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ADHD and phentermine

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Old 03-22-2004, 12:11 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2004
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scarlet44 HB User
ADHD and phentermine

I have some questions for whoever out there has time to answer them or can help me. To make it quick, I am 28 and I took diet pills for about 2 years everyday and although they would make me extremly hyper they would motivate me and give me the energy I needed to get stuff done because I'm such a procrastinator I just go in circles(taking care of husband,paying bills, entertaining my 2year old etc.)I also have dealt with depression for about 6years so when I decided to stop taking diet pills of course depression was worse(not ever suicidal just down)(i'm a terrible speller,dyslexic) Anyway I have just been diagnosed with ADHD. My question is concerta is not working at all even a high dose, could this be because I took diet pills for so long and they are a form of amphetamines too? Maybe I have messed up that part of my brain so now these adhd medicines aren't working right. Has anyone out there taken both of these drugs before or have any insight for me? Also what exactly is the difference between dopamine and serotonin? I know I had all this in college but must not have paid attention. Please respond!!!Thanks so much

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Old 03-22-2004, 11:27 PM   #2
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Re: ADHD and phentermine

The diet pills made you hyper, they were DRUGS for you, not medication. Everybody gets motivated when they take speed. Your ADD symptoms are probably a result of your drug abuse. Even if you did have ADD you should not be taking a stimulant if you have ever abused any speed like drug.
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Old 03-23-2004, 10:44 AM   #3
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Re: ADHD and phentermine

Hi Scarlet,

I didn't respond before because I don't know the answers to your questions about the relationship between the effectiveness of ADD medication and past use of diet pills. I'm not even sure that taking diet pills for 2 years constitutes abuse of them.

There are alot of unknowns here. Looking back, were you ADHD as a child? Would your parents and teachers agree with this diagnosis? I ask because ADD, by definition, must have been present before age 7. If it wasn't present early, then your ADD symptoms most likely arise from other sources. Depression can cause ADD symptoms. Discontinuing an amphetamine (diet pills) can cause ADD symptoms. Low thyroid can cause ADD symptoms. Etc, etc. So first, you have to be sure that you were correctly diagnosed.

If you are confident in the diagnosis, then talk to your doctor about the Concerta. Maybe it isn't working because you previously took diet pills. Or, maybe a different medication would be more effective. Sometimes, children (who've obviously never used diet pills!) have to try several different ones before getting the right med and the right dose.

Dopamine and serotonin are both neurotransmitters in the brain (as is norepinephrine). Concerta is thought to primarily work on dopamine with a weaker effect on the other two. Different antidepressants seem to have different actions, but the most popular right now - the "SSRI's" like Prozac and Zoloft - work primarily on serotonin.

Hope this helps!

Old 03-23-2004, 01:40 PM   #4
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sujill444 HB User
Re: ADHD and phentermine

Phentermine is a legitimate diet medication and has been researched as a possible treatment for ADD. Phentermine increases norepinephrine in the brain; concerta affects primarily dopamine, so if you were more organized on phentermine and not Concerta, it may just be because you need a drug that acts on norepinephrine rather than dopamine. Strattera acts on norepinephrine -- maybe you should try it. If that doesn't work, try something else. Everyone's brain chemistry is different. Oh, by the way -- my own doc prescribed phentermine to me for ADD after reading an article about its use for this purpose, so if nothing else works you may want to ask you doc to prescribe it to you for ADD (it's an off label use, but can still be prescribed).

Good Luck -

Old 03-24-2004, 02:01 PM   #5
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scarlet44 HB User
Re: ADHD and phentermine

Thank you so much for responding!! I just discovered these message boards and I just love them!! To answer a couple of the questions asked, yes this has gone on since at least kindergarten. I made N's for talking all through kind. Then a couple of c's in citizenship for talking but I begged the teachers to change it to a B because of cheerleading,student council etc. and I would not be able to do them if I had a c. My grades were always poor in any subject I had to read, I somehow bull********** my way through with A,B, and a few C's.College of course was a different story.I decided to get tested because a few kids in my class are ADD(I teach 1st grade) and they are exactly how I was in grade school. To respond to the thyroid thing, I did not know thyroid problems can cause the same symptoms of ADD. I eat about 3000/4000 calories a day and I stay about a size4/6.I eat soooo much sugar and chocolate it's ridiculous. Even when I was on the diet pills I always ate a lot and never gained. I just changed from taking paxil 25mg to wellbutrin xl 150mg. The doctor really thinks the paxil was making me cry and sleep non stop, not the concerta but I really don't feel any different being on the concerta.
My sister told me the same thing about phentermine and it helping with ADD. Do you remember the article you read about ADD and phentermine? I would love to read it!! I am trying to understand everything about all this because I am such a question asker and I'm always curious about stuff I don't know about. I'm still looking for more info. on the internet about the brain and dopamine, serotonine etc. so if you know of any good sites please forward them on!!
Thanks so much!!

Old 03-25-2004, 03:10 PM   #6
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Re: ADHD and phentermine

Originally Posted by scarlet44
I'm still looking for more info. on the internet about the brain and dopamine, serotonine etc. so if you know of any good sites please forward them on!!
Scarlett, the best information that I've found about these neurotransmitters (especially in relation to ADD) is in the book "Brainstorms: Understanding and Treat the Emotional Storms jof ADHD from Childhood through Adulthood" by Dr. Joseph Horacek, Jr.

I found this book to be quite helpful.

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