General Question

bitter_sweet_rose's avatar

Is it ok to take ADD meds then stop taking them for a while then start again?

Asked by bitter_sweet_rose (115points) January 14th, 2010

I have a medical problem (that I am still having test run to see what is it.) My mom told the doctor that i forget things a lot at school. Like books,my purse ect. So he put me on ADD meds. I took them for a couple days then stopped completely. My mom got mad and said I can’t stop taking them but wouldn’t tell me why. My question is why did she say I can’t stop taking them? I didn’t see any difference in when I took them and when I didn’t. Can me not taking them for about a week then suddenly starting again (my mom made me) can that effect anything? Thanks.

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13 Answers

marinelife's avatar

What is the medication? That makes a difference.

Nullo's avatar

First of all, ADD isn’t characterized by forgetfulness; your doctor may have misdiagnosed you.
It sounds like your mom is worried about a crash. The stimulants will always have a crash, not much you can do there but take more, and that way lies trouble. Headaches are the pretty much all that a crash can do to you, and you may feel a bit out of sorts for a little while.
It’s most likely not dangerous. Most ADD medications, like Ritalin and Dexedrine, don’t build up in your system; you take ‘em, they work, and then they’re gone, much like caffeine. Unless I am mistaken, Strattera, the only ADD medication that’s not a stimulant, needs some time to accumulate.
I taught myself to cope, more or less, early on; I’d only take Ritalin or one of its cousins (Strattera did nothing for me) before things like exams. My well-being never suffered from it.

CMaz's avatar

Most Meds take time for the body to adjust to. If you are taking them then you need to keep taking them.
If you have been taking them for some time you need to consult your doctor before you stop. Or you could crash.

My Ex and son were SOOOOOOO ADD. When they missed one taking of a pill you could tell they were “lacking control”. :-)

bitter_sweet_rose's avatar

i think it’s Strattera because Ritalin didn’t do anything (i took it when i was little)

Austinlad's avatar

Honestly, I don’t know anything about your condition or the meds you’re taking, but I’ve always been told by doctors that it’s never a good idea to start taking or stop taking a prescribed Med w/o professional medical advice. Many meds, like yours I think, need to be taken over a period of time so that their efficacy can increase to the correct level. And some meds lose their efficacy as soon as you stop taking them.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I take Strattera. It is very slow acting. It takes weeks for you to start noticing a difference.

For me, I noticed that I feel more clear-headed when I take it. I feel less “fuzzy.”

As with this and all medical questions, I would not recommend that you take advice from stangers on the Internet. Talk to your doctor honestly and openly about your doubts and concerns.

marinelife's avatar

You need to know what the medication that you have been prescribed is. look at the bottle. Then look it up online on a reliable medical site and check out the side effects, the way that it works, etc. Or you can ask a pharmacist (take the bottle with you) and they can tell you about it.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Strattera is slow acting and does take time to build up in your system. It’s not uncommon to notice that “something” is different after taking it for a few days.

avvooooooo's avatar

You take them for a couple of days and expect an instant result? Its not Tylenol. You have to be on most medications like Strattera for at least two weeks to notice a result. Starting and stopping a medication like that is bad for you because it can seriously screw up your brain chemistry. Take it and keep taking it until you’re told to stop by your doctor.

Nullo's avatar

The stimulant variety does work rather like Tylenol, or more accurately, like coffee.

avvooooooo's avatar

@Nullo Psychotropic medications, pretty much as a whole, require a period of adjustment for the body to respond appropriately to the medication. When the body is appropriately adjusted to it, it does function as a stimulant. When it is not, it does not.

Nullo's avatar

Good to know.

avvooooooo's avatar

@Nullo Some medications that affect brain chemistry can be really freaky when going on and off. I went on an SSRI at one point and was like an ADHD 5 year old for a couple of days when my brain was becoming used to the new chemical. Other people on the same or other drugs don’t feel like things are working at all because they don’t feel anything from them when in reality they haven’t given them enough time to work. Two weeks is what you would probably find is the standard minimum before you can really notice some desirable effects from a medication.

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