Advice for medication during night shifts?

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    • #110348
      ADDmedstudent
      Participant

      Hi!
      I am a medical student with ADHD who takes ritalin and concerta. I am getting worried about what I’ll do once I’m a doctor and have to do night shifts. I don’t know how it will work with my medication, or if there is any help in the NHS for me. If anyone has any advice on medicating during night shifts I’d be super grateful! 🙂

    • #110368
      Fluttermind
      Participant

      Wouldn’t you just take the meds when you start your day/night, whenever that is? So if your shift starts at 6pm, take at 5pm when you’re waking up and getting ready, and it should wear off by the time you finish and need to go to sleep. Basically, you’d want to have the methylphenidate in effect when you’re awake and working. Surely the NHS doesn’t have rules about what time of day you’re allowed to take these pills?

      One thing I might add, from my experience, I’ve had issues with Concerta causing insomnia if I take it at weird times out of whack with my natural rhythm. Not sure if this would apply if you’re deliberately shifting your entire sleep/wake cycle. If insomnia is an issue, you could try out Ritalin only, taken a couple times over your shift. It wears off quickly and usually isn’t as bad about causing insomnia.

    • #110374
      Spaceboy 99
      Participant

      There are a couple of potential solutions here.

      One of them being that you may simply have to have concessions made for your ADHD, which would result in you only being scheduled for daytime shifts.

      Another is that, instead of an extended-release medication, you’d need to use instant-release, so that you could chop and change the times at which you take your medication based on what your shift patterns were. With this solution, you’d need to have about an hour at every pill ‘changeover’ where you and your decisions were being monitored to make sure you didn’t do anything that might harm a patient, or forget any important facts.

      The best thing to do would be to have a word with your specialist, and have a word with some of the people you’re studying under, and ask what the common solutions for this kind of problem are. If you know any doctors who have ADHD, that would be even better. It MAY end up that you have to be unmedicated, and need to rely very heavily on coping mechanisms, but hopefully not. See what the information is like from people on the front lines 🙂

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