Sleep trouble with Adderall IR, but not XR?

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    • #193544

      Hello all,

      I’m having an issue with my meds that doesn’t make sense and I’m wondering if anyone else has had the same experience.

      I take extended release in the morning. It takes care of my symptoms very well, but I find that it doesn’t quite last long enough. I find that I’m just about done being productive by around 4 or 5 in the afternoon, which isn’t so bad I suppose, but I’d like to get a few more hours.

      So I was also prescribed an IR dose. Here’s the weird thing. When I take that second dose, which ostensibly shouldn’t last as long, I have problems with sleep. (Specifically waking up after only 4-6 hours and being unable to fall back asleep.) Even if I take the IR as early as 11 am I have this issue.

      The XR which is supposed to last 8-12 hours, seems to last 5-7 for me. And the IR which is supposed to last 4-6, seems to be affecting my sleep 16 hours(!) after I take it. (Note that I do not have this sleep issue when I only take the XR in the morning).

      This seems completely backwards, I’m super confused, and any help understanding this would be lovely.

    • #193654

      You need to reduce the evening dose to 1/2 or 3/4

      You are not taking into consideration the half life of adderall which is 12 hours. Even though your XR dose has worn off you will still have amphetamine floating around in your system so the evening dose is amplifying the earlier dose because of the half life. This will also carry over into the next day and the next day and etc….

      This is a very common problem often remedied by a simple reduction in dosage

      By the way, which brand or generic is your XR and the evening IR????????

      It is also possible the IR is a better/stronger generic than the XR/ER form you take in the morning.

      Half life of adderall messes up a lot of people until they figure out the correct dosages, and the inconsistent generic strengths don’t help.

    • #193672

      Yes, I have been experiencing a very similar issue. I take my Adderall XR in the morning (9ish). I find that I can go to sleep (usually late) but real sleep for me doesn’t happen until 4 or 5 AM. I am exhausted when I have to get up in the morning for work. I have stopped taking my evening dose a few weeks ago (Generic Dextroamp) but when I do feel I need evening support I found cutting my evening dose in half works best. The afternoon/evening roll off happens at a tough time when I want to be awake and paying attention with my family.

      One thing I am trying is taking 1000mg Vitamin C in the evening which is has been helping with better sleep. My understanding is that citric acid will actually bind with amphetamine and help flush it out. Still an experiment in progress.

      Finding the correct dosage has been a challenge. I didn’t realize that my evening dose was amplifying and it now makes more sense on my sleep. I did three overnight work sessions in a single week a month ago. Haven’t done that since college 30 years ago! Of course the lack of sleep induced a whole range of other issues. Not doing that again!

    • #193780
      Penny Williams

      It sounds like you may metabolize the medication differently. And they can definitely still affect you after they seem to have worn off.

      Is Burn Rate Making Your ADHD Medications Less Effective?

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

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