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General Medication Discussion This section is to be used for general medication discussion and other medications not broken out in their own respective forums.

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Old 07-07-16, 10:04 PM
palmetto palmetto is offline
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Question Odd medication issues - advice?

Hi all. I've had weird issues with my ADHD medications and I thought I'd see if anyone had similar experiences, advice, etc.

How I came to suspect I had ADHD is a long story, but to keep things simple, I was tested and diagnosed right at the start of this year, just after January 1st. I was prescribed 18mg Concerta which made me sort of nauseous and didn't really have an effect for me. I talked to the doctor and got 20mg Focalin with a 10mg Ritalin booster. This combination was far better but didn't last me as long, so he upped it to 30mg Focalin with the same booster. January, February, and March were fantastic. Focalin made me energized, happy, willing to do or talk about anything with anyone (I was always bored and socially awkward before), and it helped me so much in college. I came out of organic chemistry with an A, and my notes every day were extremely detailed. I loved every bit of it, and I looked forward to every day on Focalin since it made me function like I couldn't for 20 years.

Well toward the end of March there was a big event in my personal life that put a LOT of stress on me. I felt less hungry and over the next week I started to notice that I felt a bit dizzy. I felt very slightly "dissociated", like my vision was a little zoomed out and I could only focus on what was at the single point I was looking at. I knew the stress would pass so I kept on my medications. The following week, I was sitting down while the Focalin was at its strongest, and I realized that my nose felt tingly when I touched it. Same with the surface of my face. This worried me but it passed when the Focalin left my system. This started happening every time I took it, and ALSO happened when I took the Ritalin booster.

Eventually that energized rush I got on the Focalin, and the warm, focused feeling I got on the Ritalin, turned into just a pounding, fast heartbeat, anxious, "tight" feeling, and even negative mood swings. Focalin made me angry when I took it, while it only made me happy up until this point. It also made the middle of the soles of my feet slightly numb, as if I was sitting on my leg for a couple minutes. I could feel everything but the surface felt a little odd, and it was like this more in my left foot.

I quit the Focalin and eventually quit the Ritalin since it gave me the same awful effects. My heartbeat was resting at a stable 70-80 bpm again, I felt a little hungrier through the day, and I didn't get angry anymore. All numbness was totally gone. But I did start feeling really depressed.

I was off my medications for maybe a week total until I saw my doctor. We agreed to go back on Concerta rather than try a non-stimulant, this time 36mg. I went home and took it every day, and it felt like Ritalin when it was good for me, but extended throughout the day. Not nearly as good as Focalin, but it was the best I had. My Ritalin booster was also working fine.

But then problems started again. Just like the Focalin randomly stopped working before, Concerta went to hell. One week it was making me relaxed and feeling warm and happy, and the next it was making my heart pound, giving me dizziness, and making my feet/calves feel very slightly numb. I tried keeping up with it but I realized that every time I took it, I just wished it would wear off. So I went off it and only used my Ritalin. The Ritalin made me feel a little uncomfortable but it worked.

Since I have an assortment of medications now, I've gone back and tried a few things. My original 18mg Concerta now had a strong effect on me, when I couldn't feel it at all in the beginning. It made me a little uncomfortable so I went back to my 20mg Focalin since it was so great when it worked. It has been working over the past week, but in a very odd way. Yesterday I took it with a big sandwich with meat and cheese, and some peas on the side. It worked fine. Today I took it with a ham sandwich and some pineapple, but it sucked. It felt okay at first but then it made my heart pound so hard that I could hear it in my ears. I got up to go to the bathroom because I needed to, and when I came back and sat down, I felt calm and happy. WTF. It's like everything has a much stronger effect on me, and it's all like a roller coaster. Before everything was perfect and as long as I just ate with it, it'd work perfectly fine. But now there must be some magic formula to make it work without making me feel terrible, but I haven't figured it out. Also, I've had slight numbness in my left foot and lower leg, and my limbs always feel cold. When I wear long pants the numbness in my leg goes away, so I'm thinking the cold (my house is always pretty cold) might have something to do with it. And the numbness went away completely when I went off everything, so I know I don't have some kind of underlying condition. It's got to be the vasoconstriction effects. Oh, and regarding the heart thing, yes, I've been to a doctor. I had an EKG done and my cardiologist said everything looks perfectly fine, with the fast heartbeat being the only thing off. He chalked it up to me being a very anxious person (I really am). But it still makes me uncomfortable when I can feel it beating that fast.

I really don't want to go to a non-stimulant since the effects of these stimulants really turned my life around for a few months. Everything was so great, but they just stopped working. That stress I had at first might have had something to do with it, and I've lost about ten pounds since I started everything, but I don't see why I would have the same weird effects now. I just want to figure out what happened, and what I need to do to fix it. I don't want to be anxious and uncomfortable when I'm on my meds. I don't want to feel like I'm going to explode. I want it all to be back to normal, like it was a few months ago.

I've been seeing a psychologist who is separate from my ADHD doctor, but she is actually the wife of one of his coworkers who is also an ADHD guy. She listened to my issues and said I should talk about trying an amphetamine. Would this be a good idea? I really miss that energized, positive "rush" I got on Focalin, since it made me so outgoing, motivated, and happy like never before. Would a medication of the amphetamine class do this? Or are things like Adderall, Vyvanse, etc. more like Ritalin/Concerta?

Any advice is wanted. Have any of you had similar experiences? What could make my medications just stop working? I lost ten pounds; could that be it?
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Old 07-08-16, 03:54 AM
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Re: Odd medication issues - advice?

Anything from the methylphenidate class of drugs gave me horrible mood swings. I have taken adderall or dexedrine for almost 13 years now and it works well for me.
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Old 07-08-16, 03:30 PM
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Re: Odd medication issues - advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
Anything from the methylphenidate class of drugs gave me horrible mood swings. I have taken adderall or dexedrine for almost 13 years now and it works well for me.
I think I'm going to ask my doctor for Dexedrine. I feel weird about asking for this stuff (it makes me feel like I'll be judged like a drug addict or something) but luckily he's pretty laid back and he gives me choices in my treatment. I've also read that Desoxyn has helped people who've had the heart rate issues with methylphenidate, and it seems to be "smoother" and more flexible than Dexedrine, but it's also got the meth stigma attached to it so it might be hard to get.

Thanks for your input; I appreciate it.
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Old 07-08-16, 04:08 PM
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Re: Odd medication issues - advice?

I take Concerta with a beta-blocker since I'm predisposed to high blood-pressure and racing heartbeat. It cancels out the negative effects Concerta has on me: fast pulse, high bp, anxiety and shaky hands. Another thing, now that I have better focus, I need to wear glasses at work, because my eye feel strained. Maybe you should simply try another type of medication, like Strattera, Adderall or Wellbutrin.
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Old 07-13-16, 04:20 AM
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Re: Odd medication issues - advice?

I saw my doctor and asked to try an amphetamine since some people who've had issues with methylphenidate sometimes do better on them.

He prescribed me something new called Adzenys XR-ODT, 12.5 mg. It just got approved in January and seems to have come on the market in May or around then. It appears to be racemic amphetamine in a quick-dissolving tablet form. I take my first dose later today, and I'll post here to let ya'll know how it goes.
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Old 07-16-16, 08:58 PM
palmetto palmetto is offline
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Re: Odd medication issues - advice?

Alright here's my update.

I've been a lot happier and motivated on Adzenys. I feel that energized "rush" I got on Focalin but it's extended for quite a while. It feels like that for at least three hours but then slowly declines until about the fifth hour, when the XR portion kicks in. This part feels a bit different. I'm really energized and all but it's more of the focus than the happiness/mood change, but I still feel fine (i.e. not depressed). It also makes me feel a little "jittery" but it's more like a compulsion to move and do something, even if it's just writing on typing on a keyboard.

I also don't have the dizziness or heart rate issues that methylphenidate gave me. I have felt a very slight tingly feeling in extremities but I suspect this is a result of not eating well enough/the right stuff. It does suppress my appetite but I always feel great when I force myself to eat.

So far it's been pretty good. I've been concerned that the "come down" might not be so great though, since on two of the three days I've taken it, I've felt very sad at night, but I am experiencing some relationship issues so that could be the cause. We'll see.

Adzenys comes in foil strips and it's an orange, powdery tablet. It's flavored like oranges and I just let it dissolve on my tongue and then I swallow. It almost feels like it's not a drug, but when you feel it kicking in a little later you realize just what it is.
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