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I've been taking Adderall for more than six years (40mg daily - 20mg IR and 20mg ER). In my pre-Adderall days I struggled to graduate high school, but now I'm just a dissertation away from receiving a Phd. Needless to say, it has radically changed my life for the better.

That said, over the past year I've experienced some strong reactions to the drug, making it impossible to function as before. For example, after talking the pill I'll immediately get the chills. Also, my mouth completely dries up. I'm not talking about the advertized "dry mouth" side effect of Adderall. I experienced that when I first starting taking the drug. Rather, it is as if I have no saliva production at all. The surface of my tongue becomes jagged, making food tasteless.

Also, my abdomen swells up (water retention?). Coincident with the abdomen swelling, I get intense lower back pain, my back popping any time I rotate in a chair. And more recently my fingers have started to ache - the pain makes my fingers curl up.

What prompted me to visit the doctor in the first place was pain in my left chest. The doctors thought it was costochondritis and prescribed Aleve at higher than normal dosages. That helped and I continue to take it, but I'm certain the inflammation of my rib cartilage isn't due to costochondritis. It still persists, but the Aleve mitigates the pain.

Despite exercising 4-5 times a week and maintaining my same diet, I gained 30 pounds over a six month period. (I had weighed more or less 180lbs for the past 15 years of my life.) I should note though that exercising isn't like it normally is. I never get tired because of muscle fatigue; my muscles don't seem to expand and contract. I usually get the chills whenever I engage in physical activity (and even when I'm not exercising as I said above). Recently, I started playing basketball six days a week. I weigh myself before and after and I lose about 7 pounds - all sweat.

My psychiatrist thought I should try Vyvanse, but I had the same reactions. (Vyvanse appears to have similar properties to Adderall so the same reaction isn't surprising). This past week I started taking Straterra, which has very different properties than Adderall and Vyvanse, and thankfully I didn't get those reactions. However, Straterra doesn't do anything for me; it just makes me tired.

I guess my questions are: Have there been cases of similar reactions to Adderall and Vyvanse? Is there anything I can do to avoid this while still taking the medication? Any advice?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts you may about this.
In the recent past, I experienced chills while taking Adderall due to a chronic intestinal infection. I think maybe the Adderall coincided with a shift in hormone levels as well. Basically, my metabolism decreased and I had symptoms comparable to Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I also experienced malabsorption from chronic stress.

I noticed I felt more like myself upon regulating my digestive tract with nutritional supplements and probiotics.
I have been on either "Dexedrine Spansule 15mg mfg Glaxo Smith Kline" and, with that
extended release capsule, taken, original Adderall 10mg, then, (total 25 mg in the AM hrs) then, 10mg of Adderall Instant Release, at 1PM, and, prn, if needed, (when I worked 2nd shift, or had evening University classes, as a non traditional student, would take a 2nd Adderall 10 mg by 5PM (Total intake usually 45mg daily) from 2000 until, around 2006. Prior to that, I was given the diagnosis of ADD 314.00, in June of 1994, and, took, either brand Norvartis Ritalin 20mg, on arising AM hrs, and, 20 mg after lunch, for the first two years, DX was made by a Psychiatrist my age 44 in 1994. "Methyphenidate, either Brand, or generic, gave me instant results, such, as goal attainment, graduating from a University, while working full time, within 1 year, due to my improved focusing and concentration ability, getting married, (my first marriage) within one year of my DX in 1994, and, many good things, getting certified in a foreign career field, after, another, one year of Construction Science, and, passing a challenging 7 hour General Contractors Exam by 1996. The methyphenidate, however, had such robust rises and falls, even with the addiition on year two of the anti-depressant Desipramine (Norpramin 25mg) I ask to change stimulants, due to more side effects.
Thus by 1997, year three, I changed Psychiatrist, and, I switched to 100% Glaxo Smith Kline products, being, two (5mg) Dexedrine instant release orange hearts at awakening, (6:30AM) and two more Dexedrine I/R 5 mg, around 10:30AM, total intake during 1997, 1998, AM hrs, 20 mg of pure Dextroamphetamine I/R, plus, at 1PM, after lunch hour, I would take one (1) GSK Dexedrine Spansule 15 mg ER, total daily intake, now, 35 mg. of a mix of I/R and S/R Dextroamphetamine. My last Psychiatrist, because my 97/98 Psychiatrist, moved out of state, in Jan 2000, was not fond of the "now" unavailable famous Dexedrine IR embossed E-19 orange hearts, thus, he switched me to two 10 mg Adderall at awakening 6:30AM, and two 10 mg Adderall (by patent holder, then, Richwood Pharma) plus, after lunch,but "no later than 2PM, one (1) Dexedrine Spansule 15 mg. during the year 1999, plus, a 6 month trial, of, Wellbutrin, 75 mg. by 6PM, as I worked a 40 hr week, plus, obtained a 3rd one year community college diploma, with night classes, for 12 months. Total intake, at age 50, now, at, 40 mg. of Adderall I/R in the AM hours, and, 15 mg. of sustained Release "Dexedrine" in the afternoon, total daily intake, now, 55 mg. of the majority of dextroamphetamine, along with the amphetamine salts, in the Adderall I/R "I never liked the Wellbutrin, and was personally very non compliant, to taking this, as it gave me a tightness in the chest, and, a mild, tachacardia, when I took, this, much milder stimulant.
I got a devastating Divorce, in 2006, that continued into 2007, and, was fired, from my job, and, the legal expense, reduced my status as a millionaire, by over 55%, plus, my wife of 12 yrs, out of spitefulness, not content with the significant financial settlement, had me under a Court ordered Restraining Order, for one year, with the threat of 90 days in jail, if I dishonered the Restraining Order, quite harsh, in North Carolina. I lost 30 lbs of weight, not intentionally, but, out of grief, and depression, from financial losses. My Psychiatrist, was aware, I was also being subjected to Extortion threats from two people, set up by my ex-wife. "something happened to me during 2006, and 2007, and, I got very anxious, on the ADD meds, thus, my M.D cut my dose down, to only a total of 25 mg a day thru the end of 2009. IMHO, just "burned out".
By the end of that year, I had regained my weight back to 205 lbs at 6'1" also reaching my 60th birthday, but lost another $700,000.00 (cut out of advanced inheritance, and, more annual income losses from holding 4,000 shares of Wachovia bank stock) and having to sell my 27 year old collection of 4 antique cars, to raise $$ to pay bills, in my upper class neighborhood. I do not rule out bankrupcy within 5 years........
Something happened again, as I am now working only Part Time, 60 days a year, thus, in the year 2010, thru, the end of 2011, my appetite for ADD meds suddenly increased, and, I have increased my dose, now, to 52.5 mg a day total, starting out with Generic
Barr Labs 15 mg extended release dextroamphetamine capsules, at the same time, taking 12.5 mg of generic Barr Adderall also at 9AM, again, a 12.5 generic Adderall at noon, and again, a 12.5mg, generic Barr Adderall 12.5 mg at 3PM. My Psychiatrist, added, one (1mg) of generic Actavis Clonazepam, with generic Actavis zolpidem (Ambien IR) at bedtime.
During my journey on mostly a "new life" of controlling my lifelong A.D.D. I easily met every single criteria for inattentive ADD, I have privately taken a brief vacation, from, the C-II stimulants, "once in Maui, Hawaii for 3 complete days, and all I had the energy for, was to sleep 12 hrs a day, or lounge on the rooftop solarium, my (then RN wife) was furious, at my vegatative state, threatening to fly back to the mainland, unless I took my meds, "I complied" .........when 7 yrs later, she hires a attorney, to divorce me, in february of 2006, when 6 weeks of marriage counseling fails, I resign my job with a shoe manufacturer, dating back to the Civil War in the USA, the firm had such longiviety, "I stopped taking all ADD meds, for 15 straight days, and was a "couch potato" sleeping, again 12 hours a day, walking around inside my home, unfocused, with no energy to even shave, but 3 times a week, and, felt like I met much of the criteria, of a 2 week Major Depressive Disorder. I had to return to the stimulants, as psychologically, I absolutely could not function, without taking the C-II stimulants, and my RN wife agreed,
I was a pathetic unenergetic, and very irresponsible, person, without the ADD meds. When I returned on them, I instantly, started focusing, on, my alternatives: I needed a attorney to protect my assets, in a "upcoming nasty Divorce, over money my wife expected me to pay her in six digits, and, with the C-II stimulants, I got hired, on a job, on the very first interview, as my energy returned, IMHO, as a result of the amphetamines in my body. (various SSRI's, Tri-cycle anti-depressants, even mood stabilizers, the alpha to the omega, had failed me, off and on since I was in my mid 20's.
Beginning this year, in 2012, my Psychiatrist, of now 13 years, has decided, to gradually reduce my intake of stimulants, already the dosage, to a max of 30 mg of
3 x 10 mg "generic Teva/Barr Adderall a day, and, the truth is, IT AINT't enough!!!!!
My Psychiatrist, has also, removed, the night-time hypnotic generic Ambien,and the
2 yr use of generic Clonazepam. He has observed, as my blood family has, (I had no children from the marriage) a often bitter, cynical, personality, with, some measurable mood swings, that, resemble, watered down "raging episodes" of Intermittant Explosive Disorder, and, technically, one cannot have both, ADD, ADHD and "that type of temper tandrum". My Psychatrist, has also added to my diagnosis, the dual diagnosis of Bipolar
Disorder, last episode, undefined. I developed "hives" during Divorce, thus, take the controversial cortisteroid, Prednisone" for itching on my face, by a Dermatologist, IMHO, stops the incessant itching 100 days a yr, but has side effects of MOOD SWINGS, etc.
I am depressed all of the time, at the very least meet the criteria of Dysthymia, and, my history of being misdiagnoised, in my 20's and 30's, has exposed me to all of the
traditional medicines for Bipolar Disorder, with months of Lithium, Trileptal, Tegretol, Lamacital, Neurontin, Elavil, Triavil, Siniquan, Prozac, Zoloft, Effexor, Serzone, Remeron, Paxil, some very strong anti-psychotics, I hated, (traditional and atypical) prior to my 1994 diagnosis of ADD 314.00.
I am beside myself, this year, as, I have transformed myself into a very reclusive, eccentric, esoteric hermit......and, only because of some years of "underdosing" was I able to get thru the recent "Adderall nationwide shortage" taking, airtight, stored bottles, of some 5 to 10 year old "Dexedrine Spansules" kept in a temperature controlled dry environment.
Thus, my 1970's and 1980'a dx's of Treatment (refactory) Depression, and, or GAD,
Generalized Anxiety Disorder, caused me to lose a lot of years, over 40 jobs, and, 7 colleges, before I finally graduated, with a B.S in Psychology. I am miserable, with the
knowledge, that, I am taking about 45 mg. minimum of Dexedrine+Adderall, just to get out of bed, and function, when my Psychiatrist, desires me to limit my Adderall to only 30 mg a day, and is suggesting, we later cut back more, and switch 100% away from
Adderall I/R, and try only Sustained Release types of stimulants, "down the road".
I have been so frustrated, I have obtained, some short term relief, by self medicating, by adding, the benzodiazepine, Roche Valium, or Pfizer Halcion, either, from
buying/procuring these meds from tropical resorts in Mexico, while on winter vacation,
240 pills, from a understanding pharmacy and MD, or, from some occasional, online foreign pseudo pharmacies that ship the meds like Diazepam, Clonazepam, by Roche, or
Pfizer Halcion, or Sanofi Stillnox (zolpidem) to keep it completely off of this...........
THE PRESCRIPTION MONITORING PROGRAM, ACTIVE IN ALL OF THE POLULATED STATES IN THE USA. More disappointment, as, I am not benzo ignorant, and, many of the recent meds, I have received, have the active metabolite, but, are only about 20 to 25% as strong, as, the USA versions, my Dentist has only "twice" supply me with like one dozen USA Valium by prescription, or, Endo Percocet. or, Roche Valium, Pfizer Halcion, Sanofi Stillnox/Ambien, from a co-operating Mexican pharmacy and Mexican MD, at a very
pricey winter resort, like Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallerta, or Los Cabos Mexico. (Cabo San Lucas). Lots of hoops to jump thru, and "expensive for real deal"
In some ways, now at age 62, I often truly regret, ever starting on the C-II stimulants, (I am convinced I have the disorder, mountains of records to prove it) but,
can't seem to function but only "half throttle" while on them now approaching 18 years.
does one on this board know of anyone "pooping out" on stimulants, after long term use?
I have never taken them to the recreational abuse levels of very high doses staying up for days, until only one year ago, I abstained from all alcohol for nearly 30 years, and, no nicotine since 1982. Only drink pricey California Red Zinfadel, in solitude, at night.
All research I find is on kids 7 yrs or younger, with 20 to 25 yr followups. One single study, I found, from Australia, of 50 patients, taking Ritalin or Dexedrine, for, "treatment resistant depression, on adults, (no average age was given) claimed, after, 57 weeks, of using psychostimulants, exactly 52% improved, in their lifting their unipolar or bipolar
depression. BUT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE RESULTS OF ADULTS ON STIMULANTS FOR OVER TEN YEARS, WITH A MEDIAN AGE, OF AT LEAST 40 YEARS OLD. (seams uncharted territory).........................................Any comments will be appreciated.
Are you sure it's the adderall, and not something else causing your symptoms? I have never heard of anyone reacting like that to adderall, and I know a ton of people who have been on it for many years.

Personally, I have been taking adderall for almost 15 years, And I have never had any problems (I am over 35) with it. My mom, who is 60, has also been taking adderall for over 15 years, and she's never had any problems either.

It's weird because you've described so many symptoms that my sis-in-law complains about with her thyroid issues, and some that my grandma complains about with her rheumatoid arthritis. It makes me wonder if there isn't something else going on that has nothing to do with adderall?
One fancy test I took at age 50 strongly indicated I have "Borderline Personality Disorder" Before my RN Case Mgr spouse divorced me at age 57, I completed two full years of the trendy DBT (Dialectic Behavioral Therapy) and, "twice" and the Ph.D told me a third session of this therapy for "Borderline P.D" would be a waste of our time, my wife divorced me, within 60 days of this conclusion.
Taken MMPI-2 three different times, always score sky high 6-4 type, the meaning? a very, high scale, for a very rebellious, angry male or female, with, intense fear (paranoid symptoms, and very strong lack of trust issues) Beats me. I appreciate your honesty,
of declaring how unusual my case sounds. Axis II disorders, "all personality disorders" are in general lifelong, and, have no medical treatment, for measurable success, of any of the 11 Personality Disorders. MCMI labeled me Passive Aggressive P.D. extremely high scores. Spouse used these test results to obtain a Restraining Order against me, and, I have never been physically abusive to any male or female in my life, but have been a victim of, being born into a very serious, dysfunctional family of origin, from birth, and, a dictator type controlling Patriarch father, as described in the teachings of Swiss Psychiatrist, Alice Miller. Not looking anymore for self pity, just don't care anymore, as I withdraw further, as a hermit, and a recluse, on a now very limited income, approaching old age. Take a through physical with many blood tests, and thus far my thyroid levels are not abnormal........have 4 DX's also for skin disorders, the past 10 years from two AMA Board Certified Allergist, and one Dermatologist. I don't have the answers..........................I think my M.D's are just as perplexed, as I am...............
Like you, I've been taking adderall for many years. As someone else mentioned, have you considered thyroid issues? I had a thyroidectomy last year and had very similar reactions as those you mentioning when afterward I experienced a serious bout of hypothyroidism. I stopped taking the adderall for a bit and the joint problems, etc. abated somewhat. Once I had my synthroid rx levels regulated I began the adderall again with no problems. There's certainly no proof of any causal effect in my case but before I took the adderall break I can't tell you how my knuckles and joints ached, burned and my body bloated. This was no doubt from the hypothyroid state, but I do believe the adderall may have somehow exacerbated it....maybe something to check into. Low iron levels making hands hurt may be exacerbated by the adderall as well (the next issue I had after regulating my synthroid levels!)
Have you considered adrenal fatigue?

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