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Old 02-04-2009, 01:06 AM   #1
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Exclamation Help with Adderall XR, really need advice

I am new to this board but not new to ADD, I was diagnosed with it when I was around 14 and I am now 34. I took Dexedrine when I was diagnosed, never changed that med until I stopped taking it around age 19. I thought I did not need meds as I was graduated from HS, I went on to college and did not take them there as I thought I could manage. College was hard and I barely passed, my add affects every aspect of my life. My mother committed suicide in 2003 and I really think I went off the deep end, I had serious depression, weight gain, CONSTANT sleeping, anxiety, you name it. I never had a problem with depression until then. Finally after going through many SSRI meds I have decided to try ADD meds again and see if that would help. I have been on Adderall XR 30mg's for 4 days now and I am not sure this is for me, but I don't really have anything to compare it to. I work from 4pm to 1am daily and trying to find a time balance to take med for maximum benefit is hard, I notice my lips are very dry, I have no appetite, no a real bad thing but I have not smiled in 4 days! I am very snappy and on edge even more so, I haven't been talking much at all to the point my co-workers are asking me what is wrong with me. I am a nice person, I get along well with people, and I laugh alot and joke throughout my workday (I hide my depression well at work) I have had a headache for the last 4 days straight, and all the above metioned things. Am I not giving the medication long enough to work on me or could this be the wrong med? I haven't really noticed my concentration improving much or increased energy at all?? Please someone help me, I am at my wits end!

Thanks and sorry for the ramble,
Jenn

 
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:46 AM   #2
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Re: Help with Adderall XR, really need advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRock123 View Post
... I took Dexedrine when I was diagnosed, never changed that med until I stopped taking it around age 19. I thought I did not need meds as I was graduated from HS, I went on to college and did not take them there as I thought I could manage. College was hard and I barely passed, my add affects every aspect of my life. My mother committed suicide in 2003 and I really think I went off the deep end, I had serious depression, weight gain, CONSTANT sleeping, anxiety, you name it. I never had a problem with depression until then. Finally after going through many SSRI meds I have decided to try ADD meds again and see if that would help. I have been on Adderall XR 30mg's for 4 days now and I am not sure this is for me, but I don't really have anything to compare it to. I work from 4pm to 1am daily and trying to find a time balance to take med for maximum benefit is hard, I notice my lips are very dry, I have no appetite, no a real bad thing but I have not smiled in 4 days! I am very snappy and on edge even more so, I haven't been talking much at all to the point my co-workers are asking me what is wrong with me. I am a nice person, I get along well with people, and I laugh alot and joke throughout my workday (I hide my depression well at work) I have had a headache for the last 4 days straight, and all the above metioned things. Am I not giving the medication long enough to work on me or could this be the wrong med? I haven't really noticed my concentration improving much or increased energy at all?? ... Jenn
Jenn,

Brain meds are tricky business.

Let's start at square "Go." Are you seeing a psychiatrist? If not by all means find one. A child psychiatrist was recently recommended on this board. I wish I had that advice when I was "shrink" hunting. That is not to say there are no good adult pdocs. It seems, though, that many are not up to date on the latest advances in managing adult ADHD.

Are you still on SSRI's? They are stimulant antagonists.

Adderall may be the wrong med for you.

Keep a journal of what you take, when you take it, and how you respond for a couple weeks. Give it your pdoc for review. Pdoc then has a fact basis for med tweaks (rather than a subjective base).

Let's us know how you do?

This is the board for real-life, real answers. Some of the best lurk around here.

Bob

 
Old 02-05-2009, 01:06 PM   #3
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Re: Help with Adderall XR, really need advice

I tried Adderall after being on Dex for years. I could get the Adderall from local Dr. but to get Dex, I had to drive 2 hrs to shrink. I decided it was well worth the drive because Adderall made me irritable and put me to sleep. Thank goodness I found a Dr. that understands because I am so "normal" on Dex.

CharBerry

 
Old 02-05-2009, 04:33 PM   #4
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Re: Help with Adderall XR, really need advice

I'm in a bit of a different situation than you - I'm in college right now and have been taking Adderall XR 20mg for almost two years now. For me it has been life-changing for the better. My academic performance is stellar (I'm a smart person but my inattentive ADD made me aloof and distractable and affected my schoolwork). I do notice some changes, they of course are not permanent but simply side-effects of the drug; I tend to be more "mature", more serious and sometimes less creative.

One of the smartest things to do with Adderall is create a routine, a schedule you can follow daily - this is somethin people with ADD struggle with immensely, but creating habits and being organized. Oftentimes, people will take their Adderall and get involved in something that's distracted them. The drug is working in this case, but your own motivation or intentions haven't "pushed" it into doing what you need to do.

In terms of your physical side-effects, they are also common. You should be peeing constantly when your Adderall, because you need to be drinking a LOT of water, consistently. This will help with the dry-mouth and dehydrated feelings common with stimulants. Especially when you first take it, I drink a large glass of water when I wake up, take my pill with another large glass of water, and drink another glass a few minutes later. You'll pee later, but I feel this gets things started for you. The lack of appetite is also an issue with many people - for some it's a blessing but for most it can become bothersome. Either eat a meal a couple hours before taking Adderall, or at least an hour afterwards. It is very reactive with what's in your stomach - stay away from acidic foods (like juice) too. I think the severity of your side-effects isn't just a result of being new to the medication, but also because you're not eating as much as you should. You may have adderall in your system, but if you don't have a healthy bloodsugar, you're still working on an empty stomach, which annoys your body and mind.

Adderall XR works good for people with normal work or school schedules, because you can take it in the morning and usually it'll stretch out to the end of your work-day. But you're schedule is a bit off, and honestly, I'm not sure why your doctor didn't prescribe you Immediate relesase Adderall. XR and IR work differently for different folks, but IR might be more effective for you because you have more control over when you take it, and taking a couple four or so hours apart works.

Some people simply just don't react well to Adderall. When I first started taking ADD medication, I took Ritalin. It did not work for me at all, and the results were opposite of what I needed. It made me irritable, unsociable and feeling like a "zombie". The switch to Adderall changed all of that. I heard of Adderall being the same for some people as well, in which case there are plenty of other options. The Dexedrine of course, but I've also heard of Vyvyanse, a new drug that's doing wonders for many of its takers. I've also heard of people taking Strattera for ADD with success. Definitely talk to your doctor about drug choices, he is an expert but you can guide him too.

Your reaction may also be that you are simply taking too much Adderall. 30mg I think is high for someone who is just starting off, what I've heard is that doctors start patients off with a lower dosage, and work it up until the results are positive. Having too much Adderall in your system can make the drug useless.

My advice: work on countering the side-effects by drinking LOTS of water and a eating balanced diet. Do not become overly focused on the effectiveness of your Adderall, as that can distract and discourage you from your job. Let your doctor know if you really feel that Adderall XR isn't working for you - there are plenty of other options, including other drugs and changing the dosage. And of course, stay positive, there are plenty of options out there.

 
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