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Old 04-05-2004, 12:39 AM   #1
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Redhead23 HB User
Ritalin Timing Question

Hi,

I have been advised (and have read this on many medical/pharmaceutical advice pages) to take the Ritalin "at least half an hour before food", while at the same time being told to eventually take it mornings, midday and mid-afternoon.

I am a bit unclear as to whether this means that

a) It should be taken on an empty stomach, leaving AT LEAST half an hour before eating anything

or

b) I MUST eat something half an hour or more after having taken it

Or maybe both (I.e. I have to take it on an empty stomach, and eat something 1/2 hour or more later)?

I was fine doing it this way (i.e. have breakfast half an hour after taking it) so far but now I am supposed to take it twice a day.
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Old 04-05-2004, 01:31 PM   #2
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Re: Ritalin Timing Question

Why don't you just give the pharmacist a quick call?

What I'm reading says take it 30-45 minutes before breakfast and lunch so I think it's best absorbed on an empty stomach. If eating after you taken that second dose isn't convenient, maybe you could keep just a little snack handy in case you start to get some stomach upset...

 
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Old 04-06-2004, 12:12 AM   #3
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Re: Ritalin Timing Question

Thanks - LOL calling your pharmacist isn't as common over here, but I may give this a try.

I will have to eat a little something after the first dose wears off (because I get starving hungry), but since I am on a very low dose at the moment (5mg), this is around 10 am so I guess by noon my stomach does not really count as "full" any more.
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Last edited by Redhead23; 04-06-2004 at 12:14 AM.

 
Old 04-12-2004, 01:51 PM   #4
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Re: Ritalin Timing Question

Hi. My doctor told me that she doesn't think food really affects the absorption too much. She recommended taking ritalin with food because one of the side effects is a suppressed appetite. If you take it and wait an hour to eat, then you won't be hungry anymore! She also told me to avoid citrus because that actually does affect absorption. Personally I don't notice a difference taking it with or without food.

 
Old 04-13-2004, 01:26 AM   #5
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Re: Ritalin Timing Question

"If you take it and wait an hour to eat, then you won't be hungry anymore! "

I don't really get that side effect (or any others for that matter), and now that I have tried waiting longer before food, I have definitely noticead a smoother absorption (food seems to speed it up).
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Old 04-13-2004, 06:22 AM   #6
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Re: Ritalin Timing Question

Have you asked your Dr. about Ritilin LA? You take this once a day, it is an extended release and you only need to take it once per day

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redhead23
"If you take it and wait an hour to eat, then you won't be hungry anymore! "

I don't really get that side effect (or any others for that matter), and now that I have tried waiting longer before food, I have definitely noticead a smoother absorption (food seems to speed it up).

 
Old 04-13-2004, 06:28 AM   #7
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Re: Ritalin Timing Question

"Have you asked your Dr. about Ritilin LA? You take this once a day, it is an extended release and you only need to take it once per day"

Long-acting meds are not as readily available in the UK, but once I have determined the daily dosage required, I will discuss whether or not I can get a hold of Concerta.

As I said, this is just a trial, to see if methylphenidate works for me. At the end of the trial the consultant decides whether to continue meds or not.

(There are very few consultants for adults in the UK who can instruct your GP to prescribe, and most of those have their own few brands which they favourably prescribe, so I am not sure whether mine is willing to do so)
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Last edited by Redhead23; 04-13-2004 at 06:30 AM.

 
Old 04-13-2004, 07:43 AM   #8
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Re: Ritalin Timing Question

Oh, thats too bad, I wasn't aware of the restrictions in the UK. Hopefully they can work something out for you. The only thing that I was ever told about taking the meds, is that you take them with a full glass of water, this helps the absorbtion process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redhead23
"Have you asked your Dr. about Ritilin LA? You take this once a day, it is an extended release and you only need to take it once per day"

Long-acting meds are not as readily available in the UK, but once I have determined the daily dosage required, I will discuss whether or not I can get a hold of Concerta.

As I said, this is just a trial, to see if methylphenidate works for me. At the end of the trial the consultant decides whether to continue meds or not.

(There are very few consultants for adults in the UK who can instruct your GP to prescribe, and most of those have their own few brands which they favourably prescribe, so I am not sure whether mine is willing to do so)

 
Old 04-13-2004, 08:02 AM   #9
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Re: Ritalin Timing Question

"The only thing that I was ever told about taking the meds, is that you take them with a full glass of water, this helps the absorbtion process."

I did not know this was related to asorption, but I do drink a lot of water anyway

For adults to be prescribed stimulants here in the UK, a consultant has to advise the GP on medication, and many GPs still refuse to prescribe even with an ADHD diagnosis and advice from a consultant (esp. if you went private instead of waiting the 18+ months for an evaluation on the NHS).

You can get things like Concerta, Adderall or even Strattera (which is very new here in the UK) for adults as well under certain conditions, although not as readily available as Dexedrine and Ritalin (the pharmacy have to fax the manufacturers and have the meds sent across), but again it depends on the consultant whether or not they are willing to advise prescription of anything other than Dex or Ritalin.

I'm not complaining, Ritalin is better than nothing but I'm not overly keen on having to go through rebound multiple times a day for as long as I take medication.
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Last edited by Redhead23; 04-13-2004 at 08:04 AM.

 
Old 04-13-2004, 08:21 AM   #10
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Question Re: Ritalin Timing Question

Hi.
Since the topic is the timing of taking ritalin I may as well put my question in here. I've recently been diagnosed with ADHD and my doc prescribed ritalin (actually the generic) 5-15mg 1-3X a day. She said I can play around with how much I take each dose and when as long as I don't take too much (which in my case was (0.7mg/kg/day)*(68kg) = 45mg roughly). The problem I seem to have is that the medicine wears off so quickly and I start to get grumpy and irritable and all that good stuff.

My question is: how often do you think I should take the stuff? For instance, do I take 3 in the morning, 3 in the afternoon and 3 at night, or do I try taking 2 pills 4 times a day, or something like that? How soon after you take a dose can you take another dose? Also, what are your opinions on the longer lasting medicines? do they work as well as the short acting form? or do you keep some of the short acting stuff on hand just in case?

Sorry if I'm asking something that's already been asked a long time ago. I'm new here and am still reading through all the old posts.

thanks.

 
Old 04-13-2004, 08:59 AM   #11
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Re: Ritalin Timing Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redhead23
...but I'm not overly keen on having to go through rebound multiple times a day for as long as I take medication.
Boy, can I understand that! I normally take Concerta, but since I occasionally have problems with insomnia, I recently asked to try Ritalin LA (which is shorter-acting than Concerta even though it's longer-acting than regular Ritalin). I gotta tell you, coming down off of that was NOT pleasant - I was very angry and irritable!

I'm anticipating a move to the UK this summer. If I can't arrange to have Concerta there, I may go off the stuff completely. I don't think I could stand the rebounding several times a day; I know my family couldn't stand it!!!

 
Old 04-13-2004, 11:54 AM   #12
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Re: Ritalin Timing Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by imatotalmess
My question is: how often do you think I should take the stuff? For instance, do I take 3 in the morning, 3 in the afternoon and 3 at night,
3 what? I am assuming you are taking a generic version of Ritalin (like Equasym) as Ritalin is only available in 10 and 20mg tablets as far as I know.

To start with, you should always start on the "original" as generics often do not work as well for some people.

Furthermore, you have to work your way up gradually to find out which your optimal SINGLE dose is, i.e. how much (10mg, 15mg, 20mg) you can take in one go to get optimal benefits before you get side effects that stay even after a few days on the same dose.

To do this, most doctors will recommend taking the medication 2 or 3 times a day at the start, working your way up gradually towards your optimal single dose. For example you start on 5mg mornings & afternoon, then raise the dose to 10 mg mornings 5 mgs afternoon, then 10mg for both doses, then 15mg mornings and 10 afternoons and so on.

You should notice that the effects last a little longer (max. 4 to 5 hours) as you raise the dose, so do not decide that the medication "does not last long enough" until you have found the optimal single dose.

Make sure you give it a few days after raising the dose, so you can judge how this dose affects you - we all have good and bad days after all!


If you are not supposed to take more than 45mgs a day, then the maximum single morning dose should be around 20mg, but if less works for you then all the better. That leaves 25 mgs to "play with" for the rest of the day, so depending on when the first dose wears off (should be between 3 and 5 hours after taking it), you can either go 20/15/10, 20/20/5 or 20/10/10/5 and so on, depending on what works for you.

If even 20, 25 or 30mgs single dose still do not yield much of a result, then you should seriously consider trying another stimulant (or other alternatives) because if methylphenidate does not work noticeably at these doses, then raising the dose further is not going to make it work better either.
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Old 04-13-2004, 11:58 AM   #13
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Re: Ritalin Timing Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by index.html
I'm anticipating a move to the UK this summer. If I can't arrange to have Concerta there, I may go off the stuff completely. I don't think I could stand the rebounding several times a day; I know my family couldn't stand it!!!
I would definitely try and find out as soon as possible whether a detailed instruction on the medication regime (of how much you need/day etc.) along with a report confirming your diagnosis etc. would suffice to get your GP to prescribe.

If you search for adders you should find plenty of info on how much medication you can bring into the country, and how to proceed about continuing medication over here.

Concerta *is* available, but it is definitely much harder to get it prescribed than in the US.
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Old 04-13-2004, 12:42 PM   #14
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Re: Ritalin Timing Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redhead23
3 what? I am assuming you are taking a generic version of Ritalin
Sorry about that. The tablets are 5mg each. (3=15mg) And yes, it's a generic version of ritalin. (bottle says "methylphenidate hydrochloride. same as methylin") I wasn't given the choice for the original or the generic. The prescription the doc wrote out said "ritalin" on it, but the pharmacy gave me the generic anyway. I do notice some difference when I take it, so for me maybe it doesn't make a difference. really my main concerns about it are when to take it and how much to take. I appreciate your suggestions.

Thanks for your response. It's nice to know I'm not the only person who is going through this. now i forgot what else i was going to type. go figure. what was that about my medication working??

Last edited by imatotalmess; 04-13-2004 at 12:54 PM. Reason: formatting.

 
Old 04-13-2004, 02:11 PM   #15
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Redhead23 HB User
Re: Ritalin Timing Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by imatotalmess
I wasn't given the choice for the original or the generic. The prescription the doc wrote out said "ritalin" on it, but the pharmacy gave me the generic anyway
LOL the rules about prescriptions are LOADS more strict here in the UK - I had to run back to the doctor 3 times because of 2 minor and one major mistake on the prescription! The 2 minor mistakes were that the doctor did not spell out the amount of tablets and that she wrote "as directed" rather than "one as directed", the major mistake was that she wrote 5mg Ritalin (methylphenidate) which does not exist instead of 10mg Ritalin.

In any case work your way up to taking 15 to 25 mg. in the morning and the rest every 3-4 hours - if the first dose still doesn't have a decent effect for min. 3-4 hours, maybe try the "real" Ritalin or ask for a different stimulant.
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Last edited by Redhead23; 04-13-2004 at 02:14 PM.

 
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