February 6, 2021 at 7:59 pm #193547Paul RParticipant
Hi, I recently got diagnosed at age 64 and am wondering if it makes sense to only use the meds on days when you especially need good attention vs. taking them every day? Last Thursday I took my first dose, 15mg generic Adderall XR. Now, this weekend I haven’t taken the meds.
I felt so pumped up and focused, but I was almost too focused. It was good to be able to keep my attention where it should be. It was kind of neat to feel that med come on as I sat in a Zoom meeting. That was a lot better than being bored. But I worry about feeling too good due to meds. I also like feeling the old familiar me, relaxed and letting my mind wander. But I just can’t stay as focused when I’m not being stimulated by something. On the other hand, some people keep building up a tolerance and have to keep upping their doses, which could make it harder to stop and cause dependence.
I’m thinking I may just take it when I could use it. Or every day, if that isn’t much to worry about. I’m not sure what is best. Any thoughts? Anyone out there who takes your meds intermittently?
February 6, 2021 at 8:33 pm #193550gnpollardParticipant
Hi Paul, I’m right there with you. I started on Adderall IR and found that it had the same effect on me, and did not want to risk dependence. I was switched to Vyvanse and found that it works significantly better, without causing some of the effects that may lead to dependence (mild euphoria, super-focus, and being way more laid back than is perhaps safe). Vyvanse is expensive, however, so it may not be in the cards for everyone.
That said, I do tend to only use medication on the days that I need to get things done or when I expect to be engaging in conversation a bunch. I do this for two major reasons: reducing risk of dependence (and/or tolerance) and reducing risk of potential health effects over time.
This method isn’t for everyone. Please consult your doctor, as this is my subjective experience and may not apply to you. My brother has to take his everyday as his ADHD is quite severe and impacts most aspects of his life significantly. My ADHD is markedly inattentive and my struggle is the opposite of turning off the motor that drives many hyperactives. Medication helps provide a modicum of motivation, something I need when getting things done (especially when repetitive or detailed) or continuously engaging in conversation. I do not always need that assistance, so I take medication breaks on any day spent primarily at home.
Again, my experience will not apply to everyone and I am not a medical professional. But I had the same questions/concerns and was helped by asking them to others in the same boat, as well as my doctors. Have a great week, and I wish you the best as you adjust to your treatment plan.
February 10, 2021 at 11:04 am #193777Penny WilliamsKeymaster
What has the prescribing doctor advised? Some people do take ADHD medications intermittently, but many take them daily. Work with your doctor to determine what’s right for you.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach, Podcaster & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
February 12, 2021 at 12:39 pm #193810Dr. EricParticipant
I must have never saved my response.
I only take meds on my word days.
I take a stimulant, and I do so under my MD supervision.
This is important, as it is impossible to do with meds like Strattera or SSRI’s.
I only had one issue with one doctor. He didn’t know me well and was worried that I may be banking or selling my meds. When I changed jobs and went back to my HMO that had years of my records, none of them were concerned.
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