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  #1  
Old 11-14-12, 12:25 AM
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How to best take Adderall IR before a "major" exam?

Hi all:

Got a major financial certification exam in a bit over a month.
Very difficult and only started adderall 20 IR once in morning
about 2 months ago. Background: Got my masters degree with no Add meds and good grades believe it or not, (although I studied very long and hard).
Only once I started working full time + and studying did I really realize my previously untreated moderate add was now a major problem that needed to be addressed :-/
Anyway, dr offered me sleeping pill zolpidem with adderall and
I said no thanks to slwwping pill. Anyway a week later after having a hard time sleeping (mostly staying asleep) I asked him to prescribe me the the sleeping meds. which Ive taken successfully since and sleeping.

The THING I AM CONFUSED ABOUT HOWEVER IS HOW TO TAKE ADDERALL
IN THE MORNING BEFORE A MAJOR "COMPLEX" EXAM. MY UPCOMING EXAM WILL BE 4 HOURS LONG. Some people say do not eat around time you take adderall IR; others say take a small meal an hour before your dose; still others say take adderall with a bit of food. Frankly I'm CoNfUsEd?!?

I would think the brain would perform best with some protein and adderall at same time?? My normal breakfast before a test (BEFORE I STARTED ADDERALL IR) was a protein shake, 3 egg whites, and a pint of water.

HOW DOES ANYONE HERE RECOMMEND/WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO TAKE ADDERALL IR BEFORE A MAJOR/COMPLICATED EARLY EXAM?

I only got "1" shot at this certification test (for different reasons), and need to maximize all circumstances so all feedback is very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-14-12, 01:07 AM
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Re: How to best take Adderall IR before a "major" exam?

What kind of breakfast do you usually eat?

How long does it usually take for the Adderall to start working, and how long do your meds usually last?

If the exam's a month away, you have some time to experiment with food to see if and how it affects the way your meds work.

If you think you'll need accommodations (like a break to walk around or to take meds, extended time, quiet room, etc.), you'll probably want to look into that ASAP -- and they should be available if need be for most professional certification exams.

Last edited by namazu; 11-14-12 at 07:11 PM.. Reason: fixed typo
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Old 11-14-12, 05:03 AM
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Re: How to best take Adderall IR before a "major" exam?

Well,

Its best to associate yourself to being productive in that setting with the adderall.

Side note: In the morning, I have my breakfast of Champions, Adderall and Coffee about 45 min of needing to be productive or driving.

I don't eat every day, no idea why - never did.... I know its a side effect of the drug -but I do better now with remembering to eat (still overweight)
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Old 11-14-12, 09:40 AM
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Re: How to best take Adderall IR before a "major" exam?

You just take it.
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Old 11-14-12, 01:43 PM
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Re: How to best take Adderall IR before a "major" exam?

http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2007/...correctly.html
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Old 11-14-12, 06:04 PM
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Re: How to best take Adderall IR before a "major" exam?

Thanks for responses so far everyone.
I really appreciate it. I read "this" last psychiatrist
Link before as well. My only real question
Left is would the brain work better with
Fuel "food" before a test with adderal? Some say it slows down
The thinking process of the brain when on adderall at exam time??

Thanks again to all responders here. :-)
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Old 11-14-12, 07:17 PM
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Re: How to best take Adderall IR before a "major" exam?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiGiKi View Post
My only real question
Left is would the brain work better with
Fuel "food" before a test with adderal? Some say it slows down
The thinking process of the brain when on adderall at exam time??
I don't know of any good evidence that food "slows down the thinking process of the brain when on Adderall".

There is plenty of evidence that a good breakfast in the morning is generally helpful to people in terms of academic performance. (Though, as MrDavidAlan suggested, some people function OK without food.)

For a 4-hour exam, you'll probably want to eat a balanced meal with some carbs, protein, and fat. If you eat something really sugary right before the exam, you'll have a lot of energy right away but might "crash" not too long after. So having some complex carbohydrates (starch) and protein and fat (which don't get used quite so instantly and won't spike your blood sugar) in your breakfast might be helpful.

If you're allowed to bring food into the room, it might be good to have some (non-crunchy) snacks (non-crunchy to avoid bugging the heck out of your fellow test-takers!) available in case you feel your energy flagging.

Again, I don't see a reason why eating should cause slow thinking, with or without Adderall. And you can try out different combinations/timings of food and Adderall between now and the exam to see how your focus/energy/thinking is, so on exam day, you'll know what works best for you.

Good luck with the test!
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Old 11-15-12, 12:07 AM
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Re: How to best take Adderall IR before a "major" exam?

thank you namazu. good advice.
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Old 11-19-12, 05:34 PM
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Re: How to best take Adderall IR before a "major" exam?

OK, some great advice here, but let me toss a few more friendly suggestions your way.

If this is a very important exam I'm going to assume that you'll most likely be awake for at least 2 hours before it, and if you wake up just two hours before it, pop an addy, and go to a 4 hour zinger like that one. I think this would be a big no-no. A lot of people don't realize while taking adderall that when the effects seem to be less prevalent (e.g., focus, energy, etc.), while at the same time the side-affects seem to be stronger than usual (e.g., irritability, sweatiness, etc.), that this is very likely being caused by malnourishment, the stimulant effects of the adderall make you feel like you can go on, but in reality your body is begging for sustenance. The worst part about this is that once the addy has kicked in hard, it can be hard for some people to choke dowm enough food to curb this.

That's why I think it's important to always have some food in your stomach before taking adderall, from either a light meal about an hour before, or a hardy meal around 2 hours before.

Furthermore, I've read in A LOT of places that drinking milk with your adderall tends makes to help its effectiveness, something to do with opening up the GI tract... Nevertheless, I happen to be a pretty avid milk drinker anyways and almost always take it with my adderall, and do find it helpful.

Now, the exact kind of food to eat can be a tricky game, your body is delicate, complicated, and highly sophisticated. So something that seems like it worked wonders yesterday might not work today. I think that's why you find so many threads like this one, because environmental and internal factors can play just as large a role on your adderall's effectiveness, I don't think anybody has really discovered a meal combo that could be guaranteed to potentiate the effects for the majority of people the majority of the time (though I'm sure people have found things that work for them personally, and more power to them for that).

That's why the best thing you can do in terms of what you eat is take the safe road, although you might not be able to discover exactly what, on that particular day, will make the effects strong and/or longer lasting for sure, you can make sure you don't eat or drink anything that could even POSSIBLY have a detrimental interaction.

So to this extent, avoid juices (obviously), honestly just drink milk or water (like i said the safe road). The meal you had down in the original post sounded pretty good, but in a high stress situation such as the one you'll be entering I don't think it would hurt to eat something a little more substantial. To this end I would suggest anything high in fiber such as some kind of oat cereal or oatmeal or whatever you enjoy that is fibery and filling. Avoid anything extra sugary or salty, i feel like it messes with me sometimes.

If you do decide to get something new make sure you check the ingredients and avoid anything that has any kind of acid in it. Citric acid (vitamin C) is the biggest enemy of adderall in this realm but i think other acids can be troublesome at times also, so it can't hurt to avoid them. Just get something basic, and possibly organic, but filling. There are a few other ingredients that some consider to be big no-no's that i can't think of off the top of my head, so you might want to look into that as well.

Also, taking some antacids the night before couldn't hurt, if you're down with that, since stomachs tend to be more acidy in the morning, I haven't researched this technique though, but have had some success with it personally.

Also, whenever I find myself in situations like these I always like to have a couple Clif bars with me, (or whatever similar type of bar you like), for 2 hours or so into the exam, because even though the adderall might make you feel like you don't need to refuel, your brain will thank you for the nutrients. And they are definitely going to have to give you AT LEAST one ten minute break in there somewhere, it'd be oppressive (and probably illegal) not to. But again, be sure to check the label for unwanted ingredients

Last, I would avoid the protein shake because those have all kinds of questionable ingredients. No fruits, no veggies (except bananas, bananas are ok) no cheeses, no sauces, no jam, jelly, preserves.

Wow, reviewing this post it actually sounds really, really paranoid to take all of these precautions (I usually do not), but if you want to increase you're chances of potentiation, while at the same time all but eliminating any chances inefficacy. Then these are some sure-fire ways to go. Chances are I missed a few though.

Good Luck. Finals are a drag.
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Old 11-27-12, 01:39 PM
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Re: How to best take Adderall IR before a "major" exam?

If doing well on the exam is important to you. I would suggest doing a dry-run. Get up, eat, take the adderall and go take a practice exam, under similar circumstances that you expect to see the day of the real exam. What is most important is to note any difficulties in concentration or other things that might interfere with doing well. Optimal timing of dosage and eating and all that other BS aren't going to magically make you smarter or improve your memory. Hopefully, it might enable you to focus on the exam. If during the practice run you notice issues, don't take adderall before the real exam. Afterall, you got through school without it, didn't you?

Long before I started taking adderall, I was studying for the GMATs. One day, I took an allergy med before taking a practice exam. I could not get through the questions. It was very eye opening. That was the last time I took any medication prior to any exam. Had I taken that same med before the real exam, I would have been screwed. Thankfully, I learned that lesson, by chance, the easy way.
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Old 12-03-12, 09:16 AM
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Re: How to best take Adderall IR before a "major" exam?

I would recommend doing a few practice exams on adderall if possible. I took adderall before a standardized test and it really messed up my timing. I was too focused and took too long on questions.
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Old 12-05-12, 10:37 PM
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Re: How to best take Adderall IR before a "major" exam?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbucks View Post
I would recommend doing a few practice exams on adderall if possible. I took adderall before a standardized test and it really messed up my timing. I was too focused and took too long on questions.
I like this advice. I noticed the same thing happens to me when I take any exam after taking stimulants, so what I've done in the past is halve my dose on exam days. For some reason, I find myself uncharacteristically good at taking tests in general, such that I can perform OK without stimulants at all.
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Old 12-06-12, 04:54 AM
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Re: How to best take Adderall IR before a "major" exam?

Personally what I would do in such a situation is I would take my normal (20mg) for example couple hours before the exam on an empty stomach, then take another (20mg) tablet or whatever you have & split it into two halfs, so it basically would be a booster to the 20mg you took couple hours before, and then 2-4 hours later take the other half or however you see fit based on how you feel. You have to be careful to because to much & you'll bring all the nasty side effects of the medication out to such as hyper focusing or zoning out completely on something, headaches, etc.. not pleasant. I've always found it best to eat about hour - hour and half after I take my pill which I try to always take on an empty stomach, and then when I eat somethings its generally really small. Also if you want all the adderall you can going into your actual bloodstream rather than excreted out unchanged you need to watch the acidity of your stomach. To much acid rather than base causes less amphetamine plasma concentrations due to increased clearance of the drug unchanged. I always avoid acidic drinks such as soda, energy drink, anything with Citric Acid kills it, basically you'll get 5mg pill out of a 20mg if your lucky.
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