Medication for Inattentive ADD Treatment

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    • #76112


      I am a 41yo woman and was recently diagnosed with ADD – inattentive type and Executive Function Disorder. My doctor started me on 25mg of extended release Adderall in November. I took it for ten days and discontinued it due to mood swings, depression, and irritability. It did not provide more focus or concentration, only extreme feelings of irritability and even rage. When I went back to my doctor, he recommended a non-stimulant, stating I may not respond well to stimulants, and prescribed 25mg of Strattera. He’s upped the dosage every month until I reach the recommended dosage of 80mg. I am currently on 60mg, and, while I find it helps my mood issues (anxiety, mood swings, patience), it is not really addressing my ADD-related concentration and EFD issues.

      My dilemma: should I stay on the Strattera since it’s providing relief for my mood-related ADD symptoms and figure out a way to tackle the other symptoms? Or should I try yet another medicine or combination of medicines? I’m extremely leery of trying a stimulant again, given my reaction to Adderall. Has anyone else had this issue?

      I know there are some people who don’t respond to any medications, and I really hope I am not one of those people.

      Thank you in advance for any suggestions/advice!

    • #76118

      Hi I’m 38 and i take 100mg of stattera with 10mg of Adderall. I honestly think you where on too much Adderall. Some people don’t need that much. Over the years I had same reactions but was on about the same dose as you. 10mg has been great for me and I just feel normal. I think the combination has been working great. I take it at noon to get me through rest of my day. I think I may do well with one in morning and one after lunch but haven’t tried it bc this is working and I’m not doing a desk job. Another option to think about. I don’t take time release, it lasts just four hours. Dr said it can also help with depression. When combining the two…I have felt better now than i ever have.Maybe try a psychiatrist that specializes in ADD??? I don’t think all drs will do this combination but it has been the best thing for me! Hope this helps!

      • #76122

        Thank you so much for the advice! I was wondering if adding a lower dosage of a stimulant would help or maybe a different type of stimulant. I am also not a morning person. I don’t really “wake up” until 9am, and it still takes a couple of hours for my brain to start humming along, which is a challenge since I start work at 7-8am!

        My insurance unfortunately “covers” (are they really covering it if it’s $120/month?!?!) only the generic versions of medications so that may also be a factor.

        My doctor supposedly specializes in ADHD…but he mainly just prescribes meds on my suggestions. I live in a state where it’s extremely hard to find a doctor who will prescribe stimulants for adults. Sigh. So I go to him for the meds, and a therapist (who is the one who actually initially diagnosed and referred me) for talk therapy to work through my late-diagnosis hangover. So I will make this suggestion and see what he says. Fingers crossed!

        Thank you so much for the advice!

        • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by brandikball.
      • #82481

        Hopefully this doesn’t sound insensetive, but I just started taking medication last month. 10mg of methylphenidate /day worked well for a week, and all of a sudden stopped working. Awaiting doctor to come back from vacation, to discuss resolution. If anyone has a change to move to Northern California (Marin/Sonoma County), and have Kaiser for insurance. They will take care of you. May be relocating in the coming years to different state. Do you mind me asking what states don’t prescribe much stimulants for ADD?

    • #76196

      I know what you mean it’s always been hard for me to wake up to. Especially since I get my best sleep from about 3:30 on. I’m much better now Though for the first time. I’m surprised he goes on your suggestions since he’s the doc. It is hard to find a good psychiatrist. Hopefully he goes for this combination and it helps as much as it has me!

    • #76211

      25mg does sound like it was way too high for you. I’m 47 yrs old and was diagnosed with inattentive adhd, depression and anxiety. Over the past 5+ years I’ve tried many Rx combinations. My psychiatrist has lead me to believe I can only improve my symptoms 60%. I don’t believe that!! Right now I take 60mg duloxetine (Cymbalta) and then 10mg Adderall 2-3x a day (the XR is too $$).
      A good doctor is REALLY hard to find that’s why you should really do your own research. The way your medication works has so many variables… your meds have to pass thru your body to get to your brain right so think about your gut health and metabolism. I’ve learned a ton from watching Dr. Charles Parker on YouTube. You could start here—>
      I feel like it’s a continuous work in progress to function.

      • #76444

        Thank you. Yes, I love my therapist. He’s wonderful and really helps me find solutions for my ADHD, but unfortunately, he can’t prescribe the meds. This is about the only doctor in the area that will, and I had to wait three months to get in to see him for a diagnosis. I’ve been doing a lot of research on my own, and talking with other people about what works for them. I definitely think the first dosage was way too high, but it did not improve my ability to focus and I was extremely depressed. I think I don’t respond well to Adderrall. I’m wondering if a lower dosage of the other type of stimulant would be a better fit, at a lower dose, and taken only when I need it.

        Yeah…the RX prices are ridiculous. $120/month for the Straterra. 🙁

    • #76298
      Penny Williams

      ADHD medication should ALWAYS be started at the lowest dose and increased only as needed. Your physician should have started you at the 5 mg dosage and increased incrementally, ONLY IFF NEEDED.

      As well, 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 didn’t tolerate Adderall well, it stands to reason you’d try a methylphenidate next, to conclude which type you should be pursuing.

      Educate yourself on the types of ADHD medications and how they should be prescribed and used, so you know if your physician is on track, or if you need to see someone more experienced for your ADHD treatment.

      10 ADHD Medication Mistakes Even Doctors Make

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

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

      • #76445

        Thank you so much for the links. Like I said, I’m not happy with him, but he’s a means to an end. I am being seen by a wonderful therapist to help me develop strategies to manage my symptoms.

        I will definitely talk to him about incorporating a lower dosage of the other stimulant into my regiment. I’m learning so much and finding it’s definitely not one drug fits all! This website has been a wonderful resource for me, especially when I’m have to convince friends and family that I actually DO have ADHD and I actually DO need medication to manage it. Geez. I could compose a whole other post about that…

        Thank you again!


    • #80483

      After reading these posts I thought that I would leave you guys and gals with some information. It has been discovered that ADD/ADHD is linked to thyroid disorders. With that said, all of the ADHD medication the world will not provide you with an “authentic” relief of your (hypothyroid) symptoms. I am one of those people with the thyroid disorder, and let me tell you that even after much success with stimulant medications, I still feel less than normal. It is imperative to have normal thyroid levels. Without it, you will still be inattentive. You might feel attentive (better than without the medicine), but that is because of the drug. Meanwhile, other things will continue to take place inside your body that are all working in the other direction. It simply feels like a false sense of “normal” (medicated), if you know what I mean. So, research this, and maybe get your thyroid checked, especially if you are lethargic and inattentive (and getting a bit older). Just some food for thought.

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