On 5th ADHD med - an end in sight?
I’ll try to make this as short as possible but there is a lot of background info I think is important.
Inquery: I am on my 5th ADD med attempt. Not sure how many more options are out there…what if I go through all meds and nothing is right? Comments/observations/personal stories appreciated. How do you know when it’s the right one?? What happens if none of them are right? Does that mean I have the wrong diagnosis?
Symptoms: Cannot focus on task at hand, extremely forgetful/distracted, esp if schedule is messed up..it begins a confusing chain of events, losing train of thought often, hard to get back on task once interrupted, day-dreamy/gets lost in thought often, thoughts and conversation seem random to others. I have to multitask when in a lecture, meeting, on the phone or else I won’t absorb the information. Obsessive about something I can finally focus on – to the point where I don’t notice the time, don’t sleep, don’t eat, forget the world around me. I suffer at work – have a normal m-f 8–5 job in front of a computer all day.
2008 – Excedrine/Caffeine – Didn’t know what was going on, except that these two things would help. Began daily routine of large coffee in the morning that would work until 12p or so, then excedrine to help get through the rest of the work day.
2009 – Strattera – horrible. Was initially diagnosed. I was in a zombie state, lightheaded, hallucinations, nightmares, lethargy, extremely nauseated, fell asleep behind the wheel after trying for 6 weeks (gradual dosage increase). Gave up cold turkey – no withdrawal symptoms.
2010 – Phentermine 30mg/day (took only 15mg though, didn’t need full dose) to lose weight – found it helped with ADHD (later discovered it is an ADHD med, although not a very effective one so they use it for weight loss now…). The dry mouth and extreme irritability (low blood sugar?) were causing problems with life relationships so I stopped.
2011 (July) – Adipex 37.5mg – went to family dr to get help again (problems at work). 2nd evaluation. Prescribed Adipex (prescription phentermine – stronger) until I could get an appointment with the clinic specialist & a more in-depth eval. This was fine, focus could def have been better, but it was a noted improvement. Downside: felt I had to move my legs (run/walk/get blood flowing through them) to “ground” myself…I felt out of my body at times, like my consciousness was floating above my head & needed to be brought back down. Doctors still look at me like I’m crazy when I try to describe this feeling.
2011 (August) – Adderall XR – Specialist diagnosed a 3rd time as having ADD. Prescribed this. Told me legs thing was the Adipex causing anxiety, warned me that Adderall might make it worse. Had HORRIBLE anxiety on it – anger. I was screaming/freaking out on people/crying.
2011 (Sept) – Vyvanse – Psychiatrist (4th diagnosis) immediately took me off of XR (guess I had a bad reaction) to try V due to it’s reputation of not producing as much anxiety. Focus was worse than natural. Anxiety was back, but in the form of teeth clenching, causing my teeth/gums to ache, and jaw and hands shaking as if I was shivering in the evenings. (Note: He also prescribed Prozac for the anxiety, which helped during the AM, and Klonopid for the PM or as needed. Definitely helps.) No side effects when stopped cold turkey. There was no positive to this one for me.
2011 (Sept) – Concerta – Prescribed, havent started yet. (My 7yr old son is currently on it in the AM, Methylin in the PM, and is about to begin Intuniv to help with his impulsiveness. Has had great success with the 1st 2 so far the past almost 3 years, increasing dosage with his growth spurts, but it’s been waning over the past few months – he tried Daytrana patch – only worked “halfway” and he had an allergic reaction to the adhesive…for anyone out there curious about those).
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