December 11, 2018 at 6:24 pm #105304schue20Participant
I gave up smoking a year ago. Needless to say my ability to concentrate (I am a graduate student) on reading’s has gone dramatically down hill. For some other context, I also have a mryiad of other disabilities related to learning (yes I know ADHD is not a disability perse), such as dyslexia, autism spectrum, and tourettes. I have been prescribed 60 mg of vyvanse. I have also tried concerta but it gave me too many side effects related to a mostly harmless disease I have (probably caused by years of smoking). While these are somewhat effective they don’t work nearly as well as my old cigarette habit. While most people will just assume it was the norephrine and dopamine from the cigs that helped I am worried that it was mostly the agonist effect on the nicotinic cholinergic receptors that was helping me. I.e. I have tried medication and supplements that benefit everything else nicotine helps (serotonin dopamine norephrine etc). Also, there is research suggesting the adhd experienced in people with autism may be best alleviated by nicotine.
I am wondering what specific medications, if any, or supplements I should look into to maybe replace nicotine. I cannot get back on nicotine. I am willing to increase my stimulant dosage but I do not want to increase dosage too much. Please do not give vague advise like exercise more or eat healthier (I am aware of these things and am doing them). Also, while anxiety medication may be a decent solution I care mostly about the cognitive focus benefits.
December 12, 2018 at 10:55 am #105347Penny WilliamsKeymaster
Sometimes, treating the anxiety helps with the cognitive focus. Anxiety can be extremely distracting and debilitating.
It’s also possible that your neurochemistry, genetics, and metabolism require higher doses of stimulants to get optimal benefits. The adequate dosage is different for everyone.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
December 12, 2018 at 4:10 pm #105373schue20Participant
Thanks for information! And yeah you are probably correct on both points. I imagine part of why cigarettes worked so well for me is that they allow for stimulant (i.e. focus/cognitive) effects and also a calming (i.e anxiety reducing) effect. Obviously cigarettes effect on anxiety is only for a short duration, and probably make it worse over time, but nonetheless it was helpful. Stimulants seem to also help a bit on that front but nowhere near as effective. I will try exercising and meditating even more. I will also bring this up with the doctor.
As for the dosage part I have heard that Vyvanse does not go that high. I don’t really want to switch to adderall because of its 25% l-amphetamine. I could possibly switch back to a methylphenidate drug, but does anyone know offhand if other dextroamphetamine only drugs come in higher doses than vyvanse (adjusting for fact that vyvanse is prodrug ect). Also, I so far have had a preference for long-acting since it is smoother, but has anyone noticed actual focus differences between IR and XR forms? I am not looking for jolt that comes with IR just the focus, so if I am correct that there isn’t much of a difference I will not bring this up with doctor.
Lastly, if any former smokers who noticed great cognitive benefits of cigs, have any advice on how to increase focus and reduce stress I would be greatly appreciative. Remember though I have already quit smoking and cravings are long gone, so I am looking for things that worked or were helpful beyond the quitting phase.
Thanks again everyone!
December 19, 2018 at 6:52 pm #105694HytheGuyParticipant
I too had been a smoker (for about 5 years) before I was able to give it up. I find that hydration is key to my cognitive function. I can drink up to a gallon of water in a day.
I’m not sure if there is any science or factual claims behind this next bit, but..
I use a supplement called slow-mag. It’s a slow release of magnesium and it seems to help the effectiveness of my current (20mg XR) perscription. Also it should be noted that I haven’t been using it all that long, but I read somewhere that magnesium helps to get rid of the calcium buildup in the brain from the use of dextroamphetamine. (Lamans terms at best) You will definitely want to do your own research.
Best of luck to you.
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