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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 02-02-08, 07:17 PM
sansserif sansserif is offline
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ADHD + stimulants + glaucoma = ?

After a year and a half of university hell, I finally saw a psychiatrist and started treatment for ADHD—and, like many of you have probably experienced, it was like a giant lightbulb went on over my life. For the first time I could listen to entire lectures, take reading notes, manage my finances, avoid constant guilt/anxiety over being chronically scattered, remember appointments, keep my apartment organized...etc. World-changing.

Then, yesterday, my pharmacist noticed that Adderall is contraindicated in patients with glaucoma, which I have. Long story short, he called my doctor, and my doctor called me and told me to stop taking the meds—without offering any alternatives.

So now I am in the MADDENING position of knowing how beautiful it is to be able to function like a normal human being...and having that all fall apart. Now I am looking forward to...I'm not even sure. I don't think I could stand to go back to the way I was, knowing what it feels like to be medicated. I spent today trying to study, failing, crying out of frustration, trying again, etc. Not pretty.

So, I guess my plea for help is: if you know of any fast-acting non-stimulant treatments for ADHD, please share! (Strattera etc. may be options but I would really like something I can start using in the next few days...graaah midterm season!)

Alternatively, if anyone else out there has glaucoma and ADHD and has figured out a way to counteract the IOP-increasing effect of the stimulant meds, or found other successful treatments...please let me know!
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Old 02-04-08, 08:55 PM
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Re: ADHD + stimulants + glaucoma = ?

Talk to your eye doctor and see if he is treating patients on ADHD meds. ADHD
meds can make a hypertensives BP skyrocket (or anyones) but BP meds can be adjusted for that. Seems the same logic may apply to glaucoma. Your eye doctor would be able to say for sure. He could then contact your ADHD doctor
if its possible for you. If your eye doctor has no experience in the matter seek another eye doctors advice.
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Old 02-05-08, 06:17 AM
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Re: ADHD + stimulants + glaucoma = ?

I would first consult a Ophthalmologist and see what possible problems you could have in the future. Low dose beta-blocker is your best bet for cutting the peripheral stim effects of the adderall....keep dialogue open between you and doctor. He should be the one looking for a solution not you.

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Old 02-08-08, 04:50 PM
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Re: ADHD + stimulants + glaucoma = ?

Thanks for the replies, both of you! I'm currently waiting to see a new psychiatrist (the medication incident coincided with me deciding to switch doctors, so there's about a week of downtime) so I can get a referral for an ophthalmologist and also look at other treatment options. Not much of an update, I'm afraid. (:
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Old 02-08-08, 05:16 PM
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Re: ADHD + stimulants + glaucoma = ?

Sansserifs,

That is really rum luck about the medication. One thing that can still be very helpful is aerobic exercise multiple times a day. Dr. John Ratey in his book Spark and Delivered from Distraction discusses how exercise can act like a dose of Adderall and Prozac combined in increasing the levels of dopamine and serotonin. Guys should aim for 75% or their maximum heart rate and gals for 65% for optimum focus. Think of it a bit like short acting Ritalin -- the first hour is the golden one and the effects of improved focus can last from 2 - 4 hours depending on the person. Even just a 10 minute burst of exercise can help the brain get back down to business. That's definately how I got through college (back in the dark ages without medication) -- lots of running, climbing stairs, and pacing the halls. It's especially helpful if you're getting enough Omega III fatty acids to build the neurotransmitters the exercise stimulates.

Other wholistic helpers include reducing the amount of refined food which immediately turns to sugar in your system causing your insulin to spike and then drop quickly leaving your brain with less glucose (the ADD brain already battles that issue in the frontal lobes) and music can also help stimulate the brain.

I hope you can find a medication that is helpful without worsening your glaucoma, but in the mean time -- go for a jog or brisk walk before those mid-terms or while studying for them -- it'll help!
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Old 02-08-08, 06:42 PM
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Re: ADHD + stimulants + glaucoma = ?

Wellbutrin might be worth a try? It takes 3 weeks to start working, but I found it quite helpful.
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Old 10-03-08, 02:09 AM
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Re: ADHD + stimulants + glaucoma = ?

First, let me start off by saying that have not tried ADHD drug bifemelane. However, I have seen some good things about its potential use for ADHD, Parkinson's, autism, dementia, memory loss, and even some mood disorders. It's definitely a versatile drug! However, I also read that bifemelane has actually been suggested as a possible treatment for glaucoma.

I don't know a whole lot more about this drug bifemelane at the moment, but if you are concerned about glaucoma, this sounds like something you might want to check into. Good luck!


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Originally Posted by sansserif View Post
Alternatively, if anyone else out there has glaucoma and ADHD and has figured out a way to counteract the IOP-increasing effect of the stimulant meds, or found other successful treatments...please let me know!
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Old 02-13-09, 05:02 AM
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Re: ADHD + stimulants + glaucoma = ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by theta View Post
Talk to your eye doctor and see if he is treating patients on ADHD meds. ADHD
meds can make a hypertensives BP skyrocket (or anyones) but BP meds can be adjusted for that. Seems the same logic may apply to glaucoma. Your eye doctor would be able to say for sure. He could then contact your ADHD doctor
if its possible for you. If your eye doctor has no experience in the matter seek another eye doctors advice.
I just discovered how bad Adderall is for people with Glaucoma. To be honest, I won't be going back to my doctor. The only time her name will be coming out of my mouth is when I have the opportunity to make sure she has a bad name. Right now I don't think I want my Glaucoma specialists talking to my doctor, shes ignorant and hes not much of a people person so that could be bad for everyone involved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sansserif View Post
So now I am in the MADDENING position of knowing how beautiful it is to be able to function like a normal human being...and having that all fall apart. Now I am looking forward to...I'm not even sure. I don't think I could stand to go back to the way I was, knowing what it feels like to be medicated. I spent today trying to study, failing, crying out of frustration, trying again, etc. Not pretty.
What a tease huh? I know how you feel, at least your doctor gave you a call and your pharmacist noticed it. I found out after looking at Adderall on drugs.com, I was planning out a diet and thought I'd make check to see if it said to avoid or include anything specific. I'll be calling my Eye Doctor tomorrow for some info, probably finding a new doctor as I would recommend you do as well, and letting my previous know what I think. I really can't beleive that the pharmicist didn't catch this, my stuff is usually filled through the techs and the one time the actual pharmicists fills mine its complete fail.

I don't know what your whole take is on the situation. I feel pretty teased, really foolish and I've really been questioning my judgement. I've gone to this doctor for some time, she seemed ok and all that trust for her and the profession is gone. Above all else, I have this massive amount of anger, the last 40 hours or so the smallest little frustrations have been sending me through the roof. I'm the type of person thats usually really calm, rarely ever gets mad.. but when I do.. no one wants to be around and I'm smart enough to seperate myself from the situation. Kind of hard in this scenerio though.

Let me know what you find out, I'll post my findings as well.
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Old 05-03-09, 09:39 PM
JudyPat4 JudyPat4 is offline
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Cool Re: ADHD + stimulants + glaucoma = ?

I struggle with ADHD and depression, also have glaucoma. Does Bifemelane have a brand name. I'd appreciate further suggestions on meds that don't up IOP. Blindness vs. brain dead, some choice.
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Old 02-04-13, 09:13 AM
Silurian Silurian is offline
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Re: ADHD + stimulants + glaucoma = ?

I'm in a very similar situation. I have been taking Ritalin for a few years now and lately my optician picked up the early onset of glaucoma. I have been forced to stop taking Ritalin and having ADHD PI, reverted to my natural sleeping pattern, which is unfortunately nocturnal. I used to set my alarm, take my Ritalin and then start my day.

I basically have no energy through the day wheresoever, and would need a drill sergent to use any kind of exercise routine mentioned above. I have been switched to Wellbutrin (off label as here it's only sanctioned as a smoking cessation drug) and it helps, but does nothing for my energy levels. The same applies to Strattera. Although Strattera has an interesting side effect of waking me up at day break so I can lay in bed in a lethargic haze.

I have came across Guanfacine (Tenex) on my searches which lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and can be used as a treatment for ADHD in its own right, although it is often combined with stimulants to reduce their side effects. Maybe, this, with monitoring of eye pressure, could allow you to use stimulants again? Beta blockers are also an option to lower overall blood pressure (I refused these however, as there is evidence that they increase the risk of diabetes by up to 30% in patients after long term use.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guanfacine

Another thing I found was Forskolin, which has evidence that it may reduce reduce intra ocular pressure. This is available on Ebay so I have purchased some and recently started taking it.

My optician, in a general conversation after my eye exam, also mentioned that cannabis lowers IOP on average by about 25% in its users and virtually stops glaucoma in its tracks. There are forms of cannabis such as hemp, which have no psychoactive properties yet still contain beneficial cannabinoids. Unfortunately, governments tend not to distinguish between the two, so this treatment would be illegal in most nations or states, including mine.

Lastly, never trust your doctor entirely, read up on every medication they offer you and suggest medications as well. Many Dr's begin seeing their vocation as just a job, and begin to view you as nothing more than a piece of paperwork that has to be filed, and written up after you leave their office, so that they can collect their wage at the end of the week.
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Old 03-16-14, 04:30 PM
ktp2131 ktp2131 is offline
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Smile Re: ADHD + stimulants + glaucoma = ?

I have only recently been diagnosed (ADD), and through research and trying Wellbutrin, I know I need a stimulant but cannot take any with Glaucoma. I hope to get a chance to try Bifemelane, but if that doesn't work I seriously might consider the newer surgery available at my eye clinic. Apparently they can put tiny shunts in the eyes which eliminate the need for any medications. They said people just getting diagnosed (especially younger patients) are choosing the surgery so they don't have the expense and hassle of eye drops for the rest of their life. It might be worth looking into.
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