Can GPs prescribe meds to raise dopamine level

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  scottishADHDer 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #108138

    Inak
    Participant

    I have been referred to both an ADHD and ASD specialist, the assessor who referred me said there is a very long waiting list, could be 2 years or more. I am so angry, frustrated and desperately need the right meds.

    I have been researching and figured out the cause of ADHD is a dopamine deficiency, this upsets me even more as I have only ever been treated for serotonin deficiency, I have tried every anti depressant going, those drugs do not work for adhd. I makes me so mad that nobody picked up on this sooner, I have had problems all my life and it was only identified just before my 40th birthday.

    Here in the UK GPs can’t prescribe stimulant drugs as far as I’m aware.
    I just wondered if there is any other drug that my GP could prescribe until I get to see the psychiatrist. Anything other than an antidepressant which could stabilise the dopamine.

    Please help

  • #112220

    MooMoo
    Participant

    Hi, I hope it’s not too late for me to reply to your message!

    What part of the UK do you live in? I’m in the south, and was very lucky to find that my GP was able to write to a funding body to handle my ADHD diagnosis and treatment. This was sadly not the case up north, where I was told I would need to pay £400 for a private diagnosis.

    My advice is that whichever avenue you need to take, DO get the diagnosis. £400 is a lot, but it’s lifechanging if a positive result. My ADHD drugs are prescribed through a private doctor that is working with my GP, as far as I know you’re right that the NHS itself doesn’t prescribe ADHD meds.

    If you have to go private and have the means to do so I recommend it, it’s worth saving for, but I know it’s a lot of money.

  • #113371

    Inak
    Participant

    Hi
    So sorry just saw this now. I can’t afford private treatment. Saw the doctor last week he wanted a letter from the psychologist who assessed me, seeing him again this week, hoping he can prescribe something, either a tricyclics antidepressant or anti anxiety drug. There must be something I can take to ease the crippling symptoms.

  • #113814

    limpstringcheese
    Participant

    I’m an American, so I have no idea about healthcare. However, I can add for in the mean time for your wait list.
    If you’re low on dopamine, I highly recommend doing things you enjoy, it’s a natural way to get it while you wait. Exercise, being in the sun, meditating are good ways as well.

  • #119248

    gillycol
    Participant

    Hello –

    I am in a similar position, and even older (in my sixties). I have been told the waiting list in Yorkshire is anything from one to two years. I therefore asked about a private consultation for the formal diagnosis. I was told it was about £575. But the worst bit was that one cannot, apparently, have a private diagnosis and then switch back into the NHS for ongoing care. (I don’t quite know why not, or how they can stop you, but this is what I was told.) Please don’t take my word for this, but do check before you shell out for the initial consultation, because you may find yourself liable for any ongoing prescription/drug costs.

    I can’t believe the situation in the UK is this bad.

    I am considering asking about asking for antidepressants, but it seems silly to take the ‘wrong’ drugs because of NHS waiting lists – waits which if they were for physical ailments would simply not be tolerated.

    Wishing you luck.

    • #126867

      scottishADHDer
      Participant

      Yes, you are correct.

      Certain practices will have an allocated budget. Shared care is generally used as the go-between, from the private treatment to the GP. Usually private will assess and update your doctor every medication review, and your GP will write the prescription for the medication saving you the cost. However, certain practices simply cannot do this. They need total control to observe and prescribe. The biggest issue is Doctors are not educated enough on ADHD, and can’t prescribe drugs which are considered pretty powerful. The NHS has certain procedures to follow. However, not every practice will decline. Some will happily accept shared care. But many of them will not. It’s also a liability thing, which they must make sure they’re covered.

      You can be assessed by the best and most well-known specialist, and at the end of the day, if the practice does not want to be liable for prescribing these medications, they simply won’t accept it. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.

      Once you go private and you have been diagnosed, it makes the job a lot easier for the NHS. You can bring all your documentation to the NHS equivalent specialist, and it should theoretically expedite the process. They shouldn’t ignore a private assessors diagnosis, simply because it’s private. They also technically have a lawsuit on their hands for discrimination. However, that’s messy, and not advised. But it’s still technically possible.

  • #126855

    Inak
    Participant

    Gillycol I am also in Yorkshire and been referred to clinic in Wakefield, I have phoned twice they can’t say how long the wait is. I tried not depressants again but they make some of the symptoms worse. I’m surprised my Gp prescribed sertraline for the anxiety. I feel over whelming grief as it has taken them 25 years to figure this out

    • #126865

      scottishADHDer
      Participant

      Anti-Depressants made me feel worse too. However, never stop taking your medication if your doctor has prescribed it. If you want to stop, you should always speak to your doctor first. From my research, those of us with ADHD have dopamine deficiencies. When you up the level of one chemical, being serotonin, with a deficiency in dopamine, it can cause some problems. For me, I felt very robotic on anti-depressants. I felt emotionally blunted. I might not have had serious depression while on them, but emotionally and logically, I knew I wasn’t happy which made me more confused.

      ADHD can also come with comorbid disorders. Examples being: Depression, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder). For me, it’s anxiety with a bad spout of depression when I was a teenager. This would come in waves. I get extremely overwhelmed by everything, or I should say I did. This is a common symptom of ADHD. I still get it, but it’s not as bad. A thought will come into my head, and BOOM, I won’t be able to rationalize it. This puts me into a spiral of anxiety.

      Most GP’s when you mention depression or anxiety are going to throw an SSRI at you. It’s the most logical approach. It hits two birds with one stone. If it hasn’t worked for all these years, like many don’t, then it means something else is going on. This is why many Adults now are discovering about what ADHD is.

      There are other types of Anti-depressants which could help. SNRI’s (Seratonin Noradrenaline Reuptake inhibitors). A known brand is (Effexor XR). They don’t prescribe them for ADHD, because NRI’s are usually used like Atomoxetine. I would research the drug first. There is no reason why a GP couldn’t prescribe something like this for the time being. Ask the doctor though. Also, research the medication thoroughly. Some come with side-effects.

  • #126864

    scottishADHDer
    Participant

    Hey

    So in the UK, it’s pretty much terrible wherever you go. The waiting times are a disgrace, and it’s just a sad reality. I saved for quite a while to get the funds for a private assessment. The assessments can be costly, but in the end, pay off. It’s better than waiting for two-plus years. Here is the problem though. If you go private and your GP does not recognize or feel comfortable being part of a shared care program, between the specialist dealing with your ADHD and him/herself, then you have to pay for private prescriptions, which is expensive.

    For example:

    (Branded) Concerta XL 34mg (Methylphenidate) = £58 with pharmacist markup added.
    (Generic) Xaggatin 54mg (Methylphenidate) = £58 with pharmacist markup added.
    (Branded) Elvanse 30mg (Lisdexafetamine) = £75 with pharmacist markup added. << No generics are available for this medication.

    Avoid Boots, Llyods, etc.

    If you go private, go for the generic medication. Pharmacists can add stupid prices on top. I always advise you to find an independent pharmacist. These offer better deals closer to the guideline prices. I’ve heard it can take years to get a diagnosis on the NHS. I would slowly save up whatever you can get, and just put a little aside. Sad that we have to do this, but it’s the only way to get seen sooner. I would also suggest trying to get your local GP practice to maybe fund the assessment? I don’t know if that’s possible, but they do sometimes offer services not found on the NHS if it’s really needed.

  • #126873

    Inak
    Participant

    I’ve tried every ssri and snri, same problem with both types.
    I am on a waiting list, GP wrote to the clinic to see if they could see me sooner, the answer was NO.
    I don’t think they carry out assessments here, GPS in general don’t seem to recognise the signs, I’ve spoken to so many over the years, they look at me like im a freak, I’ve experienced condescending behaviour from them, they must think I create my own dramas

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  Inak.
    • #126888

      scottishADHDer
      Participant

      Hey

      Yeah, sadly GP’s are qualified to make an ADHD diagnosis. It’s the same with dermatology problems. Anything which is outside the scope of their knowledge, they will refer the patient. It’s the only ethical approach they can take, otherwise, they would be getting themselves into trouble if it wasn’t ADHD. I totally understand your frustration.

      Use this: https://www.scottishadhdcoalition.org/adhd-diagnosis-in-adults/

      I know it’s for Scotland, but it has tips and things you can do. It’s also packed with information for adults with ADHD. Like I mentioned previously. Save up money, but only what you can afford. Month after month, put a little away to save for a private assessment. If that’s not possible, just bide your time until the clinic can see you. I know it must be hellish, but it will pay off in the end.

      I know people hate hearing this, but before I was diagnosed, one of the biggest things which got me through the day was exercise. It raises dopamine and releases those “feel good” chemicals. You don’t have to do anything crazy. But if you get into a pattern of doing it, the brain will improve, and so will your wellbeing.

      Kind Regards

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