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Adderall Advice
Aug 3, 2007
Hello! I post normally on the fibro/cfs/ms boards, but I am desperate for some information about adderall and so far have not been able to find the info I need. I do not have ADD, but I do take adderall and I'm hoping some of you on this board who use Adderall can share some of your knowledge with me.

I have been ill for four years and in May was finally diagnosed with fibro/cfs, while my doctor strongly suspects MS. (I'm still undergoing the diagnosis process for that).
Two of my worst symptoms are severe, debilitating fatigue and brain fog (this includes memory issues, poor word recall, disorganized thinking, etc).
My doctor prescribed Adderall and I began taking it at the end of June. Started on 5 mg 2x a day, and for the first few days I felt my thinking was a bit clearer, although it did nothing to combat the fatigue and weakness.
Two weeks later, doctor increased my dosage to 20 -25 mg. Again, initially I seemed to see some cognitive benefits and a very slight decrease in fatigue. But I was still a million times more tired and weak than a normal, healthy person. (I am a 33 year old female, had been active, worked out 5x a week, ate very well, never drank or smoked.)
Last week the doctor told me to start taking 35 - 45 mg a day, spaced out however I felt would suit me best. Since I seem to metabolize this medication very quickly (one dose lasts only about 3 to 3.5 hours), I take it
3x per day to try to get the maximum amount of effect from it. I try to take the next dose before the last dose has worn off.
Even at 45 mg, I still nap during the day, am tired, have bad muscle weakness, and the brain fog had only decreased minimally.
I also have had NO side effects from this drug, except for a bit of a tinny taste in my mouth after taking the meds. (This happens to me even with Tylenol).
Sorry for the long post. Essentially my question is, in your experiences with Adderall, is it worth it for me to keep increasing the dose? One of my doctors said everyone is different and it's a matter of finding "My" effective dose. But I'm taking this for fatigue and not ADD. If I'm only slight improvement in fatigue at 45 mg, will I really see a benefit if I go up to 60, 75, 80 mg? I don't want to give up on this if it will work. But I don't want to keep increasing in vain.
I have done so much research on this drug and hear people say how it "wires" them or gives them extreme energy and motivation. I don't understand how I can be on 45 mg (which seems high to me) and still be able to go to sleep, or be so tired I can't think or move very quickly. I feel like my mind and body are stuck in quicksand.
I would appreciate so much if people have info on the following questions:

How much have people taken before they see "energizing" effects?

If you let one dose wear off before you take the next, does the next dose seem less effective?

Do some people just need a much higher dosage than others? Is it possible I just metabolize it so quickly I need to take more and more often?

Has anyone been on Adderall for a very long period of time, and if so, have you experienced any negative effects from it?

I'm sorry to "barge in" on your board. I thought I might find more Adderall users here than on other boards, and I so badly want this to work, so I'd just love to hear from others who use it.
I would appreciate any and all feedback. Thanks so much and best wishes to you all!!!!!!!!!!
Desperate1 - The Adderall is not a magic energy pill no matter how much we wish it were. I take 20 mg 2 x per day. Somedays it works better than others but that is the fibro and you have to remember that. The max that is suggested taking in one day is 60 mg and you really shouldn't take it after 4 pm due to the fact of sleep issues.

The difference between you and I is that I get very fatigued but not sleepy and I only sleep about 2-3 hours every night if that much. Sometimes I go for up to 60 hours with no sleep. The doc has given me sleeping pills and they only work for about 2-3 hours also if that much.

Sometimes I feel like Elvis, they want to give me pills to wake up and pills to go to sleep. ;) I do like the Adderall and am happy if it only last 4 hours b/c that is 4 hours of energy I wouldn't normally have.

Hang in there and I hope this helps somewhat. Keep Posting and hopefully we both can get some help here.

Thanks to all that are posting trying to help and God Bless you all! :angel:
Even though I am "bone-tired" I felt I needed to post my unique experience with Adderall, prescribed for the same exact reasons, fatigue and brain fog. Diagnosed 15 years ago with Fibro, it overtook me 3 years ago, taking a healthy active creative person down to wishing I would just die. Never suicidal because there is always hope, but just plain miserable. I sought help from my pcp for 2 years trying every antidepressant the drug companies are pushing right now and none worked. He finally gave up on me and referred me to a psychiatrist. On my first visit I told him all I want is some energy to get me back on my feet and I will work myself back to where I want to be. He started me on Adderall regular the same as your doc. I went back for a followup and told him I might as well be eating candy. He upped me to 40 mg. a day too, and when I went to see him 15 days later I was totally amazed at what I had discovered. I had been "waiting" for all this energy to hit me so I could speed through my dirty house and finally see some results from taking a pill. It Never Happened. What did happen was a wonderful lifting of the depression, ceased the crying spells immediately and allowed my brain to say..."you've got to help yourself". I forced myself to start walking again on my treadmill and after a week you would have thought I had conquered the world. Now, with my doctor's okay, I space out the time between pills and the amount. I can't take a "holiday" as the depression comes bouncing back the next day, and if I have to live on Adderall for the rest of my life hey it's better than having no life at all. Geez I'm 56, I have to do what I have to do. I did discover that taking 20 mg. in the morning is better for me (I thought mornings were naturally my best time of the day) and then 5, 10, or 20 mg. by 2:00. This is the dose I change around. I did try provigil...I felt like a zombie stuck in mud too on that. I couldn't even lay down and rest, forget napping. My rheumy recently added Klonopin to help me sleep at night even though I told him I had been taking Xanax .5 mg. for 6years for that reason. OMG if Elvis felt like I did he is in a better place. Uppers (adderall) and downers (klonopin) only work for drug addicts or people taking it for reasons other than medical. I dropped the klonopin like a hot potatoe and 2 days later I was back to my normal self. After that experience I am satisfied with Xanax' 5 hours of sleep because when I get up in the morning it's out of my system. It's not fighting the Adderall. I have also, which no pill will do, started to accept my limitations as my new way of life and it's ok. Fibro brings on the worse kind of depression because it's not a chemical imbalance that a pill will improve, it's reality. Fibro will not leave you day or night, there is no pill that helps me with the pain and soreness and I struggle to sleep. I sure hope for the younger patients (like you) they find "something, anything"...to alleviate the fatigue first and I really think the other problems associated with fibro would improve naturally just from that. The medical field just doesn't get it because they can't prove on paper what is causing it. I had the trauma to the head theory, being involved in an accident when I was young, head cracking the windshield. Who knows? Who cares...just find us some relief. Didn't mean to go on and on, it's just my heart breaks when I read posts from young women starting on the same road that I've been down. I wish my mother were alive so I could tell her...mama you were right about experience being the best teacher. Now I tell my children that and I see that "same look" I had. Oh well. Take care and please don't hesitate to ask any questions I didn't answer in this loooong post. And please don't give up, just try to start accepting now the changes that Fibro demands (until they find a cure?), because when you add menopause on top of Fibro....you need to be ready for anything.
Re: Adderall Advice
Dec 31, 2007
[QUOTE=magnolialady;3197904]Even though I am "bone-tired" I felt I needed to post my unique experience with Adderall, prescribed for the same exact reasons, fatigue and brain fog. Diagnosed 15 years ago with Fibro, it overtook me 3 years ago, taking a healthy active creative person down to wishing I would just die. Never suicidal because there is always hope, but just plain miserable. I sought help from my pcp for 2 years trying every antidepressant the drug companies are pushing right now and none worked. He finally gave up on me and referred me to a psychiatrist. On my first visit I told him all I want is some energy to get me back on my feet and I will work myself back to where I want to be. He started me on Adderall regular the same as your doc. I went back for a followup and told him I might as well be eating candy. He upped me to 40 mg. a day too, and when I went to see him 15 days later I was totally amazed at what I had discovered. I had been "waiting" for all this energy to hit me so I could speed through my dirty house and finally see some results from taking a pill. It Never Happened. What did happen was a wonderful lifting of the depression, ceased the crying spells immediately and allowed my brain to say..."you've got to help yourself". I forced myself to start walking again on my treadmill and after a week you would have thought I had conquered the world. Now, with my doctor's okay, I space out the time between pills and the amount. I can't take a "holiday" as the depression comes bouncing back the next day, and if I have to live on Adderall for the rest of my life hey it's better than having no life at all. Geez I'm 56, I have to do what I have to do. I did discover that taking 20 mg. in the morning is better for me (I thought mornings were naturally my best time of the day) and then 5, 10, or 20 mg. by 2:00. This is the dose I change around. I did try provigil...I felt like a zombie stuck in mud too on that. I couldn't even lay down and rest, forget napping. My rheumy recently added Klonopin to help me sleep at night even though I told him I had been taking Xanax .5 mg. for 6years for that reason. OMG if Elvis felt like I did he is in a better place. Uppers (adderall) and downers (klonopin) only work for drug addicts or people taking it for reasons other than medical. I dropped the klonopin like a hot potatoe and 2 days later I was back to my normal self. After that experience I am satisfied with Xanax' 5 hours of sleep because when I get up in the morning it's out of my system. It's not fighting the Adderall. I have also, which no pill will do, started to accept my limitations as my new way of life and it's ok. Fibro brings on the worse kind of depression because it's not a chemical imbalance that a pill will improve, it's reality. Fibro will not leave you day or night, there is no pill that helps me with the pain and soreness and I struggle to sleep. I sure hope for the younger patients (like you) they find "something, anything"...to alleviate the fatigue first and I really think the other problems associated with fibro would improve naturally just from that. The medical field just doesn't get it because they can't prove on paper what is causing it. I had the trauma to the head theory, being involved in an accident when I was young, head cracking the windshield. Who knows? Who cares...just find us some relief. Didn't mean to go on and on, it's just my heart breaks when I read posts from young women starting on the same road that I've been down. I wish my mother were alive so I could tell her...mama you were right about experience being the best teacher. Now I tell my children that and I see that "same look" I had. Oh well. Take care and please don't hesitate to ask any questions I didn't answer in this loooong post. And please don't give up, just try to start accepting now the changes that Fibro demands (until they find a cure?), because when you add menopause on top of Fibro....you need to be ready for anything.[/QUOTE]

You are very wise. I have accepted the hand I have been dealt however it doesn't mean I have to like it. I guess what really bothers me the most are all the drugs I am on and it seems that none really help what they are supposed to help. I keep trying though and hopefully one day, just maybe, they will get it right. Thank you for your kind words. Jenn
Dear everyone,

I'm editing this because I think I addressed the wrong person. I thought it was Magnolia Lady that spoke about Adderall helping her depression, but now I think it was Desperate 1. I am so sorry for the confusion (it is one symptom of the RSD). I am new to the ADD board and have been trying to catch up by reading all the old posts. It is teaching me things that I definitely need to know. My 1st post explained part of my problem with Adult ADD/HD and trying to get on the right medicine at the correct dosage. Doc had me on Ritalin a couple of months starting at 5 mg. twice a day and going up to 10 mg. twice a day. Worked great slowing me down and allowing me to organize my thoughts. What's happening now is that my thoughts are starting to race again. I will have 4 or 5 projects going at one time and never finish anything. I'll go to another room to get something and then start working on something else and forget what I came to that room to get. It's been this way all my life, and I thought that is the way everyone does things. LOL! I have a few health issues with emphysema, RSD, and depression. You said you were prescribed Adderall to help with your fatigue, but you found that it lifted your depression. I've been on all sorts of antidepressants trying to find the one that would work for me. There is concern since my mother and her sister committed suicide. The pain that I have on a daily basis has sometimes made me feel suicidal. Constant pain just wears you down, and I know you (with your Fibro) and many other chronic pain sufferers know what I mean. When you talked about how well Adderall worked for your depression, it encouraged me to share your post with my doctor. So, he prescribed 20 mg Adderall twice a day. The first pill I took made me extremely sick to my stomach. I knew that could happen but also knew that some side effects subside after they are used a few days. The next day I took a half and waited over an hour to take the second half. But when I took the second one, I was sick as a dog again. Nausea was the worst side effect and the other was feeling shaky and unsteady. I apologize that this is getting long. Well, I tried it one more day, and it made me as sick as the first day. I am going to try to get my doctor on the phone (busy, busy doc) to tell him this. The only thing that makes sense to me is to resume taking the Ritalin. There were no bad effects with Ritalin. Perhaps the doc will raise the dosage on that or switch to something else. I'm willing to do anything in this world to keep the depression at bay and keep my thoughts from racing too much. If I am going at this thing all wrong, please let me know what the right thing is. Thank you so much for your posts and your help. God bless everyone on this board for extending a helping hand to a fellow sufferers.

Sansy
Re: Adderall Advice
Jan 10, 2008
[QUOTE=deepsouth;3380451]Dear everyone,

I'm editing this because I think I addressed the wrong person. I thought it was Magnolia Lady that spoke about Adderall helping her depression, but now I think it was Desperate 1. I am so sorry for the confusion (it is one symptom of the RSD). I am new to the ADD board and have been trying to catch up by reading all the old posts. It is teaching me things that I definitely need to know. My 1st post explained part of my problem with Adult ADD/HD and trying to get on the right medicine at the correct dosage. Doc had me on Ritalin a couple of months starting at 5 mg. twice a day and going up to 10 mg. twice a day. Worked great slowing me down and allowing me to organize my thoughts. What's happening now is that my thoughts are starting to race again. I will have 4 or 5 projects going at one time and never finish anything. I'll go to another room to get something and then start working on something else and forget what I came to that room to get. It's been this way all my life, and I thought that is the way everyone does things. LOL! I have a few health issues with emphysema, RSD, and depression. You said you were prescribed Adderall to help with your fatigue, but you found that it lifted your depression. I've been on all sorts of antidepressants trying to find the one that would work for me. There is concern since my mother and her sister committed suicide. The pain that I have on a daily basis has sometimes made me feel suicidal. Constant pain just wears you down, and I know you (with your Fibro) and many other chronic pain sufferers know what I mean. When you talked about how well Adderall worked for your depression, it encouraged me to share your post with my doctor. So, he prescribed 20 mg Adderall twice a day. The first pill I took made me extremely sick to my stomach. I knew that could happen but also knew that some side effects subside after they are used a few days. The next day I took a half and waited over an hour to take the second half. But when I took the second one, I was sick as a dog again. Nausea was the worst side effect and the other was feeling shaky and unsteady. I apologize that this is getting long. Well, I tried it one more day, and it made me as sick as the first day. I am going to try to get my doctor on the phone (busy, busy doc) to tell him this. The only thing that makes sense to me is to resume taking the Ritalin. There were no bad effects with Ritalin. Perhaps the doc will raise the dosage on that or switch to something else. I'm willing to do anything in this world to keep the depression at bay and keep my thoughts from racing too much. If I am going at this thing all wrong, please let me know what the right thing is. Thank you so much for your posts and your help. God bless everyone on this board for extending a helping hand to a fellow sufferers.

Sansy[/QUOTE]

DeepSouth - God Bless you and you have come to the right place. I suffer with BiPolar 1, still not under control, fibro, chronic myofascial pain, hypermobility and some scoliosis.

I was prescribed Ritalin LA for energy due to the BiPolar and fibro... I take 20 mg twice a day... Even though it is long acting and is supposed to last for 8 hours, my psychiatrist has me take it at 8am and again at noon. If you take it to late in the afternoon, it will interfere with your sleep. My BiPolar is still not under control and have tried everything under the sun. However, for probably close to 20 years my psychologist had me diagnosed with severe depression and generalized anxiety disorder which was the wrong diagnoses and I did not find out until August of 2006. I had a major meltdown and went to the mental hospital. That is when I was diagnosed with BP 1. According to what I was told by my new psychiatrist and from what I have read that about BP, that because I was misdiagnosed for all those years, it takes a much longer time to find the right combo of meds to get the BP under control.

I think you know also with the different diseases being mixed, it doesn't help. Also, you have to deal with the issues of your Mother and Sister. Please keep your head up and never give up the fight. We all have our demons to fight and I can't say I know how you feel because I don't. I can say that I have much empathy for you and truly care that you continue to seek help and also continue to come here. Don't worry about getting confused as that is the fibro fog and everyone will understand that.

Hang in there, and remember you can always come here whenever you need to. I am sending my angels to watch over you. Jenn :angel::angel::angel:





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