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  • Ritalin SR - HELP

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    Old 09-11-2003, 01:22 PM   #1
    Crazy Carrie
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    Question Ritalin SR - HELP

    I was just recently diagnosed, at age 31, with ADD, innattentive type. I have always had a problem with feeling less than normal motivation as well! my question is: If I am taking 20mg. of Ritalin SR why am I soooo sleepy? I cannot stop yawning! Does anyone else feel this way? I tried taking 2 doses this morning (my own decision) to see if it was the dosage not strong enough, yet to no avail, I am still sooo sleepy! I dont know what to make of it! Any suggestions are appreciated... Thanks in advance!

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    Old 09-11-2003, 01:50 PM   #2
    WildAngel
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    Carrie, By what you have said I am assuming that you know that ritalin is a form of "speed" and that you were expecting it to have a mild speed like effect. The thing is that for most people who have ADD/ADHD ritalin acts as the oposite of what it is. It is speed, but acts as a downer. This may be why you are feeling so sleepy. You may want to ask your doctor about adding wellbutrin. It is good for innatentive type ADD and should help you not be so sleepy. Another option would be to switch to adderall. Ritalin is more of a mental stimulant for people with ADHD/ADD, calms them down, makes them able to think more clearly. Adderall also does this for most who have ADHD but for people with ADD innatentive type many times it gives them a physical boost. Talk to your doctor about it. Also, instead of trying a higher dose, try taking a LOWER dose and see if that works any better. It is not supposed to have a speed effect. Please keep this in mind. If what you need is a physical boost then it is possible that you dont have true ADD, you have co-occuring depression, or many other things could be going on. Please look into it. Talk to a specialist.

    [This message has been edited by WildAngel (edited 09-11-2003).]

     
    Old 09-11-2003, 02:14 PM   #3
    Crazy Carrie
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    Thanks for the reply, I am pretty sure I am a true ADD sufferer, looking back on my childhood, school and social life. All these things were taken into account before given the dx by my DR. I cannot focus long enough to take care of everday necessities, including ensuring the well-being of my children. I think I was able to build enough coping mechanisms as I matured and coped the best I could. Now as an adult with 3 small children (Who COULD Focus??? LOL)I find that at time I have put their lives in danger by not paying attention, being forgetful, and so on.... I consider myself a very loving, caring mother, and it hurts me to see the things I do, for no obvious reason (until now!)

    I am being treated for depression, as I was dx with acute depression at age 18 and have not been successful without medication since then. I currently take 40 mg. of Prozac daily, which I have no side effects from, but keeps me from going into a deep depression.

    I do question my dx, as I had stereotyped ADD so much in the past and assumed it was for hyper little boys. It was a shock to think this was ME!! But now doing research, All the peices fit, everything I could not understand, finally is beginning to make a little sense. I am embarrassed to have an ADD lable (my hang-up) but I am more than willing to seek treatment. I never want to risk anyones life again, because I cannot retain, focus or remember important details.

    I am not expecting to get a speed like affect.... But I certainly didnt expect it to make me sleepy either!!! I have noticed improvement in being calm, more focused and more relaxed, but with 3 kids around I cannot accept being sluggish all day either.... I hope I make a little sense, I seem to ramble sometimes...sorry!

    Have a Beautiful Day!!!

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    Old 09-11-2003, 02:35 PM   #4
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    It makes sense but the fact is ritalin and stimulants do make many people with ADD sleepy. Sometimes lowering the dose can fix this. SSRIs can also cause sleepiness. Wellbutrin is a good choice for antidepressants and works for most people. Maybe switching from prozac to wellbutrin will be helpful. If not, like I said adderall has a more physical boost (this is what my doctor told me) So you may want to try that. Most adults respond better to adderall than ritalin anyway. Also you probably already mentioned this and I just didnt notice lol but what type of ritalin are you on? Ritalin LA?? or a different form? Sometimes switching forms can take care of unwanted side effects. Regular ritalin seems to have a lot of ups and downs with mood and activity level. LA seems to make some people spacey or sleepy. So far from talking to people on different types of medications the type of ritalin usually most helpful is concerta. It has a special release system and lasts all day. There are usually no ups and downs and less side effects. Of course everyone responds to meds differently. The fact that you really believe you have true ADD and are treating it for the safety of your family is great. Some people need medications, it doesnt make you wrong. I would urge you to try some natural things as well to see if anything besides medication works. And I know I have repeated this a few times (ya I do that rambling thing too lol) I think you should talk to your doctor about trying wellbutrin. As an anti depressant it could get you off the prozac and if it works well enough for focus then you wouldnt even need to add another med for ADD symptoms. If not then you could add a low dose of a stimulant and hopefully get the desired result.

     
    Old 09-11-2003, 08:41 PM   #5
    Crazy Carrie
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    Thanks for the reply... I have allready tried wellbutrin for the Depression Ive had over the years. The last round with it About 6mos. ago, I became very angry, irratable, and impatient! It wasnt me at all! I did like that it didnt have any sexual side effects and left me without cravings for cigarrettes... but since I was taking it for depression and it didnt seem to help in that sense, I went back to "old faithful"...Prozac.

    I would like to try Adderall but my DR wont prescribe this to adults, as he says it is very addictive and not approved for adult use.... From what I hear on the boards it sounds like it is fairly successful. I may end up switching docs. so that I have more options with the meds. I dont want to be sedated all day. I will try first of all to lower the dose, maybe 1/2 pill will work better.

    Thanks again...


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    Old 09-11-2003, 09:28 PM   #6
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    Theres also Strattera. Its a non stimulant (no potential for abuse) so maybe your doc would prescribe that.

     
    Old 09-11-2003, 10:16 PM   #7
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    Another choice may be to have your doc prescribe 10mg tabs. Then you can take one ever 12 hrs. Since it seems to be working well for you (except for the sleepyness which I suspect may be too much in your system at one time}. You'll still be getting the same amount every day except it will be more spaced apart. Just a thought.
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    Old 09-12-2003, 08:56 AM   #8
    Crazy Carrie
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    Thanks for the insight! I have tried strattera for only a few days though. It made me feel terrible, sleepy, cold and hot (at the same time) sweating profusely, my scalp was crawling, chills, stomach ache and fuzzy headed... I think I will check with the dr. about the 10mg. pills 2x daily though, good thought.

    I also wandered..... If I was not "truely ADD" wouldnt the stims (Ritalin) make me more energetic? That was in reply to the second post regarding my question. I just dont understand this whole thing yet, likely I never will....LOL! I appreciate all your help!

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    Old 09-12-2003, 10:11 AM   #9
    WildAngel
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    Carrie,
    Stimulant meds USUALLY make non ADD adults more energetic. This is not always the case. As there are other problems besides ADD that can mess around with the way your body responds to medications. I thought you were fairly sure that you have true ADD, whats making you doubt yourself? If you are having no luck with meds try something natural. Make sure you ask you PHARMACIST about interactions between natural ADD products and your anti depressant though. Dont even bother asking your doctor. Doctors go through a lot of schooling but they have little information thats helpful in regards to meds. Pharmacists know way more and can point you in the right direction. Since you are on an SSRI stay away from 5-HTP and other serotonin enhancing products because those could cause serotonin overload and lead to some nasty side effects.

    How Ritalin Works Regarding ADD vs Non-ADD:

    The person who is ADD/ADHD is this way because the frontal lobes are not fully awake. This is the part of the brain that controls behavior and will power (will power to focus on one thing, do chores etc) so when they take ritalin it wakes this part of the brain up and allows the persons brain to work properly in control of behavior, attention, etc.

    The Non ADD person already has a fully awake brain therefore by taking ritalin their brain becomes OVER stimulated. Producing extra energy and a sort of speedy "high"

    Well...... Theres my explination lol. Hope that helps you understand better.

     
    Old 09-12-2003, 06:01 PM   #10
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    Wild Angel,

    You sound like you know a lot about this. I have always had problems with focusing and doing the things you described. I'm scatter brained as they called me in school. An air head. I am not "slow" mentally, but I have difficulty staying motivated to do the things I need and have extreme difficulty paying attention. My daughter was recently diagnosed with ADD and because she is exactly like me, her pediatritian said I probably have it as well. I've been on Prozad for panic disorder for 5 yrs. I have recently taken myself off of it because it seemed to make me even spacier (and gain a ton of weight). My panics seem to have improved (I also took classes to cope) but I still have difficulty with the ADD part. I would prefer to stay off all meds but I also don't want to be so forgetful and zoned out all the time. I did see improvement when I improved my diet and lost some weight. Should I try meds just to see if they work? Are there natural ways to "wake up" my brain?

    Thanks for your input.
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    Old 09-12-2003, 07:20 PM   #11
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    Posie,
    You should NEVER try medication as the first treatment. Please realize that medications that effect the brain in any way are bad. Stimulant medications used for ADD are bad too, some may say they are even worse (and I would agree) These medications are related to cocaine and meth amphetamine aka speed. You should only use these medications if nothing else works for you!! There are many natural ways to "wake up" the brain. Depending on what type of ADD you have and what co-occuring problems you have you will need to pick out specific supplements taylored to your specific needs. First off good going on improving your diet. Keep eating well, that is important. Each day you should also take a regular multi vitamin. L-tyrosine is a natural stimulant...it is NOT a drug. It is found naturally in food. Some people do not get enough of this. It can help your brain produce more dopamine and this usually helps with attention deficits. I would be concerned about it effecting your anxiety negatively though. The product beCalmd can be used for ADD, depression, anxiety, and addiction. It is very safe and versitile. You can buy it off the net for about $35 per month. I would suggest that you try this product. If you want to try the L-tyrosine you can get it for about $9 at the grocery store. You would need to be extra careful and record any side effects you have such as increased panic or anxiety but it may work just fine, but again, I would definantly try the beCalmd first.

     
    Old 09-12-2003, 11:10 PM   #12
    LiLMissKristysGotADDitude
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    I totally agree with that. Always try natural before resorting to medications. Expecially stimulants, ritalin = kiddy coke. I take beCalmd and I find it works great. When I was younger I took adderall and beCalmd works way better. I like it a lot and dont know what I would do without it. Probably be too hyperactive to go to school or work and too unfocused to read my textbooks. I find that beCalmd along with omega 3 works great. I also try to take some quiet time and do some low impact exercise like aroebics and some meditation. Theres really no need to drug kids (or adults) for ADD/ADHD unless they are extremely severe or suffering from other issues that complicate it.

    "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."
    --Henry David Thoreau


     
    Old 09-13-2003, 12:00 AM   #13
    posie
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    Thank you for your advice. I'll try the BeCalmd. My daughter is also ADD. What should I do for her? She doesn't like taking pills. She is 10 and has a hard time swallowing pills.
    I can take like 5 at a time! http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif
    We tried Ritalin (per the doc) and it seemed to help but like you say, try natural first, right?! For a 10 year old, what would you suggest. She's already been held back in 3rd grade and is still struggling.
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    Old 09-14-2003, 11:42 AM   #14
    WildAngel
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    Well lets see, would you rather have her taking something thats all natural and safe or speed (ritalin). BeCalmd is safe for kids. They sell childrens chewables that taste like berrys.


     
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