Adult ADD medications

I am a healthy 37 year old male and recently diagnosed with ADD. We have tried Ritalin, Focalin XR and Adderall XR and none seem to me doing anything for me. Any thoughts? I am more aware of my ADD simply because I have learned a lot more about it and came to the realization of having to accept having it, but I am not sure the meds any doing anything for me. Maybe they are, and that's why I am here in the first place..... but i am not sure.... Help>>>>

What kind of doses were you

What kind of doses were you prescribed? I hardly noticed the lower amounts. Took a few visits to the doctor also, so he could work his way up. Then one day it was like waking from the dead. Like all the planets and stars were lined up just right, similar to the day I wore contacts for the first time.
clancy's picture

Waking up

Beautifully said. I identify with your waking-- for me it was like a door opened and as I walked through the entrance, I found a new world with all the planets and stars in alignment, too. Having ADHD can be a very spiritual experience. The flip side of course, is our own personal hell.

benefits of meds on the relationship?

Question to those of you whose spouses have tried medication: Apart from organisational abilities, what have been the benefits of medication in terms of your relationship? Has there been improvement regarding emotional connection? Focus and attention? Sex? Empathy? Memory? Implementing changes? Did anything get worse due to meds? Thanks Tids

What Can Get Better with Meds

I should probably write an entire blog post on this, but briefly, some of the things that may be able to change with meds...the ability to:

  • initiate new projects
  • end projects of interest
  • focus in the middle
  • lessen anxiety
  • improve depression symptoms
  • manage OCD
  • improve sex life (better focus)
  • decrease sex drive (response to some meds)
  • improve memory (better focus)
  • focus long enough to improve communication skills over the long run
  • "get things done" (as my daughter describes it)
  • control unexpected fits of anger
  • notice things around them more consistently
  • respond more accurately to emotional cues

Someone on meds might get all or none of these benefits.  Also, they would result from different meds (anti-depressants, stimulants, OCD meds) so you really need to talk with the doctor about what symptoms you are trying to control, dose, time of day that you take the meds, etc.

Also, meds are NOT the "fix all" people often expect them to be.  There is no magic pill.  Meds simply help the person enough so that they can start to work on developing long-lasting tactics to manage their symptoms.  So, some things you might notice right away - such as ability to stay in a conversation longer due to improved focus - while others come over years of work - such as improving overall communication skills or solving sexual issues related to previously poor communication (takes two to work through what works for you as a couple).

Also, there may well be side effects to deal with.  So, bottom line is - work closely with a doctor who is interested in fine tuning what works for you.

Melissa Orlov

Can't find the right meds

It has been about 2 yrs since my diagnosis.  I started out on Vyvanse, but did not feel much effect so I have also tried Focalin XR and it seems like maybe something else too that I can't remember?  I am back on Vyvanse now (50 mg).  But I am wondering if the dose is too low.  I do feel some slight benefits, but nothing dramatic, and certainly not the ability to "end projects of interest."  I struggle a lot with hyperfocus and obsessive tendencies.  Not really OCD per se, but I just get really into my "topic/project of the day" whether it is computer research, organizing a closet, fitness, cooking, work, reading a book, raking the yard, or etc. and I can't stop.  Sometimes I can't stop for hours, sometimes days (with a little bit of sleep in there somewhere!).

 My main improvement with meds seems to be what I call "smoothed out" emotions, which is very nice.  But I would like help with all those other practical things on the list too!  I have heard people refer to their effective meds like putting on eyeglasses for the first time.  My meds have never felt like that.  What does this mean?  I am a little embarrassed to keep asking my doctor (family practitioner) to increase my dose.  He has always been supportive, but the way they make you drive to the office to get the Rx every month (vs. Dr. calling it in) and then show ID to pick it up and then again at the pharmacy to get them makes me feel like I'm crazy or a criminal!  What is the max dose on Vyvanse?  Is 50 mg already high, or should I ask for more?  I think I read somewhere in this post thread that someone is taking 70 mg of Vyvanse.  Maybe I need to keep trying to get that more dramatic effect, or do some people just not ever feel that?  I have NOT noticed the irritability that some people have complained about with this med, thankfully.  But I guess I might see it at a higher dose...

I take vyvanse

80mg and a 5 mil dex at night if I need it for activity. 50 may be low for you, especially if it is working for emotional regulation. Also, "pills don't teach skills" you need a coach or a book to work on individual issues. G'nite its midnight.

What is dex?

Is dex something to help you sleep?  I'm not sure what that is.  Also--do these stimulant medications like Vyvanse require ever-increasing doses as your body gets used to them?  Or should I expect that when I find the "right" dose, I will be able to stay with that same dose for many years?

Also--would it make sense for me to take a double dose to test out how I feel at a higher dosage or would 100 mg be way too high?

fuzzylogic72's picture


I just posted this on another thread, then found this one, so I`ll cut and paste.

Finding the right med is hard enough (i've tried ritalin, dexedrine, wellbutrin, adderall, concerta, and am now on vyvanse); let alone finding the ideal dosing/timing, which can be just as hard. Trying a drug, esp. for the first time can be such an exciting, but also nerve-wracking time; everyone getting their hopes up that they are finally going to have the answer, just to find the drug is not effective, and sometimes even detrimental, depending on the presence of comorbid conditions or individual chemistry. That's when it's most important to not give up, and to google blogs about people's reactions to these drugs (its very reassuring when a drug makes you worse to read that others have experienced the same, and often they give great advice, such as giving it another week or two before switching). THEN when you finally get a good med or med combination, that's when you look down and notice the oars. At that point it's up to the patient to be proactive and start rowing; at least TRYING to row. That being said, when in a relationship with an adhder, you are both in the same boat (relationship impacted by adhd, and god knows what else either person brings to the relationship), and it's a hell of a lot easier, and more enjoyable with two people rowing, than just one. You get further, faster, and have more energy when you get to your campsite. Rowing together, to the same destination; that's the key.

Every drug works differently, and at different dosages for different people; for example my friend does great on dexedrine, where it made me completely over-charged, like non-stop turbo talk. Yet I am finding vyvanse to work a lot better. Chemically, this seems unlikely, as the two drugs are nearly identical, and the dosages I am taking is nearly the same as the dose of dexedrine (both are about 7.425mg dextroamphetamine base). Dextroamphetamine (dexedrine) is the active metabolite of vyvanse, so they should be identical, but for some reason they work different on me. Could be some kind of neuroplastic explanation, or due to one being metabolized in the G.I. tract, while the other is converted in the liver, but that`s irrelevant; the point is finding YOUR drug and dosage. Vyvanse is attractive to many parents, because it is a `pro-drug`, meaning it is inert (bound to lysine which renders it ineffective) until converted in the stomach, so it cannot be abused. 

Anecdotally, as a teacher I have observed that dexedrine often REALLY wires up the kids, as it did me, but that in no implies that that is a general truth across the board. Dexedrine, as with other stimulants was originally used for narcolepsy, and weightloss, so dont be surprised by some insomnia and lack of appetite!

After 4 years of experimenting, and working closely with my psychologist and psychiatrist, I have settled on

vyvanse (30 mg, once a day, but titrating up until I find the right balance of focus vs hypervigilance

wellbutrin (300mg before bed ) - for ME it kicks in right about the time I wake up and offsets the morning lethargy that otherwise would last until noon; also has increased my libido, lessened depression, and helped me quit smoking as it is the same drug as Zyban.

and in order to sleep, I use half of the smallest dose of zopiclone, and have recently switched to seroquel a couple hours before bed. Seroquel helps me `wind-down` so I can enjoy a relaxed evening, rather than the knock-out blow of zopiclone.

This regimen works for me; adderall xr (xr i think) was also good.

Give your body time to adapt to the meds; I would never quit a drug in under a month no matter what (well, within reason of course)

My only side effect is appetite (9pm and haven`t eaten yet), and EXTREME sweating; I have an appointment to have my sweat glands injected with botox which apparently works great.

Hope this helps; good luck in your quest, and DON`T GIVE UP!

fuzzylogic72's picture

oh yeah

One more thing: i also take a ton of omega 3-6-9 fatty acids. Udo`s Choice is what I use because of the credibility of the company and their research. Mega B complex, vit. D and magnesium also help. Meditation also helps, but if you dont get the meds right, you prob wont be able to sit still that long! haha.

sidebar: if you have an ipad or iphone or whatever, there is a great yoga breathing app that I find very relaxing and grounding (im not a big yoga hippy either) if yer interested, ask, and ill look up the name.

And avoid weed and alc. at ALL COSTS!! It took me years to realize the full extent of the damage they do to an adhder`s brain and relationships. This was more important and effective than any med, by far (and I am very pro-pharma).

Cheers folks!

Alcohol and Meds

Does alcohol have a bad effect even if used only in moderation?  I have been wondering about the interactions of alcohol and ADHD meds.  I almost never drink until evening (and not daily by any means) so I have been hoping that any interactions would be minimized as the meds would hopefully be wearing off around that same time.  How long does Vyvanse usually last (how many hours)?

fuzzylogic72's picture

vyvanse and alc

Most people ive talked to at support groups have found that if anything it decreases consumption habits. Truly moderate drinking shouldn't be a problem (according to my dr.). The controlling of binges kind of makes sense, as the right med should moderate erratic thought patterns/moods etc., and certainly increases good judgment and common sense. Drinking is a impulsive behaviour (esp. for alc. abusers, which adhders are statistically much more likely to be), so it makes sense that the med MIGHT decrease drinking impulses. On the other hand, if your med isn't ideal (i.e., you are over-stimulated) you may be prone to want to drink more for the perceived peace of mind. In the case where you are teempted to drink more b/c you are wired up, it can be dangerous b/c from my experience with all other stims Ive taken, the quantity I can drink (with less 'drunkness') was phenomenal (in a bad way). This would have many obvious risks associated with it (liver damage, increased risk of interaction with other drugs, risky behaviour, potentially dangerous cardiovascular effects, increased risk of seizure depending on drug interactions and genes).

So if you are truly honest with yourself regarding the definition of moderate, your med seems to be working well, and you're not anxious or depressed, you've checked for drug interactions if yer taking anything else, and there is no family history of seizures, heart disease or stroke, then the kind of drinking you are talking about should be fine.

Just my own opinion, based on my own experience and research.

Oh another interesting thing; although I haven't drank hard on vyvanse, as I have committed to beating my problem drinking patterns, I did notice that quitting was nearly effortless, and I dont have the "yay, I gotta good buzz, gimme more, gimme more" loop running through my head. I can just have one or two and stop.

Hope this helps!

Good Luck

Fortunately, I do not have a problem with alc, although I have always felt (long before my diagnosis) that I have a tendency toward addictive behaviors.  So I have always tried to be careful with this.  I am thankful that I have had my faith to guide me through those waters.  I think because I was trying so hard to live out what I believe, I am now having to "un-do" some of the negative connections I made that my failures are/were MORAL failures.  I am finally learning that my symptoms are not due to negative or sinful MORAL characteristics such as self-centeredness or laziness, lack of self-control, etc.  Our symptoms can be hard to distinguish from those traits!  Without diagnosis, what other conclusion CAN we really make?  BUT I am at least thankful that the moral standard that I strive to live under probably kept me from engaging in some really bad behaviors!  And I believe without a doubt that God held onto me and protected me from the potentially big and bad consequences when I did NOT make the best choices along the way.  Of course, there are ALWAYS consequences for our behaviors regardless of their cause or intent (and don't we know that better than most!), but I am grateful to have at least avoided the "biggies."  I am also very grateful for my husband who tries to love me unconditionally (even though that can be really HARD and he certainly is not perfect).  I honestly don't know how I got so lucky, except to be thankful to God for His provision!  

Good luck to you on beating any binge drinking habits!  Hopefully some of it was just self-medicating and if you are on the right meds now you will not need it anymore.  I don't know how you feel about God, but He has been a huge source of comfort and help to me.  I don't mean to push religion on you in any way, but just know that He is always there if you ever want to talk to Him! :)  The best thing about God for me as an ADDer is that no matter how inconsistent I am about following Him or how many times I fail, He will never leave me or forsake me and He is always ready to forgive me and take me back! 

In my opinion, the hardest part about adult ADD (so far) is changing the long-time habits as well as getting rid of the negative voices in our heads.  It took me at least a year to recognize that I had ANY strengths at all because I had been "telling myself" for about 35 years that all I had were weaknesses and failures!  But now I am beginning to discover why even some of my ADD symptoms can actually be a strength, at least compared to "normal" people who can be so BORING sometimes!  Haha.  For example, the "living in the present" or "time tunnel" characteristic helps me to be very forgiving and compassionate.  I easily forget what someone did to me in the past and/or how it made me feel, as long as they are being nice to me right now!  And if someone else is hurting, I feel compassion for them, even if they have been a jerk to me.  Of course, in the extreme that could lead to becoming a doormat or etc.--everything has its downside.  But for the most part, I am GLAD I can't really hold grudges!  My memory is not good enough to remember why to stay mad! LOL.  

Anyway, I really appreciate your help here and answering some of my questions.  I have just recently found this site and I like being able to ask questions or just blog about what's in my own head.  And if no one else reads it or likes it, that's okay!  I think it's therapeutic for me just to type it out.  I hope I haven't offended you with anything I said about my faith.  I was just trying to share what helps me and works for me.  Blessings to you!

fuzzylogic72's picture

Thanks for your reply ADD wife

You really seem to have a healthy grasp of your situation, and I like hearing hearing you talk out the logic of how you see and do things. Don't worry about the pushing religion thing (unless you're a Mormon) just kidding. Religion can be a great tool, and also a great comfort; like a spiritual compass. I went to catholic school and church and stuff when I was a kid, but escaped when I left grade 8. I believe that all faiths are equally valid and can be a powerful guiding force. I personally just didn't personally connect with the Christian approach, although I have great respect and admiration for those who have that unwavering faith. I personally resonate better with the tenets of Buddhism and Taoism. My Grandma was a devout Catholic, and though I didn't understand or appreciate it at the time, I think she drew great strength from it, and her unwavering faith and love for God kept her strong through a collection of severely painful, degenerative diseases. That strength and love continued seamlessly from her church, to allher children and grandchildren. So I guess I still have subconscious elements of Christianity in my personal Faith; I do find myself chatting with my catholic perception of God when things get really shaky and uncertain. You raised a very interesting point regarding the impact of western religion's emphasis on morality. Maybe that's what motivated me to spread my wings and search for something new, and more in accord with my add temperament. Catholic school was straight up traumatic for me as an adhd kid. It was all about a doctrine of control based on fear and shame... and I certainly didn;t need any more of that than I was already carrying around. The Buddhist emphasis on Mindfulness, craving vs aversion, compassion, impermanence, non-attachment and a nice hot bowl of rice have probably gone a long way towards me even being around today; let alone semi-functional!

One planet, One Life, One Love. We're all here for but a flash.


Thanks for your post, really helps!

After taking ritalin for over a year, I decided to stop and go the all natural way - 5 htp, theanine, excercise etc.

However after 2 years of trying that out I have found that I still do not have a good control over my negative adhd symptoms. 

I recently came to terms with the fact that I perhaps need to revisit using medication in addition to my excercise regime to get a better grasp of the situation.

I have heard alot of good things abt vyvanse, think I will give it a try. Maybe also Welbutrin before bed like you.



I was diagnosed around 6.5 years ago after I quit drinking and was put on Strattera, a non-stimulant that worked immediately.  I have since taken Adderall due to health insurance not covering Strattera (expensive!!) but after years of never finding the right dose have stopped the stimulant med.  I have a stash of Strattera I take every other day because I don't have health insurance until June but plan on either going back on Strattera at a lower dose or trying Ritalin if the Strattera is too expensive.  I never felt Adderall did much other than make me ok for a minute or two and cause me to be even worse when it wore off.  I don't see many people who take non-stimulant Strattera, maybe because the stimulants are older and more well known but when it worked for me it really was like getting glasses and being able to see for the first time.  I was amazed that the relentless noise in my head wasn't normal or what everyone else dealt with and felt kind of pissed off that I had missed out for so many years when I just thought I was being a wuss.  I'm no doctor but I know what I feel like when my ADD is under control and what I feel like when it's out of control and so far Strattera is the only thing that was able to do that for me.  There were times I felt like it wasn't working anymore and there are side effects that are annoying but not worth giving it up like dry mouth, night sweats, difficulty urinating and low blood pressure that causes fainting and/or head rushes if you get up/stand up quickly but honestly it's worth it.  The best part, besides how well it works, is that it is long acting, once a day and no rebound or repeat doses.

I hope you find what works, once you do you will know, without question, that you've found it but until then the trial and error that goes with stimulant dosing can be royally frustrating, especially because you're ADD.  Best of luck, mention the non-stimulant to your doc (lots of doctors have samples that are free so even if it's expensive you can at least try it cheap) and see what happens!




Recently it has come to my attention that my 41 yr. old son has ADD.  I feel sad that I never knew this, however; moving forward I consulted a chiropractor who suggest the herb min-tran.  So far that has been quite helpful.

adult meds effects & Qs

This is my first post as I've just recently sought out resources for ADD even (finally) seeing a doctor to try medicine. I got to this blog because my marriage is on the rocks. I am a 32 year old female. I am also working on things like structure (I have a million systems and have worked on this for years), exercise, teaching myself about the ADD brain, but I have so much going on in my life right now that I felt like I needed to give the support of medicine a try too. A friend with ADD (who was diagnosed in school years ago) and a psychologist I've talked to a few times were encouraging of this too because I'm struggling so much. Anyways, here is one idea I had for the poster who started this thread: My doctor (who's very experienced with ADD adults and medicines) said that some adults experience an initial "treatment high" that settles down in a week or so and that leads some people to want to change medicines a lot seeking that same experience, but it's just part of the adjustment process. Could this possibly be something going on for you? Also, he said for some people if none of the stimulants work, they may have different brain chemistry OR perhaps not ADD or (not ADD alone) and so should consider trying non-stimulants or additional diagnosis exploration. Just some ideas to think about or ask your doctor! Also, I have some questions for readres about starting meds as an adult: How did you know if your dose is "just right" vs too high or low? What does not quite right feel like to you? My doc did tell me that it takes some "tweaking" of the dose for most people. (He started me on 30mg of Vyvanse.) Do you have any experience as an adult with Vyvanse? I was not happy to read in the drug insert information that Vyvanse has not been tested on adults OR kids for long term use--the longest study was a 4 week clinical test! If so, does it take long for most people's bodies to adjust to the medicine? Thank you for any thoughts or ideas!

response to mainer about med effect

I am taking adderall IR 20 mg. I started about 3-4 months ago. I started at 5 and increased over 1 week at a time until 20 and that is where I have been. I haven't changed up or down because it feels like it has been working, in talking to my wife and the med lady( my simple mind title for her). I feel like it is working in that i am able to function a bit easier, still once and a while feel like I am going in 100 directions but not as bad and it is easier to sort out if that make sense. Didn't want to increase due to possible weight loss effect that i can't afford so i think we are staying where we are. I think if you feel like the med is working i.e able to function better and accomplish thing that you weren't able to before that is how you know if it is working, at least that is how I feel in my case, base on my experience.

To AKA-Dawg, If you don't

To AKA-Dawg, If you don't mind my asking, what medication was it that finally got you to feeling better? Like many, I have tried a couple so far, and have noticed no positive effects........still lost and searching. Thanks

2 Years Trying

Is it possible that after 2 years of 2 or 3 different meds I might still not be on the right dose?  I am taking 50 mg Vyvanse and I do feel some slight improvements, but I keep waiting for that "click" or that "a-ha" moment when I can tell a big difference like others have described.  Will my doc think I'm crazy or an addict if I keep asking for a higher dose?!?!  He is just my family doctor, not a specialist in ADHD.  How long (avg) does it usually take to find the right medicine?


Vyvanse is an extended release medication. I prefer regular Adderall. It seems to kick-in about 25 minutes after taking the first dose, then starts tailing off in about 5 hours. I like to be able to kind of plan my day with the multiple doses. 20mg in the morning, 20 around 11am, then 10mg around 3pm on a normal work day. Depending on what the day demands or when it starts I may only take 40mg total or up to 60mg total. The "Jolt" is not a huge effect, but it realize it is working. Also... When I exercise (1-2 miles speed walk) when I wake up and the same after work, I feel REALLY good on those days. Exercise is a Key ingredient for me. I am also about 2 years post diagnosis...


Vyvanse vs. Adderall

That's good to know.  I need to research the different meds a little more.  Although, I am usually lucky to remember to take ONE dose of something--not sure I could do multiple doses per day!  I have a joke that I need my medicine to be able to remember to take my medicine!  I use a pill minder with a separate compartment for each day (morning and night) to help me remember.  Then when I wonder "Did I take my med yet?" I can know for sure whether I have already taken it that day or not!  I have also started keeping the rx bottle in my purse for those days when I forget but I've already left the house.

In serveral places

I have a little pill holder on my key chain, a bottle in my laptop bag and a bottle at the house :-)

I am now at 3 Adderall XR 20mg = 60mg

and still not feeling that I am getting any reaction from it. What's your thought on the new vyvanse? what's your experience with Ritalin versus amphetamines??? I feel I am more aware now becuase I have been reading and researching like a maniac, yet I dont feel the meds have done much to tell.... Thanks for your advice.

I take 70mg of Vyvanse and

I take 70mg of Vyvanse and it works great. I have been on FocalinXR, Adderall, Concerta, and Dexadrine since being diagnosed with ADD over 13 years ago. Vyvanse works the best for me, for now. Have you heard of the patch that is out now?
fuzzylogic72's picture


I've heard of it, but don't know anyone who's tried it, do you? I'll have to find out if it's in Canada

I'm amazed you take 70mg of this stuff! I have a 30mg script, and just tried 60mg yesterday morning... haven't slept yet. Going on 36 hours now, and so far have eaten a few peach slices. Not hungry, not tired. Maybe because my system is so used to Adderall, and I just made the switch this week. The effect is like half way between Adderall and Dexedrine. I expect the reaction to level off as I adapt to it, but something tells me I'll end up going back to the Addy. I was amazed that in the 36 hours, to try to force sleep, I took 2 zopiclone and 4 seroquel. All it ded was take the edge off. I feel like the guy in the movie Limitless lol. That's a movie every adder and their loved one should see; lots of parallels and subtle statements. Great flick.


My Husband...

Gets a lot of benefit from Vyvanse however our new insurance doesn't cover it so he switched to Aderall XR and it actually made things worse. The first week was great but after that things steadily got worse until he was so defensive and lacked all focus that he was better with no meds at all than with the Aderall.

aderall is different

you have to build it up slowly like any other trial. It will still work but it is stronger as I understand it. Lay off a day or two and ease back in with much lower dose but talk to doc about it first.

fuzzylogic72's picture

Have you tried

Wellbutrin? More subtle than the others, but I wouldn't be without it. Anti-depressant, energizer, better focus, and increased libido. I use it in conjunction with whatever primary add drug I'm on. There is also a drug called biphentin; not sure if it's just in Canada or what. It's just controlled release methylphenidate, which might be great for me b/c ritalin worked great if it werent for the sharp peaks and valleys of onset/wearoff. My psych didn't seem interested though.

Trying Meds

I always make sure to say this up front when I respond to anything that has to do with meds - I am not a doctor...and neither are the others who are sharing their experiences here...

You don't mention the anti-depressant meds in your list (Wellbutrin being one example).  Perhaps you should talk with your doctor about those.  They work for some folks when stimulants don't.

Make sure to get feedback from those around you about whether or not your meds seem to be helping.  The ideal situation is, in fact, that you don't "feel" them working but that they help you manage some of your symptoms.  You might not be aware of the fact that you are disconnecting from your computer hyperfocusing more easily, for example, when in fact someone else might observe that.

There are also non-medicinal approaches.  See Delivered from Distraction for some of those.

About 20% of people either don't respond to the meds or don't like the side effects and decide not to take them.

Melissa Orlov

I originally was started on

I originally was started on Zoloft about 4 years ago. 2 years ago I started taking Ritalin. 1 - 5 mg fast release with 1 - 25 mg slow release, another slow release around noon. I didn't want to be on Zoloft any longer as I really gained weight. So since February, I've been weaning myself off (with my Dr.'s advise). My moods aren't as smooth feeling as before, but I do like being off the Zoloft. Now I'm not sure if the Ritalin is working as it did. I wonder if I should be increasing the dose?
fuzzylogic72's picture


Other than weight gain, what wat good/bad about zoloft? How did you feel on it; other than more smooth moods (which sounds like a golden nugget to me)..

No more Cylert... anyone found a good replacement?

The Readers Digest version: Diagnosed late in undergrad with ADHD and a couple extreme LDs, went on to complete MBA. They(pharmaceutical company) took Cylert off the market due to potential lever damage and I've been unable to find any good alternative. While working on my Masters in Education I presented nationally about Gifted/LD and spoke about a number of my personal experienced with educators not understanding how a single student could be both. I have the where-with-all to know there needs to be a change in my current situation. I've tried a number of drugs and have come full circle back to ritalin (LA), but it does not provide me with the full mental acuity I had on Cylert. I'm still only able to focus on menial tasks and can't envision the big picture simultaneous to being productive. Bio-feedback has not done anything for me. I pretty much see it as a way to train your brain to be "test ready" by knowing how/when to focus, but does nothing to allow me to see the big picture while completing daily tasks. Right now I can either take Ritalin and complete the day to day functions, or not take it, and see the big picture. I would MUCH rather be seeing the big picture and guiding others on daily tasks, but unfortunately I need the functionality to perform, what I consider to be droll tasks that bring in a check each week. I am currently doing a lot of computer web code and database work and have NO management prospects because I'm only able to show my remedial worker skills right now. If I go off Ritalin, I lose personal productivity. Is there anybody else who had the Cylert experience and has found a GOOD replacement? Has anyone been on a an anti-depressant AND an ADHD med together? I'm practically willing to belly up to Jim Jones gruel trough if it would help get my mind back.

Natural Meds for ADD

I have just run across this forum in looking to see if anyone else has had the luck that I have had. After trying the prescription drugs for my older teenage son, and him hating all the side effects, we happened across an alternative medicine of homeopathic, and natural ingredients. My son absolutely loves this! He has regained his focus, and it has relieved his anxiety much more than the prescription drugs ever have. You can p.m. me for info - I am not a salesperson for this - just a happy mom that has found a great solution. He is eating again, and sleeping at night, something the prescriptions really interfered with.

I would like to know what

I would like to know what you found for your son. My husband is a.d.d. and I am at my wits end. We prefer the natural approach and he is taking quite a number of supplements already. They help with some of the memory problems but not the a.d.d. If we don't find something, he will have to try some medications. I just can't keep going like this.

Natural Meds for ADD

Could you please advise what alternative homeopathic medicine you have found for your son?  My 18 year old son just finished the "trial and error" phase with every stimulant and, as is the same with your son, hates all the side effects, mainly the anti-social feelings he experiences.  He definintely needs something to alleve his ADD symptons but is now forgoing any meds because of the side effects. 

His Dr. recommended fish oil supplements, which he has just started taking, but is there something else that's natural?

Natural remedies

There is a chapter in Delivered from Distraction devoted to alternative therapies, and fish oil is certainly one of them,  Another biggie is exercise.  There are also computer programs that can help with focus, brain wave therapies, etc.  Also, some people respond to behavioral optometry (not in the book) and if your son has issues with speed of reading, you might want to investigate whether or not he has eye tracking issues that can be resolved with eye exercises (improving his reading speed).

Another resource is the Hallowell website, which offers some information under the Sudbury office (things they offer are described so you get a feel for what they are) and in the resources section, I believe).

Medications don't work for everyone (Dr. Hallowell himself included) but hopefully your son will be able to find things that help him with his most critical areas of need.

sb76's picture

curious for info

I'm not clueless, but I can't seem to figure out how to send a private message on this forum...would like to know what you found for an it called addasil, by chance?

I've herd some about omega

I've herd some about omega 3,6,9 fish oil helping with ADHD. You want to go to a herble store and ask about stuff for adhd. you can research omega/ adhd on the internet.

There are other natural

There are other natural alternatives out there. At the health food store there is one called "Melissa's support" I think is the name. Just go in there and ask them. I think people that have the so called ADD are really smart people, we just learn different. Kids shouldn't have to be drugged into submission to be able to tolerate boring teachers. The teachers should be more interesting. It's not the kids fault!, it's not normal to sit in a chair all day at school, that's why I home school my kids.


My wife has been on vyvanse for about a year now. She explained that to me that she needed it because she couldn't concentrate and get things done. She explained it felt like speed. She takes it first thing when she wakes up, to wake her up. She stays up till three in the morning "working on web projects". However they never seem to get done. She has pulled her eybrowes and eyelashes out. She explains that she has always done this. She has trouble making up her mind. On saturday, she couldn't make up her mind what to wear. After 4 outfits, she ended up on th efloor in tears. I told her we could go straight to the store and buy some new ones. She didn't want to. The following day, she got mad at me an then she dissappeared for an hour. I called her she didn't answer. I had no idea where she went. An hour or two later she came back. She had gone to the Old Navy and bouhght some clothes. It just seems that the motivation comes when you have strong emotions when your on this drug. I don't know if its the drugs or my wife. I wonder if she needs something stronger or if she should get off the vyvanse totally. She also takes lexapro. Which I think is another form of vyvanse, but I am not a doctor. Also she takes zoloft. My thoughts would be to try it without the drugs. They don't seem to be helping my wife.

sapphyre's picture

Vyvanse is for the ADHD, the others are Antidepressants

Hi mmw

I don't know anything about Vyvanse, but Wikipedia tells me it's an amphetamine for ADHD, i.e. a stimulant.

Zoloft and Lexapro are antidepressants, of the SSRI class. Its unusual to be taking two different ones at the same time, as they have similar effects.

What kind of doctor does she see? If it's a psychiatrist, ask if you can come to her appointment with her and bring a list of your questions - e.g.

Q1 is behaviour X caused by a medication she is on, or is it part of one of her conditions? What are her conditions? (Not just ADHD if she is on antidepressants). Is there something we can do to work on this behaviour?

Q2 Why is she on two SSRIs?

Good luck!

When I take stimulants long

When I take stimulants long term,  they mess my head up.  I become emotional easily,  my eating habits become inconsistent, my sleeping becomes sporadic, I get scattered and struggle to function. I feel like am looking at the world through the eyes of a stranger I dont recognize.  I get depressed, anxious, unpredictable, detached and exhausted. I get angry that I get told this is how I need to be to make life easier for other people,  I resent feeling like this to please others.  I hate this. 

When I take Anti-depressants, they stabilize my moods some,  but I can't feel, even when I want to or it would be appropriate.  My life becomes MEH, and simply don't' care if the sky falls in, my connection with the world, my empathy and the ability to emotional relate are blunted to the point that I can see no purpose for anything . Yet  Under this I can feel my depression still trying to push through.   If I forget to take one, then by 6 in the afternoon I get a tumbling zapping feeling, an anxious tremor and I feel sick. I  hate this.

When I take both, then my life spirals into a world of uncountable, uncontainable and manic energy,   boundless yet directionless.  One minute elated that you can see for a thousand miles, the next everything is completely pointless.  I hate this. 

These drugs they give us, they are a band-aid to soothe and a rug to sweep us under.   When I don't have the pressure of the world and it's  expectations of how I should be pressing in on me.  When I can sit in the sun,  thinking of the world and letting my mind run free, following ideas along a web of thought that leaves me calm and as close to peace as I ever feel,  I love this. Why is this wrong and why do you all want to take this away?    Why cant' I be the person I was born? 

Imagine you  in this place.    It's frustrating and bewildering, and it's full of long term resentment.  How can that be better?

  Dr. Drugs suck, I want my life back. 




I'm 24 and recently diagnosed with ADHD, I started off at 18mg of Concerta and now I'm on 72mg and It isn't helping at all. I still cant sit still and still cant focus on anything. Not to mention I keep losing my temper and don't know why or how to fix the problem. Please help. What's next? What can I expect?

Well first of all let me say

Well first of all let me say that you are not alone, It is one of the inconvenient truths that many of us either do not respond, or the medications have an adverse impact.    You will frequently hear people say that you just need to keep trying until you find the right medication, or the right dose or the right mix of medications of the right dosage.

Well I can tell you my experience has been years of feeling horrible as my body attempts to adjust to some new regimen, I count these years as wasted years.

In the end I settled on Cymbalta as the best of a bad lot, it does not do a lot for my ADHD, but it works well on anxiety and in turn depression.   It still makes me feel crap though and I am dependent on it, I also feel numb, I take this drug so that I can blend in without drawing attention to myself,  it keeps the non’s of my back.

Ask yourself, why are you taking medications?   Is it what you want? Do you feel better for it?
The medication is for you, and nobody else.  NOBODY has a right to expect you to drug yourself to suit what they want.   If you lived in a world that operated as you see things, would you take medications?  Or are you taking medications to make you fit into what the world expects you to be? 

Much advice on medications comes like a gun to the head,   “take your drugs or we are done”
I understand this as pain and desperation of the NON, but as unpopular as this may be, you need to disregard it.  

Your health regardless of how you achieve it is NOT about non ADHD people and what you elect to do is none of their business at all.  It is about you and nobody else.

I hope you are able to find better living through chemistry,  just be careful and don’t lose yourself in the process. 


I was just diagnosed with Adult ADD on Tuesday.

Hey Everyone,

I have just found out this past Tuesday as I have made appointment requested by my family doctor to see a pych. for my lack of retention and focus. I am 45 years old, I have wonderful son who is (8), a toxic yet confused wife that I have been married to for (10) years. Or, maybe I'm confused! lol....I don't know...maybe we both are. I have done a lot of soul searching the last few years and now I have come to conclusion that I did have some sort of ADHD or ADD. And, amazingly enough?? I knew I had this for years and years!! How did I know I had this? I would study for Hours on end for tests in High School and College, know I knew the material, and my test scores would either be "bombed" or I would barely pass by the skin of my ass cheeks!! NO JOKE! I still can't believe today that I had made it through college with a college degree and passing my exit exam after taking it the second time!! There many other things I remember even when I was younger but I have come to realize that my sports is thus the reason why I did ok and balanced it out good the way I did. Because I played basketball and baseball well through out High School and College and it was my entire motive to go to college and be a so called "jock" of the school while I battled this god for saken ADD with anxiety with social drinking. What made me come out and seriously take a look at myself is that the last 3 jobs I had held I had noticed that I had been forgetting a lot of things. Such as, important deadlines, dates, People's names in the office, my passwords to my computer, etc. This hasn't been recent for some these, but these are honestly the things that I can remember NOW! When I was a young child, I can remember a lot of yelling and screaming from my parents aimed at my drug abusing older sister who resented the fact I was born. There is a lot more to this. She was abusive to me growing up as a young adolescent. Physical and emotional. Anyways, I will deal with all of this with my awesome doctor. I have been prescribed with Vyvanse (30MG) and I take right now a (10MG) of Lexapro for anxiety. The Lexapro I was given 2 years ago by my doctor and has helped pretty good. I have not taken the Vyvanse yet because I have to wait for the the pre-order from the psych doctor. I don't drink, I don't smoke. I am a big guy at 6'4", 290. A question I have if anyone knows is does a size and weight of a person matter with how much dosage should have an effect on a person? Or, does it all work the same in everyone's system no matter how tall thick, short, fat you are. I guess I should asked my doctor when I saw her on Tuesday! lol......anyways......Please let me know your experiences and what you are taking for adult ADD, tell me your success and not so good successes so that I may know how to handle this life changing situation. I want to wish everyone the best road to recovery and I will keep everyone posted how things go too! Hope to hear from you soon! Have a great weekend everyone!


NotAnIdiot's picture

Hello Dave - it is very good

Hello Dave - it is very good news that you have been officially diagnosed.  Have you read Michelle's book? If not, do so right away.  I was not diagnosed until age 49.  Like many of us I am a bit accident prone, and two years ago I broke my femur playing basketball.  During my convalescence I was prescribed the usual pain killers, but found them to have a stimulating effect (not sure if this is normal with us ADHDers). It was one of the most productive periods of my professional life!  After the convalescence, I experienced a lot of depression, anxiety, procrastination, etc. - basically the opposite of life on the meds.  You can guess where this is going.  I went to my doctor about it, and was referred to a psychiatric N.P., who diagnosed me with ADHD.  That was 2 years ago, but it was only recently that I found a medication regimen that suits me (and no it's not oxycontin, lol).  I was on Vyvanse and Welbutrin for quite a while, but found out serendipidously that both were causing me nighttime anxiety.  Now I am on a morning dose (10 mg) of Adderall and an afternoon booster (5 mg).  It works really well - except for later in the evening when it has worn off. My point is this: don't be dismayed if you find the meds not working; just try something else until you find what suits you best.  Also, it is very important to develop a system of lists or other organizational strategies, and go for weekly counseling.  The meds help, but are not a cure.

Hi Big Dave, I feel for your

Hi Big Dave, I feel for your situation!! I was diagnosed  a little over 2 years ago just after turning 44.  Like you, I think I always "knew" I had trouble also.  I also struggled in HS, College and Jobs.  Always jumping from one thing to the next, not always completing a task before starting the next. forgetting details.  But it has gotten worse over 40.  It wasn't until a lot of work problems that i finally had long talk (broke down in tears) with my Doctor and we came to this diagnosis.  My doc knew my marriage struggles and I have been on anti-dep meds for about 5 years (first Paxil now Celexa) and that works well.  Like you, I too was in a Toxic marriage for 12 years always supporting the needs and issues of my Ex husban.  Issues that were there WAY before me that I guess I always thought my love could fix (WRONG)!  My doc got me to realize it was time to help ME!!  She started me on Dexadrine, and it made me sick!! Nausea, sleepless, awful!  She took me off after one week of hell.  Put me on Vyvance.  Started me at 20mg, I am now on 30mg.  I don't think size matters because it is a nero-drug.  I am only 145 lbs and I am on same dose as you are now... Unless your doc is planning to increase yours later??  I have read dosage has to do with how much or how fast it is absorbed in your GI track.  So maybe we are all different?....You should discuss with doctor.  My advice to you is to give it a chance Vyvance took me a week to adjust to side effects.  Then I felt more clear than ever!!  You will KNOW when you KNOW.  My clarity eventually helped me to see my life clearer and do what I needed to do for myself and my 2 kids.  I have moved on to a significantly BETTER life now.  So if I can help ANYONE here I would say your relationships/marriages/life partners are CRITICAL to your success!!!  A toxic marriage situation does NOT help you!!  You need a supportive and loving partner on this journey of self re-discovery and a better life with more happiness and success!!  With ADD struggles you need someone that is there for YOU not someone that you are always picking up their problems/ issues/stress!!  I am now in such an amazing relationship now with someone that I never knew it was even possible.  I think with our ADD struggles we also can begin to just accept an unhappy life, and listen to negative or hopeless thoughts in our heads telling us its not going to get better and this is what you deserve, which for me was nothing!  Now I know that is not true!  You can improve your life back and set a MUCH better example for your children! A better YOU = a better parent!  You need a team approach, a good medical doctor or Psychiatrist for monitoring your meds, a cognitive therapist or counselor to learn new ways of thinking and doing things (remember pills don't TEACH skills) and I can't stress enough how much you need a SUPPORTIVE and loving, selfless person that puts your needs right up there with theirs or sometimes in front.  To keep you on track, to move your forward NOT set you back!!  If you have someone sucking the life out of you (toxic person) seriously look at your situation.  Sometimes it is a hard decision to make but the best one.  IT was for me.  God Bless you, best of luck and don't give up!! We are ALL in this together!! 

Hi Christine!

LOL....sorry for the late response!! I have not been on here for a while!! WOW! That's great to hear that you are doing well Christine! I know right? Vyvance has made things sooo much better all around! Although I have not had the need to up my dosage and my doctor has frequently asked if she should, I have been doing pretty good with the same amount. At times I do feel that little same thing coming on. But, I just don't want to try to increase it if i don't have to. I am trying to keep it small dosage for now. However, I have a question for you. Does the higher dosage of 10 or 20 milligrams make things even feel better than before? Please let me know Christine! I am still debating the point to maybe even try the higher dosage of 40 mg. I hope you are doing even better then your last e-mail!!

God Bless to you too!!

Big Dave  :)

Wow Not! Thanks for the info!

Thanks Not! I appreciate the great information! I guess from what I am reading, each medication works differently for different people. And knowing that it's probably going to be a pain in the ass to match the right fit! lol....but I will do what ever it takes to make my life better. I am sick and tired of my struggle and there's nothing more that I want than to get my somewhat "normalcy" back. Wow....I played basketball for years too and boy i miss those times. I played on softball teams too all through Orange County growing up and just had the best times!! Hope to hear from you again Not!

Vyvanse - First day on 30mg

Hi, just checking to see if anyone had side effects of headaches from Vyvanse? I have on now.....and it has been ongoing since I took Vyvanse 30mg since this afternoon. Do I keep taking it until I get use to it? or do I stop taking it? Please let me know. i will call my doctor first thing in the morning. This med seemed like it worked in the beginning, but after a while I got this ongoing headache. Thanks!



NotAnIdiot's picture

Hello again - I never had

Hello again - I never had headaches on it - but it did give me anxiety at night - it stays in your system longer than Adderall.  

Re Meds I'd try Dex or Vyvanse

Everyone responds differently with different medication and different dosages. 

It took 5 years and months of trials of Ritalin, LA, Concerta. Before that Statera and a few SSRI's and SNRI's.

As soon as I started Dexamphetamine I knew I'd found at least the right medication. Ritalin was like doing Coke all day everyday. I can only see now how bad i was on it. 

Since the Dex I have have improved by 35% in a year. I can mostly control the behaviours and I'm productive and no more tantrums. 

My response to medication is usually very typical. I personally don't understand why Dex isn't used first. It's the smoothest. Can sleep on it. There's no crash...


how did you or your doc determine that Dex was best to try ?   Do you take anything else.  Can  you further explain how it felt to be on Ritalin?


I would love for my H to be on something else.   He's only on Adderall and anti-anxiety meds, which aren't doing the trick.  He still has tantrums....this morning and last night. 

Punkboy37's picture


I have been on so many medication it's not even funny; I have been on many different doses as well; I was on Addrell started on 10 mg  1 a day then that work for like 6 months then had to up my dose to 20mg did didn't work,So went on to 50mg nope for about a month Dr then had me do Conerta and  Addrell together 25 mg and 50 mg for like 6 months didn't work tried Dextrin didn't work so my Dr. said we will try this ProVigil at 100 mg 2x A Day did and OMG it work and I can concentrate at work home and sleep well. I feel Addrell is not God for ADHD or ADD they need to come up with one that works for people. My wife is AdHA and bi polar and OCD and  she been on every meds possible like Welburtin Concerta Stregtrra foclin and Addrell and Dex,Vy and Nothing work once her Therapist put her on ProVigil she became a wonderful person and he BP was under control her ADHD was controlled and the only issue was the down side was No sex Drive but that can be managed.Later

adult add diagnosis at age 53

I was diagnosed with ADD less than 1 year ago. As my wife and I were seeing a marriage counselor, the counselor started identifying some ADD possible symptoms (for me primarily focus and memory issues, no hyperactivity) and recommended talking with my doctor who prescribed 10mg of Adderall. After 1st pill, within 30 minutes my head felt clear compared to what it had been. Totally amazing. As many comments below suggest, there are different results for different people with different meds. My counselor also suggested a book call Healing ADD by Dr. Daniel Amen who has studied ADD for decades and has identified 7 types of ADD, each of which may benefit from different types of treatment, including nutrition, exercise, and as needed medication. I'm still reading the book, but it is very enlightening especially in regards to indicating that different types of ADD need different types of treatment. Many Drs. just start prescribing meds to see which one works. I believe it is good to identify the type of ADD and then this can provide a better starting point for treatment, less of a hit and miss strategy. This book in the intro also indicates that ADD relationships can many challenges due to the ADD. This helps me to know why some areas of my marriage and family have had some of the difficulties we have had. I recommend this book as a great resource to help educate one in regards to learning how to overcome challenges from ADD through effective treatment.