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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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  #1  
Old 02-03-11, 06:10 AM
sprite.can sprite.can is offline
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How do you tell when your meds are working?

Hello everyone,

I'm in my mid twenties now, and have had ADHD symptoms all of my life. It got worse and worse through high school, but I didn't get it diagnosed. As a teen I mentioned it to my friends and family and I was always told that everyone has trouble focusing and that I just needed more willpower.

I finally decided I should see a specialist since things were getting much worse and I was diagnosed with ADHD and social anxiety. I tried 5mg ritalin 2-3 times a day for a few weeks and I didn't notice any difference. I then switched to 10mg biphentin and then 15mg biphentin and I didn't notice any difference again, so he switched me to Dexedrine. I took my first dose of Dex yesterday and I felt alive. I felt extremely happy, motivated and I got things done to some extent. I took it again today and I felt like nothing was different. I wasn't focused or motivated to do anything.

How do people know when it's working or is it working and I'm somehow not able to tell? Should I try Adderall or maybe switch to a non-stimulant?
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  #2  
Old 02-03-11, 06:32 AM
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Re: How do you tell when your meds are working?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sprite.can View Post
I felt alive. I felt extremely happy, motivated and I got things done to some extent.
This sounds an awful lot like...It's Working.

Quote:
I took it again today and I felt like nothing was different. I wasn't focused or motivated to do anything.
This sounds an awful lots like...It's Not Working.

Quote:
How do people know when it's working or is it working and I'm somehow not able to tell?
If you look really intensely, there are some clues.

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

When I'm effectively medicated, I suspect there are few people in the world capable of matching my crystal clarity of thought, the sheer speed at which I can process those thoughts, my ability to organise and file them into compartments and retrieve them at will...throw in obsessive productivity, ridiculous high-quality output, and motivation that allows me to sustain those levels for days on end.

When I'm not effectively medicated, I can function but only at a fraction of the above, a sliding scale right down to...

When I'm not medicated at all, I'm a drooling retard vegetable in dire need of mercy killing.
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  #3  
Old 02-03-11, 06:44 AM
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Re: How do you tell when your meds are working?

Thanks for the response. If I took the same dosage yesterday and today, why would it not work at all today? I was a bit confused and kind of assumed that perhaps the idea of trying a new medication may have caused some sort of placebo effect. I did absolutely nothing today, it was pretty horrible. Did you try out different doses of different types of meds until you found it to be effective?
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Old 02-03-11, 06:50 AM
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Re: How do you tell when your meds are working?

You will know. It's different for everyone but you will be able to see pre-med behavior and say, 'Wow, this is so much better!' I consider myself fortunate because the first med prescribed seems to be working perfectly. Some here have had to trial many until they found one that worked. Also, give some margin that the diagnosis may be in error. If the diagnosis is incorrect and you have some other issue that display behavior similar to ADD, the meds will have little or no impact. There is a sticky above about fifty some other problems that show up as ADD behavior but aren't.
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Old 02-03-11, 06:58 AM
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Re: How do you tell when your meds are working?

Thanks, I'll just keep seeing my doc and hope he figures it out. I'm having a bit of trouble finding the sticky. What was it called?
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Old 02-03-11, 08:19 AM
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Re: How do you tell when your meds are working?

Here is a link that should take you right to it. I read it and I thought, 'Man, I'm sure glad I have ADD (if you can be happy about that). I definitely would prefer one of the physical problems that is curable but at the same time I sure would hate to be bumping around for years in the mental health arena trying this med and that med and never really find help. I'm 52. I don't figure I have the luxury of time to be making mistakes.

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26832
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Old 02-03-11, 03:11 PM
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Re: How do you tell when your meds are working?

I try reading a book- any book- and I can tell. Also, for some reason my handwriting improves. Probably the most tell-tale sign is when I try to clean up my room or my kitchen. It takes me about 3 times as long without medication. My mind also feels more quiet, an I am much more patient. I guess what I'm saying is thy except for the quiet mind, I don't feel that different. It's just that things are much much easier- I have to look at my behavior to tell. Also, I have realized that the meds cant make me do anything. If I am siting on the couch watching tv, I will do that until I decide not to, meds or not. It just makes makin the right choice much easier, because my mind is calm and focused. Hope that helps! You could try recording your behavior on meds and off, and you may be surprised at the things you are doing differently without even knowing it.
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  #8  
Old 02-03-11, 06:03 PM
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Re: How do you tell when your meds are working?

Placebo is a powerful med.
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Old 02-03-11, 06:45 PM
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Re: How do you tell when your meds are working?

I think giving up on Ritalin after a 5mg dose was a bit premature. I do fine on that dose but usually people do better on 10 or 20mgs.

Scuter said it all in describing how meds make you feel. But with me sometimes I need to as I call it 'kick my own butt' and push myself to do something while on meds then it's easier to get a task done. So meds won't magically make you more motivated, there has to be an element of mindfulness to start the process.
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Old 02-03-11, 07:14 PM
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Re: How do you tell when your meds are working?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scuter View Post
This sounds an awful lot like...It's Working.



This sounds an awful lots like...It's Not Working.



If you look really intensely, there are some clues.

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

When I'm effectively medicated, I suspect there are few people in the world capable of matching my crystal clarity of thought, the sheer speed at which I can process those thoughts, my ability to organise and file them into compartments and retrieve them at will...throw in obsessive productivity, ridiculous high-quality output, and motivation that allows me to sustain those levels for days on end.

When I'm not effectively medicated, I can function but only at a fraction of the above, a sliding scale right down to...

When I'm not medicated at all, I'm a drooling retard vegetable in dire need of mercy killing.
Cosigned.

Except vegetables can't drool, dammit. Can slugs? I'm more the slug type.
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  #11  
Old 02-03-11, 07:16 PM
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Re: How do you tell when your meds are working?

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I think giving up on Ritalin after a 5mg dose was a bit premature. I do fine on that dose but usually people do better on 10 or 20mgs.

Scuter said it all in describing how meds make you feel. But with me sometimes I need to as I call it 'kick my own butt' and push myself to do something while on meds then it's easier to get a task done. So meds won't magically make you more motivated, there has to be an element of mindfulness to start the process.
I agree with this. Your dose depends somewhat on your state of dysfunction, but much more on your weight.

I weigh 185lbs and require at least 10mg Ritalin (instant release) to really feel the impact of the medicine. 15mg (IR) is ideal. 20mg (IR) is my max. 25mg still works but I'm jittery. 30mg makes me feel tweaky and anxious.
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Old 02-05-11, 11:33 AM
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Re: How do you tell when your meds are working?

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Placebo is a powerful med.
Who was this comment directed at?
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Old 02-08-11, 07:20 AM
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Re: How do you tell when your meds are working?

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Originally Posted by Melmo24 View Post
Who was this comment directed at?
Apologies. The post below...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sprite.can View Post
If I took the same dosage yesterday and today, why would it not work at all today? I was a bit confused and kind of assumed that perhaps the idea of trying a new medication may have caused some sort of placebo effect. I did absolutely nothing today, it was pretty horrible.
Quote:
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Placebo is a powerful med.
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Old 02-08-11, 10:09 AM
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Re: How do you tell when your meds are working?

The other thing to keep in mind is that stimulants very often produce a euphoric effect for the first day or two. It's easy to mistake that for what the medication is supposed to do every day. If you expect that, you're bound to be disappointed.

I can't tell if a med is working not by motivation or lack thereof, but by my ability to pay attention. One by one my multiple internal monologues either stop or become unselectable. The music track usually sticks around, but it becomes background noise instead of something that's driving me crazy with its endless loop. I can read without having to go back and re-read over and over. I can choose to do something without overthinking it so much that it seems I can't possibly finish it, or feeling so oppositional to it that I'll do anything else but that. I don't feel the urge to say or do something the moment it pops into my head for fear that I'll forget it otherwise, at least not as strongly as usual.

If you notice any of those type of things happening, then you're possibly on the right track. You'll need to see if different dosages of the same med result in improvements or not, and if different formulations of the same med work better if the improvements aren't sufficient related to the side effects.

Some people find that motivation is helped by meds, but my experience has been that it comes later when the meds have helped enough with focus that I can begin work on behavioral changes. Motivation comes from reward, and while the meds may increase the neurotransmitters that stimulate the reward centers, that doesn't make everything we need to do rewarding!
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Old 02-11-11, 02:54 PM
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Re: How do you tell when your meds are working?

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Apologies. The post below...
Oh, ok, no problem sorry
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