Reply To: Your experiences of meds? Pro/cons

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I’ve only tried three different meds: Strattera (atomoxetine) 40 and 80 mg, methylphenidate (Ritalin) 5 mg, and currently I’m on the titrating stages of Vyvanse 30 mg.

I am also currently on Wellbutrin XL 150 mg once a day, but this is for depression.

I didn’t like Strattera. I started with 40, and then went up to 80. I took it for about 10-12 weeks. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I did feel slightly more alert, but it didn’t help all that much with focus. It messed with my sleep. It made me extremely thirsty and sweat profusely. By the afternoon I was very fatigued. I was so hot on it all the time. I wore t-shirts outside even when it was just 50 F!

Then I tried methylphenidate 5 mg. The psychiatrist who gave it to me was not an expert in ADHD and therefore didn’t feel comfortable giving me any more than 30 tablets a month of that. This only worked alright when I took 2-3 tablets minimum, and I’d have to take it every 3-4 hours. I went through 30 tablets quickly ’cause it wasn’t helping me just to take one a day.

when I finally got diagnosed with ADHD (combined type), I was put on Vyvanse 30 mg, and I have taken it for 6 days. It’s gotten better for me every day since I started taking it. I feel really calm on it. I really feel the effects about 1.5 hours after I take it, up to about 4 PM, and then i get really tired unless I drink coffee or something. But I always compare the calmness of taking this to taking a few benzodiazepines, but minus the drowsiness. I am alert, but my mind and body are amazingly still.

It messed with my sleep for only one night, but my sleep has actually improved. I fall asleep within 20 minutes, and I wake up only about 2-3 times a night and go right back to sleep. Before this med, it’d take me at least 1 hour to go to sleep, usually 2. And I’d wake up about 5 times a night on average.

I feel motivated, calm, and I can focus on one task at a time, even mundane, boring ones. And I don’t have the urge to stop and move on to something else out of boredom. I don’t fidget so much anymore. And it hasn’t affected my appetite too much. I’d say it’s remained the same.

Today was my best day yet on it. I accomplished some stuff at home, and I managed to be effective and mentally present at work. I came home and ate something and had a bit of coffee so I wouldn’t get the fatigue again.

Vyvanse has been a miracle for me. Well, I am only on day 6, so I’ll know for sure if it is really the medication for me if every day going forward ends up being like today. I do think that I am not up to the optimum dose yet, because I am not where I want to be yet with focus. And there is still that middle of the day fatigue. I’d like to not have to always try to fight the fatigue every day. I think I might be bumped up to 40 mg, maybe 50 mg max. But I don’t expect to go any higher than that, because I feel like I’m really close to what “normal” is, without losing too much of my personality.

For extra context, I’m 35-years old, a full-time student, mother, and I work part-time as well.