How to tell if I’m on the right dosage?

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    • #196238
      bashworth76
      Participant

      Hello all, diagnosed and started taking medication for ADD this last year. I started out at 10mg twice daily, which was ok, but tapered off after about a week. I figured it was because I sometimes forgot to take the second pill, so I asked for a 20mg XR. Cool, even less effective now, but I only have to take one a day. Bumped to 30mg XR, 40mg XR, and now a 20mg in the morning and 10mg in the afternoon because the XR was making me pass out around 5pm every day.

      Overall, I’m frustrated with my doctor. I ask him how to tell if I’m taking the correct dosage or if I should try a different medication altogether, and all I get is “well, do you feel like a normal person?” I’ve lived my whole life at the Samba beat on the keyboard, and the world is on Waltz, I don’t know what normal is supposed to feel like.

      So, what are some good benchmarks or resources for how to determine if I’m on the right medicine and dosage?

    • #196441
      Aaron Fire
      Participant

      The person who finds a simple answer to that question will make a lot of money.

      I am one of those lucky few who are largely unresponsive to medication. I’ve looked for years; I’m looking for specific things.

      Ask the question a different way. Is the dosage wrong? Are you having intolerable side effects? If you are, the dosage is too high. If you aren’t, the dosage may be too low.

      Look for particular items.

      • Less susceptible to distractions: finishing small or “boring” tasks; finishing small assigned tasks at work; finishing homework assignments; avoiding distractions like social media or television while working; cleaning up after yourself; staying focused on boring stuff you have to read; remembering to stop at the store after work
      • Less sluggish in the morning: waking up and leaving the house on time more regularly
      • Improved short term memory: easily recalling details from conversations; losing items less frequently; remembering details from meetings or work emails; recalling things learned in class that day; remembering that boring stuff you read
      • Fewer challenges going to bed on time
      • Better Driving: Russell Barkley would probably include better driving with less road rage
      • Reduced Impulsive Behavior: e.g. controlled impulsive shopping
      • Improved emotional regulation
      • Going to bed with the house tidy and you ready for the next day
      • An increased ability the ability to stick with and finish things

        “The symptoms that we control with medicine are typically related to the ability to stick with and finish things. That’s different than the ability to live an organized life. It’s related, but it’s not the only thing you need to do. [A child] could be focusing super well on medicine and not even turn in school assignments.”

        What ADHD Medication Can and Can’t Do

        “Normal” person? Get a new doctor.

        https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321895
        https://danarayburn.com/10-targets-know-adhd-medication-working/

    • #196551
      Penny Williams
      Keymaster

      Dr. Dodson offers a guide on how to tell if ADHD medication is working here:

      “How Can I Tell If the ADHD Medication is Working?” Treatment Troubleshooting Guide

      A couple more articles you may find helpful on this as well:

      11 Hidden Truths That Unlock ADHD Treatment Success

      10 Things Your Doctor May Not Have Told You About ADHD Medications

      It sounds like this doctor isn’t an ADHD specialist, or not a knowledgeable one at least. It may be time to find a different clinician for ADHD treatment.

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

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