Difference in effect dextro-amfetamine and methylphenidate

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    • #117319

      Hello everybody!

      I’m dealing with a dilemma. Recently my lovely dextro-amfetamine got replaced by some brand name rubbish and I’m had to switch. (I live in the Netherlands and the medical system is weird, but basically there is no way to get my old medication). The replacement literally does nothing for me. I don’t have any other options when it comes to dextro-amfetamine, so I’m considering trying methylphenidate (ritalin). I am in my last year of uni so VERY busy,so I can’t really mess around with medication because if it doesn’t work I’m basically doomed. That’s why I am asking for help. I am aware that it works differently for everyone, but I would like to get a rough idea.
      If you have used both methylphenidate and dextro-amfetamine, what were the pros and cons in how they worked? There are a few things I find particularly important, my old dextro-amfetamine did these all:
      Stimulant effects, I have a combined sleeping disorder and depend on the medication to wake up. I need extra energy throughout the day as well.
      Mental effects, I have depressive symptoms and I would like to feel a little better.
      Mostly I need motivation. With my old dex I would take it, and then literally get excited about doing homework and FINISHING IT. Now I just can’t bring myself to do it.
      So if you have anything to say at all about this, please let me know. How do dextro-amfetamine and methylphenidate compare when it comes to energy, motivation and mental effects?
      Thanks in advance!

    • #117405
      Penny Williams

      There are two types of stimulants: amphetamine (Adderall, Vyvanse, Evekeo…) and methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Quillivant…). Almost everyone does well on one type or the other, but not both. The amphetamines are closest in makeup to dex-amphetamine, so it makes the most sense to go that route. However, everyone has completely different experiences with stimulant medication, so the only way to know what will work for you is to try other meds.

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

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

      • #119207

        Thanks for the advice! Sadly there are no other amphetamines registered in the Netherlands.
        I guess I’ll just have to accept it. It is just so difficult when you know how great things were with the old medication, but knowing that’s not going to be possible anymore. It’s been three months since I was forced to switch and I still cry when I think about how I used to thrive and was on the way to finally gettting my life together. I was doing so well.
        I do have one other option, which is dextro-amfetamine extended release, but it’s not covered by insurance and I just really can’t afford it.
        Really having trouble not throwing a pity party for myself 🙂

    • #180565

      Hi Anna,

      I am curious to know, as I am in your situation, which brand did you have that worked for you and which one did you get? Did you switch to Ritalin and how was that? I am also in The Netherlands.

      Many thanks,

    • #180733
      Dr. Eric

      For me, the Adderall still worked, but the roller coaster of highs and lows was too much for me. It was like the early 1990’s version of Ritalin when I first started.

      Over time, my tolerance for methylphenidate has crept up a bit, but it is very effective for me without the roller coaster.

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