16 years on Adderall

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    • #125141


      I am new to this page, but I am not new to taking Adderall. I am hoping that somebody here has had the same issues or similar issues as myself. I have been prescribed medication for ADD for 16 years. I have taken Adderall, Adderall XR, Concerta, Daytrana, Stratera, and Vyvanse so basically almost everything on the market. I am currently taking the instant release Adderall (amphetamine salts) 20mg twice a day.

      Anyways to make a long story short my medicine does not seem to be working. I feel that I need it just to have the energy to get out of bed. I do not feel motivated or focused while taking it. Anger is basically the only emotion that I feel. I am tired all the time. All of this has been going on for about 6 years. Now I have an even bigger issue. I was a healthy weight for the first 14 years or so after starting this medication. I always made myself eat in high school in order not to lose so much weight that I looked sick. I am 5’5″ and my weight stayed around 115-125lbs from the age of 13-26. Then in the last year and a half or so I started noticing I was gaining weight and I was gaining it fast. I went from 127-135 in less than 2 months.

      I started dieting at that point… 800-1000 calories a day with less than 20% fat calories total for almost 2 months. I didn’t lose ANYTHING! In fact I gained 2 more pounds. Then in January of 2019 I weighed in at 140.. by March I was 156. I then started taking TruVision, changed my diet, and prayed for a miracle. I ended up losing 4 pounds after 3 months of this regimen, but I felt terrible and I wouldn’t call 4 pounds a miracle! Now today only 2 months down the road I weighed in this morning and I am up to 162!

      I feel like giving up! It doesn’t seem to matter what I do I just gain weight. I eat healthy. I have celiac disease so I have to eat gluten free which makes eating healthy come easily. I have seen multiple doctors about this and I have had all kinds of bloodwork, but everything comes back normal. I am starting to feel that these ADD medications have completely ruined my metabolism! My doctors don’t know what is wrong. All they tell me is “change your diet” or “Go run around the block” like “Hello???? I have already done those things!!!”

      Oh wait, I take that back one doctor did tell me that what I think makes sense and could be a possibility, but that my generation is the “test” generation and they aren’t entirely sure what all effects ADHD medications have on the body long term because those of us who have been on it this long are the first ones to be on it this long! Which isn’t reassuring to say the least! Has anybody here been on ADHD medication for this long? Is anybody else struggling like myself? My doctor has told me that the max my medication can legally be prescribed is 30mg twice a day. That the instant doesnt come in a 25mg so that if they up my medication I will be maxed out and having the same issues again down the road if upping my medication even helps.

      • This topic was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by cherrin456.
      • This topic was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by cherrin456.
      • This topic was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by Penny Williams.
      • This topic was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by Penny Williams.
    • #125363

      Wow that sounds scary. I don’t mean to alarm you but have you ruled out other possibly issues ovarian cancer, POS, crushings? You could try to switch up the type of medication. Vyvanse? Also I’m sure you’ve tried it but have you tried HIIT? Please keep me posted

      • #125450

        Yes I’ve had probably a dozen labs ran and they don’t see any reason to think i have anything wrong. All levels are normal.

        • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by cherrin456.
      • #181158

        I have the same issue. I have been taking adderall for 13 years and I was always very thin (even prior to taking the medication) — I’m 5’3” and I weighed between 98 and 106 pounds for 9 years. I ate well and exercised regularly. Unfortunately, the numbers on the scale began to climb dramatically…. I’m currently at a crossroads because of this.

        At age 15, I was diagnosed with mono. My symptoms progressively became worse and worse. While most cases of mono last around 1 month, I had mono for 16 months. I was tested 7 times during the course of those 16 months and my results came back “positive” each time. I was on “home & hospital” during this period and it dramatically changed my daily life.

        Even after the 16 months were up, I found myself with very low energy. I did my best to maintain a normal teenage life—-but it was very difficult for me.

        At age 17, I saw a new physician and he attempted to diagnose me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Which, essentially, is just saying they’re too lazy to figure out what’s actually wrong with you.

        I, personally, think chronic fatigue syndrome is one of the most ridiculous diagnoses a person can be given. It’s a diagnosis given to borderline personality individuals and people whose lifestyle choices and eating habits are less than ideal.

        With that being said, I wasn’t going to accept the CFS diagnosis.. Even if I wasn’t properly diagnosed, I was determined to find a solution to my never-ending sleepiness. After trying upwards of 20+ different things, I was prescribed adderall. It gave me my life back.

        I thrived for many years while taking adderall. I began to enjoy life and was able to spend more time with family and friends. I felt normal!

        Suddenly, I started gaining weight rapidly. At first, I didn’t mind it because it was dispersed to my butt and breasts. I embraced the curves!! However, as time went on, it made me gain weight in places I’d never gained weight before.

        Now, I eat EXTREMELY HEALTHY, but I find myself so fatigued most days that I don’t have any energy to exercise. I understand that the reduction in physical activity could lead to some weight gain… however, I currently weigh 165 pounds.

        Determined, yet again, to find a solution, I saw a number of doctors. One in particular helped me in a tremendous manner: my gastroenterologist.

        I was given an endoscopy for a myriad of symptoms (one of which was bloating) and My physician ordered disaccharides analysis (a test obtained during an upper endoscopy — which is the best way to diagnose sucrose intolerance)

        Apparently my generic brand of adderall contains sucrose and maltodextrin as additives. Even with small amounts of each, it led to my blood sugar levels spiking tremendously because they’re both considered to be very high on the glycemic index scale. Over time, these rapid spikes led to weight gain.

        My doctor and I are trying to formulate the best plan of action for me. It’s not ideal for me to discontinue the medication because it, legitimately, gave me my life back. now—adderall seems to be a Catch-22 for me.

        Anyway, maybe see a gastroenterologist and have them see if you have any intolerances, allergies, inflammation, bacterial overgrowth, etc.

    • #125424

      Have you tried Dexedrine? It was the first medication that I was on. My doctor prescribed it after I had my first child. It changed my life. I’ve tried vivance, and concerta, but neither one worked as well, so I kept going back to what worked. I’ve been on it for ten years now, and it looks like I might need to swap, as it’s no longer covered and the generic is not slow release. It might work for you. I notice you haven’t tried it yet.

      • #125452

        No, I haven’t tried Dexedrine. Haven’t ever gears of it to be honest and no doctors have ever offered it. I will ask my doctor about it at the next appointment.

    • #125549

      Yes and after 16 years it sounds like an increase would be helpful your body is probably isn’t responding well to your current dose. Maybe you could try 2 20mg XR and 10mg IR for the late afternoon. Also intermittent fasting is very effective for weight loss try fasting 2 days a week. Hiit or maybe do some cycling classes or barre.. all very good workouts that burn fat.

    • #137372

      I’ve been on adderall for ADHD since 2001. Currently take 1 30mg XR AND 3x 20mg per day (90 mg total-some days I don’t take the full 90mgs but most days I need it to stay focused for demanding work days)- both are generic. Helped me stay focused in college and graduate school, but in the last few years something seems off. 2019 in particular. I’ve always weighed heavy for 5’4” at around 150lbs but I was down to 130s after undergrad and during grad school and maybe 140s until this year, 2019– I am at my heaviest weight of all time-165 lbs! Something has to be wrong. I exercise regularly-almost everyday and my diet is relatively healthy with occasional cheat days (donuts, pizza, and tacos). I think it’s hormonal, maybe age-related (37yo female no children). My psychiatrist has recommended a newer drug called Mydayis but I’m nervous to try something different because most days adderall does make a difference. I just can’t deal with the weight gain. Would love to know if anyone has had success with Mydayis?

    • #166947

      I have been on Adderall/Vyvanse for 12 years. I’m 5’3 and have always weighed between 116 to 125 max, even after two kids! However, the beginning of 2019 I gained 15 pounds in literally two months. I had not changed my diet or exercise, there was no reason for the weight gain. I talked to my doctor and after blood work, could not explain why it was happening. I got up to 145 in 4 months. It has been a year now, and I’m down to 138. This has never happened to me and I have been so stressed as well. Has anyone found a solution or answer as to why this could be happening? By the way, I take 30 mg adderall 2x/day (Max legal dosage) and have for years.

    • #178175

      Same thing here as all of the above stories? Has anyone found out anything?

    • #180535

      Ok so it’s been 25 years on adderall for me. I’ve had all doses and all different forms. I took a brief break period when I had my baby for like 2 years. Weight gains FAST when you get older on this stuff. How can you gain 100lbs on adderall?!? I barely ate!! I completely agree the metabolism is ruined. Now I exercise and burn 4,000 calories a day and have to force myself to even eat 1500 calories! I think it happened like this. When we were young the doctors said stuff your face your too skinny and then our metabolisms caught up w us. And now I’m healthy and exercise and still not dropping the pounds cuz my body is literally in starvation mode but it doesn’t feel like it!!! I’m trying to eat more I found out I’m supposed to be eating like 2,500 calories a day to even get at a healthy 25 percent Calorie deficit. Idk. Something is wrong w my metabolism and I’m on the lowest of the lowest dose because I don’t wanna have a heart attack in ten years (I’m 32)

    • #180536

      My doctor told me I don’t have to take it everyday anymore and I’m like what? So to awaken and mess up my metabolism and steady my heart rate every once in a while I go a day without and just have a no calorie energy drink in the morning instead.one day is the longest I can go without any withdrawal side effects which aren’t that bad. Sometimes I will go without on the weekends. But this is all because I’m not in school or working or have anything to focus on

    • #181160

      I too am having the similar weight gain issues. I have been on regular 30Mg 2X day generic adderall and preferably TEVA, the Football shaped orange salted ones or the Aurbindino manufacture if it’s my only other generic option. I started around 2013/2014 while in college and it helped me big time. I always had fun taking a sports course for credit like a Spin, Surfing, Stand-Up paddling etc. and I lost an amazing amount of weight and was becoming even more toned and slimmer. I loved it and felt happy inside. But my family on the other hand were horrible to me and “worried” my moms a perfectionist and she was just jealous and my older brothers would tease me. They were comfortable being chubs and put me down so much I hated it. I look back realizing how foolish I was to even listen to them and “eat more” I was the happiest and healthiest ever! All my friends knew it and my energy and drive for work school fun and friends was never better. Now fast forward and I have gained weight and it’s a bit harder to lose it but understandable as it takes time and a good attitude that I am expecting to be at a lower weight (I am 34yrs old now). But yeah, 30mg 2X a day and sometimes less lately since it feels like I am phasing out of it. I also have Xanax currently at 2MG 1 x a day as needed and a while back less than a year ago I had Xanax 2 MG 2 x a day / as needed. I still don’t get the whole “Xanax” obsession. But it does help when I really really really need it. But yes, other doctors would be shocked like “how much do you take? What? 2mg?” Ughhh annoying some doctors (that was this year when I was being treated in the ER for Influenza type A. But anyways, I feel all you peeps out there with this weight gain and fatigue dilemma. I am taking less adderall and cutting them in half at 15 in morning 7AM and 15mg around 1-2pm. I also take dr. Swartz probiotics, smarty pants women’s daily gummy vitamins, and all those other good probiotic ones etc. I hope we get better feel better and last but not least look better too!!! Cheering you all on !! Keep me / all on this post updated please!

    • #181879

      I am having the same experience as many people here. It’s incredibly frustrating. I hope it’s not the Adderall causing the weight gain, but nothing else makes sense. I brought it up to my doctor and he’s never heard of weight gain attributed to Adderall.

      I’m wondering what if any additional supplements people here are taking? I’m on Magnesium, fish oil, and l-Tyrosine, all to help with the tolerance and comedown. My though it that it’s possible the supplements are reacting with the Adderall and triggering cortisol secretion. I am not a doctor and honestly have no idea if what I just said is even possible/makes sense. But I wanted to put it out there in case we might stumble on additional commonalities. I also use light therapy for ~45 minutes every few days and occasionally use a tDCS (Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation) device.

      Hope everyone is well.

    • #188375

      Been on Adderall for about 11+ years now. 4 20mg Adderall 4 times a day. I switched to drinking only water about 6 yrs ago.(no soda, energy drinks, ect) Until about 9 Months ago I still drank appx. 3 light beers in the evening b4 bed.
      Suddenly I started having extreme abdominal issues, that frankly, you don’t want me to get into. I stopped the drinks completely.

      So jump to present:
      Almost a year no drinking,
      7000+ steps daily
      Not 1 pound lost
      Still 40+ pounds heavier
      Still causes fatigue at times
      Sometimes to the point that I could
      fall asleep/have fallen asleep.
      Still have boating
      Still have random abdominal pain

      Getting an endoscope tomorrow.
      If I discover anything new tomorrow I’ll be sure to inform you folks.

    • #188421

      First, I have never been on Adderall. But it seems that I hear many stories about people being on it for years, and then it doesn’t work as well and/or they start gaining a good bit of weight for no discernible reason. There are probably solutions to these problems that I certainly don’t have.
      I would try very different meds, like Concerta or Vyvanse, if you haven’t. They may very well work for your ADHD, without the weight sticking around-or multiplying.
      But I would definitely NOT starve myself in an effort to lose weight. I am 60, and what little I believe I have learned over the years does include this: In the long run, starvation diets “train” your body to maintain itself on fewer and fewer calories. While a person might be able to turn that around again, and get back to needing more calories, I think it would be difficult. I don’t claim that this is a FACT…I am just saying that after careful observation over the years, that’s my personal conclusion.
      I sincerely believe that a person’s metabolism changes after being on a med like Adderall for a long time, and that this may or may not be a reversible effect. When I was forced to stop taking Vyvanse after eight years on it, my weight slowly crept up about 20 pounds over two years. That’s not a main reason WHY I want to get back on Vyvanse, but I know that my weight will go down once I have Vyvanse again….mainly I need it to maintain a brain in some kind of working order. I’m sorry that I don’t have any great suggestions on losing the weight…I know that I would start to regain muscle in my body if I could start back at the gym and lift weights again. And because muscle weighs more than fat, my body would begin using up more calories again.

      I honestly think that it will not be too long before medical researchers will find that gaining weight after several years on Adderall is going to be an unavoidable effect of the body’s metabolism permanently changing.
      Sorry for the depressive thought. On the other hand…don’t starve yourself! It won’t help, and it may make things worse.

    • #188394
      Dr. Eric

      First, remember that the medication is in a tug of war with the things that are attacking your attention. So is everything else but the medication doing ok? Work stress? Overall health? Sleep? Relationships? etc.? If any of those are out of whack, the Adderall will not work as well.

      Second, without knowing your age, the weight gain will kick for everyone between mid-30’s to ’40’s… just ask any male in their ’40’s how many Facebook/Google/Twitter/Instagram ads they get from “anti-aging” clinics pushing testosterone therapy.
      Currently, I am 48, average 12000 steps a day, I average 180 minutes of intensive exercise/week with low intensity mixed in spread across 1-2 sessions of MMA/week, 1-2 Tri training sessions/week, 1-2 weight sessions per week, and 2-3 20 minute yoga sessions.

      For the meds…
      I have taken primarily methylphenidate since 1993.
      My tolerance definitely went up over time, but I was lucky to be really receptive to low dosages in the beginning.

      I did do one year where I tried Strattera (very little positive effect, headaches) and Adderall (same benefit as methylphenidate, but more of a roller coaster in terms of highs and lows).

      In the end, the only thing that really works for me is time away. I only take my meds at work unless I have something big for chores at home (taxes (full dose) or bills (half dose)).

      I never take it on days off, and I try to take half doses or nothing on easy days.
      I never take it when I travel.

      This is all done with the oversight and communication with my MD.

    • #188761

      I am experiencing the EXACT same thing. I have been causing myself more stress and anxiety the last 3 months because the weight gain has been so much. I have been working out daily and watching my diet since stopping adderall in March 2020 and I have put on 25lbs in the last 3-4 months. I keep going up in weight not down. I have meet with dietitians and have talked to my doctor who just keep telling me Ineex to eat balance diet and workout. I have adjusted Macronutrients (Carbs, Fat, Proteins). I have never been this dedicated in my life to diet and exercise, but nothing seems to work. I just keep getting bigger. I was expecting to gain weight when I stopped Adderall but I did not expect that I wouldn’t be able to lose any of it with diet and exercise.

      I’m glad I’m crazy about the metabolism. I also have ready that hormones could be a big factor when stopping adderall, but there is not official research on this.

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