Experience with medications?

Hi there all - my husband has agreed to look into getting medication to treat his ADHD. This has been a long and rocky road and he's still dragging his feet about it. I 'm trying to get information and make it as easy as possible (I've been helping find a psychiatrist to complete the diagnosis/prescribe).   He has a psychologist who has also been trying to get him in touch with someone who can prescribe but a lot of folks aren't taking new patients.  Our marriage therapist is also trying to find someone.  DH won't make calls in between appointments.  He waits for stuff to be handed to him during scheduled appointments so each time he gets a "no" it's taken another two weeks to get the next recommendation. Grrrr

But eventually there will be someone.  I am nervous and excited about this.  Does anyone have any first-hand input about the medication process?  I have been on antidepressants for years so I imagine it's kinda the same thing - where something will be prescribed, monitored, adjusted/switched as needed.

But more specifically can anyone tell me some nitty gritty stuff like - about how long does ADHD medication take to kick in?  What kind of side effects I should be on the lookout for?  How they really affect the way your brain feels and you process information?

Would appreciate some input from anyone who has either taken ADHD medication themselves or had a good hand in their significant other's treatment.  Thanks in advance!




Well... In my case

I felt the affects of my Adderall 30 minutes after the first 20mg dose. It was like taking a wet blanket off my brain. I knew things felt better, sharper, more focused and everything around me slowed down to a speed in which I could process the input coming at me. I tried Rittilin and Vyvanse, but liked the Non-XR Adderall because the separate doses allow me to adjust for the individual day. It takes a month or so to get to doses right...


sullygrl's picture

Thank you

I've heard that kind of reaction..but third hand. It is helpful to hear "right from the horse's mouth"!

blueyes42676's picture

The Clouds Parted and the Sun Finally came out


I am new here. I was diagnosed 2 years ago, this month, with ADHD combined type. Until my then 13 year daughter was diagnosed, I had seen more psychatrists and took more pills than I cared to count, none of which helped me at all. Even when I battled PPD after the birth of my 3rd daughter, the meds did not completely help me. When I started back college, I realized during my first math class that I had a huge problem and remembered why I quit trying in high school, even though I have well above average intelligence. Trying to focus on ANYTHING that did not peak my nature interest was almost impossible.

Fast forward two years and I found this site because I have come to realize through a few psychology classes that my ADHD is more "all incompassing" to my life than I ever realized. My poor husband is at his wits end, probably in part because he is now battling PTSD from Iraq and trying to cope with that, as well as my frequent bouts of "forgetting to take my ritalin" has taken its toll. I cannot even begin to help support him in his battle if I am not willing to get my own disorder in check.

Now when I started with the ritalin, the first dose I noticed an immediate improvement. I remember telling my teenager that this is how "normal" people must feel to be able to think clearly and be able to process information one thing at a time...My husband was gone when I was diagnosed and returned two months later. He noticed the "improved me" and loved every moment of it. THe problem is I became used to the meds and did not due my due dilligence by getting the dose adjusted.

Two weeks ago, everything came to a head and he had to take a break from our marriage to deal with himself. That was an eye opener for me, because he deserves the best me I can be.. So I went back to the dr and had my meds changed to concerta. I found out I am also a rapid metabolizer so I must take a 5mg ritalin booster in the am with my 54mg Concerta, followed by ( setting an alarm)) and taking 18 mg concerta at 1230 followed by 5 milligram ritalin at 3pm

Since the increase, things have improved drastically. SInce I am normally a rational, intelligent person, I prefer to remain that way. If I have to take this medication 10x a day till the day I meet the Lord, I will because my husband, my marriage and my 5 children are worth it.

BTW, of our 5 kids, thus far 3 have a varying form of the disorder.. One ADHD combined type, One ADHD hyper type and One ADHD primarily inattentive. We know the middle child does not and the youngest is too young yet to be officially screened...

To make the long story short. I believe the medication is the best tool in conjunction with behavior modification to make us ADHDers the best version of ourselves that we can be. Knowing how our disorder truly impacts those we love, should be inspirtation enough to do what needs to be done.

I have a long road ahead of me but my family is worth everything that I must go through to get healthier!!!! Good luck to every one on this difficult journey. Hopefully one day, people will not have to suffer in silence for decades before the root problem is identified. The earlier people are treated, the better their lives will be!!!

sullygrl's picture


You have had a long journey, to say the least! I think it will be helpful once my DH makes the leap to say, "here, people have done this. yes it takes time and adjustments but it is worth it"  I'm glad you added the bit about the behavior modifications too..did you see someone regularly to help adjust as you were adjusting to the meds?. 

Using Meds Takes Experimenting

Finding the right type of med and right dose takes some experimenting for most people.  The most common "mistake" folks make is to assume that if the first one doesn't work right away then that means that meds can't/won't help them.  These meds work differently (even are in different classes of meds) so one might give you a headache while a different one might give you clarity (a la the "like taking a wet blanket off my head" described below).

If using a stimulant, note when it wears off, too.  Some folks prefer to take a long-acting stimulant in the morning, then a short acting in the afternoon so that the effect of the meds stays with them until bedtime instead of wearing off before dinner.

Have both members of the couple note improvements and problems.  In following symptom relief and side effects, two heads are definitely better than one.  (When he first started meds, my husband couldn't see any changes, but I saw huge differences...this is a good combo, actually - he feels no different and we get the benefit as a couple!)

Keep at it - Dr. Hallowell finds in his practice that 70-80% of his patients can find a medication that provides symptom relief with no major side effects...but the process can take a few months. (or you might be lucky and find it's an immediate improvement with no adjustments!)

sullygrl's picture

Thank you Melissa

I'm not sure what will be prescribed for my DH, but having done all this with antidepressants (still adjusting after years but the tweaks get more minor) I know finding just the right medication and dose is just a process and takes longer for some. DH would be the type to say "see this isn't doing anything" so thank you for the suggestion of both of us tracking improvements/issues.

I appreciate all the support I get here...it has been a journey..