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Ritalin Trial - Questions

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Old 04-01-2004, 07:20 AM   #1
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Redhead23 HB User
Ritalin Trial - Questions


I have been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome with "attentional dysfunction" in December last year (initial diagnosis)/January this year (confirmation and follow-up).

My problems with attention seem to be predominantly with shifting attention, both away from something that preoccupies me and towards something new.

In particular switching back and forth is something I struggle with (which leads to trouble with switching from talking to brief eye contact in conversations, checking the mirrors when driving etc.).

The consultant decided that a trial of Ritalin should be worthwhile, so I organised a visit with my GP and I started yesterday on a very cautious course as follows:

5mg mornings (5 days)
5mg mornings & midday (5 days)
10mg mornings, 5mg midday (5 days)
10mg mornings & midday (5days)

With a potential for adding another dose (first 5 them 10 mg) around 4:30 pm.

The first reactions have been very positive, I felt calm, as if that eternal "hamster wheel" had quietened down a bit (I had been worried about anxiety side effects) as opposed to the usual restlesness (inner, mostly, with quite a bit of fidgeting but no overt hyperactivity) and for once it seemed my conscious thoughts were not limping two steps behind my actions and movements.

No "speedy" or "high" feeling (as I often heard people report when first starting on meds), just calm, collected, able to get into my work without the usual fogginess or constant self-distraction, and most importantly able to shift attention without getting stuck or lost. (And holding a conversation without constantly changing subjects or forgetting what I want to say halfway through a sentence)

However, the noticeable effects only seemed to last for maybe 1 - 1 1/2 hours max., starting about 20-30 minutes after taking the medication.

This seems awfully short, although I realise this may just be due to the low starting dosage.

Although at least through the low dose there was not much of a rebound effect - however I did become a lot more aware of the inner restlessness once the dosage wore off! Ironically, once the initial rebound had settled, I still felt more relaxed for the rest of the day, and for the first time in many weeks I actually slept through!

So my questions are as follows:

- How normal does this suggested course sound? It sounds very cautious to me (I guess this is due to the AS diagnosis) but then I prefer that to the side-effect fuelled full-on approach

- Is the duration (as opposed to strength) of the noticeable effects likely to increase as the dosage is increased?

- Is it normal to feel generally more relaxed at the end of the day when on medication, once the rebound has passed?

- Are these effects as I have described them indicative of the medication working, or is it impossible to tell on this dosage?

Thanks for any input!
25, female, AS with attentional dysfunction

Inhibited Perfectionist

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Old 04-01-2004, 08:51 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2003
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crillmom HB User
Re: Ritalin Trial - Questions

my son takes ritilan 10mg. three times a day. he is doing beautifully on this. I also notice a calmness about him at the end of the day even when med is wearing off. I think it is due to an overall good feeling and well being. His first dose seems to last quite a while. he needs to go to the nurse at lunch for his second dose and on the days he forgets it still seems to be working even after 5 hours, so who knows everyone is different. but your post caught my eye about the end of the day calmness. he also sleeps great. any other questions feel free to ask.

Old 04-01-2004, 09:33 AM   #3
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Redhead23 HB User
Re: Ritalin Trial - Questions

I'm glad to hear your son is doing so well - I can only assume that the lack of stress and increase in focus during the day are what is causing this "end of day calmness", plus the mild antidepressant effect I have read about.
(Not that I'm complaining! )

I will definitely have to wait & see how it goes as the dosage and frequency goes up, but so far I am very relieved because the fact that I feel the effect in this way (i.e. calm and clear instead of agitated or "speedy") makes me think that I am on the right track
25, female, AS with attentional dysfunction

Inhibited Perfectionist

Last edited by Redhead23; 04-01-2004 at 10:03 AM.

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