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  #1  
Old 03-10-08, 02:40 PM
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Unhappy Are there over the counter ADD Meds?

First, I apologize for not understanding very well how forum bulletin boards work. I've never posted a thread before, and in spite of trying to read all the rules and regulations and trying to grok this whole system, I don't really feel like I get it. Newbie, ADD me.

Here's my story. I am a 40-sumthin woman diagnosed with ADD two years ago. I ended up quitting my management-level job in a creative field and freelancing as a result of being miserable and feeling unsuccessful in a position that required lots of planning and organization.

During the short period between my diagnosis and leaving my job, I tried various meds for ADD, including Wellbutrin, Concerta, and another I forget, but never settled on one.

When I applied for an individual insurance policy to replace the group plan from my old job ($650 a month!) I was denied by the same carrier, who cited my ADD diagnosis as the reason. It wasn't just that they wanted to exclude the ADD, they wouldn't cover me at all.

After the denial, in a frantic effort to put together an application that a carrier would accept, I asked my doctor and therapist to write letters stating that my attentional problems were "situational," related to my recent divorce and job stress. This amounted to having my ADD diagnosis "revoked." I'm not saying that they lied... They just looked at the symptoms (divorce, job, etc.) from a perspective that turned out to be convenient. I desperately needed affordable insurance, incase my child or I got cancer, or hit by a car or whatever.

I now have affordable (read as crappy) insurance coverage. But if I am diagnosed with ADD I'm afraid I'll lose my current coverage and, assuming that ADD continues to be a black spot in the insurance world, I may never get affordable coverage again. I'm not currently in a position to take that gamble.

As of this writing I have ("situational") trouble with impulse control, concentration, hyperfocus and the rest of the gamut of ADD goodies, to the extent that I'm fearful that I won't be able to support myself and my child.

I try to use natural self-treatment including diet, exercise and meditation, but it's hard to keep up on those tools without a catalyst of some kind.

I currently self-medicate with double power coffees. I've heard that Red Bull may be helpful. Frankly, I don't even know if it's ethical to ask if there are other, non-prescription substances that have been known to help with ADD -- but I'm desperate and I'm askin'.
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Old 03-10-08, 03:02 PM
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Re: Are there over the counter ADD Meds?

Hopefully you'll be able to get a response from those of us who choose to go medication free.

I've heard that Think + from the Greens+ line is supposed to help with ADHD, but I don't know of anyone who has used it but you might want to give that a try. Also I think omega 3's are supposed to be good too.
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Old 03-14-08, 12:39 AM
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Re: Are there over the counter ADD Meds?

I think Omega 3s help me. Also, Daniel Amen suggests steering clear of caffeine. He says that it actually DECREASES blood flow to the brain (which is why it helps headaches) and that over time you will reduce blood flow overall. I still drink a cup or two of coffee a day, but I'm mindful of this advice. You could try actually cutting it out. I found that, when I did, I was less sleepy and had fewer highs and lows in terms of energy, just a consistent neutral, if that makes any sense.

And here's just a thought. It's what I did before I was diagnosed but when I believed that I might have ADD (took four weeks to get in to see a psychiatrist).... (glances to either side) what about sudafed, one in the morning, one in the afternoon for a total of 8 hours? Doctors might say no no no. But I'd read Amen when I did that, and it seemed the most "stimulating" thing I could buy OTC that was NOT caffeine based. (And I certainly know allergy sufferers that use sudafed very regularly in double those amounts).

Bear in mind that you will not want to be mixing caffeine, sudafed, and aspirin. That's the dreaded ECA stacker (I think) that they used to sell as diet pills (thermogenic, or whatever). Ephedra, caffeine, and aspirin work synergistically (as in, the effect is more than just the sum of the parts) and they raise body temperature (hence the weight loss effect) while simultaneously reducing the body's ability to cool, so they can really predispose you to heat exhaustion or heat stroke (this was debated, but whatever, not worth the risk).

Just a thought.
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Old 03-14-08, 01:37 AM
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Re: Are there over the counter ADD Meds?

I'll second the Omega III recommendation -- it helps a lot with depression and moodiness and some with ADD focus. Exercise is probably the best non medication thing you can do. Dr. Ratey's book Spark explains how exercise can help the ADD brain. The trick it the exercise has to be more than once a day. It's kind of like taking a dose of Adderall and Prozac holistically because it naturally raises your level of dopamine and serotonin for two to four hours afterwards (kind of like short acting Ritalin). The good news is that it doesn't have to be a marathon to get you back on track -- ten minutes of brisk walking, jumping jacks, stair climbing, etc well do the trick.

You might read Daniel Amen's book Healing ADD for suggestions on supplements he recommends for kids wanting to enlist in the army who can't take medication.
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Old 03-14-08, 05:26 AM
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Re: Are there over the counter ADD Meds?

Omega 3's, AMINO ACIDS, exercise, and NON-TOXIC PEOPLE AROUND YOU. I still take meds, and find them helpful. But these 4 things are essential to people with add.
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  #6  
Old 03-17-08, 04:06 PM
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Re: Are there over the counter ADD Meds?

I've heard Omega 3 is good, like the good people above have said.

Sandy thanks for the point abot caffeine! Damn I've been taking multiple caffeine pills on collegedays to improve me concentration - i'l try cut them out nwo.
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Old 03-19-08, 02:16 AM
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Re: Are there over the counter ADD Meds?

Omegas are good, but a 7:1 or better ratio of EPA to DHA works best. From what I've read high doses of magnesium and B-6 work for many.
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Old 03-20-08, 03:05 PM
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Re: Are there over the counter ADD Meds?

Thanks for the tips about not overusing caffeine, and not combining OTC drugs, Sandy.

Obviously, my question isn't intended to suggest that I'd consider abusing OTC meds, or that I'd ever encourage anyone else to! I get migraines and/or sinus headaches, and have discovered that I can concentrate great when I have taken a cold and sinus pill -- but I'd never take these regularly, because they contain ibuprofen (and for all I know, other substances) which can cause serious health effects.

Being a good old fashioned chicken, I'd never self-medicate with an OTC drug unless I knew it had been researched and approved by the FDA for a use at least very similar to my needs. I was just hoping that there might be some kind of FDA approved "study aid" that had helped people.

It's beginning to sound like Omega III's aren't something to poo-poo.

On a related note, I know this sounds subversive, but I've been thinking that I might be able to get my ADD symptoms treated without losing insurance coverage by concentrating on a more common condition that insurance companies don't stonewall.
Such as perimenopause. It affects all women to some extent, eventually, it lasts for an indefinite time, and it has a wide range of symptoms, some of which are very ADD-like.

If they can invent the game and change the rules whenever they want, it seems only fair that people could use a little strategy in playing it. I think a key term in this scrimmage is "situational."
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Old 03-20-08, 03:18 PM
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Re: Are there over the counter ADD Meds?

gigue, in B.C., pharmacare and most extended medical plans do not cover smoking cessation products. Go figure, but that's a whole 'nother story. If I turned in a prescription receipt for Zyban, it would be denied, but if I send in my receipt for Wellbutrin (same drug, different advertising), my extended medical will pay 80% of the cost because Wellbutrin is also prescribed for depression. I don't get the system.
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Old 06-01-13, 07:22 AM
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Re: Are there over the counter ADD Meds?

Using caffeine to treat adhd isnt recommended. Believe me, I love coffee but it doesnt do anything for my adhd. Is this insurance that you bought? If it is, and I could be wrong, but once you have the insurance and then get the adhd diagnosis, can they still kick you out? Also I thought the new healthcare laws prohibited a pre-existing condition from being used against you?
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Old 06-22-13, 10:44 AM
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Re: Are there over the counter ADD Meds?

I think I might have a bit of focus issues, but I have a friend whose ADD is worse than mine (who doesn't take any under the counter medication). He once told me that his biggest problem with focus and concentration issues are his first two weeks at a job. What he does, is buy nicotine patches and ups his caffeine intake for that period of time. I think that this can be safe in the short term -- but Since I am not a doctor I cannot not offer this as any form of medical advice.

I do know, that what helps me with memory, focus and concentration is getting a good night's sleep and eating a good breakfast. I also take periodic breaks throughout the day. I also think that stress can cause a lot of lack of concentration and focus; if you can deal with that, I think you are much better.
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Old 07-04-13, 05:53 AM
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Re: Are there over the counter ADD Meds?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NateKeys View Post
I think I might have a bit of focus issues, but I have a friend whose ADD is worse than mine (who doesn't take any under the counter medication). He once told me that his biggest problem with focus and concentration issues are his first two weeks at a job. What he does, is buy nicotine patches and ups his caffeine intake for that period of time. I think that this can be safe in the short term -- but Since I am not a doctor I cannot not offer this as any form of medical advice.

I do know, that what helps me with memory, focus and concentration is getting a good night's sleep and eating a good breakfast. I also take periodic breaks throughout the day. I also think that stress can cause a lot of lack of concentration and focus; if you can deal with that, I think you are much better.
Starting at 13 I used to smoke. I went up to two packs a day,as well as a 44oz coke every day. At 25,I quit smoking and increased my caffeine intake by going up to about 3-4 liters a day.I also increased weight from about 140lbs to 210. I never relalized how both those behaviors were self medicating.
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Old 07-27-13, 12:26 PM
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Re: Are there over the counter ADD Meds?

Older thread but important to keep any information as far as supplements and other things that may help with depression, anxiety and even pain.

I will just name a few..all should be checked for the quality because there are a lot of fillers and junk in so many vitamins in there.

You should always talk to your doctor before taking any supplements because of the medications you are on.

Antioxidant and minerals
Omega's
Grape Seed
Flax Seed
Turmeric
Vitamin D

Tough enough to fight ADHD and to stay active and health.
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