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Old 08-03-2007, 08:04 AM   #1
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Adderall Advice

Hello! I post normally on the fibro/cfs/ms boards, but I am desperate for some information about adderall and so far have not been able to find the info I need. I do not have ADD, but I do take adderall and I'm hoping some of you on this board who use Adderall can share some of your knowledge with me.

I have been ill for four years and in May was finally diagnosed with fibro/cfs, while my doctor strongly suspects MS. (I'm still undergoing the diagnosis process for that).
Two of my worst symptoms are severe, debilitating fatigue and brain fog (this includes memory issues, poor word recall, disorganized thinking, etc).
My doctor prescribed Adderall and I began taking it at the end of June. Started on 5 mg 2x a day, and for the first few days I felt my thinking was a bit clearer, although it did nothing to combat the fatigue and weakness.
Two weeks later, doctor increased my dosage to 20 -25 mg. Again, initially I seemed to see some cognitive benefits and a very slight decrease in fatigue. But I was still a million times more tired and weak than a normal, healthy person. (I am a 33 year old female, had been active, worked out 5x a week, ate very well, never drank or smoked.)
Last week the doctor told me to start taking 35 - 45 mg a day, spaced out however I felt would suit me best. Since I seem to metabolize this medication very quickly (one dose lasts only about 3 to 3.5 hours), I take it
3x per day to try to get the maximum amount of effect from it. I try to take the next dose before the last dose has worn off.
Even at 45 mg, I still nap during the day, am tired, have bad muscle weakness, and the brain fog had only decreased minimally.
I also have had NO side effects from this drug, except for a bit of a tinny taste in my mouth after taking the meds. (This happens to me even with Tylenol).
Sorry for the long post. Essentially my question is, in your experiences with Adderall, is it worth it for me to keep increasing the dose? One of my doctors said everyone is different and it's a matter of finding "My" effective dose. But I'm taking this for fatigue and not ADD. If I'm only slight improvement in fatigue at 45 mg, will I really see a benefit if I go up to 60, 75, 80 mg? I don't want to give up on this if it will work. But I don't want to keep increasing in vain.
I have done so much research on this drug and hear people say how it "wires" them or gives them extreme energy and motivation. I don't understand how I can be on 45 mg (which seems high to me) and still be able to go to sleep, or be so tired I can't think or move very quickly. I feel like my mind and body are stuck in quicksand.
I would appreciate so much if people have info on the following questions:

How much have people taken before they see "energizing" effects?

If you let one dose wear off before you take the next, does the next dose seem less effective?

Do some people just need a much higher dosage than others? Is it possible I just metabolize it so quickly I need to take more and more often?

Has anyone been on Adderall for a very long period of time, and if so, have you experienced any negative effects from it?

I'm sorry to "barge in" on your board. I thought I might find more Adderall users here than on other boards, and I so badly want this to work, so I'd just love to hear from others who use it.
I would appreciate any and all feedback. Thanks so much and best wishes to you all!!!!!!!!!!

 
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Old 08-03-2007, 09:58 AM   #2
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Re: Adderall Advice

Hmm, everyone is different is very true, especially with this drug. Have you looked at taking the XR version? For me it lasts 10 hours on one dose. I do notice I get the most done in the first few hours and then it wears off slightly later on, but it doesnt bother me, bc i am ready to take a break.

If I need a little boost, I drink some caffeine, small amounts help give it a boost..

50mg + is very high, you should be bouncing off the walls or getting anxiety, but like I said everyone is different. You may want to talk to your doc about possibly dexadrine or Adderall XR. good luck

 
Old 08-03-2007, 04:05 PM   #3
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desperate1 HB User
Re: Adderall Advice

Thank you so much for your reply!
Does anyone else have adderall experience to share or answers to my questions?

 
Old 08-03-2007, 05:25 PM   #4
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Re: Adderall Advice

Hi, if you aren't ADD/ADHD than adderall will have a different effect on you than someone who has ADD/ADHD.
Good Luck
Johna

 
Old 08-03-2007, 10:05 PM   #5
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Re: Adderall Advice

Johna,
Actually, Adderal and all the other drugs prescribed for ADD/ADHD act differently on different poeple -- some people are helped, some people notice little or no effect, some people have bad reactions and can't take the drugs at all. I'm sure it's the same for people who are taking Adderal for other reasons besides ADD.

desperate1,
Welcome to the ADD Board. It is interesting to read that doctors are trying Adderal for fibro/cfs -- of course not so "interesting" for you because you just want a cure! I have only a short experience with Ritalin, so cannot advise anything about Adderal. There are lots of threads about it here, which you might find helpful to read (on days when you have a little extra energy to spare). I hope that others will have more info for you.

--Rheanna

 
Old 08-04-2007, 04:34 AM   #6
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Re: Adderall Advice

Desperate1,

First, welcome to this board! Who knows? Maybe you do have ADHD and just aren't diagnosed. (Keeps this thread relative to this board).

I'm sorry for all your suffering. It's interesting to me that your doc chose Adderall for you; I would think that Provigil would be a more logical choice. I wonder what his rational was.

Here is something for you to put some thought into.

It would be a good idea for you to REALLY watch your symptoms in relation to each dose of Adderall. In fact, it would probably be useful if you kept some kind of a simple log for a little while.

The reason I suggest that is this. Adderall actually peaks at about 3 hours. It's unlikely that your dose is wearing off at that time; it's more likely that what you are experiencing at 3 to 3.5 hours is actually the peak of the medication's effect. If at 3 hours you are feeling worse rather than better, it may well be that the Adderall is actually making you more tired.

I know you are convinced that you are rapidly metabolizing the Adderall and that it is wearing off at three hours. It would be useful, I think, for you to consider that it's having the opposite effect. Keeping a log would give you a better idea of what is really going on. Especially, if you are as foggy as you say you are - it may be hard for you to keep track of dosages and symptoms without one.

Put some thought into it anyway.

Good luck and God Bless!

Last edited by index.html; 08-04-2007 at 04:47 AM.

 
Old 08-04-2007, 12:52 PM   #7
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Re: Adderall Advice

Index,

That is one of the most insightful posts ever. Thank you. Also, I failed to pay you a well deserve compliment on graduating Magna "cuum" Laude (and teaching em how to spell). You may have "smarts" on your side but ADD can bring down geniuses. Sheer determinedness on your part no doubt was a player too.

To stay within post ...

Desparate1 do the journal thing.

I did not respond because your use of Adderall for CFS and Fibro Mialgia is well beyond by scope of experience - that is - for ADHD.

I hope the best for you.

Bob
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Old 08-04-2007, 01:19 PM   #8
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Re: Adderall Advice

{Sorry this is unrelated to the thread. Aww shucks, Bob, you've given me lots of compliments along the way. I'm only inattentive, I don't have the "H" so I don't really consider myself in the league with you and my eldest. But yes, sure determination had alot to do with it. Unfortunately, determination wasn't enough to carry me post-graduation: lack of self-esteem has interferred with attaining any significant career goals. That is, other than the one that I wanted most - which I got. That is, to be a mom!

How low self-esteem plays into all of this would be an interesting topic for another thread. As in, how much do we fail to achieve because of our disorder and how much is because we didn't fit in/measure up as kids.}

Desperate1, consider the notion that the Adderall makes you more tired rather than less. It does alot of people, you know: that's why it works for ADHD.

 
Old 08-04-2007, 05:10 PM   #9
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Re: Adderall Advice

Thanks so much to all of you. I truly appreciate your insight!
Index, great, great, great advice, thank you! I would never in a million years have considered that Adderall could make me more tired, because all of my research has turned up the "be careful, it's like a prescription for speed" information. Very, very interesting to know it could be affecting me in the opposite way.
I do keep a journal, although I can barely read my own handwriting late. I went from perfect penmanship to complete chicken scratch. And I can never concentrate, so the ADD thing is not so far-fetched, though I do suspect it is more a side effect of the major fatigue. Who knows? I try not to self-diagnose. It's so easy to convince yourself you have one thing and then you can miss the signs of something else.
Anyway, thanks again. I really appreciate hearing from you all!

p.s. index, i should mention that I asked all of my many docs about provigil since I have read great things, but none of them had ever heard of it being used for ms or fibro related fatigue(?!) I have been to clinics and hosptials affiliated with Ivy League Universities and have seen very highly respected docs, and I just can't believe none of them are willing to prescribe. They all tell me they only know of using for narcolepsy.

Also, after an hour or hour and a half on adderall I get a short, not very intense lift in energy and clarity. That's why I assumed it was "peaking" early, after an hour or two, and wearing off around 3 hours. Now I wonder what the heck is going on. My doctor seems convinced that we just haven't gotten to a high enough dose yet.

Well, this is very interesting food for thought (when I can actually think.)
My gratitude to you all.

Last edited by desperate1; 08-04-2007 at 05:29 PM.

 
Old 08-05-2007, 01:29 AM   #10
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Re: Adderall Advice

Desperate1, you don't even have to go to the trouble of journaling.

Make yourself some kind of chart where you enter time of dose, then maybe blocks at certain time intervals (like 1,3, 5 hours post dose). Then use arrows or something- 1 arrow up means improved, 2 really improved, 1 down slightly worse, etc. Color code your arrows - 1 color for energy, and another for mental clarity.

If what you really are seeing is a slight improvement at 1 or 2 hours post-dose, but a worsening at around 3 - 3.5 hours, I'd have to guess that the dose you are taking might be too high for you.

This is all assuming that you are taking plain Adderall and not Adderall XR - there's a big difference.

 
Old 08-05-2007, 10:34 AM   #11
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Re: Adderall Advice

Hi Index,
Great idea with the chart and arrows. I will try that. I admit with the fatigue I am having, sometimes it seems to much to even write in a journal, even a sentence or two. Arrows are much easier.
I take regular Adderall, not XR. Saw the same slight improvement on 10 mg around 2 hours as I do with 40 mg. It's probably that Adderall is not right for me, but I just want to make sure I don't dismiss it too soon. That's why I'm all over the internet asking annoying questions of people who have taken it, LOL.
Thanks again for the great advice. I am extremely grateful that you took the time to share your insight with me.

 
Old 08-05-2007, 10:37 AM   #12
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Re: Adderall Advice

One last thought for you. I know that Provigil is normally prescribed for narcolepsy and not what you have. It's also true, though, that Adderall isn't normally prescribed for what you have. It seems to me that your situation is closer to narcolepsy than it is to ADD. Just IMHO, of course!

PS Your questions are NOT annoying. Ask all you want. Probably won't have any answers, but we're happy to be asked anyway!

Last edited by index.html; 08-05-2007 at 10:39 AM.

 
Old 08-05-2007, 12:05 PM   #13
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Re: Adderall Advice

Great advice! I've been on both Adderall and Provigil and had similar questions. I created a thread in the Drug Interaction forum here. I hope I get some replies. Thanks!

 
Old 08-05-2007, 12:27 PM   #14
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Re: Adderall Advice

Quote:
Great advice! I've been on both Adderall and Provigil and had similar questions. I created a thread in the Drug Interaction forum here. I hope I get some replies. Thanks!
Great, I'll have a look at it although I might not have anything to offer! Maybe others here will.

Last edited by index.html; 08-05-2007 at 12:28 PM.

 
Old 08-05-2007, 06:03 PM   #15
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Re: Adderall Advice

Desperate1 I am in the same boat as you. I don't take Adderall for ADD/ADHD but for the fatigue associated with the Fibro. If you aren't on the XR form it only works for approximately 4 hours max anyway. I am also BiPolar so I have a list of cocktails that make me wonder why I take any of the drugs sometimes. However, I know I need them. My shrink, pain management, and GP doc all work together on the meds but I still don't like the interactions between some of them.

There are many good suggestions in the thread so you may want to look into them. I wouldn't just keep increasing the Adderall though only b/c the fibro has the fatigue associated with it. I use to fight taking the naps and all that b/c I felt worthless and useless however, my doctor finally told me that when you get tired, go to bed or you will pay for it later with more days in bed. I finally started listening to him b/c I found him to be correct.

Sorry for rambling but some of us fibro people get confused on the issue.

Please forgive.

Best Wishes to all!

 
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