The Three Top ADHD Medication Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

ADHD Help, ADHD Treatments & Medications    September 28, 2011

One of the most effective management strategies for minimizing the challenges and symptoms of ADHD is medication. This might not be the most popular statement I have ever made, but research over and over again has shown that ADHD medications can “level the playing field” for adults with ADHD. Medications can be effective in helping adults with ADHD increase their focus on less interesting tasks, reduce impulsivity of actions and words and calm inner restlessness. I often hear clients describe the experience of being on the right medication as similar to having “the fog clearing”, “the water globe settling” or a “light switch being turned on”. They feel more focused, energetic, calm and productive. However, many adults never have the chance to experience the full benefits of ADHD medication due to three problem areas that I call “ADHD medication pitfalls”…taking the wrong medication, the wrong dose or taking medications at the wrong time.

“Medication Pitfall” #1

The first of these ADHD medication “pitfalls” is that many Adults with ADHD are not on the right medication. For good or bad, there is not a lot of variety in medications used to manage ADHD. In fact there are really only three. The good news is that with such limited options these medications have been studied over and over again for the past 50 years and we know the long term effects. The bad, is that there is a very limited choice of medications when it comes to treating the core ADHD symptoms.
ADHD medications can be divided into three categories: 1) Stimulants, 2) non-stimulants, and 3) “other”. Even though stimulants tend to be the most effective in decreasing the key symptoms of ADHD in adults, many people tend to avoid these due to real or feared side effects of the ADHD medication. Medications in this category include; Ritalin, Adderall, Dexedrine, Vyvanse, Concerta, etc. As I have said in a previous post, these medications are designed to “stimulate” the dopamine neurotransmitters of the brain; the key neurotransmitter that seems to be functioning ineffectively or in insufficient amounts in the brains of people challenged with ADHD. This category of medications is typically very effective in decreasing hyperactivity, distractibility and impulsivity. The second category of ADHD medications is non-stimulants. These include such medications as; Strattera, Wellbutrin and Effexor. These typically increase the levels of norepinephrine and serotonin in the ADHD brain and can help increase the mood, energy and motivation of people with ADHD. The third category is what I call “others”. These include such medication as: Clonidine, Tenex or Provigil. These ADHD Medications are typically prescribed to reduce ADHD symptoms such as impulsivity or to increase alertness (as in the case with Provigil). Each of these categories of medications works differently to help manage symptoms of ADHD.

“Medication Pitfall” #2

The second pitfall is not taking the right “dose”. The experience of ADHD is different for every adult and everyone’s experience of taking medications is a bit different. There are guidelines prescribers follow, but the dose that is right for you may not be right for someone else and visa versa. If you are on too low a dose of medication you will not get the full positive benefit of the medication. If you are on too high a dose, you may experience more negative side effects than you have to. The goal is to find just that right dose that balances the positive effects and minimizes negative side effects.

“Medication Pitfall” #3

The third pitfall is “wrong time”. You can be taking the right type of medication, at the right dose, but if you take it at the wrong time, you may not be experiencing the most benefit. Some medications work best taken when we awake to help get us started with the day. Some need to be taken multiple times a day at specific intervals to get their full consistent benefit. And finally, some medications, when taken at night, may help us sleep more soundly.
When you are trying to find the right ADHD medication for yourself, it is important to work with a prescriber who is knowledgeable about adult ADHD and ADHD medications. This may sound simple, but it’s not. You want your doctor to help you understand how the medications work, which ones might work best for you and support you in understanding your choices. Find out as much as you can for yourself about what choices are available and keep a consistent daily ADHD medication log or ADHD medication record to help you determine what medication works best, at what dose and at what intervals.

Let me know what your experiences are with ADHD medications by responding to this blog!

To get answers to other questions you have about ADHD medications click here

39 Responses to The Three Top ADHD Medication Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

  1. kris     December 7, 2011    2:43 pm    Reply

    I have used both the stimulant and non-stimulant kinds and nothing seems to work. I have eight projects at work, three from a previous position that I am always “almost” done with, and two new ones outside of work but within my field. I have such a hard time keeping things organized that it takes me hours sometimes to find the data I am looking for. I am constantly oscillating between genius and foggy just enough to put more work on my plate, which I love, but I love my husband more and I have no time (or energy) for him. I would love a natural proven alternative to meds as well as an ADHD boot camp type intervention. Unfortunately, meds are the only thing I can afford.

  2. Laurie     December 11, 2011    7:43 pm    Reply

    HI Kris! Thanks for your comments. After “knowing as much as possible about your ADHD”, medications are perhaps the second most effective way to help you manage your symptoms. ADHD medications are just as “natural” as using “insulin” for someone with diabetes or “get glasses” for someone who has poor eyesight. I am still trying to figure out why when it comes to the brain, which is just another organ of our body, like our pancreas (diabetes) or eyes…we feel we can’t treat it with the same amazing science we use for those. Just like trying to constantly focus with poor eyesight, the strain is draining…When people are on the right medication, the right dose and taking it at the best times for them…that fogginess often is reported to go away and people also report experiencing more energy to spend time doing what your love…being with your husband. I encourage you to seek out a really good prescriber who is familiar with ADHD and your options. Also, consider joining our ADDult ADHD support group. I started this group recognizing that I wanted to be able to provide more options for supporting people in the ADHD community. We meet twice a month..the first and third Wednesday of the month. It is a very cost effective support! Please keep in touch. You are not alone…

    • Vicky Cody     March 31, 2014    6:33 am    Reply

      I don’t believe that a man made medicine is a true natural remedy. Its true we use science to help our eyes and to give us insulin, but just like all insulin isnt natural neither is all ADHD. There are some meds out there that are natural, like the insulin they gave me while I was pregnant with both my children. It came from a pig, but not the same with ADHD meds, you have to admit that the meds used to help us with the symptoms of ADHD are mostly man synthesized and don’t have a basis in nature at all. Its something that man has inventented and we are putting this in our bodies and our children’s bodies just because a doctor said its safe. How can we be sure that it is safe for us and our kids.

  3. Liz     May 7, 2012    12:08 pm    Reply

    Hello, I am very frustrated right now. :( My 9 year old son has been diagnosed with ADHD after a horrific 3rd grade. He has been struggling keeping his focus, staying in his seat, controlling his impluses, among other things all have had a negative effective on him socially and academically. When I took him to the doc the asked about family history. I told no one diagnosed… but my son IS ME in the 3rd grade to a t. My parents never pushed for the school evaluation like I did for him. I got labeled immature and lazy and was separated from the class. I might as well have had leprosy.

    I have gone to my own doc and received that same diagnosis and started on 10mg adderall once a day. Been on it less than a week. I take in the am along with my son taking his meds and the fog lifts from my brain and the “buzzing” in my head stops and for the first time in gosh years I can think straight. The problem comes are 2 in the afternoon. Seems the medication starts to wear off and the fog and buzzing returns. Should I go back to the doc so soon? My hubby is frustrated too. He comes home in the evenings and I am irritable (not new since meds, he has said for awhile I am short with the kids and impatient, and every little noise bothers and distracts me) and he sees ZERO change in my symptoms…BUT when he was home this weekend he could see the change in me during the day but noticed as the day went on the symptoms would return tells me lives with the dog from the movie “Up”.

    I have sought treatment because threw my son I see the chaos the untreated ADHD has caused my family. Now I am just not sure how to proceed from here… I see the doc in 3 weeks but honestly has much as the meds help me when they are onboard…. the effect is not sustained throughout the day and it is frustrating me.

  4. Laurie     May 7, 2012    7:47 pm    Reply

    HI Liz! thanks for your comment. It may sound odd, but I want to congratulate you on pursuing a diagnossis and treatment for your son and yourself. It is often necessary after starting a new medication that an adjustment needs to be made in the dose and frequency to find the righ dose for you. It sounds like you might have escaped pitfall #1, “right medication” because you had such positive response to the medication…”the fog lifting” ,etc. You might be stuck in pitfall #2 and #3. Right med but not right dose. Also, it sounds like from your classical description, that your medication is wearing off at around 2 pm. Feeling irritable with an increase in ADHD symptoms often indicates your medication is wearing off. I would encourage you not to wait the three weeks to see the doctor/prescriber, but call and let them know the positive results you are experiencing, but that the medication seems to be wearing off sooner than you need it to (sometimes it is hard to remember that parenting is an ALL day job for which we need our wits about us!). People commonly try a longer acting medication or add a second dose in the afternoon for just what you describe. Let me know what happens! Sincerely, Laurie Dupar

  5. Liz     May 8, 2012    10:59 am    Reply

    Thank you! It has most certainly been a journey. I did go back to the doc this am. She immediately said I needed a second dose, so the pharmacy and the insurance co is battling it out.

  6. Liz     May 8, 2012    11:00 am    Reply

    opps… did not mean to post. She also said once we figure out the necessary dose for me, then we will try the XR so the levels in my system are more stable versus the roller coaster.

  7. Teena     May 28, 2012    10:01 am    Reply

    Thanx4 your info. As far as I know I don’t have anything like that but it is in the family as is Bipolar. I’m on Klonopin4 different reasons such as trying2sleep4more than 2 hours in a row w/o waking and to help curtail foot and leg cramps. Sometimes effective and sometimes not. A lot of the time I might not wake with a cramp but as soon as I try to stretch, that’s when those cramps or spasms may come. Another point is a lot of people I know should be on meds but can’t afford them. Don’t we have an obligation to make sure people can take care of those who need this help?

  8. dont take xr     July 18, 2012    10:58 pm    Reply

    I don’t know what it is about the Dr but it’s toxic. Try something other than the Dr!

  9. michelle     September 24, 2012    6:59 pm    Reply

    When I was young and in school, I failed 1st grade. I’ve been on adderall for 3 months now. At first, I thought it was really helping me be able to get myself back together. I can’t even watch a movie and tell you what it’s about half the time. The problem is, it seems like all of a sudden the adderall doesn’t even affect me at all. I’m scattered brained half the time again. I’m kinda confused cause I thought I had the answer first when I first started the meds. I take 30mg in morning and 15mg in afternoon. I don’t know if and what I should even tell the doctor accept it just doesn’t seem to work now all of a sudden. I also have no insurance to pay for it. My medical pays for other medications, but that is not 1 of them.

  10. Laurie     September 25, 2012    4:00 pm    Reply

    Hi Michelle!Thanks for your comment. Your initial response to adderall sounds like a positive response…which is good. It is not uncommon to have to continue to adjust the dose within the first year. I would definitely suggest you make an appointment with your doctor and let them know what you are experiencing. I also would have some information available for him that would be useful in helping to make sure you are not only on the right dose, but taking it at the right time. Before you go, you might want start to record specifically what you are noticing that your medication doesn’t seem to be as effective. I have created a medication log that you can download for this use at: http://www.coachingforadhd.com/medicationlog/You will specifically want to be noticing if you had a good reponse (i.e. more focus, memory) in the morning after the 30 mg dose and not as good in the afternoon on the 15 mg.? Are both medications short acting, meaning they last about 5 hours or are they long acting, lasting around 9 hours? These different “types” of adderal are active in your body for different periods of time and kick in and wear off differently as well. When do you take the morning medication…how long until you notice it is working? When does it wear off? When to you take the second dose? When does it start working? When does it wear off? When you are trying to the “hardest” things for you? Is it when your medicaiton is wearing off perhpas in the evening or in the morning before your medication kicks in? You also mention that it isn’t working as well…what specifically are your noticing? All of this will be very useful not only for your doctor in helping you find the lowest effective dose, but will help you know how the medication is specifically working for you so you can take it as it best suits you. If your insurance is not paying for it, generic is always less expensive so you might be sure that you are taking that. Keep in touch! ~Laurie Dupar

  11. lindsey     October 16, 2012    6:16 pm    Reply

    my son is 11 and has ADHD and ODD. hes been on lots of different meds and nothing works. he seems very angry and gets frustrated easy. he is extremely impulsive which is what gets him into a lot of trouble. PLEASE CAN SOMEONE RECOMMAND A MED THATS HAS WORKED WITH THEIR CHILD. i dont know what else to do.

    • Laurie     October 31, 2012    6:41 pm    Reply

      Hi Lindsey! Thanks for your comment. Impulsivity with ADHD can often show up in the ways that you describe for your son. It may be physical impulsivity as well, but it also is emotionally as well. My guess is this is why he seems angry and frustrated easily. With ADHD some people can’t “sort” thier emotions, so they show up quickly and overwhelm easily. When I see this in my clients, I realize that what the anger typically is, is a way to try and stop the overwhelm. To get whoever or whatever is overwhelming to go away so they can get back in control. Some people are what I call “imploders”, meaning they sort of collapse in on themselves and might seem to give up and get very emotional. Others are “exploders”, meaning that with their overwhelm, they lash out to make whatever is happening stop. In both cases, the inability of the executive function to sort and minimize the overwhelm is the cause of the behavior. As always, I encourage you to seek advice from either your son’s psychiatrist or pediatrician. One medication that is commonly used in conjunction with other ADHD meds to help minimize the impulsivity is guanfacine. You might ask your prescriber about that. In addition to medication, try helping your son find a way to calm himself down before things get out of control. Trying to discipline at this time is often futile and can be followed up on after he has a chance to calm down. Ideally, your son can start to recognize for himself when he is starting to feel overwhelmed and remove himself from the situation to calm down and then come back to face the situation again from a place of being in control. I hope this helps. Keep in touch. Sincerely, Laurie

  12. Sarah     October 24, 2012    11:16 pm    Reply

    About 2 moths ago I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and ADHD. I was prescribed gabapentin at first. This worked very well for about a week then it just stopped working. After consulting with my doctor, I was prescribed Addrell–intermediate-acting–on top of the gabapentin. I just started taking it yesterday, but I’m worried about the almost conflicting jobs these medications have. I felt it worked really well, but it has only been a day, but I was wondering if you could enlighten me as to why this medication combination is working or would work. Honestly, I’m just afraid of taking so much medication, as I am also on Prozac for post-partum depression. I am also prone to addiction and very hesitant about taking a simulant. I’m just hoping to get more information and education about all this so I can belay my fears and make the best choices.

  13. Evelyn     October 31, 2012    3:36 am    Reply

    I was diagnosed with severe ADHD last week and was put on 1 x 18 mg concerta per day. I took 1 capsule thursday and friday at 6.30 am. It wore off by noon. Noticed big difference in my mood. Have not had an intergalactic meltdown since started med. Things that made me loose my temper make me laugh now instead. On Saturday morning I took a capsule at 6 am and forgot I had taken it and took by accident a second one at 8 am with my coffee… got scared first when I realized but noticed I felt even more organized and focused. Had a big birthday party for my twins that day and family said they noticed a huge difference for the better in me. I am waiting for my doctor to return my call since I have been taking 2 in the morning instead of 1 as prescribed. I am 44 yrs old and have wondered all my life what the hell is wrong with me. Now I am much more forgiving with my self. My husband and I run our own business and nearly shut it down because of my problems. Now we see light at end of tunnel. What is the normal dose of concerta for an adult? I take 2 x 18 mg and they wear off by 1- 1.30 pm. My day at the business starts at 8 am and finishes at 5 pm. Grateful for answers from people that do not abuse drugs.

  14. jody     November 8, 2012    7:24 pm    Reply

    I have been on the medicine(concerta) for a month. First dose 35mg. Second dose 56mg. What am I suppose to be feeling? When will the anxiety be gone? I am sleeping normally now as of a week ago, however I have been told I’m not myself. I’m also taking wellbutrin for depression and anxiety. Can you please help me?
    Thank you.

  15. Tony     January 30, 2013    7:14 am    Reply

    This is a very interesting article. I am 55 yrs old and in good physical health (gym 4 times wk) No one would know to look at me but I am an ADD sufferer. Officially diagnosed less then 2 weeks ago. Have always had the symtoms but always too afraid to take meds. Finally they became unbearable so I sought help. Started out with generic version of Addorall XR which is m.amphet salts(20mg) First 3 days were incrdible. Immediate relief, fog lifted and on the 3rd day decided to write a journal to track my progress which ended up being 3000 words towards a book I decided to write. I was so happpy to feel so good and so sad that I have wasted my potential and going through an internal hell, it actually made me cry. Day 4 was very strange. I felt weepy, speech was slurred, talking slow, and basically, a walking zombie. Couldn’t get a thing accomplished. Day 5, same results. Have you ever heard of getting such results like this? Now doc has me on generic Ritalin 10mgs daily. I am in my second day and feel no positive effects. I do however, feel very edgy and bummed out. Don’t know if that is becasue I had such high hopes becasue of my 3 day experience and I am desperately searching for that again or the meds are making me that way. Now I am in conflict to increase dosage or switch meds again. Anyone have similar experiences? I need the joy back in my life again.

  16. joe killian     February 20, 2013    7:13 am    Reply

    I am 61 and have suffered through years of failing grades in school and work issues. I was prescribed strattera and it worked, but had sexual side affects and subsequently was prescribed adderall. However, after taking 5mgs daily with no benefit for five days uped the dosage to 10mgs results were good had significant increase in bp 145/94 with the first dosage so discontinued. Can anyone give me help?

  17. Laurie Dupar     February 26, 2013    5:39 pm    Reply

    HI Joe! Thanks for your comment. From your description, it sounds like the 5 mg did raise your BP and the 10 mg did. I would encourage you to talk with your doctor about the possibility of a dose between 5 and 10 mg…7.5 mg? And be sure to be checking your BP frequently. I am curious what your BP was before the Adderall? Also, could there have been other reasons for your high blood pressure besides the Adderall? Finally, what symptoms were you hoping to manage? That might open it up to different medication options. I look forward to hearing back from you! ~Laurie Dupar

  18. Casey     March 3, 2013    8:01 pm    Reply

    I was diagnosed approximately 2 years ago. Was
    Started on Vyvanse. Horrible experience!! Thought I was going to have a heart attack! Then tried Ritalyn. Found myself more tired than anything. Gave up. Recently spoke to my dr. about trying to get this under control again… He prescribed Adderall 10mg daily to start with… Felt okay at first but then started having rapid heart rate, headache, jittery- not nearly as bad as the Vyvanse though!!! So do these side effects subside in a few days? I really want to do this and get my ADHD under control but I give up the first day when I have the slightest side effects!!!

  19. shane cornelius     April 8, 2013    1:14 am    Reply

    I am on vivance 50 mg i took it at 10 am this morning and for the past few morning its 4:11 now and i haven’t gotten any sleep i feel energized and ready to get back to my jobs around the house i dont understand what is goin on please help i cant keep not sleeping

  20. Laurie Dupar     April 10, 2013    4:50 pm    Reply

    HI Shane! Thanks for your comment. The first thing to do is to contact your prescriber, tell them what you are experiencing and find out if there is anything they would recommend. Even though Vyvanse is supposed to work for up to 16 hours, some people do experience the effects of the medication longer. I also wonder if you have previously had difficulty falling asleep. Nearly 90% of people with ADHD do experience problems falling asleep even before starting to take medication. They just weren’t paying attention to it. If you are taking it early in the morning (at least 16 hours before bedtime), it is less likely to be interfering with your sleep. Sometimes, when people have started taking medication for their ADHD, feel motivated and energized by the new ability to get things done, it is hard to turn that off. I wonder if this is partly what is happening with you. I would also make sure you are “preparing” yourself for bed, meaning that you are turning off computers, stopping whatever is stimulating to you at least one hour before you go to bed. Then, be sure to create a routine or some habits that let your body know it is time for sleep, such as taking a warm bath, deep breathing, reading, etc. Let me know how it goes. Sincerely, ~Laurie Dupar

  21. Taylre     April 15, 2013    7:34 pm    Reply

    I was diagnosed with ADD when I was very young but we refused treatment because we knew some friends who had bad experiences with it. I tried meds once in junior high and it was horrible, because I was not on an antidepressant and I have comorbid anxiety disorder and depression. It is my senior year of high school and my therapist finally convinced me to go back to the psychiatrist. He put me on 36mg concerta and cymbalta (because I also have arthritis in my neck–I have a lot of health problems for my age, but we think its because I was extremely premature at birth). I finally felt like a functioning person!! Until the nausea came, and wouldn’t go away even after three weeks. Which is like hell on earth for me because I have a really extreme phobia of vomitting. And then I went off the cymbalta and he put me on celexa instead. I don’t experience side effects, but I actually feel like the concerta isn’t working as well now. It doesn’t seem to last past 430 in the afternoon (and I take it at 730), and even when it is working it doesn’t have as much of an effect as it did in the beginning. The celexa does very well for improving my mood (though sadly I still have to deal with the neck/head pain). My IBS, which I’ve lived with my whole life, has somehow even went away completely (which it never did when I tried imiprimine and vivance–I’m not sure which medication could be causing this awesomeness) Could it be that the Cymbalta helped my ADD more than the concerta? Or do I just need more concerta? Or Adderall? Or something? I just don’t know. I wish I had started treatment earlier and gotten this ironed out, because I am totally desperate now. I can’t handle all of the responsibilities that come with getting older in my unmedicated state. But at least this will hopefully work out before college.

  22. Jaime     June 28, 2013    7:58 am    Reply

    Hi, I’m 36 and was diagnosed a few months ago with ADHD. I am super sensitive to medication and often find myself fighting through side effects. I am now on a 4th trying up find something that will work. I started herbal with St. John’s wort and that was a nightmare. It made me feel disassociated and disconnected. Then we tried the non-stimulant Straterra at the lowest dose. I did not recieve an benefits from this one. It made me drowsy and tired. I stuck with it for 6 weeks hoping for a change. The we tried concerta. Almost immediately after the first dose I felt like I was high on drugs. The second time I took it. I just felt medicine heady but would get very aggressive and agitated quickly. After 5 days of pure irritability and snappiness, I stopped taking it. Now I’m on short acting Adderrall so I can adjust the dose. I took 2.5mg(split the pill) yesterday and felt a little medicine heady. Most of 4-6 hrs I just felt irritated. I have no idea where to go from here. I am a stay at home mother of two girls, 8 and 5. I can’t spend my days feeling irritated and short tempered. I have been going through this since February and was really hoping I would have answer by summer break.

  23. MaryBeth     July 16, 2013    12:13 am    Reply

    After my son was diagnosed going into 3rd grade,I realized that even though I had joked about having ADD in the past, I really did have symptoms. When I started taking meds it was like the difference between setting out to have a picnic on a windy day and on a calm day. Without meds its as if your plates, napkins and tablecloth keep blowing away. With meds it stays in place and you can enjoy the experience. You have all you need in both cases, but when it doesn’t move all around unexpectedly you can have success. I’ve been an art teacher and see lots of kids. I’m very sensitive to the ones who obviously have ADD and ADHD. I was tickled to see you use the eyeglasses and insulin analogy because I’ve said the very same thing for years! That we wouldn’t use behavior modification if a kid couldn’t see the board or take their bike away for a week if their blood sugar wasn’t right. Since it is a treatable medical condition, it needs to be treated and its sad if it’s not.

  24. Michelle     September 23, 2013    9:58 am    Reply

    How and when do you know when it is time to increase the dosage. My son is 14 and just started freshman year. He takes 30mg of adderall xr. Socially he is doing great. He is losing focus academically. He forgets to turn things in or doesn’t complete assignments in full.

  25. Ty     October 1, 2013    8:13 pm    Reply

    Hi,

    I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was just 5 years old. I was the kid who the teacher chased around the room because I was acting like a frog jumping away from her. Well I was medicated for the condition all the way until I was 13, It was my choice, I noticed I had less cares when I wasn’t medicated. When I was on medicine, I was quiet, unmotivated, boring, and secretly depressed. ALWAYS depressed. I just never showed it because I never knew how to express myself. I still don’t know how to do that… and Im now 18. I was on concerta. WORSE MED EVER. Anyways,by the time I turned 15 I was put on wellbutrin. I LOVED IT. The cloth was lifted, I was now human. Well, It ended in a trainwreck. The drug quit working. I dropped out of school, lost alot of my friends (Stupid things I did). Im 18 now and i’ve had a few med trials, Concerta again(2 weeks, Its just pure evil) Adderal(Felt like an alien) and Zoloft (ADHD went Hawire.) So now im back on Wellbutrin. It still doesn’t work… Im less depressed off of it then on it. My ADHD is a little better, but only the “H”. I still think like a 3rd grader on red bull. And the thing is I can’t get it raised because I get REALLY foggy and stupid. I CANT TALK. Its like something in my brain is blocking out the voice. All I think to do is Yeppppp. Like WTH. So im now at a lose. Im doing good, I have a job and can work and concentrate enough to function.. But I cant keep friends or relationships because I don’t have a personality…. I don’t know what to do.

  26. Julie     October 3, 2013    11:22 am    Reply

    My son use some medicines like intuniv, focalin, metadate CD, Concerta, all one a day but these medicine don’t work for him. The only medicine work for him is Ritalin 15 mg 3 times a day. He needs short acting release each four hours.

  27. laurie     October 20, 2013    1:38 pm    Reply

    Hi Julie! Thanks for your comment. It helps people realize that it really is about fine tuning it to individual response! ~Laurie Dupar

  28. laurie     October 20, 2013    1:46 pm    Reply

    Hi Ty! Thank you so much for your comments and very frank description of what you have experienced with trying medication…I admire frankness in sharing your trial and error and your desire to get it right. I can hear your frustration with what you have gone through. Some people would settle for the job…I am glad you still want the relationships and are open to finding answers. Thank you for reaching out. Someone with such perseverance deserves to get answers. I would like to invite you to email me at to schedule a time to talk personally. I hope you take me up on my offer…some questions need more than a quick response :)~Laurie Dupar

  29. Mark     October 21, 2013    3:12 pm    Reply

    I’m a Male 57 year old professional,after visiting two different shrinks with 2 unique type practices, it’s clear I have ADD. I am taking Wellbutrin XL 150 mg, at 1 per day.
    3rd week started, whereas last week I actually had enhanced feeling, for the last few days I feel almost impotent. What’s that all about? Also a bit weaker during my workouts at the gym. I am just as hungry as ever, and although I’ve had some added focus, I feel more fatigued now. Not sure if this is the right medicine or not. Is it too early to tell?

  30. Vicky Cody     March 31, 2014    6:21 am    Reply

    I have ADHD when my son was 3 or 4 (now he’s 13) I found out that what was called a reading and learning disorder when I was in Elementary school was now ADHD I decided to take an online test for it. I took the results to my doctor and put me on stratra. This was great at the time cause I was more focused and organized but when I stopped taking it to get pregnant with my daughter, I realized that the meds had taking something close to my heart away from me. My creativity, I no longer wrote my stories or had the desire to do my crafts and things like that. My daughter is now 7 and I have been wanting to start back taking something cause my house is very disorganized and I don’t like it but I just can’t get a handle on things. Is there anything that I can take that will help with ADHD but let me keep my creativity?

    • laurie     July 19, 2014    5:22 pm    Reply

      HI Vicky! Thanks for your comment and sharing your story. There are many options that you have still not tried with regard to ADHD medication. I always encourage you to go back to your prescriber and share with them the way that the medication affecting you. Ask them for alternatives that will help decrease the distractability and help you focus better. Let me know how it goes! ~Laurie Dupar

  31. Joan     April 25, 2014    5:39 am    Reply

    I was diagnosed as an adult with ADD (although I have had it all of my life). I was unable to use concerta and adderall due to teeth grinding. I also have sleep apnea and have had an awful time getting adjusted to my cpap machine. I feel awful in the morning-a double whammy. My pulmonary physician ordered Provigil for me and I immediately noticed a difference in my ability to concentrate. I am able to split it into 2 doses because I work shift work. It has made a big difference in my quality of life.

  32. Halee S.     May 1, 2014    6:36 pm    Reply

    I am 22 years old and have suffered with what I had thought up until now to be anxiety and depression. A friend of mine with ADHD told me that the symptoms I’ve been experiencing all my life sounded a lot like what she went through before she was diagnosed and put on Adderall. So, I took and online screening test. Based on my answers it is clear that this is what has been going on. Its a relief in the fact that everything I’ve struggled with finally makes sense and it is treatable. I have a small problem though. My family doctor is really hard core about not prescribing “candy.” In fact a few weeks ago when I went in for something for my anxiety, (I couldn’t handle feeling terrible anymore,) He immediately listed every benzodiazepene and informed me that he would not prescribe those because of the abuse potential. I hadn’t even asked for anything like that. All I wanted was for something to help me. He put e on Buspar 10mg x2daily. It has helped slighty with my anxiety so that is alright. I’m afraid to even go in to see him about this and request adderall, because I have a feeling he will Immediately assume that I am drug seeking which I am NOT. What’s worse Is I work at the same hospital his clinic is attached to. So, If I were to go to any other doctor in our clinic I fear that It would seem even more like I am drug seeking and that could cause me a lot of stress at work that I dont need more of. I feel like I really have figured out why I have never been able to focus, make decisions, stay on task, and control my emotions, but I now feel hopeless that I will even be able to get any help. I can’t aford to go anywhere else because I live on minimum wage and my insurance only fully covers my visits to our Clinic. I don’t even know how to approach him on the matter. I don’t want to feel this way for the rest of my life! I need some advice pronto.

  33. Sarah     May 17, 2014    5:53 pm    Reply

    I have Struggled with ADHD since I was a Child and they shoved every medication they could think of down my throat and it never helped me as a kid and I hated it. But when I turned 15 I was able to refuse the medication. Then when I was 23 I got a good Job at a Bank and almost immediatly my ADHD symptoms were shining through and I was mortally embarressed about what I was doing which was interrpting people, constantly talking, talking really loud, going off on random subjects and getting off of topic. So I sucked up my pride and went to the Dr. So she prescribed me with adderall 30 mg a day of IR. after about 6 months I upped my dose to 40 mg in the morning of IR because 30 mg was not working for me. which 40 mg was the perfect dose for me. Adderall had changed my life for the good. I was able to actually act like a normal person and I was very successful at my job. then 1yr 1/2 later I got pregnant and of course I stopped taking it. and OMG during my 10 months of being pregnant I thought I was going to get fired not only did my ADHD symptoms shine through but they were 10x worse because I was pregnant and the only reason why I probably didn’t get fired was because I was pregnant. So I started back on my medication after I had my baby and went back to work and it STOPPED WORKING. I just don’t understand why it would stop working. I didn’t understand why it wasn’t working for me because I had not taken it in a year so I shouldn’t have any tolerance to it. in fact if anything, it should work even better since I was off of it so long. So my Dr “ who has no idea what she is doing “ just upped my medication and it still isn’t working so now I am on 60mg a day and its actually having the opposite effect its making me zombie like and is very foggy and I actually feel more UNFOCUSED then ever so I don’t know what else to do I asked my dr what she thinks it could be and she does not know I even tried to get my estrogen level tested and its normal so PLESAE DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHAT IT CAN BE I FEEL LIKE I FINALLY GOT MY LIFE BACK TOGETHER THEN I GOT PREGNANT AND MY MEDICATION JUST STOPS WORKING. I FEEL LIKE ALL MY HARD WORK I DID TO BECOME A TOP EMPLOYEE IS DISAPPEARING BEFORE MY EYES

    • mayb     July 21, 2014    4:21 pm    Reply

      if you used a name brand and switched to generic it may not be working for you. google generic vs. brand for adhd meds.

  34. Jonathan     June 5, 2014    6:41 pm    Reply

    Klonopin is not the same thing as clonidine. Clonidine, not klonopin, is the substance that may help treat ADHD. Please fix this error in your article. It is important not to confuse these things.

    • laurie     July 19, 2014    5:45 pm    Reply

      Hi Jonathan! Thanks for your comment! You are absolutely right! All fixed. Thanks for catching that again. ~Laurie Dupar

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