Why does hydrocodone help my adhd but adderall doesn’t?

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    • #85076

      Let me start by saying I’m in no way a drug addict. In fact I’m quite careful with medications. I do struggle with anxiety and depression, most likely from the ptsd. So please know I’m really just searching for help. Over the years I’ve had a few minor surgeries and was prescribed hydrocodone. I only take half a pill at the lowest dose. However, I finally have focus, motivation, my anxiety leaves, I have energy, and am even a bit social and thinking clearly. It changes my life, I would even make the deans list in college. I’ve been diagnosed with adhd and am currently on adderall. I’ve tried Ritalin and concerta. All three do the same thing – wretched anxiety, laziness like I’m a zombie, overfocus on only one thing wasting productivity, stomach ache, headache and bladder pain. My questions is, what do I do?? Is there anything similar to hydrocodone chemically to help with the adhd? It’s torture knowing there’s something that FINALLY turns your life around yet you can’t have it, you’re instead given junk causing pain. 😔 I hope someone has advice and thank you in advance

    • #85086

      I can absolutely relate to you!!! I was on vyvance and it made me nuts. Like I needed anything else to do that… I have serious injuries and nerve damage and was on pain medication and can say when I used it correctly it does exactly what u say. My problem was my conditions are beyond surgical help and after years of pain meds no matter how perfect or low a dose u take eventually your body will build up tolerances. Then I had dr who had me on pain meds anxiety meds vyvance … a crazy combo and infortunanly addiction happens at even the carefulest dose so then u feel like garbage. Pain meds EVEN by themselves at a low dose are eventually gonna make you feel worse. I got off ALL them. You might try kratom. Despite some of the neg press it’s legal it’s natural and from experience I can tell u it has so many benefits. I have taken for a while and still same dose I never feel sick or any kind of withdrawals like I once did with percocet and lortab and vyvance. And they work off the same receptors in your brain. There are different strands that have slightly different effects so you have to see which one works best for you. But as someone who has taken them all and researched … I would recommend highly esp if hydrocodone worked for you. If CbD or pot is legal where u r I’d try that too. Honestly pot works so well for my ADHD I’m not your typical lazy .. it motivates and focus me … like usual our brains are opposite most right? It’s not legal yet here so I stick with kratom and also when I stick to a gluten free almost sugar free diet I feel better too. Hope it helps!!
      Just research and study to find right dose and strand carefully

    • #85102

      Different medications work differently for everyone. Try Guanfacine! It’s an anti hypertensive used for ADD/ADHD that might have the similar CNS depressant effect hydro gives you. It’s totally different than Adderall.

    • #85132

      I take Guanfacine and Vyvanse. I sometimes take Adderall if I need to extend concentration longer in the day. I dont like Adderall, It makes me very cranky so I dont often take it. There are two classes of ADHD medication that work on the brain differently. Adderall is in one and Vyvanse is in the other, but there are also several others in eack category).There are also non stimulant ADHD medication (Stratera I think one is called) which might be what you need. A psychiatrist should be able to help you work through this to find the right medication.

    • #85135

      Maybe try clonidine or something? I can’t do Strategies bc it has no dopamine thus will not help my constant need to do vigorous exercise 24-7, and gives me serotonin syndrome. Adderral XR plus Adderal instant around 3-5 pm helps me. But here is another question:
      The pain meds (opiates) release endorphins, the transmitter that blocks pain naturally via the body. I mentioned exercise above, that’s my biggest coping skill. Long distance runner, and do lots of intervals and hill repeats and tabata for cross training. Reason I ask, is that the more vigorous the cardio is, the bigger the rush of endorphins. At a long long duration at a hard-ish pace, brain scans have shown it to produce as many endorphins as herion (that’s of its 20 plus miles, but less distance like 5-6 will be more like a lortab). Also been proven to help focus too.

      Do you currently exercise? How much? Lots of cardio options if u don’t like running, or have bad joints (swim, elliptical, etc). I have to have variety and intensity and duration. Duration to get enough time in to get the endorphins and dopamine, and vigourous and variety so I am not bored and I stay “in the moment” vs counting down the minutes

    • #85192

      I get this entirely! Within 40 minutes of taking a hydrocodone 7.5, it is like experiencing a spiritual awakening. Focus. Instant jolt out of 3+week depressive episode. Better sleep. I function on a constant rotation of various things. It is good to know I am not the only one.

    • #100045

      I am right there with you! I am prescribed 5 mg hydrocodone for my herniated disks in my back. (I usually take on pill in the evening) I also have anxiety issues and take lexapro for that, I have been on that for 5 years. After taking it, I am so much more focused and productive. It does not have a sedating effect for me at all. I have always been adhd but hated the way the meds made me feel when I was younger so just stopped taking them. I recently thought I would give it another try now that I’m older and find it hard to even pay attention in church for 30 minutes. I went to the psychiatrist and am now taking adderall 25 mg. He wants me to stick it out and has went up 5 mg every 2 weeks until I’m at the “correct dose” for me. However, I just don’t feel like it’s working at all. I have no motivation to do anything which is really unlike me. I also do feel like my anxiety is much worse. I’ve been reading about Kratom for a few weeks and finally went to buy some last week. It was suggested that I try red Hulu. I took 2 grams one day and 3 grams another day. It did not seem to do anything for me. Any suggestions on a strain and dosage that you take that has been helpful for you, since We seem to have many of the same issues. I desperately want to find something so I can have some normalcy in life. Thank you so so much!

    • #100154

      I disagree with many of the others who’ve responded, so I particularly hope you see this, solost28. I’m thrilled you’ve found something that helps and I suggest you use this information to search for other sorts of medications that boost dopamine and see if they help as well. Hydrocodone isn’t something if want to take solely for this reason, but the fact you have taken it for this reason doesn’t mean you’re an addict. Please, though, be careful what you say to your doctor so they don’t believe you are one.

      I have ADD, though I am sometimes also hyperactive. I can’t take any stimulants because I have high blood pressure, and wasn’t diagnosed until I was almost 30. Now in my 50’s I long ago also found that taking opiates often helps control my symptoms. The explanation that these pain meds boost dopamine makes sense, however, this is not necessarily too much dopamine because people with ADD/ADHD frequently have low levels of it (as explained to me by doctors, a psychiatrist, and in multiple articles on ADDitude). This low level is why dopamine-boosting antidepressants are often used for testing depression in those with ADD/ADHD.

      With that said, I am on long term treatment for serious chronic pain using both long and short acting opiates. When my pain is correctly treated so I can function on a day-to-day basis with only a low level of pain my ADD symptoms are also better controlled than when my pain is higher. At the same time high levels of pain does mess with concentration, so the medicines seems to help in both ways.

      One confusion that has been expressed is that experiencing physical withdrawal is both a sign of addiction and means you’ve developed a tolerance for it requiring dose increase. Neither is true! Chronic pain specialists say and professional research shows that physical withdrawal symptoms are not an indicator of psychological addiction, nor should it be called addiction. Neither is a desire to avoid being in serious, life altering pain. An addiction is characterized by drug seeking behavior such as going to multiple doctors and hospitals asking specifically for opiates despite not having any symptoms of serious pain, buying illegal opiates such as heroin and other people’s prescription ones, and such behaviors. Physical symptoms of withdrawal, which are completely miserable, have nothing to do with needing a dose increase due to tolerance. Tolerance is indicated by reduction in the reduction of pain you experience. It happens sometimes, but certainly not always. I’ve been on the same doses for over a year, and any increases I’ve needed over the years have been due to things like almost dying in a car accident and having multiple facial fractures that have never healed.

      • #105425

        I’ve been using Vivance for adhd. I also have to take Norco for my RA. I was amazed to find out that pain management prescribes stimulants with pain meds. It has been proven to make the pain meds work alot better for cronic pain and you don’t need as much of the pain med. It also helps not to get resistant to the pain med as quickly. Among other helpful things. I read about this on the Pain Management web site. I tried it with a smaller dose and was happy with the results mainly because I won’t have to raise my dose as soon, and can use alot less.

    • #100102

      This is the Kratom Bible. Treatment of ADHD is highly specialized, and I don’t think it’s mentioned there. But it will give you an idea what to look for. Now, keep in mind, having ADHD, if you are anything like me, you are wired differently. When I took stimulants, I would get up in the morning, take my meds, and go back to sleep. I was taking Dextroamphetamine….
      I’m in pain management, have been for decades, and found out that I am immune to morphine. For Kratom, I don’t feel any thing at all. Can’t say it helps pain much, but if you are planning withdrawing from narcotics, it DEFINATELY helps. There is a Kratom User Support group on facebook, if you do anything there. If anyone has insight on using it for ADHD, they will be there.

      I have a new topic as well, maybe it would be better to start a new thread with that

    • #101593

      Because you probably also have anxiety.
      A major problem that comes along with ADHD is anxiety. Whether because it was always there or because it was developed over the lifetime of knowing you cannot do the things others expect, etc.
      Anxiety deepens the cycle of ADHD symptoms because we feel more hesitant to try to accomplish things and we become further distracted by our worries.

      Hydrocodone helps quiet anxiety.
      So it seems as though you can focus better because it quiets the distraction in your own head.

      • #101594

        I use kratom. I have for about 2 years now
        I started it for chronic pain and fatigue after cancer.
        I recently found that Red Maeng Da strain also helps with my ADHD.

        Edit: New to this forum, meant to reply to the person who mentioned kratom.
        Everything is tiny on my phone screen, sorry.
        Also no idea why but I can’t make my own new threads?

        • This reply was modified 3 years, 1 month ago by Whatmom.
    • #105609
      Huh What Ooo

      Vicodin/Lortab/Hydrodcone gives me that uppity happy feeling. Then the itching comes, sometimes hives… Percocets do not effect me the same way. If I’ve been off Adderall for a bit or can’t fill my script, I will use Sudafed to keep the rebound sinus issues away. Sometimes it Pepa me up. Adderall makes a good A.D.D. med and a lousy decongestant. Sudafed is a good decongestant and a lousy long term A.D.D. med lol.

      TThis seems like the sorta thing you should hash out with your pdoc. Too easy to off the beaten path with meds. I have used Gaunfacine and it worked for a bit, then lost its luster. Helped with anxiety.

      It’s weird how we have the cray cray anxiety unmedicated only to replace it with a stim anxiety/anxiousness. I’ll take the latter and not fuss about it.

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