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Concerta (methylphenidate) Time released Ritalin - 10 hour long acting tablet.

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  #1  
Old 02-17-09, 11:14 AM
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Makes me sleeeeeeepy......

I have been on Concerta 36mg for a while now and have noticed something strange. I wake up in the morning and take my meds. Sometimes after the meds kick in, I am so sleepy I can barely keep my eyes open. I would liken it to taking a large dose of benedryl and the drowsiness that comes from that. The first few times this happened I tried to combat it by taking a 10mg IR Ritalin. This helped some, but I was still extremely sleepy. I have noticed that it doesn't matter how much sleep I get the night before. For example, last night I got plenty of sleep but today I am still so sleepy I can barely function. I haven't taken any additional meds except my nexium in the morning and I take ambien at night, which I know is out of my system when I get out of bed (I can tell when it isn't). Has anyone else had this experience with Concerta? Could it be that my dose is too low? I know at my next appointment my pdoc is going to up me to the 54mg. This doesn't happen very often but when it does it sucks. Should I take an additional (2) 10mg IR Ritalin to help this?
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Old 02-19-09, 01:33 AM
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Re: Makes me sleeeeeeepy......

I to am on Concerta 57mg and I am finding it very exhausting I ,hard to get out of bed. I was upped to this as my final level so my concentration was good initially but now its shot again.I think that its a reaction some people have to it I am supposed to wean down now and switch to adderal I dont know what to expect from that though.My doctor said it because of the sleepiness its not working properly. I hate this dosing stuff I to am new to the meds just started in January I hate it I was so stoked when I started because for the first time in my life I could focus on a whole class it was amazing!!!!
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Old 02-19-09, 01:19 PM
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Re: Makes me sleeeeeeepy......

The only advice that I can give to you is to wait a few more weeks then decide!!! Don't be discouraged!!!
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Old 02-19-09, 02:07 PM
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Re: Makes me sleeeeeeepy......

I am having the same (or similar) reaction, too. I took Ritalin IR for a few weeks. The up/down that went w/short-term dosing didn't have a good effect on my mood. I switched to Concerta last week. The first couple days were an improvement, but I have grown progressively tired each day. Yesterday and today it made me spacey with a vaguely unpleasant high feeling. I don't like it! My pdoc is pulling me off it, and I'll try Adderall starting in another week.
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Old 02-21-09, 06:47 PM
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Re: Makes me sleeeeeeepy......

Quote:
Originally Posted by lutesium View Post
The only advice that I can give to you is to wait a few more weeks then decide!!! Don't be discouraged!!!
What the people in this thread are saying is that it gets worse as it goes on. I have definitely experienced this with Concerta. It gives you a cheap euphoric effect the first couple of days, but then you lapse into drowsiness over the course of a few weeks.

If this continues for everyone in this thread, I would suggest trying different medications. They all work differently. For me, Vyvanse was much more helpful.
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Old 02-21-09, 07:04 PM
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Re: Makes me sleeeeeeepy......

I agree with you. I had the same problem
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Old 02-28-09, 03:46 PM
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Re: Makes me sleeeeeeepy......

I'm with you, the first day or so I was fine. Then it started making me almost narcoleptic. If i sat still too long I was passed out.
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Old 03-07-09, 09:06 AM
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Re: Makes me sleeeeeeepy......

I'm feeling a similar thing, however as long as my mind if occupied with something I don't really notice any drowsiness, and in fact I feel energized.
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Old 03-07-09, 12:54 PM
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Re: Makes me sleeeeeeepy......

I tried realy hard to get on with Concerta but to be honest it messed my life up, it has so many side effects, one of which is that I practically stopped eating but the others could be just about anything
I'm back on Equasium MR which is just like ritalin and I'm hoping to straighten back out
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Old 04-08-09, 12:22 PM
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Re: Makes me sleeeeeeepy......

I take Adderall. It took me atleast 6 months to not feel the drowsiness you all mention, but it did fade. Also your eyes may be dry as well which will create the tired feeling. Lastly perhaps your dosage is too high.
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Old 05-10-09, 07:16 PM
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Re: Makes me sleeeeeeepy......

i have had some serious issues with feeling very sleepy but also unmotivated and unfocused. restless but not interested in anything!

and this is on first week of 18mg. dose. i am willing to keep trying, working thru the side effects, etc. but does anyone really think it will get better? everyone is different i know, just wondering who had bad side effects that went away with higher dose

seems like most posters had the problem but dont mention their next course of action. would be interested in that as well
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Old 05-17-09, 10:38 AM
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Re: Makes me sleeeeeeepy......

Yeah, I noticed it too. I have this problem with all stimulants. They make the body use more energy while causing a loss in appetite, thus decreasing energy intake. After a while on them you'll feel drained, lethargic and can't focus anymore. And if you go to bed with a lack of energy (I don't mean jsut being tired), you'll also wake up with it.

This might help you:

1) Spreading calory intake over the whole day by eating smaller portionsn more frequently (5-6 times). (You can use the alarm clock on your cell phone to tell you to eat, when you're not used to it)

Because concerta decreases appetite for almost 10 hours, a lot of people wil eat a large & heavy breakfast, pop a concerta and then eat practically nothing for most of the course of the day. In the evening, after concerta stopped working, they'll stuff themselves again with a large meal.
This doesn't help much at feeling more energetic. Large meals take a lot of energy to digest, so afterwards you'll feel tired. Also, becayse you're basically only eating twice a day, the body will try to preserve it's energy instead of releasing it evenely during the day. This will make you feel even more tired.

Smaller portions (even before and after concerta) are easily digested and provide almost instant energy. The body needs to have consistently enough energy to deal with the stressfull impact Concerta has.

2) Exercise. (Of course, don't overdo it and remember exercising increases your calory need a little)

Exercising is like a management course for your body, teachin it how to use energy more efficiently. In result, you'll have more energy during the course of the day. Also, it may increase your appetite a little.

3) Look into a lower dose or a shorter acting time-released formule.

With ADHD meds I've noticed less is more. If taking a smaller dose gives you only 80% of the effect of a higher dose, but causes only 50% of the side-effects, you'll be better of taking less.

I'm quitting concerta to try a shorter acting TR formule. This will also reduce the lenght the side effects occur. When necessairy, I'll take a low dose of ritalin after the TR formule stopped working, but I've noticed that most of the time I don't need 10 hours of med time. Also, I've noticed that it's easier to fall asleep.

(Sorry for my bad english, I'm a foreign speaker and it's been a while since I wrote something in english.)
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Old 05-19-09, 11:24 AM
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Re: Makes me sleeeeeeepy......

so i finally went back for a 2 week check up after starting at 18mg with the Concerta. the doctor suggested that instead of taking it in the morning to take it at night so the sleepiness takes effect when i am sleeping. duh. so i am going to try that and hope that the effects wear off by the time i wake up.

anyone else ever been told to do this? it's worth a try.
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Old 05-19-09, 12:34 PM
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Re: Makes me sleeeeeeepy......

Quote:
so i finally went back for a 2 week check up after starting at 18mg with the Concerta. the doctor suggested that instead of taking it in the morning to take it at night so the sleepiness takes effect when i am sleeping. duh. so i am going to try that and hope that the effects wear off by the time i wake up.
IMHO that sounds like a horrible idea. Concerta is long-acting ritalin, but by long acting they mean only like 12 hrs or so, so if you take it at night, your medication will be wearing off right when you want it to be most effective.

18 mgs is a tiny dose (it put me to sleep as well); higher doses might help you more, or you might need to move to Adderall or Dexidrine (amphetamine products) in order to get relief. Concerta never worked very well for me, even at 56 mg, though the sleepiness wasn't as big of a factor at the higher doses.
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Old 05-19-09, 05:40 PM
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Re: Makes me sleeeeeeepy......

TygerSan has good points.

In addition to TS' comments, I also suggest taking a short-acting methylphenidate (ex: Ritalin) boosters to combat the sleepiness. Add the IR MPH boosters whenever you feel an energy decrease, but avoid surpassing the peak concentration. Or you may get a double-rebound effect depending on the your body's sensitivity.



To illustrate this, here's a graph showing the peaks and valleys of Concerta's concentration throughout the day. The concentration falls back down after a particular dosage (second or third) is delivered. If I guess correctly, it is common to feel tired at roughly 3, 6 and 8+ hours (add, subtract or disregard accordingly to your metabolism) after taking the medication.

This is an example of how I implement the boosters to the 36 mg:

3 hours: 2.5 mg Ritalin
6-7 hours: 2.5 mg Ritalin
10-11 hours: 5 mg Ritalin

By my schedule, the sleepiness is postponed until the night.

The rule of thumb I go by is, the more drowsy you are, the higher your boost should be.

It ultimately works for myself. Everyone has their own funky needs. Some individuals don't need to take additional MPH due to their complementary metabolism.

------------------------------

That said, it's not unusual to experience tiredness at low (and high) doses. At low doses, you can have rebound effects early and frequently b/c once the neurotransmitters depletes below a certain level, you're back to your original level. At high doses, the stimulants can over-sedate your body.

And I also agree with lutesium -- don't give up too early and stick to it for about a week. The sleepiness may only be a temporary side-effect that wears down with continued use. Use your judgment to determine what best suit your needs.
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Inattentive/Overfocused ADD
- Concerta -
+ 36 mg per day + 10 mg Ritalin
+ 18-27 mg per day + 7.5 - 12.5 mg Ritalin

Previous trials::
A. Strattera - 80 mg per day
B. Ritalin - 5-15 mg x 3 per day
C. Dexedrime - 5-10 mg x 3 per day
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