not very nice.
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Old 03-12-12, 07:19 AM
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Re: Adderall maxed out and not really working anymore :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by fatality View Post
No offense, but I don't understand why you are on this medication if you have a past of drug abuse. It would also seem logical not to do any other street drug (* I'm guessing uppers? *) if you're already taking adderall which is lets not forget - amphetamine.

I also, cannot for the life of me understand how you've maxed out on adderall and it simply "does not work".

What does not work anymore?

The ability to focus, or the euphoria?
There are many people here that have self medicated with substances to treat undiagnosed adhd and even those that have been diagnosed have struggled. This does not automatically disqualify them from medication. Untreated adhd can have disastrrous consequences. Saying no offense before judging someone does mot make it ok.
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Old 03-13-12, 12:41 AM
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Re: Adderall maxed out and not really working anymore :(

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Originally Posted by Massari View Post
To damage receptors you need to IV amounts of 100-300mg single dose for a year or 2, with the dose making you freeze in your chair and not be able to move for 10-20 minutes.
In that case, I don't think I would fall into that category, since those seem to be far larger doses than I ever did (according to a chart i found on dosages of recreational drugs) and besides, if that were the case, I think it wouldn't have worked as well over the past 18 months I have been taking stimulants for my ADHD. I think it's probably good ol' tolerance, coupled with lack of sleep, reduced exercise, and additional situational stress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
Are you saying adderall is no longer effective?
It still is a vast improvement over the alternative, especially with the inner chatter, the bouncing thoughts, and the interrupting people when they talk...

What's "wearing off" is the follow-through ability (desire?) and also sometimes the overcoming inertia in the first place, unless motivated by something particularly interesting (which is the case without meds).

I can't increase my adderall dosage since I am already taking 60mg, I was looking for guidance or suggestion for diet, nutritional supplements, "tricks" to reset my brain, or possibly an additional drug to complement the adderall (I was intrigued by an Intuniv commercial on TV, but not sure it sounds like it will be a good fit and I'm afraid to "upset the apple cart" so to speak.

I would appreciate any insight into what has worked for others on here... as long as it is helpful and not blind judgment. I don't need any more PMs calling me a junkie

As for other disorders masquerading, I do think I have some food sensitivities that might be adding to the issue, I'm just overwhelmed as to where to begin. And my doc is only 45 min and very expensive!

Thanks for responding.
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Old 03-13-12, 01:15 AM
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Re: Adderall maxed out and not really working anymore :(

Well, I can only speak from my own experience with Adderall, so this may not be what others have experienced.

I've never really had any huge motivation to speak of. I mean, I start tasks that need to be started and I manage to follow through, so that's a plus. My big problem is I need to immediately start doing what needs to be done or what I have to work on after I take my morning dose or I won't start on anything. I will fiddle-fart around all day and accomplish nothing.

I did talk to my doc about this. I'd already tried Concerta and that was a no-go for me. She basically told me that there are going to be some things that the meds won't help me with or won't 100% take care of in terms of symptoms. Increasing doses may help or may not. When I was at my therapeutic dose, trying to increase it to take away the issues that weren't being fully managed by medication wouldn't help. We discussed that there were going to be some things that I am still going to have to work on. Which, at the time really sucked to hear.

We also discussed that this isn't the case for everyone. Some people get full symptom control. Since Adderall worked well for me, I wasn't really keen on trying Vyvanse or Dexedrine.

My other disorders---thyroid and depression and anxiety were being addressed and managed so we knew those weren't a factor. I was also going through therapy.

Some things that have helped me have been exercise and diet. I don't mean elimination diet. Just, eating more fish and fresh vegetables. Cutting out a lot of processed and fast foods. I also found that I wasn't getting enough sleep each night. I found that while I wasn't as tired at night, I needed an hour or two more each night than before starting medication. That did help a bit.

If you know you have food sensitivities, why not start looking into those? Some people with food allergies or sensitivities have said that addressing that has helped with certain symptoms. Of course, it's not going to cure or get rid of ADHD, but it could help your medication work to alleviate your symptoms.

Don't know if any of this helped, but if the med is working and you but you feel something else may be at play here, it's worth it to see if you can find something that may help you out.
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Old 12-02-12, 08:22 AM
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Re: Adderall maxed out and not really working anymore :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by fatality View Post
No offense, but I don't understand why you are on this medication if you have a past of drug abuse. It would also seem logical not to do any other street drug (* I'm guessing uppers? *) if you're already taking adderall which is lets not forget - amphetamine.

I also, cannot for the life of me understand how you've maxed out on adderall and it simply "does not work".

What does not work anymore?

The ability to focus, or the euphoria?
well i initially/understand where the first sentence came from - your allegedy recreational drug is basically the same as that which you are no prescribed (both amphetamines and very similar). it is so easy to accuse drug abuse and particularly with stimulants, but what actually constitutes as such seems so subjective...

secondly, i dont understand how one could not understand that...
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Old 12-02-12, 09:48 AM
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Re: Adderall maxed out and not really working anymore :(

There are many people here that have self medicated with substances to treat undiagnosed adhd and even those that have been diagnosed have struggled. This does not automatically disqualify them from medication. Untreated adhd can have disastrrous consequences. Saying no offense before judging someone does mot make it ok.

Well Said Sarah
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Old 12-02-12, 02:16 PM
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Re: Adderall maxed out and not really working anymore :(

I want to comment to what original poster said about not craving rec. drugs now. That is EXACTLY how I feel. I have not used street drugs for over 6 years now (my drugs of choice were marijuana, dropped E about a handful of times when it was all the rage 98-00, cocaine (which I ALSO always hated, but did it) and opiates). I have always felt before aderrall that if the opportunity was put in front of me, if it weren't for my kids, I could EASILY fall back in. As a matter of fact, I take Norco (hydrocodone) for severe degenerative disc disease in four discs of my lumbar spine (ouch) and I was taking the 4 a day prescribed, pain or not
:-/ What a DIFFERENCE aderrall has made! I no longer feel like I have that lingering itch that needs scratched. Does that make ME a junkie? I sure hope not! I truly feel that what I was trying to self medicate has been fixed! I am now taking my Norco once a day, also on no pain days to ward off withdrawal, but am working with my pain management doc on lowering strength and dose. I never thought I would be able to say that (been off and mostly on PRESCRIBED opiates for about 6 yrs)

So in summation, seriously?! Do even a small amount of research and you will find that untreated ADD/ADHD and drug abuse commonly go hand and hand.
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