New to the world of ADHD Medication

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    • #179484

      TLDR: Got officially diagnosed, nervous starting a new drug.

      36 yo man here

      So after 18 months + of waiting to get a diagnosis, it happened yesterday. I’m glad it’s done and it explains some of my struggles etc, but I am a little nervous about taking a new medication. Never taken stimulants like this before and don’t want to panic when taking them for the first time. Don’t deal well with big side effects of drugs, already anxious anyway so just don’t want to worry unnecessarily if I feel something everyone else gets if that makes sense. I have to wait for a week or so before i can get the first prescription etc.

      I’m always a little hesitant when taking a new medication anyway, so just wanted some advice really on how others have dealt with it.

      I understand its called lisdexamfetamine or Vysvanse in the USA and its a 12-hour long tablet. All the thing’s I have read, say don’t drink coffee, or drink coke, or eat chocolate or drink alcohol… these are all the things I do. I have allergies to fresh fruit and vegetables so my diet isn’t great at the best of time. I take a multivitamin when I remember and take daily hay-fever loratadine etc.

      If I don’t take an ADHD tablet for that day, it’s ok to eat and drink like normal, or does it hang around in the system.

      I’m just looking for a medication that doesn’t mess me up but just helps me out with the minimal amount of side effects. They have started me off on 30mg and said will see how it goes. I have 0 experience in this area and not sure what to expect.

      Looking for some support for the day to day questions, that you only get from people actually taking it. Happy to take it to DM’s if that’s more comfortable for people.

    • #179623
      Penny Williams

      You need to start at the lowest possible dose and increase only if and when needed. If you don’t have a good experience with Vyvanse, then you try something else. ADHD medication effectiveness is very individualized because it depends on the individual’s metabolism, genetics, and neurotransmitter function. 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.

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

      Some people are more susceptible to to additional stimulating products than others. I would go a few days without caffeine and alcohol and then add in one in small quantities and increase a bit to test where the limit is when it’s too much with the medication. I don’t think chocolate has enough caffeine in it to be a problem, but I could be wrong.

      The anxiety around new medications is probably the hardest part you’ll have to deal with. Do whatever you can not to hyperfocus on how you’re physically feeling every moment of the first couple days. That anxiety can trigger symptoms that will look like you can’t tolerate the medication, when it’s really your worry brain and false alarms. OF COURSE, if you’re having serious side effects, talk to your doctor right away about discontinuing or changing the med.

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

    • #179670

      I was one of the lucky ones. The first medicine for me was the right one for my adhd. I did end up with side effects and my under-the-surface anxiety surfaced. People have different side effects with short acting vs long acting of the same meds too. It’s really a crap shoot, which is scary. I can tell you this though… I decided to get myself diagnosed and treated at 32 only after getting my daughter diagnosed made me realize why I was the way I was. I figured if we we going to consider medicating my child with these meds I would test it out first. The word stimulant sounds scary. The interesting thing is, it actually kinda does the opposite for you. I describe it as, I spent my life living in a cloud of bumble bees and never knew it. It might ramp you up a little at first but for me, it went away pretty quickly. It’s frustrating trying all of the meds, and there are side effects with some, and finding the right dosage can be challenging. For me, I now take anxiety meds, having never known that’s what it was until th emery pushed it, but it’s worth it. It’s not a cure, it simply gives you a leg up. We still have the same challenges, we’re just better able to deal with them or more able to learn new skills. It’s challenging getting diagnosed as an adult because we’ve lived our lives believing things about ourselves that are not tru and spent that time learning coping skills that usually are more harmful than helpful but getting diagnosed is the first step. Learn as much as you can, advocate for yourself, and find people that understand, or try to…

    • #179700

      Thank you both so much for your replies. It is really helpful. Especially the trying not to hyperfocus on the physical feelings and causing a panic, I do that sometimes when I don’t feel well, I wish I wasn’t like that 🙁

      My son initially got diagnosed before me, and the consultant said I should probably get tested also, low and behold, yeah, I have it too.

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