Adderall IR vs. Extended release?

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    • #83696

      Hello! I am 18 and was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 16. I have inattentive type ADD and am dyslexic as well. I’m also profoundly gifted I some areas (not to be bragging, just to bring understanding of several of the “quirks” that go along side that lol” and am alI was prescribed 15 milligrams of adderall instant release. The medication was like a dream come true to me. I went from struggling in math class to being at the top of my math class and even setting the curve for all my exams. I could finally sit down and work without feeling like it was suffocating me and could finally begin to overcome my procrastination habits. When I started college my medication was adjusted twice and now I’m taking 15 miligrams of adderal ir 3 times per day because it stopped working like it used to.

      Even at this high dose I find that it’s getting harder to sit down and do my work even on the medication. I wanted to try tapering it over breaks and the weekends but my job/homework amount doesn’t allow for it.

      I was wondering if extend release is more effective than Instant? Does it still make you alert and focused?

      I was also wondering what a typical dose of adderal was for a college student. I am prescribed 15mg three times a day and my pharmacy is giving me crap about it and I feel guilty about taking that dose as well.

    • #83697

      I also wanted to add that I’m pre-med and have quite the hw workload lol.

    • #83752

      I don’t think there is a “typical” dose- I’ve only been diagnosed for about 3 months and have already tried a few medications- I think I like IR because I feel like I can control it better- some days I ALWAYS take 20mg in the AM and depending on how I’m feeling aroun 11-12 I’ll either take another 10-20mg… I actually am going to talk to my dr about a 3rd dose and what she thinks about that because I feel like I could use a little more cause I’m crashing when I get home (I’m a mom of 4 and that’s when i need to be most present is AFTER work!) I honesty think I’m like super ADHD cause even at 20mg I feel like I could use a little more… I looked it up and other experiences and 15×3 is not that bad! Don’t feel guilty if you feel you really need it! ADHD is a real freakin thing and people are just judgey! You know your self!

      • #83759

        Thanks for the reply! I think I will ask my doctor about starting with a larger initial dose in the morning and smaller ones in the afternoon like you described. The adderall has worked so well for me before I feel like it would be wrong to switch it.

        I shouldn’t have watched that Netflix doc, Take Your Pills, lol it has me questioning everything now 😅

    • #83780
      Penny Williams

      ADHD medication isn’t dosed by age or size like a lot of other medications. They right dose is very individualized, depending on your neurotransmitter functioning, your genetics, and your metabolism.

      A Patient’s Primer on the Stimulant Medications Used to Treat ADHD

      The long-acting/time-release versions of ADHD stimulant medication build and taper and release medication throughout the day. Short-acting medications give you the entire dose immediately when taken and then wear off much the same. Most people prefer long-acting and it seems to keep a more even level of medication throughout the effective time period.

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

    • #84672

      As a young adult (24) who was diagnosed at the same time you were (first year in College), I found that the extended release worked well for me but left me somewhat out of touch when I was finished with my engagements. After several years of using it I found that instant release worked much better because of its ability to be utilized only when I needed it, and not lingering when I didn’t. I feel if you have issues with emotional regulation that maybe the XRs are the way to go, otherwise I would recommend at least discussing the concept with your doctor. Nowadays, I feel with proper exercise and nutrition that I really only have to use Ritalin(what I’m prescribed) when I have school tasks to complete or I’m having a more down day than usual. IMO, IR has the ability to develop a tolerance much quicker than with the XR due to the time it takes to kick in and how strongly it effects you when it does. Maybe try and find times or tasks that don’t require its usage and times you feel are worthy of its use, and only take it accordingly? Just an idea. Best of luck with college though, it can be quite overwhelming I’m sure, especially with your major.

    • #103991

      Hello, I am probably a lot older than anyone on here but anyway, I was finally diagnosed with ADHD when I was 31, and I am so glad I was, because of am sure like all of you, I have struggled with everything, just going to the store was a 2 to 3 hour chore, even though it would take someone without ADHD like 20 minutes, I was always late or running behind and even reading was a chore, I would have to read the same paragraph 3 or more times,just to remember what it said, and tit really effected my job, as a manager. But once I found the right medication for me, all of that became just a bad memory, and of course, like many of you, I have had to change the dose, or change the medicine, and I had started with the immediate release addy’s as well, but I found that the extended release vyvanse has worked a lot better than the addy ir, but after taking it for a couple of years, I started to notice that it is great for quite a while, but it wasn’t lasting long enough, so I talked to my psychiatrist about it and she suggested that I keep taking the vyvanse in the morning, but to also add a immediate release addy, when I felt that I needed it later in the day, but not to late or it could keep me from being able to go to sleep on time, and not to soon or it could keep it from working when I really needed it to. So I take it about 8 hours after I take my vyvanse, and it has really worked out well for me. And I have to say that I really have liked the vyvanse, better than the Adderall extended release, I get better focus and less of the procrastination, and I’m not as easily distracted. I do still have some days that I feel like it isn’t working as well, but it also depends on the things we do, or by the foods that we eat, or the other medications we take, even vitamins and herbs or any other supplements we take, can really effect the way it works, even if you take an antacid, it can effect it. And I know how you feel about the pharmacy having an attitude about your medications, I even decided to change the pharmacy that I was going to because of them judging me, but don’t let it bug you, we didn’t ask for ADHD, we were just born with it, and it has to be treated, just as you would take antibiotics to get better. And its not for them to judge, because no one is completely innocent, and those who judge others are usually doing something way worse. Besides we are not doing anything wrong.

    • #105989

      Hello everyone I’m a 37 year old female I’ve been dealing with ADHD… for some time now and tried many many different adhd… medicine… And I have done A lot of research and I must say adderall XR… extended release is the better choice that works for me… I work long hrs so it’s perfect for my schedule…

    • #106007
      Ella C

      Hey all thanks for the advice. After a veryyyy long process I ended up using 30mg adderall extended release in the mornings and up to two 15 mg instant release throughout the day. I may have to play around with it more later on but for now I’m content with how it works. I like having the regular extended realease in the morning and the control of weather or not to use the instant release over the day.

    • #112381

      I’m currently 16- I was diagnosed last spring and got prescribed non-stimulant meds immediately, then adderall shortly after, then vyvanse (an extended release med) later and I’ve been on it since.
      1. I’m going to physically fight your pharmacist for giving you crap about taking ADHD meds.
      2. I’m not a doctor ofc, but I’ve found that extended release works sooo much better for me. I’m taking 30 mg of vyvanse and it lasts 8-12 hours, usually around 8-10 for me. It just works longer, and I take my medicine at 6 AM, so I need it to work longer lol. A newer medicine called mydayis is a 3-time extended release (vyvanse is a 2-time one) and while it releases less medicine at a time it lasts closer to 10-12 hours for me, and that might help if you’re staying up late for college/work (plus, since it’s new, they’re giving away coupons and I got a really cool planner with coloring pages and a mood tracker from them ;P )
      I hope that helps some!!

    • #112387

      In my experience, the Adderall XR name brand seem to last around 6-8hrs, but the generic is so terrible.

      I really don’t see much of a difference between the generic XR and tablets—they ONLY last about 4hrs or less for me.

      If you’re finding it hard to sit still, you might be on too much? Only you know your body.

      Take your pills does not actually cover the people that have AD/HD that need it, they only cover abusing it. That movie is complete crap.

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