Built up tolerance to 20mg XR — how long a break to restore effectiveness?

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    • #138732

      I’ve had an Adderall XR script for ~10 years. I used to take it (20mg) only 2 days / week because I found it strong/effective but didn’t want to take it so frequently that I felt like I *needed* it / or have my body get so accustomed to 20mg that I needed to up the dosage. Well, over the last ~3 years that restraint finally bit the dust; starting taking it 3, 4, and now usually 6 days a week, and in the last 6 months I’ve noticed that for the first time the effects of 20mg seem noticeably less pronounced.

      What concerns me a little is that I’ve taken breaks of 2 weeks (usually on vacation or something), thinking that it would give my receptors a break and hopefully restore the effectiveness of 20mg but even after a 2-week break, 20mg doesn’t give me anywhere near the rush / focus that it used to.

      Before I think about upping my dosage, I’d like to know from those who have taken breaks and then resumed: how long a break did you need before you felt like you get the same benefit from your regular dose? I guess I shouldn’t expect to restore my receptors to their ‘factory settings’ after 10 years of use with a mere 2 week break…any tips?

    • #138745

      The question of tolerance is something you should be discussing with your psychiatrist to be honest. That being said the afterlife of Adderall is 9-14 hours meaning that after maximum 14 hours there is none of the medication in your system to effect you in any way. Adderall is not even detectable in the blood stream after 3 days of not taking it.
      I would like you to specify these effects you are talking about being “less noticeable”? The idea of Adderall ,correctly dosed, would be that you would not “feel” anything. You would just start feeling like your focus is not there and you are easily distracted again or daydreaming when you should be studying for an exam or reading a report you must understand and just can’t muster the motivation to do it. Those are the things that disappear from your life and you will know your dose has become ineffective. Adults generally start showing tolerance issues much sooner than 10 years and even 3 years. I also know that amphetamines is one of those medications that rarely become completely ineffective for people even when they have developed a tolerance. I had to have my Adderall adjusted after the first 2 years from 10mg tablets 2 times daily to 10mg tablets 3 times daily. That solved me for 2 more years then we went to 20mg tablets 2 times daily for 2 more years and then to 30mg in the A.M and 20mg at noon. This is all IR formulation and then after 3 more years I was put on 30mg Adderall twice a day….that was fine for about 2 years and now I jut recently switched it to 20mg IR Adderall 3 times a day. The psychiatrist says that if this is not the solution we will start 20mg Adderall XR in the A.M. and then 20mg IR Adderall in the afternoon to get me through the rest of the day.

      I think you just need the psychiatrist to give you a 10mg IR or 20mg IR in the afternoon or early evening to hold you through until bedtime. The thing is 30mg Adderall XR may also do it as you’re saying effectiveness not duration of effect. There is a big difference and can sometimes be overlapping issues.Are you sure to not take it with Acidic Drinks like Soda Pop or Orange juice? Do you take Omega Oils daily to replenish your amino acids which help your body produce dopamine? Even try the L-tyrosine supplements which help most people with the meds not being ” as effective” as they used to be.

      Your question about “resetting tolerance” is usually only applicable with people who have been on extremely high dosages like 60mg per day…or more. 20mg XR daily even 7 days per week are not going create long term interruption from all I have researched on the subject.

      • This reply was modified 2 years ago by Javid1980. Reason: spelling
    • #139352

      Javid, your information is helpful, but to clarify…. if the half life of Adderall is 9-14 hours, after 14 hours, only half of the Adderall is in the system, with complete clearance after 3 days, correct?

    • #178865
      sanctuary 92

      You need another dose. I take 20mg XR in the morning and 10mg IR in the afternoon. It changed my life. I don’t take the IR every day, some days I skip totally. Other days I just take 5mg. When I don’t have much going on I often will not take the the 20mg XR. I will just take the 10mg IR so I don’t feel groggy. But all of this helps a lot and makes the doses much more flexible and efficient. Also I make sure I take vitamins and supplements which help keep me healthy and help Adderall work better. Things like magnesium are said to help it work better and also it helps in general as most people are deficient in it.

      Javid, you are wrong about “afterlife”. It’s called half life and it refers to how long it takes half of the drug to leave your system. Half-life for Adderall is 14 hours. So if I take 20mg, in 14 hours I will have 10mg still technically in my system. The effects of Adderall are only felt for a short time but this half life is part of why Adderall can cause insomnia and lack of hunger even if you don’t *feel* it anymore.

      If you actually take Adderall everyday, it builds up in your system and your body becomes physically “addicted”. As in, it does not produce as much dopamine itself because it is accustomed to receiving it via Adderall. If you only took Adderall once, you wouldn’t have a tolerance. But if you take it everyday you’re going to need to take a long break to truly reset your body. It could take months or years for your body to return to a normal dopamine producing state. A real “break” isn’t needed, so long as you take multiple doses a day and can skip doses whenever possible.

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by sanctuary 92.
    • #188645

      All of this information is very helpful. Thank you for your input. I am fairly new to taking Adderall, but am very familiar with it, and stimulants in general. I’m prescribed 20mg IR once a day. 20mg gets me that feeling you speak of, but I tend to go a bit off schedual, taking one 20mg in the morning and 20mg at noon everyday till I get down to 3 pills. I divide those into 6 doses, 10mg a day, to fight off any withdrawal. When I run out, there’s usually about a 2 week gap before refill. During those two weeks, I take 500mg of l-tyrosine daily, and use a small amounts of Kratom to fight off any urges. (6g of Kratom is what I take. New to it, take 3g). But that’s my routine and it’s worked so far (almost a year). I manage to get that feeling every time I take it with this routine. Of course we are not going to have the same Body and brain chemistry, and I’m sure with time obviously, my tolerance will go up. But thought I would through this out there in hopes something helps.

    • #188727
      Dr. Eric

      For me, 2-4 weeks gives me noticeable improvement.
      4-6 gives me close to a full reset.
      Luckily, I work in education.
      I am happier now that I am not an administrator who has to work over the summer.

    • #189039

      I’m not sure I can even shed my tolerance. Two months off and it’s effects are still mediocre compared to the first few months, so I’m trying other things.

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