Adderall 5mg IR = 5mg XR? Misinformation?

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    • #99695

      Hello, I am new to the forums, but not to the site. I’ve been recently diagnosed with ADHD-PI from my university psychiatrist. She initially put me on 10mg of Adderall IR twice a day but said I could do 5mg (broken in half) if I wanted to (which I have for the last 2 weeks and found helpful). However, after asking if I could try the XR version she put me on a 7 day trial of 5mg of Adderall XR. I then asked her if it was the same as 2.5mg of Adderall dispensed twice, but she insisted that it was the same as 5mg of IR dispensed twice. Now, from everything I’ve read online it seems like 10mg of XR is what she should have prescribed. I asked the pharmacy if Adderall 5mg was like 2.5mg dispenced twice and the pharmacist said it was like a steady 5mg over an extended period of time which confused me more. I haven’t taken the 5mg XR medication yet as I have just gotten it today.

    • #99717

      Well, logically you would still be getting 5mg released over an extended period. This may, or may not, meet your needs. You may find that it doesn’t take effect fast enough, but it will last the whole day (In theory) I would try it, perhaps on a day when you can set your own pace, in case it doesn’t rise to an effective level as fast as regular Adderall would.

      If it’s a generic, take note of the manufacturer, the binders they use to slow absorption can vary, and sometimes one binder or another can affect rates of absorption so you’ll want to know if the Mfg changes from fill to fill, if anything gets hinky.

    • #99732
      Penny Williams

      Your doctor is right to start at the lowest dose when changing medication, even when going from an immediate release to an extended release of the same medication. You won’t know if it’s equivalent for you (your neurotransmitters, genetics and biology) until you try it.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #99768

      Thanks for the replies. I just don’t understand why she would tell me 5mg of XR is the same as two 5mg doses of IR spaced 4 hours apart. The part that bothers me is that she would be thinking she’s prescribing me double the amount of what it really is (in total mg for the day).

    • #99819

      Yes this would bother me. This past year I saw a psych who prescribed 15mg IR 3x a day, which seemed to be working effectively but personally felt it needed to be tweaked a little bit. Well the follow ups ever since have been with his fresh out of college psychiatric nurse practitioner who thought it was best to switch to 15mg xr in the morning and 15 ir in the evening.

      At the time I had no insurance coverage so I was concerned because the xr is 5x the price of ir. So when I suggested for cost savings purposes taking 7.5 mg ir then 7.5 mg ir again 4 hours later she was insistent that it would not be the same as the 15 xr.

      Then she insisted I see a therapist for adhd coping strategies and threw out the example of maybe deciding on setting aside an hour after work each day to pay bills. Mind you I did not tell her I was struggling managing my finances but I assume this was her assumption based on me not wanting to pay an arm and a leg for a change in medication.

      I felt like I was getting worked up so I just dropped it and my last follow up I tried to stay positive but I dont feel like she listens to my opinion. I also was upset that I got pushed aside by the original psychiatrist I made the first appointment with and now have to follow up with this young woman. I am a young woman myself but I just think she lacks the experience and I don’t want to be her guinea pig.

    • #99761

      They get paid so much money, like tons of money. How do they not know this stuff? It’s literally their job to know. So frustrating. Well, here’s a clip from the FDA website showing 20 mg XR is about the same as 10 mg IR dosed 4 hours apart (b.i.d.).

      From FDA website

      Again, how do they not know this stuff?? Maddening.

      • #99857


        So what would be the best way to inform a Psychiatric DOCTOR that she doesn’t understand how medication works? I now know why she said that most of her patients find Adderall XR to be weaker than IR. She gives half the daily dose with XR!

        • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by topfish09.
    • #99914
      Participant 15 year old is currently taking adderall (generic) 10 mg tablet, not XR. I have a set appt.for her coming up to discuss changing her to an XR for it to last throughout the end of her school day. Right now the dosage,I’m pretty sure is not lasting through the day.
      If anyone has any advice on this and does anyone know if maybe the dr will lessen the mg to a 5mg XR.
      Concerned Mama

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