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Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate)

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Old 08-20-10, 10:47 PM
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Strattera to Vyvanse, Generalized Anxiety or Palpitations?

Hello, this is my first forum post here on the ADDforums and it seems like a great place to be with people who understand you for once! I've been reading this forum for a long time and finally decided to post an experience. I am now going to explain my transition from Strattera which has affected my psychologically and starting Vyvanse. My story is strictly informational only and I am posting to share my experience with these drugs.

Here's my story:

I am a 22 year old male who was diagnosed with ADD 6 years ago and was put on the common non-stimulant drug called Strattera. Throughout the six years with this medication, to my knowdlege, it had no affect on my body and mind until this year. I started noticing the sense of doom all the time with what ever I did. I felt horrible and depressed. I went to my doctor and told him that we need to take me off of this drug because it has worn out its welcome in my body. I was seeing more negative affects with it than anything. Honestly if I was 22 6 years ago when I began Strattera I would have never allowed it to go past the first week. I constantly was worried about talking, what I was saying, situations, I had a slight edge that was very noticeable and overall it made me even more ADD!!! I couldn't even have a phone conversation with my boss without having SOMETHING come inbetween me and the conversation on the phone, even if it was quiet in the room with nothing going on. Next I started noticing my heart rate, when I would get "fired up" and "upset" it would come out harsh but consistently go down over a few minutes and I never thought twice about it. I knew that it was the drug as soon as my friend said he had the EXACT same symptoms.

Now onto Vyvanse.

I recently went to the doctor and starting the 8/9 he told me to start taking 40mg of Strattera instead of 80mg, then start me on 50mg Vyvanse on 8/16in the mornings and only in the mornings. Now I have been on Strattera for 6 Years and I know pyschologically, it messed me up and being off the drug I have already felt 100% better but somethings will be hard to conquer and unfortunately I have to live with the results. So anyways, I went on to Vyvanse Monday and felt awesome, I got all my work done in half the time, I could hold great phone conversations with potential clients and coworkers who use to tell me "you need help with your ADD" because I would say "what?" and "huh?" every other second because of my attention span. Now my attention is very controlled and selective. I can selectively attach myself to a project and work for hours, switch to a different thing and finish that, one after another! It's wonderful but after 5 days of having this drug, I have been noticing side effects that are starting to scare me.


The side effects.

Now I have an experience of over focusing with my breathing which I have searched the forum and found many people experience that side effect naturally. I don't have trouble with it, but occurs when I'm doing nothing with my time and I feel that time is wasted and bored and anxious so I think about the side effects of what the pill does for you. It's almost like an OCD disorder but only occurs when I am not doing anything. I start to feel that my heart isnt beating, I find myself putting my hand over my heart checking for an irregular heart beat! Funny symptom but I think its caused by anxiety and I have slight panic attacks about the side effects at least once a day. I do have a lot of dizziness which I see right on the bottle that it can cause that which is understandable. Now I do drink a lot of caffine and I think that it could have some effect. I am drinking a LOT of water compared to my mountain dew that I drink throughout the day to keep myself from getting dehydrated. But there could be a lot of factors.

These symptoms could be caused from not being properly weaned off of Straterra and is having an adverse affect on my new drug which is a stimulant. My doctor reassured me that I won't have any problems stepping off of Strattera. I've heard a lot of good stories about people going off of the drug cold turkey instead of stepping off of it from my 80mg to 60mg, 40mg, 20mg, 10mg, OFF as some peopel do. He did not think that was necessary and immediately started me with 50mg of Vyvanse because school starts Monday.

So be that as it may, it could be palpitations or just generalized anxiety that I personally need to handle because at this time in my life I feel like my body is going through a HUGE change from going off of Strattera to stepping up to a stimulant such as Vyvanse. I'm suyppose to have a phone conference with my doctor next week and I'll ask him about my symptoms and possibly get checked out if they occur again.


Here's some pros and cons:

Vyvanse:

Pros:
-Has me being me, does not effect my mood (night and day difference between Strattera and Vyvanse, overall less irritable)
-Full concentration (very selective too)
-Don't feel like crap! (use to!)
-Feel VERY positive! (use to be negative)
-I speak my mind, very approachable, and feel like I have more access to my knowledge base (aka brain!!)
-Hyper (I was very dull before, I feel more of like a social butterfly)
-React instantly to situations that need immediate attention (in my workplace) which can be critical
-Never start something that I don't finish (unless inevitable)


Cons:
*-Conscience recognition of heart rate or beat (happens only when you're doing nothing!)
*-Higher anxiety focused on "common side effects" (might be OCD over it or just reading about the black box warning stuff has me freaked out)
*-Recognition of breathing (I'm fine but it just calls my attention when I'm not doing anything)
*-Mentioned before, super high anxiety over nothing (does not effect social life) usually occurs when I'm sitting and I'm alone
-Dry mouth (I regularly am drinking water to avoid this)
*-sweating (palms and feet)
-Appetite has gone slightly down (not significantly)

*Doesn't occur all the time

I do not know if I am having palpitations because I am feeling dizzy every once in a while, but at the same time I know that I have been drinking caffeine and getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night. This could also bring out a negative side effect with the drug. I'm going to get a good night sleep and see how tomorrow goes. These feelings come along after about 6 hours. I do not feel these sideeffects before hand.

I personally think that it's just anxiety and I need to tell myself I'm okay, however it's hard to. I took the pill the is morning at 9am, it is now 12 hours later and I am feeling these side effects in the middle of my day towards the end. I'm not saying that every con happens constantly and impairs my daily function, granted I have phenomenal positive sides of this drug, it's just something new to me and I feel like I need to worry and monitor what is occurring with my body.

Please excuse any misspellings or gramar mistakes, its in my blood to do that!

I'm open to supportive comments, resources, stories, and situations that may help me out of some of my panic episode.

Thanks for reading I hope that this helps future people who may have same symptoms, they could just be generalized anxiety over the new drug and making the transfer to a stimulant! However, I'm not a doctor nor do I assume any responsibility for my written experience. I will report back tomorrow being on my 6th day!
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Old 08-21-10, 01:27 AM
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Re: Strattera to Vyvanse, Generalized Anxiety or Palpitations?

Hi and welcome to the forums. Just like you I recently switched to vyvanse, but I have been previously medicated with ritalin and adderall xr. Today was actually only my second day taking vyvanse.

As far going off strattera cold turkey, I cant really say if that can cause any wierd side effects. I took strattera seven years ago, when I was in third grade and it litterally had not effect on me, and I think I only took it for a year. I cant remember what it felt like when I stopped taking it since it was so long ago.

Since Ive been on adderall xr for the past 6 months, Im used to the feeling of being on a stimulant, which you are not. From my experiences with ritalin, adderall, and now vyvanse, I have definitely noticed that I sometimes I become aware of my heartbeat and I can "feel" my heart beating faster. I think that's just inevitable with any stimulant medication, your heart is just going to beat slightly faster. Your anxiety could be coming from not knowing what to expect from the medicine and since its a new experience.

Also, how long after you take the pill are you experiencing your anxiety? The "crash" from any stimulant wearing off can cause anxiety and irritability. So far, I havent noticed as much of a crash from vyvanse as I did with ritalin or adderall, but you could definitely feel anxiety as vyvanse wears off.

And I had a wierd experience this morning that I feel I should share with you. So I was reading a book on biology as part of a summer assignment for the ap biology course Im taking this year. So, this one time I stopped reading to take notes and I noticed that I was taking really really deep breaths! It was just strange since this never happened to me with adderall.

My vyvanse wore off hours ago and Im really tired right now so sorry if none of this makes sense.
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Old 08-21-10, 02:15 PM
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Re: Strattera to Vyvanse, Generalized Anxiety or Palpitations?

Thank you so much for your reply!

I basically wrote that entire post WHILE I was having my panic attack. I think it is a result of the mix of Caffeine intake. I called my friend who is also taking Vyvanse and he told me never to mix the two because he actually ended up going to the hospital when he was going through his first big panic attack.

He said that he had the exact same feeling and told me to just go a day without Caffeine and see how I feel. He said that he went into the ER because he thought that he was having heart problems and they ran multiple blood tests on him and they said he was A-OK. The doctors there had come to the conclusion that he was going through a hyperventilation state. Which basically meant that he was taking in too much Carbon Dioxide which results in a lot of the symptoms that I have.

He explained to me, which I do not remember word for word, that Caffeine does not work well with Amphetamines, especially in big doses like I do.

Anyways, today is a new day and I feel a lot better. I continued taking my pill this morning and I refuse to touch a drop of caffeine today and see how my body naturally responds to the Vyvanse directly without any other stimulants to see if the same issues occur that were previously multiplied immensely last night.

Thanks again for your input. I do believe that I need to get use to all of this!
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Old 08-21-10, 02:51 PM
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Re: Strattera to Vyvanse, Generalized Anxiety or Palpitations?

Yeah caffeine and amphetamines aren't a good combination. Im assuming that you drink coffee to get a feeling of wakefulness and energy. In addition to treating your ADD symptoms, vyvanse should give you that same energy and wakefulness. I have ADHD with both hyperactivity and inattentiveness. Amphetamines actually help me calm down and avoid spazzing out, but I found that when I drank coffee with adderall, it seemed to counteract the calming effect of the adderall while increasing the level of stimulation. The result was that I was insanely focused, but I was practically bouncing off of walls and blurting stuff out randomly. Thats not really an enjoyable way to feel while sitting in class.

I was just looking at the piece of paper the pharmacy gave me with vyvanse that describes the medicine, its effects, and all that stuff, and I noticed that it said that caffeine intake while on vyvanse can increase side effects of the medicine, including anxiety.

And im just curious, but how long did it take you to write your first post? It seems like the kind of thing that would take me 2 hours to write without meds, but like 10 minutes on vyvanse or adderall.
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Old 08-22-10, 07:00 PM
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Re: Strattera to Vyvanse, Generalized Anxiety or Palpitations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex9 View Post
Yeah caffeine and amphetamines aren't a good combination. Im assuming that you drink coffee to get a feeling of wakefulness and energy. In addition to treating your ADD symptoms, vyvanse should give you that same energy and wakefulness. I have ADHD with both hyperactivity and inattentiveness. Amphetamines actually help me calm down and avoid spazzing out, but I found that when I drank coffee with adderall, it seemed to counteract the calming effect of the adderall while increasing the level of stimulation. The result was that I was insanely focused, but I was practically bouncing off of walls and blurting stuff out randomly. Thats not really an enjoyable way to feel while sitting in class.

I was just looking at the piece of paper the pharmacy gave me with vyvanse that describes the medicine, its effects, and all that stuff, and I noticed that it said that caffeine intake while on vyvanse can increase side effects of the medicine, including anxiety.

And im just curious, but how long did it take you to write your first post? It seems like the kind of thing that would take me 2 hours to write without meds, but like 10 minutes on vyvanse or adderall.
I do not drink coffee in the morning but I do drink a 2 litre every day, mostly in between 10 - 5. Now that I had those panic attacks I don't even touch caffeine. It's hard because I'm so use to to drinking it everyday I'm sure that I was addicted!

The first post took me roughly 20 min to write and I just wrote everything that popped into my head as fast I could. That's why I apologized for any grammar or spelling mistakes because I wasn't going back over it. I was actually going through the panic attack as I was writing it so I wanted to get everything down that I was feeling. I was super concentrated and wanted to get as much information out for everyone in hopes to get a response of "yeah I felt the same way"

Yesterday went great, I didn't have a panic attack and everything was great. Guess the Caffeine just wasn't a good idea! Thanks for the help guys!
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Old 08-22-10, 09:22 PM
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Re: Strattera to Vyvanse, Generalized Anxiety or Palpitations?

Glad everything's going good. Now you just have to fight off those nasty caffeine withdrawal headaches.
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Old 10-03-10, 10:48 PM
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Re: Strattera to Vyvanse, Generalized Anxiety or Palpitations?

I actually went through almost that exact thing.
I was on Concerta and started having heart palpitations and panic attacks and all sorts of anxiety related bogusness. I went to the ER because I had a two day long panic attack and thought I was having a heart attack or a stroke.

And I also have the same OCD related problems. I spent hours and hours online looking up causes and symptoms and just spend a hellalota time freaking myself out.

Sorry this post is going to be short and strange because I really can't concentrate at all right now.

But hey, heard of Focalin? I would TOTALLY recommend Focalin. It's night and day compared to other stimulants as far as I am concerned.

Anyways, I'm still having some random heart palpitations, and still dealing with some stress, but with Focalin it is MUCH MUCH more manageable.
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Old 10-03-10, 10:50 PM
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Re: Strattera to Vyvanse, Generalized Anxiety or Palpitations?

oh and caffeine! totally try to cut it out if you can. two days worth of headaches is worth being off it.
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