Anyone ever been prescribed Adderall

mommy2allyandaveri

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Joined
Sep 19, 2006
DD12 takes it. It was prescribed after several months of therapy. What prompted it was having a couple of her teachers fill out an evaluation of her behaviors and activity in the classroom. We were referred to a psychiatrist and she received the medication. It has worked very well for her. We have received such positive feedback from her teachers and her grades reflect it as well.

We have been given the option to take it only on weekdays when in school and have mostly followed that plan.

She did not have an adjustment period really and has not felt negative side effects. Overall, it was a very positive thing for her. We really took a lot of time to make this decision and I'm so glad we did.
 

DLgal

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
The real question is, did it help you focus better? If not, it's not the right medication for you. You might need a non stimulant medication instead.

You should really make an appointment with a psychiatrist, who is better equipped to asses your needs and offer an appropriate medication and dosing schedule. "Take 1 pill and take more if you need it" is not how Adderall works, especially if you were given the XR version. You don't just pop as many as it needs to "feel something." When used appropriately for true ADD/ADHD, you don't feel high. People who abuse it and take MUCH MORE than a therapeutic amount get high off it.

My son didn't respond well to Adderall, so we stopped it. It caused anxiety and skin picking. He now takes Concerta with good results. He is 14. He has never felt high, but the meds allow him to get schoolwork done without getting distracted every 10 seconds. He doesn't take it on non school days and has no issues with withdrawal because he isn't addicted to it.
 

MrsJackSparrow4Life

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Jun 20, 2009
What type of doctor prescribed the medication for you? A general family doctor or a psychiatrist/psychologist? My friend had to go to a psychiatrist and get testing that took about 3 months before she was officially diagnosed with ADHD. If the doctor you went with only talked to you for 30 minutes before handing over the script I would be worried about a misdiagnosis.

There are plenty of diagnoses that cause focus issues other than ADHD. My brother has one called central auditory processing disorder and ADHD medication does nothing to help, in fact it makes it worse.
 
  • momz

    DIS Veteran
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    Nov 1, 2005
    Adderall is not often used as a first line treatment for adults. You will see adults on it. Many times these are people that took it during their years of brain development and continued needing it even after full brain development (which happens in early to mid 20's). In addition, it is occasionally used for adults with chronic illnesses that cause profound fatigue. In these cases, it is an off label use to help with energy. It can help keep a person with profound fatigue engaged enough to keep them able to work and function normally.

    But as a first line therapy for an adult who has not had formal evaluation for ADHD? Nope, I'm not sure what treatment guidelines this provider is following. Sounds like the fast-food, have-it-your-way, type of medical care. (which has nothing to do with Mexico as the OP accused)

    Needless to say, your experience thus far may prove why it is not a first line therapy for adult ADHD.

    With the problems you are noticing, I wouldn't expect a diagnosis with just one visit to a GP. It takes quite a while to sort out all that's going on in the brain. It will typically start with answering several pages of question which are all sorts of Mental Health inventory tools. These will proved "scores" which will then be evaluated to help point the arrow toward a group of diagnoses and/or away from other groups. This will be followed with several more appointments with psychologists to continue down this path of assessments to further define the problem. After it's sorted out, the discussions about treatment options can begin. There should be a meeting with a psychiatrist at the point of prescribing during which all the treatment options including how it works and what possible side effects exists are discussed.

    Considering all of this, a single appointment with somebody who has a DEA number and is happy to bill your insurance/collect a co-pay is probably not the best assessment plan.
     

    RangerPooh

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    Aug 6, 2005
    I don;t have experience with the medication personally, but DH takes it and has for the last decade.

    When on the medication did you notice that your focus improved? If so did you notice that it was better for the full 8 hours, or did it wear off half way through? If it did not sustain for the full 8 hours then you might be on a wrong dosage. Some people do better with the long term extended relief, others do better with medication 2x/day.

    Did you gradually introduce the medication into your system or did you jump in? This could also affect how your body responds. Did the side effects diminish at all while taking the medication?

    When taking the medication did you give your body a few days to ease into it and adjust to taking the medication? Or did you stop a day or two in because of the side effects?

    All this will be valuable for the doctor to know. It could be that they prescribed you a medication that is not right for your needs. The best approach might be to meet with the professional who consistently prescribes the medication.
     

    kaytieeldr

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2005
    I did not just go to the doctor and say give me this.. We spoke for half an hour and after speaking she determined on her own to give me the medication.
    The bolded line below seems to refute this claim. No?
    In any case I spent 2 months trying to get Adderall... It seemed like some semi illegal substance that I had to jump through several hoops for... Once I finally got it I looked up the photo of the pill online and I could tell I was given a generic
    Just FYI, you should not have needed to look up the pill online. Your prescription bottle should have both the actual name of the drug (and insurance typically will cover the brand name at a much higher price or not at all when a generic exists) along with a description of the pill.

    As you say, a lot of time is spent with co workers, and it is very normal to pass recommendations to each other about different things - meds also
    "Oh, hey, those sound like same symptoms my ADHD relative had; you should see a specialist."? Sure. "You should get these pills, they worked for my ____"? Not so much.
     
  • pweyl36

    <font color=green>Now if I can only get them into
    Joined
    Feb 4, 2005
    I did not just go to the doctor and say give me this.. We spoke for half an hour and after speaking she determined on her own to give me the medication..Not only that but I had to provide recent blood work and a EKG to get the script.. So no it wasnt like going into a mexican pharmacy and saying give me give me give me..
    however I spend more time with co workers than i do with anyone else.. so if any of them based on personal experiences recommends something then yes i will consider it.
    ADD is something you start to notices as a child. My son was diagniosed when he was 5. he could not function in school with out the Adderall, that's what got him thru school. How did you get thru school. oh and a pedi Neuroloist did DX him with ADD.
     

    smiths02

    DIS Veteran
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    Feb 13, 2009
    ADD is something you start to notices as a child. My son was diagniosed when he was 5. he could not function in school with out the Adderall, that's what got him thru school. How did you get thru school. oh and a pedi Neuroloist did DX him with ADD.
    The diagnostic criteria includes "Several inattentive or hyperactive-impulsive symptoms were present before age 12 years."
     

    siren0119

    DIS Veteran
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    Sep 26, 2018
    ADD is something you start to notices as a child. My son was diagniosed when he was 5. he could not function in school with out the Adderall, that's what got him thru school. How did you get thru school. oh and a pedi Neuroloist did DX him with ADD.
    ADHD is also something that was largely ignored as a "real" disorder 20 years ago. My husband (now 42) was only properly diagnosed when he was a child because his mother is a nurse and pushed hard to get to the root of what was going on with him. His teachers noticed him having trouble focusing and functioning in school but labeled him lazy, careless, and lots of other negative things even when his mom tried to bring the school up to speed on his diagnosis. Laws for disabled folks weren't as good when the OP was a child, and schools were not as open to recognizing it. My older son is 12 with ADHD and has benefited from schools that recognize it as a disability and not a "made up" disease to excuse bad behavior.

    OP - you should see a psychiatrist and get proper Neuropsych testing to confirm your diagnosis and work with a doctor who isn't going to just prescribe Adderal because it's the only ADD medication they know. GP's are not the right place to get long term treatment for ADD. A psychiatrist can recommend alternative medications that may agree with your body chemistry. My son cannot take Adderal but does very well on Methyphenidate.
     

    cobright

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 6, 2013
    Oh man, so much here... Let me organize this a bit and punch out some answers...

    I went to the doctor after having several co workers suggest i talk to the doctor about Adderal... I have always had a difficult time focosing/concentrating...
    ADD/ADHD(I view them very differently) can be a crippling disability in adulthood. I think the social stigmas and misinformation about it and its treatment largely contribute to a net-underdiagnosis of the condition. There is a lot of approaches to treating and managing one's ADD, and I think stimulant therapy is the most effective beginning of that course.

    In any case I spent 2 months trying to get Adderall... It seemed like some semi illegal substance that I had to jump through several hoops for...
    Adderall is harder to get than some opioids. This comes from the DEA scheduling system that places adderall at level2, while some doses of morphine and ketamine are less strictly regulated.

    Once I finally got it I looked up the photo of the pill online and I could tell I was given a generic pill.... The doctor gave me 10mg to start off with and said if I felt it didnt work to take 2 pills a day rather than one.. This way when I went back in 30 days she could prescribe the correct amount...
    This is not uncommon, letting the patient self titrate. It sounds like you were given the Immediate Release (IR) form of the pill.

    Long story short.. How in the world is this addictive???
    From a chemical standpoint, adderall gets in and out of you very quickly and physical dependency symptoms are generally very short lived as well. It is a central nervous system stimulant and will boost the dopamine and norepinephrine levels throughout your brain. When the drug wears off the brain takes a while to get back into the swing of things producing and using those hormones, this causes a crash. Depending on the formulation of your pill (more on this in just a second) the crash can be modest or severe.

    When the medicine is working right, it makes getting things done so much easier that, for people with ADD (and others) they get 'addicted' to being productive. It's not a fun drug to be on.

    I have never felt so horrible in my life!! For starters after taking one or even two pills I honestly do not notice any changes in me.. I do not feel any more focused nore do I feel any type of "high" or effect one would imagine such a controlled drug has...
    This part and the following answer gets technical. Look at your prescription bottle and find the manufacturer. There are actually about 10 different makers of generic adderall IR and the formulations used vary greatly. There are two major categories of amphatimine salt used in adderall and its generics, dextroamphetamine and levoamphetamine. Dextro amphetamines are punchier and more effective for ADD but levo amphetamines are slower acting and more gentle.

    I feel nothing with the exception of 8 hours later... Not sure if its the crash or the effects finally kicking in.. I feel nauseous to the point i need to lay down.... This feeling can sometimes linger days after I took the pilll....
    So though yes I am going back to the Doctor this week.... I was wondering if anyone else here had any experience with this medication..
    Actual adderall is a combination of two dextros and two levos. These 4 salts all metabolize at different rates with the effect of some of them still coming into effect as others are leaving your system. This makes the 'ride' easier and the let down less abrupt. Generic adderall sometimes has only 2 salts, sometimes it's a 50-50 mix of dextro and levo and sometimes its 2 dextro salts.

    Depending on who made your generic, your results can vary wildly. My personal favorite is the IR pill made by TEVA or Shire. It has a slightly sweet taste on the tongue. The worst (by most accounts, including my own) are made by Aurobindo. Aurobindo is an Indian company and if you google "aurobindo adderall" you'll find anectdotes aplenty of people describing medicine with all the side effects but none of the efficacy of real adderall.

    What can you do... Find out if your insurance will cover the name brand if your doctor specifies name brand only. Or... request your pharmacy stock a different generic. If they won't, then take your business somewhere else.

    Further more, if you can't get a smoother ride using a different brand of adderall, ask your doctor to prescribe adderall XR, or (if the insurance will pay for it) Vyvane. these are extended releast formulations and are much more evenly paced with a much more gentle drop off at the end.

    Now let's look at some of the comments so far...

    I have an issue with a doctor who would prescribe this after a 30 minute conversation. There are screening tests and assessments that should be done to diagnose ADD and they really should be done by someone who specializes in mental health.
    While there are some behavioral therapy approaches that are useful in treating ADD, a mental health specialist is seriously overkill for this. People with ADD do not have damaged psyche's Nobody develops ADD as a result of bad habits or emotional trauma. For whatever reason (and there are plenty possible) the part of our brain tasked with executive function is less active than is needed. Some people thrive in this condition, artists and wealthy people it might seem, but for a lot of us it is debilitating.

    It takes 30-60 days to kick as a prescription is what I was told. I can tell u from past bad life decisions it can be highly addictive, for those who don't need it. It is actually a form of meth.
    Adderall IR becomes effective within 15 minutes and remains so for about 5 hours depending on the dose. At about the 8hr mark I get a crash that makes me drowsy as all get out for about 90 minutes. Coffee helps. SSRI/SNRI based ADHD meds have this sort of profile and far worse side effects.

    Saying Adderall is a form of meth is scare mongering and a bit disingenuous. It is chemically similar to meth in the same way that water is chemically similar to hydrogen peroxide. Or CarbonDiOxide is chemically similar to Carbon Monoxide. Crystal meth has an extra methyl group that allows it to cross the blood-brain barrier, it is a very different chemical.

    Did you actually go to a psychologist who specializes in adult ADHD, go through a battery of tests, and get a diagnosis or did you just spend 2 months doctor shopping to find one that would give it to you.
    ADD is a label applied to a collection of symptoms. That collection of symptoms is what is being treated. Checking them off of a diagnostic form is entirely appropriate. If you walked in with a minor bleeding cut and the doctor prescribed a band-aid, no one would shame you for not seeing a dermatologist or vascular surgeon.

    If you had true ADHD, you might have seen results.
    This is a classic misunderstanding. People say it all the time, "people with real ADD actually get calm taking stimulants while everyone else would get hyper". This is a myth. Everyone taking adderall will get better at concentrating, better at learning new information, better at recalling it later. Most people are able to do these things well enough without help, but the drug has the same effect on everyone. There is actually a group of scientists advocating for across the board use of stimulants like adderall as a performance enhancing drug for doctors in training. The rationale being that medical errors lead to a significant number of serious problems, and however good a doctor you have now, he would be a better one if he had been on adderall during his education; even with discontinuing the medication at graduation.

    People self-diagnosing are who give true ADHD a bad rap.
    Way to gateKeep ADHD. Shaming people who seek treatment for their ADD can only serve to scare more people from getting the treatment they need. The diagnostic criteria of ADHD is not something beyond the range of understanding of most adult humans. Look it up. It's about as simple as diagnosing a headache.
     
  • kaytieeldr

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2005
    Way to gateKeep ADHD. Shaming people who seek treatment for their ADD can only serve to scare more people from getting the treatment they need. The diagnostic criteria of ADHD is not something beyond the range of understanding of most adult humans. Look it up. It's about as simple as diagnosing a headache
    Still, the way the OP went about obtaining this drug is unusual:
    Diagnosed by coworkers
    Spent several months attempting to get the drug tecommended by coworkers
    Thirty minute MD appointment which may have involved the checklist cited, but no mention of it by OP.
     

    cobright

    DIS Veteran
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    Jan 6, 2013
    Still, the way the OP went about obtaining this drug is unusual:
    Diagnosed by coworkers
    Spent several months attempting to get the drug tecommended by coworkers
    Thirty minute MD appointment which may have involved the checklist cited, but no mention of it by OP.
    Not so unusual. I've seen this happen a fair bit. Been on both the giving and receiving. It goes like this...
    • I'm on a job, installing a machine for example, and I get a union electrician to follow me around because this is NYC and I can't do anything without hiring the appropriate union tradesman to do nothing. So this kid is about 30 and has the attention span of 3 coked up squirrels. Nice enough guy but I couldn't imagine him getting through the classroom training to make journeyman. By the end of the job, his distractibility was something of a running joke between us. As I'm wrapping up the connection I throw it out there, kinda like a joke, "Ya know, there's a pill for that." "What?" "Yeah, ya know, like whatever it's your business, but I take an adderall every day to keep my brain in line. It helps a lot." "I thought that was just for kids." "Something to consider. Take your obamacare to a doctor and ask about it."
    • On the other end... I'm running a program of DIY classes at a Steampunk Con in Detroit a few years back. Long hours. Unmedicated. At least 5 different people broached the subject of ADD and/or treatment for ADD with me that weekend.
    I can imagine the subject coming up much more naturally with coworkers who have spent more time with a person and maybe have had to cover for their distracted friend in minor ways.

    When I read the bit about taking two months to get the Rx, all I could think of was the bureaucratic mess I had to go through getting my scripts switched over to new doctors when we moved to Wisconsin for a few years back in 2008. The area I was in had a clinic based medical system. Was near impossible to just find a single private practice physician. So all treatment had to go through a holistic nightmare where every thing had to be seen to by 4 or 5 different departments. But getting appointments took a week at a time and couldn't make one until after the preceding visit. It took 2 months to get my meds switched over and I had a medical history showing I had been on the same meds for years.
     

    Sand Wedge

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    Apr 12, 2019
    I think it is fair to say that people don't WANT to be on these drugs any more than one might want to be on, say, an antidepressant. It's just that sometimes, it is necessary. And dare I say, the target should be to come off them when appropriate and not just to to go with the flow of taking them for the rest of one's life.

    Psychiatric medications can be a Godsend. They can also be a nuisance. There are so many out there, finding the right one for you might be hit and miss. And remember, what works for one person, won't always work for another.
     

    luvmy2boyzz

    feel the fear and do it anyway...
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2008
    I really wish GP's would suggest a psychiatrist and psychologist for these types of issues rather than try to prescribe medication. My DS went through testing and counseling prior to being diagnosed and prescribed medication. His father is adhd and takes adderall my DS was prescribed vyvanse. Which he absolutely hates taking because he loses his appetite and doesn't sleep. But the difference in his grades when taking the meds compared to not taking was huge. Think failing classes to being on the honor roll. No kidding! He just graduated college and I am guessing he probably will not continue on the medication. Mostly because of those side effects.
     
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