Tagged: Trial and error
September 1, 2020 at 11:55 am #182957BK101Participant
I’m 44 years old and was very recently diagnosed with ADHD (approximately 10 weeks ago). I am currently on a titration plan to establish the right medication and dose. I started on 20mg Vyvanse (or Elvanse as it’s called here in the UK) once daily. I am now on 50mg a day and a supplementary med has been added to help prolong the effects of the Vyvanse (which was wearing off in the afternoon). The supplementary med is 5mg of Dexamfetamine which i take daily at 4pm.
Whilst my medicine definitely boosts my energy to ‘get thing’s done’ for the few hours it works, I can’t say it’s suddenly turned me into an all new, neurotypical man.
I just wanted to know what other people’s experiences have been with ADHD medication in terms of how it makes you feel after you’ve taken them and how much it improves your symptoms?
Having had some experience with recreational amphetamines in my 20’s, the experience i have with Vyvanse feels very much the same i.e. it gets the heart beating, makes me talk more and provides some mild euphoric feelings.
Every couple of weeks i have to report on my experience with the medication and to what extent it’s improved different areas of my ADHD (focus, impulsivity, mood etc).
I’m finding it increasingly more difficult though to honestly work out if these areas really are improving, or whether i simply just feel ‘high’ from the amphetamine.
I obviously want to be on the right medication, so I just want to establish whether the experiences i’m having with Vyvanse are correct and what should be expected.
September 1, 2020 at 12:41 pm #182969
I’ve had years of experience taking a variety of meds for ADHD. My goals have mainly been to increase my focus on work I am doing and persistence, to finish things and work on tasks sequentially, Task 1 then Task 2 then Task 3, etc.
I consider taking these meds (any med, any dosage, any frequency) to be an unpredictable experiment with all sorts of results depending on your weight, mood, activity, etc. That gives you a good reason to keep a Medication Log and take comprehensive notes on what you take and the results you notice.
I’ve had good results lately with Provigil and Adderall (sequentially, not taken at the same time). I seem to build a tolerance to Provigil very quickly. I have the best results the first day, so-so results the second day, and no results the third day. So, Provigil (Modafinil, the generic) every third day works best for me.
I’ve also found that having a clear agenda of what I plan to do today is important while taking meds. With little or no plan, meds can simply leave me anxious, walking in circles, getting little done.
Good luck to you,
September 18, 2020 at 10:09 pm #183968AdamItinerantParticipant
Thanks BK and Dr Bob. I’m 45, white, male, a mental health nurse, from the UK and living in Australia. I’m just dropped my first 10mg dose of dexamphetamine after losing my third job and sususpecting I might meet criteria for ADHD. I was diagnosed a week ago. The questions you asked, BK, were the ones I came here with. I had some recreational fun with amphetamines as a teen too. Dr Bob, your recommendation of keeping a detailed log sounds helpful and fits with the other ways I’m trying to manage. I’ll try to keep checking in here too to see how we’re going. Thanks again.
September 19, 2020 at 6:54 am #183970mahaParticipant
I’m 45 female, have just been diagnosed with ADD and started Ritalin 4 days back. The dose is 10 mgs 3 times a day at 7,11 and 4 for the first 3 days and since yesterday 2×10 mgs 3 times a day.
I am finding it really hard to tell whether the medication is working or not, I read all the emotional stories of people going through a drastic change from the first pill & I was so excited to take the first pill but nothing much changed except for more energy and anxiety. My main challenges and the reason I went for diagnosis are the constant chatter in my mind and being over attentive to everything and registering everything around me that is irrelevant except for the important things. I do not seem to be able to enjoy life because I cannot relax, I simply cannot go beyond survival.
I will have a call with the doctor on Monday and am honestly not sure what to say. I had very high expectations of the medicine but it did not give me the peace of mind or the mind clarity that is needed to be able to be present and connect. Am not sure about the diagnosis now, also, while the doctor mentioned loosing appetite as a side effect, my appetite increased drastically!
September 23, 2020 at 6:41 pm #184152
To: “I’m 45 female”. Your MD is your “expert” only at the beginning, suggesting a type of medication to try and the dosage. After that, it’s up to you to be your own “expert”. Regard what you are doing as an “experiment” and you must become the “researcher” to see how it all comes out. Your MD cannot tell you how it made you feel or noticed changes in your mood or behavior. Only you can truly be alert and watch for changes. Then report them when you talk with your MD.
It has now become your responsibility to pay close attention to what you are taking, how much, when and how it affects you.
September 23, 2020 at 6:12 pm #184151
Yes indeed. Seems like the dosage can be as important as the type of drug. Any time a person takes such a drug for any reason, it should be regarded as “an experiment” at first and carefully tracked to determine what the effects and side-effects will be in this particular case.
October 26, 2020 at 11:52 am #186761pattymcParticipant
Hi I came on to this forum to ask the same advice. I am on 30mg elvanse and I also feel the same about the effects. What I have noticed is that if I don’t have a clear plan to the day then the meds make it worse as I feel jittery and chasing my tail. I am trying to home study so this is a problem! If I was back at school I think it would help in a learning environment but home its not to good. I decided to come off the pills for the weekend and had a huge crash and felt very low so that has freaked me out as I felt worse than I have done for years, in fact it reminded me of the come downs from recreational drug taking when I was young. So I have taken a pill today and I feel odd. Clearly not the right way to be doing it and I think I might need to come slowly off this does. I am nearly 47 and was diagnosed a couple of years ago when my son was. I only decided to take meds as wanted to see if it would help me and motivate me to finish goals I have planned. love to hear any advice as well!
October 27, 2020 at 3:37 pm #186769Dr. EricParticipant
I have done two self-studies where I compared similar day’s work on meds and another off. I have done this twice, once in college (’90’s) and once in the 2010’s at work.
I consistently came in 6 times more productive on meds than off.
I must also state that my first MD was very systematic in his approach.
Instead of guessing a good initial dose for me, we started in 5mg of methylphenidate and slowly increased.
I kept a daily log of my blood pressure, good things, and side-effects.
We did three weeks at 5mg, 3 weeks at 10mg, 3 weeks at 15mg, started 3 weeks at 20mg – had side-effects – I called the office and 15mg became my prescribed dose at the time. The technical term for this is “titrating.”
I love that my MD did it this way.
October 30, 2020 at 12:30 pm #186879BK101Participant
Since writing my initial post i have titrated up to 70mg of Elvanse, it’s the maximum dose but my titration nurse was comfortable issuing it.
Like many, i was expecting a complete change in myself from starting the meds a few months ago but was a little bit disappointed. However since starting them i have also improved my lifestyle in other areas… i’ve quit (well, paused) drinking alcohol, i’m hitting the gym 3 x times a week, i’ve introduced 5-minute ‘dopamine breaks’ in my daily schedule, i’ve changed my diet – cutting out all processed food and focusing on healthy balanced meals (the odd pizza now and again still allowed!) and i’ve started drinking 2-3 litres of water (from drinking practically none before). This has all made a much bigger impact than taking meds alone.
I’m still not 100% convinced Elvanse is the most effective drug for me but i’m going to stick with it for 6 months now i’ve completed my titration and possibly review after that. I’m also going to add in a short 3 day meds vacation at some point to gauge what effect the meds are having.
This ADDitude article i came across recently was useful:
November 5, 2020 at 4:06 am #187304Caito44Participant
Not amazing it certainly helps me get stuff done but I also still have issues with tasks that involve sequencing information, keeping everything tidy etc. I also get major moodswings from ritalin for some reason wwhen coming off it but maybe that’s because I take it irregularly.
November 5, 2020 at 9:12 am #187314anguscole41Participant
I’ve taken almost every medication for ADHD as I was diagnosed at age 4 I’ve had the most success with Vyvanse which I’ve been taking for 3 years, in my opinion out of all I’ve taken,Vyvanse lasts the longest,has the smoothest onset as well I don’t notice a comedown at all.it also doesn’t suppress my appetite.qny questions don’t hesitate to ask.
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