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    Old 11-19-2003, 09:41 AM   #1
    catatbu
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    Diagnosed Yesterday - Adult ADD. So which is better - Adderall or Straterra?

    I've just been diagnosed (at age 23) with adult ADD. All my life I've been dealing with frustration over a lack of focus and organization that, until recently, I thought EVERYONE must deal with consistently. My self-esteem plummeted as I told myself that I simply must not have the personal character to excercise discipline over my everyday life. I've been in 9 car accidents. I have been a bored B-average student with (seemingly contradictory) National Merit and law school scholarships based on high standardized test scores. My mind races so fast and I have so many unfinished projects laying around that I sometimes feel that I'm literally going insane. I have been in and out of passionate, quick relationships (dating AND friends) since high school, and find that I have a short attention span for people. I can't watch TV for more than 30 minutes, even though I WANT to. I have been trying to fix, understand, and accept these parts of myself for as long as I can remember. And all along, I thought that everyone else had already achieved that "goal." I'm sure you all know what I mean.

    This may sounds strange, but I'm actually relieved to find out that there might be a neurological condition that has made focus and discipline difficult for me! SO ANYWAY, I've just been prescribed a trial (10-pill) set of 20mg Adderall that I'll start taking TODAY. I've read some things about the non-stimulant drug "Straterra," and there seem to be very mixed reviews. I'm going to try Adderall, but I don't want to get addicted to some kind of "upper" that effects my sleep patterns and changes my personality. On the other hand, I'm afraid of the moodiness and sleepiness that Straterra seems to cause in these cases about which I'm reading. Any suggestions from ADD adults who have experienced both? I realize the reactions to these drugs are very personal, but I'd like any advice you can offer...

    --- Katie

    Last edited by catatbu; 11-19-2003 at 11:03 AM.

     
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    Old 11-19-2003, 11:42 AM   #2
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    Hey welcome to the board.

    Your choices as far as treatment are not just medications. In fact natural supplements have recently proved themselves to be just as helpful as medication in treating this disorder (though no doctors will tell you that) There is also a treatment called biofeedback which is usually very successful for teens and young adults with ADD. I always like to say, medication should only be used when necessary after all other safer treatments have been tried but not been sufficiant enough to deal with the problem.

    beCalmd is a great supplement. It is safe. I took it for a long time and had better results than I did with medication that I was on for years when I was younger. It just got a bit expensive or I would still be taking it.

    As far as deciding between adderall or stratterra. Well, adderall is a stimulant (amphetamine) Is there a history of drug addiction in your family?

    Strattera is still fairly new, it is a non-stimulant. For some it has worked wonders.

    Please consider ALL of your options and see if you can find a safe alternative before trying medication. Medications should only be used when it is absolutley necessary and a person needs it to function in day to day life.

     
    Old 11-19-2003, 11:49 AM   #3
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    I am a 39 year old female just diagnosed also. I have been extremely frustrated all my life and yes, I also felt relief when I found out.

    I have tried vitamins and herbs. I have to say some did work for my depression but not the disorder. I am now on Ritalin and so far so good. I have not figured out whether it will make a difference in school. I will find out in January when the next semester starts.

    As far as which meds, that depends on you. You will have to try different ones to see which agrees with you. I am extremely sensitive to prescription meds and Ritalin so far is agreeing with me. Strattera increased my depression and did nothing for add. It did increase my sexual desire.

    Some people on these message boards have lots of problems with Ritalin. Just keep going back to your doctor if you are not happy with one med and try another.
    I got fed up with depression/anxiety meds because of side effects. Vitamins helped me with that but not the add.

     
    Old 11-19-2003, 11:52 AM   #4
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    Hair, which vitamins did you try for your problems? How much ritalin do you take currently? Were you able to get off all of your depression/anxiety meds and just take ritalin along with vitamins/supplements?

     
    Old 11-19-2003, 11:58 AM   #5
    hairjewels
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    I have been prescription drug free since July of this year. I hated the side effects.

    I took St. Johns wort, kava kava, ginko biloba, 5htp, I just bought becalmed. There are others also that I took but I can't remember all of them right now. I took about 17 vitamins in the am, 15 at noon and about 12 at dinner time. I felt great but nothing for my concentration.

    Since I am sensitive to prescription meds, I wanted to make sure I just took the Ritalin, 20 mg, to see how it feels and what side effects it will give me. I will probably add my vitamins later.

     
    Old 11-20-2003, 10:39 AM   #6
    Christine7777
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    Re: adult just diagnosed ADD - take adderall or straterra?

    Catatbu....I was just diagnosed this past summer and put on Strattera. It has been a life-changing experience for me. I can concentrate, organize, and was even taken OFF anxiety medicines ...because my anxiety has been basically relieved because I am actually accomplishing things I need to do. There isn't a feeling of "I can't" anymore....its a feeling now that "I can if I choose to". I too, didn't want anything to do with the drugs that are addicting. I will say though that I had to get through the side effects (and trust me..there were times I thought about going off Strattera because of them). However, I didn't, I stuck it through, and now my body has pretty much gotten used to it. Everything has calmed down and I'm glad I stayed with it.

     
    Old 11-20-2003, 09:46 PM   #7
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    Re: adult just diagnosed ADD - take adderall or straterra?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hairjewels
    I have been prescription drug free since July of this year. I hated the side effects.

    I took St. Johns wort, kava kava, ginko biloba, 5htp, I just bought becalmed. There are others also that I took but I can't remember all of them right now. I took about 17 vitamins in the am, 15 at noon and about 12 at dinner time. I felt great but nothing for my concentration.

    Since I am sensitive to prescription meds, I wanted to make sure I just took the Ritalin, 20 mg, to see how it feels and what side effects it will give me. I will probably add my vitamins later.
    So you used mostly herbs.... There are others that are more geared towards concentration. The ones you tried were mostly mood enhancing so it makes sense that they didn't do much for your ADD. It's cool you tried them though. Which one was the most helpful for you?

     
    Old 11-21-2003, 12:14 AM   #8
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    Thumbs up Re: adult just diagnosed ADD - take adderall or straterra?


    I'm a 31 year old female and have been taking 30mg of adderall xr now for a year ....I LOVE IT!!!! It really has assisted my life by allowing me to put my ducks in a row a little more although it's been quite the behavior modification challenge by allowing myself to rip out the learned negative hard-wiring to create room for the adjusted positive new .... as for changing personalities - No, my partner has just commented how "I'm here" now more on a consistant basis ...where before she just looked forward to the times I would "be there" because that's the person she fell in love with and missed greatly when I was of in la-la distracto-ville and gone (it still happens just not as often).
    I know for me Adderall from day one has agreed with my system and the only "side effect" I've experienced is listening harder to my body to pick up on the fact that I should and probably am tired (like right now)....and also I've experienced some weight-loss and have to remind myself to eat! I've never felt addicted and actually have taken a few med-vacations and been perfectly fine, although the Starbucks $$$ bill for those days is more expensive than the meds. My psych was entertaining the thought of changing me over to Strattera however it seems that the more he researches that he's not as comfortable with the idea...I don't know if it's the drug directly or relates to my particular case. Good luck to you.

    Last edited by wlfhwl1; 11-21-2003 at 12:22 AM.

     
    Old 11-21-2003, 07:25 AM   #9
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    Re: adult just diagnosed ADD - take adderall or straterra?

    Catabu-

    I can relate to you in many ways regarding your feelings all your life about something missing. I had been tested for ADHD in high school 2 times and never followed up with my diagnonsis (which was positive) or tried to fix anything becasue I always was smart.

    In college I realized that I had a hard time managing my time and disclipining myself to do my work. I started to get anxious about everything. Well that on top of the fact I lose EVERYTHING, cannot watch TV or sit still for 5 min, am always late, and so on....finally led me to realize maybe I do have a problem.

    I was put on Concerta at first (time realeased ritalin) which worked for a bit, but then gave me negative side effects...moodiness ect. I changed my dosage and still had no results so went on Adderall XR 20 mg. I do agree that adderall is a "wonder drug" - IF you have ADD. If you do not, it will simply get you all messed up and high. But for me, it makes me concentrate and focused. I have switch my dosage a few times and am now on 40 mg a day.

    I will say, I think its a great aspect of add treatment. However, I have never been one to keep up with therapy and in college that was fine. I took my adderall during the week and it helped me out alot (again, I am a smart person adn it is not just this "study drug" that I used). I would take Drug vacations during the weekends because Ihad nothing to do for the most part except ski, lounge and party.

    Now, I work full time and am noticing many other things that are not rememied by medications and realize that the only way to be truely effective to your symptoms and disorder, is to combine medication with therepy. I sometimes feel that adderall can make things worse when you dont have a set schedule or task list- or when you have too much. Then I find myslef missing the simple things...like grabbing my keys, or remembering if I locked the door or shut the stove off, and my biggest thing is I can never get out of the house on time!! No matter if I am ready 1 hour early...i will find something to do then be ready to leave adn realize I lost my purse and so on. It has come to a point of major frusteration for me and I have realized I need to see a professional who is familiar with the patterns and the ADHD brain.

    I know it may sound petty to have to have a counseler tell you how to organize your life in a manor that the kyes go on the hook when you walk in, the jacket hung up. But its a routine I find so helpful and is the start of the organization process for me. Now, when it comes to work...I am the most organized person, meticulous attn to detail, almost never make mistakes, and never ever miss dealdlines.

    But I cannot remember to hang my keys up or lock my car doors....just shows how unique of a problem it is, and how frusterating it is to one that has it. Outside people see you as "scatterbrained" or un-caring. But I finally understand that I am not, and that the best way is a combo of treatments along with understanding what is wrong. My friends do still get ****** off with me when I am late ect, but I am getting better and they have realized that it really is a problem and not just me being slow or lazy...and I can tell you, that is one of the biggest helps- people understanding and not making you feel like an idiot, when clearly you are not. I mean I had a 1380 on my SAT's and a 3.7 gpa in school...and was by no means a nerd or study freak. I also excel well at my job, better than most at my company who are new. But I struggle to get there and in everyday life mostly. I am lucky I have the brains and other skills to do this and that it does not show, but the petty frusterations are what kills me.

    Now, that is only me....and as you can see I had to experiement with meds and I am not suggesting it for you. I have not realy tried any supplements but for now, I am doing my best and cannot afford the time or money to go buy all these natural herbs and remedies to try. When I have time and money, I will besure to look into it and am always working on methods to "Train" myself to someday soon, get off the meds.

    Sorry if this is a bit long and scattered - I just had my tonsills out Tuesday and am a big fluttery from the meds and am not being the best with grammer or spelling, but I am sure you get the idea.

    Good luck!

    Robyn

     
    Old 12-03-2003, 03:07 PM   #10
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    Re: adult just diagnosed ADD - take adderall or straterra?

    Robyn - thanks for the encouragement! Actually I tried Aderall for a week and it gave me SPLITTING, dehabilitating headaches (with very little positive effect). My psych switched me to Lexapro (mild antidepressant) which seems to have almost no effect on me whatsoever. I might look into trying Ritalin or Strattera next, although I hate this feeling of guinea-pig! We'll see...

     
    Old 12-04-2003, 01:10 AM   #11
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    Re: adult just diagnosed ADD - take adderall or straterra?

    If I were you I'd give the Strattera a try, I know for some people (especially with bipolar/manic tendencies) it doesn't work at all and has bad side effects but for those where it works it usually works wonders, and it doesnt' wear off in the same way that stimulants do.

    If it doesn't work then by all means try Ritalin.

    But don't forget that there are many supplements (Omega3, B Vitamins etc.) that can, if not replace stimulant and other AD/HD meds (i.e. they don't make you as focussed and organised unless you have a very mild case) at least help with your mood and can very often decrease the amount of medication you need.
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    Old 12-06-2003, 10:21 AM   #12
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    Re: Diagnosed Yesterday - Adult ADD. So which is better - Adderall or Straterra?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by catatbu
    I've just been diagnosed (at age 23) with adult ADD. All my life I've been dealing with frustration over a lack of focus and organization that, until recently, I thought EVERYONE must deal with consistently. My self-esteem plummeted as I told myself that I simply must not have the personal character to excercise discipline over my everyday life. I've been in 9 car accidents. I have been a bored B-average student with (seemingly contradictory) National Merit and law school scholarships based on high standardized test scores. My mind races so fast and I have so many unfinished projects laying around that I sometimes feel that I'm literally going insane. I have been in and out of passionate, quick relationships (dating AND friends) since high school, and find that I have a short attention span for people. I can't watch TV for more than 30 minutes, even though I WANT to. I have been trying to fix, understand, and accept these parts of myself for as long as I can remember. And all along, I thought that everyone else had already achieved that "goal." I'm sure you all know what I mean.

    This may sounds strange, but I'm actually relieved to find out that there might be a neurological condition that has made focus and discipline difficult for me! SO ANYWAY, I've just been prescribed a trial (10-pill) set of 20mg Adderall that I'll start taking TODAY. I've read some things about the non-stimulant drug "Straterra," and there seem to be very mixed reviews. I'm going to try Adderall, but I don't want to get addicted to some kind of "upper" that effects my sleep patterns and changes my personality. On the other hand, I'm afraid of the moodiness and sleepiness that Straterra seems to cause in these cases about which I'm reading. Any suggestions from ADD adults who have experienced both? I realize the reactions to these drugs are very personal, but I'd like any advice you can offer...

    --- Katie
    [FONT=Century Gothic]

     
    Old 12-06-2003, 10:29 AM   #13
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    Re: Diagnosed Yesterday - Adult ADD. So which is better - Adderall or Straterra?

    [IKatie,
    I have adult Add and I dont think you should take strattera or adderal.Strattera will make you feel like you have a constant bladder infection and forget having an orgasm after the second week,Adderal makes your heart beat like a locomotive and also makes it hard to come after a while.the best drugs are the sustained release ones like concerta and dexedrine ,they work all day and then go out of your sytem without the rough after effects,also they dont build up in your system like the supposedly good (nonstimulant) drugs do.Research up on meds on the internet especially their side effects and dont let your doctor talk you into taking strattera just because its new and he has tons of samples from the pharmecutical companies,its only had two studies in adults done on it and has been out for four months

     
    Old 12-08-2003, 11:11 AM   #14
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    Re: adult just diagnosed ADD - take adderall or straterra?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Redhead23
    If I were you I'd give the Strattera a try, I know for some people (especially with bipolar/manic tendencies) it doesn't work at all and has bad side effects but for those where it works it usually works wonders, and it doesnt' wear off in the same way that stimulants do.

    If it doesn't work then by all means try Ritalin.

    But don't forget that there are many supplements (Omega3, B Vitamins etc.) that can, if not replace stimulant and other AD/HD meds (i.e. they don't make you as focussed and organised unless you have a very mild case) at least help with your mood and can very often decrease the amount of medication you need.

    Actually whether or not they make you as focused and organized just depends on personal reactions, not how mild or severe your case of ADHD is!!! I was on medications for years when I was younger for SEVERE ADHD / ODD. I stopped medications and turned to alternative treatments including supplements and they work even better than medications ever did!! It has NOTHING to do with the severity, so people, do NOT be discouraged from trying supplements first even when you have a very severe case of ADHD on your hands. They may work just as well or even better than medication! It depends on a lot of factors but how severe the case of ADHD is is certainly not one of the factors.

     
    Old 12-08-2003, 07:42 PM   #15
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    Re: adult just diagnosed ADD - take adderall or straterra?

    I have also just been diagnosed a month ago with add at 31. I also am so relieved to finally get some answers to why I am the way I am. I was just recently put on wellbutrin for anxiety that has helped somewhat. I have to go back in 2wks for evaluation and to discuss more meds. My biggest problem is that Im so tired all the time. Im not hyperactive accept in my thinking my mind races all the time. Im a mother of a 2yr old and I go to school I dont have time to be tired. I don't know what drugs do what. Has anyone had a negative reaction to anything such as irritability or fatigue (the two things that don't go well in my life)?

     
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