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Old 09-17-2011, 06:23 AM   #1
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Am I suffering ritalin tolerance?

I have been on ritalin for just over a year (third time I've been on ritalin in my life) Take 10mg 3x per day. For the last 2 weeks, I have not had the effect for some reason that I usually get from it. I feel VERY lethargic (fell asleep in car when my friend went into the shop today, very out of character when I can feel exhausted as usually cannot sleep during the day). The only way I can get the slightest effect from it is by having 3-4 coffees in the morning, and this usually wears off by noon at the latest. I have been on the same dosage this whole time, and also take 4 fish oil tablets a day and a few fresh brahmi leaves. I try to keep myself busy to fix my boredom, and think I've overdone my schedule as I dony know why else I can feel SOOO tired. Im a single mum, studying to get into medicine and helping in my family sales business, and lately as my mother has been hit by a car, I have had to assist her much more than usual and not getting as much sleep- maybe 5 hrs night (my son has also been sick so not as much sleep as I would like). This is the only change to my usual routine, but last night I made myself sleep for 7 hours and I feel just as tired as the other nights and the ritalin seems useless. Im falling asleep writing this so going to sleep. If anyone could suggest what to do, would be great. Cannot do anything about the busy routine as no one else is able to help my mum, but Im worried if I ask psychiatrist to up my dose, it either will not work, or he will think Im bunging it on as I have been on the 30mg/ day for overa year with no probs. Any ideas would be great

 
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:35 AM   #2
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Re: Am I suffering ritalin tolerance?

jw07,

The load (demands) on our brains can be compared to the loads placed upon any power distribution system. I'm in NEPA. Some of our electrical power is supplied by Quebec (Canada) Hydro-Electric. A few years back, some of the northeast US States, northern PA and NY state included, went blackout when the demand exceeded Canada's electrical export capabilities.

"I try to keep myself busy to fix my boredom, and think I've overdone my schedule as I dony know why else I can feel SOOO tired. Im a single mum, studying to get into medicine and helping in my family sales business, and lately as my mother has been hit by a car, I have had to assist her much more than usual and not getting as much sleep- maybe 5 hrs night (my son has also been sick so not as much sleep as I would like). This is the only change to my usual routine, but last night I made myself sleep for 7 hours and I feel just as tired as the other nights and the ritalin seems useless."

You are so overloaded your neurological transformers are blown out and in flames. You can try upping the "speed" med but be forewarned: "Borrowing from our energy reserves is like borrowing money from a mafia loan shark. Your life is your collateral." You got to reduce, some how, the demands you are placing on your already overloaded because of ADHD mental and physical reserves.

How do I know? Been there. Done that. Ain't never doing it again. The interest rate is exorbitant. Worse than the worst loan shark rate.

You are putting an enormous load on you CNS. Reduce the load, whatever way you can.

Bob

 
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:08 PM   #3
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Re: Am I suffering ritalin tolerance?

Dear addprogrammer,
Thank you for your reply. I''ve just woken up and read this reply... which quite frankly has put me on the verge of wanting to cry- but I think Im too tired to even do that. I know that I need to somehow reduce my schedule, however it is difficult in some respects- being a single mother isn't optional (I refuse to ask my drunkard ex to care for my son, or even assist me in any way- I would rather care for my boy myself and know I am giving him the best opportunities in life). I am studying medicine so I can make something of myself, and hopefully get a good job so my son gets a good education. As for the family business, I have lessened my role as much as I can, but as it is my mothers business, and she has been hit by a taxi, someone has to run the office so the mortgage can be paid- Ive even organised for part of her house to be made into granny flat so it can be rented out for a bit of extra cash in the hope I can do a little less where possible. The road transport people who organise the taxi insurance (mum was hit by a cab) refuse to send people to her house to assist with cleaning, gardening etc. (she has 2 acre property) and their response on the phone to my mum was literally "your daughter can do it!!" If only they knew- I feel that this is unbelieveably unfair to me as they have no idea how many other demands I have. I understand what you are saying in your reply, and I agree. I don't really want to increase my dosage as I worry about side effects (especially as I already have high BP from the stress, and ritalin can worsen this). I feel like Im in a catch 22. Apart from this I have been on the same dosage for just over a year and dont want my doctor to think Im getting a addiction/ problem, though I genuinely feel it is not really assisting me now- yes, probably due to a brain overload. I will just keep on doing my best but thank you so much for your reply. I wish you the best.

 
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:36 AM   #4
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Re: Am I suffering ritalin tolerance?

jw07,

Tell your doctor the problems you are experiencing. Allow your doctor to determine how to medically help you rather than suggesting a higher dose or another medication.

A good ADHD coach could help you reduce your load by training you to develop your organizing and scheduling skills.

Bob

 
Old 09-29-2011, 07:19 PM   #5
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Re: Am I suffering ritalin tolerance?

i thought dose should be weight/height dependent (as well as related to symptoms intensity). i'm 5'5'' 145lbs and take 30mg of ritalin 2 times a day and have terrible inattention.

Before you ask for more medication you got to get some support if you can. b/c no matter how much medication you take NO ONE can handle what is on your plate.

 
Old 11-17-2011, 12:20 PM   #6
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Re: Am I suffering ritalin tolerance?

Hi

I know exactly how you feel (even though my life doesnt have nearly as much pressure), and it actually makes me feel better to know someone else is going through it.

I was taking exactly 60 mg of ritalin for a few months. The change was wonderful, and my only regret at the time wasn't seeing a doctor about it sooner.

I am in med school and its made life a lot less painful and it improved my life a lot.

I had absolutely no serious side effects, and occasional insomnia to deal with only. I consider myself to have a personality that has a VERY low potential to abuse drugs, SWIM doesn't drink, smoke, or do any recreational drug (NOT out of some sort of belief or principal, SWIM just doesn't enjoy anything SWIM tries, or SWIMs body cannot tolerate it).

Heres my problem, just 3 weeks ago, I think I started developing a tolerance to the drug. One day I took the first two doses, and to my surprise the drug seemed to work the opposite of what it usually does, and even go in the wrong direction a little. I felt tired and VERY unfocused, to the extent that I couldn't even read the news or watch a favorite tv show.

On that day, I took 120 mg total, which is double my dose before I could return to normal.

Every day since then I have been increasing the dose. I skip days so that I will have enough to last me until the next refill and my dose has increased to 200 mg in a day. (I hope that number doesn't scare anybody, I am 6'4'' and 230 lbs so I am not worried about seriously harmful overdose effects, and from what I have read they are rare)

It doesnt seem like its leveling off and this gets me very worried, because I was putting a lot of hope into this drug, a lot of stock because it was working great for so long.

Fortunately, I feel pretty good on the days that I skip doses and I am still able to perform at a decent level. This was also a totally new phenomenon and it surprised me that I still felt the positive effects of the drug on "skip" days, albeit midly.

I am going to have to tell my doctor because my insomnia has become a problem on the nights that I took the drug. Even though I feel fine, I am worried about my increased heart rate, which also happens only during days when I take the drug.

I do not feel safe increasing my dose any more than it is and I am definitely going to just hold off completely until my next visit to my doctor.

I feel shocked and very disappointed that things have not been working out, especially since it was looking so good for so long. I don't want my doctor to tell me next week when I visit him that I have no other choices and it just means that I have to give up on medication.

I have survived up until this point without any help, but I am tired of just "surviving." I was getting close to a breaking point before I my first visit to my doctor.

Are there any other drugs that my doctor can offer me? Is there a way that I can just adjust the way I take ritalin to fix this problem or atleast stop the need to increase the dose?

Or should I just start making peace with the fact that medication just isn't for me, from now.

WOW!! I am so sorry about the essay length. Its cathartic to talk about it with other people. This is my first post on any health forum, ever, forgive me .

Thanks for reading and for any responses, I really do appreciate it.

I hope having someone else who is going through something similar alleviates some stress from your life, original poster. I hope you also find a solution to your problem and I will be sure to let you know if I found any way to fix mine.

Last edited by LeapFrogIsntFun; 11-17-2011 at 01:29 PM. Reason: grammar

 
Old 11-17-2011, 02:35 PM   #7
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Re: Am I suffering ritalin tolerance?

Hi,
I too am glad to hear that I am not the only one with this problem... I got a few replies to my post, generally noting that I had a lot to deal with (you got no idea- my life is crazy busy!) My main concern is that if I tell my doctor that I have this problem now, after being on a particular dose for over a year, he will think I have some "addiction" or problem... he's an older psychiatrist, and other older doctors I have had in the past I found quite judgemental. I have tried this routine of "skipping" and then taking extra the following day. Unfortunately for me I can only barely deal on the skip days as I have so much to shove into every day, and studing is really difficult- even on "non- skip" days, I'm lucky to get 3-4 hrs out of my doses and I literally can feel them wairing off- They kick in relatively fast (usually 20-30 mins) but it is almost like someone flicks a switch at the end. Within 10 mins or so, my batteries go flat, I cannot keep focused on what I was doing, and then I know its time for next dose. I have had to leave last dose until about 8pm, so I can study once I put my toddler to bed, so I can study fr my medical entrance exam. I have found 2 things that have given me a bit of help in conjunction with my ritalin (has taken quite a while to feel anything from them though). I take Really potent fish oil tablets- 3, 2 times a day, and fresh brahmi I have in my garden (tastes awful but 4 leaves per day- now been 4 mths and my memory does seem to be improving, an a bit more attention). Hope some of this help.
Thanks for your reply

 
Old 11-18-2011, 07:14 AM   #8
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Re: Am I suffering ritalin tolerance?

Hi everyone. After battling other mental health issues for a very long time, I was recently diagnosed with ADHD. I am 58, and see a psychiatrist for drugs and a psychologist for support. I cannot yet take ADHD meds because my psychiatrist wants to stabilize my depression/anxiety issues first. As it is, once I do start on ADHD meds, I'll have to wear a cardiac monitor for two weeks to see if my heart can handle the stress of the medication (childhood surgery for a congenital heart defect).

In the meantime, the psychologist I'm seeing has me doing breathing exercises twice a day for 15 minutes each time. Its of course very hard to stay focused and sometimes I can't do it for that long, but because I do try every time, its actually making a huge difference in my focus. I'm able to read more than 5 lines in a book or newspaper without thinking 'yeah, whatever, what's next'.

Just thought I'd share that with you all to see if it might help you as much as it does me.

 
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