Dosing ADHD meds for law school

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    • #192711

      I was diagnosed with ADHD about 5 months ago. Meds have been helpful.

      I’m curious if anyone has experience with dosing their medications “optimally” in school. I take ritalin twice daily and occasionally will take a day off from my meds. My doses are supposed to help for about 4 hours or so and then I’m supposed to take another dose. My concern is that 1L is pretty much an all day, everyday endeavor. So if I take a dose before my first class at say 9am, then take another at say 1:30pm, my two doses will only get me to around 6 o’clock. I’d assume I’ll be studying til 8 or 9 pm fairly often. I’ve been looking into brain boosting supplements with mushrooms/ adaptogens blah blah but ultimately my prescription is the most helpful.

      Also, I have been considering concerta and adderall as well. Anyone have experience with these or with “upgrading” to these meds? Adderall seems to be most effective for adults so perhaps I should at least try it?

      Any thought are welcome.

    • #192808
      Penny Williams

      Many people prefer the smoother coverage of an extended release medication.

      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.If you’re responding well to your current IR, you’ll probably want to choose an ER from the same type of stimulants.

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

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

    • #192821

      When initially diagnosed 19 yrs ago at age 35, I tried Ritalin IR twice a day. However, I needed to take it at the same time every day. Well, as a high school teacher on a rotating daily schedule, that was impossible. I couldn’t leave class to go take meds, and I would forget to take them. After about 6 months and in consultation with my psychiatrist, I was put on Concerta 54mg – I’ve been on it ever since. My days can get pretty long (esp during exam period and nightly correcting/lesson planning) as well, and I seem to be able to manage. Good luck – I hope this insight helps…


    • #192859
      Plumb Line

      Ask about whether you would be a candidate for Bupropion (i.e., Wellbutrin) in addition to Ritalin.

      My understanding is that it’s only appropriate if there’s some kind of anxiety symptoms in addition to ADD. It’s sometimes prescribed for use with Ritalin under those circumstances, when use of SSRI or other meds with potential cognitive side effects would be detrimental.

      The plus side is that the two meds compliment each other well if they are tolerated by the individual. The down side is that some people experience negative side effects, notably irritability.

      Not a perfect solution but if you’re one of the people who can tolerate the dual use, it may be an option.

      As for law school, congrats on getting there. I was not diagnosed and did not take any meds when I went through law school (and took the bar exam) decades ago. You understand your symptoms and they challenges they present in your individual circumstances better than anybody. Structure your approach to study in a way that offsets your negative symptoms and leverages your positive ones (if you experience periods of hyper focus, for example). If study groups and group outlines are still a thing, it was more important for me to group with people I found interesting as opposed to people I thought were “smart” (pro tip- everyone is smart in law school, lol). Also, when I studied alone, I broke it up into bites of fixed duration, and whenever I changed subjects I was studying, I literally picked up and moved to a different room (if at home) or a different desk/table on a different floor if I was studying in the library or stacks. It worked for me (with no meds, and no understanding of ADD). Find what works for you. Best regards and good luck!

    • #192869

      Wow thanks for all the feedback folks.

      Does anyone have any specific thoughts on Adderall? I’ve heard that adderall is really great for adults with ADHD. I’m a bit concerned that it’s tougher on ones body and is more similar to a “drug-drug” than ritalin etc. Just curious what ADDitude forum may think.

      Thanks guys..

    • #192902
      Dr. Eric

      When I was diagnosed as an undergrad, my doctor titrated my dose.

      This is basically running a self-study on yourself at a dose for 2-3 weeks (work for stimulants, not the ones that take 4-6 weeks to build blood levels like Strattera). Then, you do incremental increases (5mg, 10mg, 15mg, 20mg, etc.) and keep track of productivity and side-effects.

      For me, I did 5-20mg of Ritalin. Each increase made me more productive, but, after three days at 20mg, I felt a little dizzy and like my heart was racing. I called my doctor, and 15mg was my best dose at the time.

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