New to meds and feeling speedy

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New to meds and feeling speedy 2013-06-27T05:19:43+00:00

The Forums Forums Medication Ritalin New to meds and feeling speedy

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  • #120684
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    breeze
    Member
    Post count: 2

    Hello,

    I’m new here and recently diagnosed with ADHD. I have mostly inattentive with a little impulsivity thrown in to make life interesting.

    I was hoping for some experienced advice with ritalin. Yesterday was my first day taking 3 x 10 mg. I noticed an immediate buzz. I felt so peppy and talkative at work. Normally I can be a little irritable. I work in service so peppy isn’t a bad thing. Later for my housecleaning job I could stay on task without daydreaming or feeling like I want to leave before the job is finished. For the first time I could see clearly what I had to do next instead of the normal confusion in my dayly tasks. I felt confident and in control. More relaxed in my work. Then after work I accomplished consolidating my student loans. Which is AMAZING!!!! This was a task that haunted me for years and I had felt the constant threat default because of multiple payments and paperwork I couldn’t keep up with. I would try before but the multiple steps were frustrating and confusing and I could never accomplish it, deferring and procrastinating for another 6 months. I’m sure you get the picture! Big ole albatros!!!! But I did it all in 1 afternoon on ritalin!!!!

    I clearly could use the positives from this drug but I don’t want to harm myself in the process. Here are the negatives. I feel high. And really jittery. Really like I am on some hardcore drug. My mood is altered, maybe too positive!? I was speed racer on my bike ride to work this morning.  My partner has already commented on the talkitiveness. I’m really worried about addiction and I don’t want to feel like a druggy. I’ve had some problems in the past with substance abuse and don’t want to go down that road again.

    I usually get the speedy up feeling right after taking the pill then it wears down to a more managable level. Also I thought maybe the strong morning coffee is a bad combo with the ritalin. Is the dose too high? Or is it something you eventually get used too? I have my next appointment with the psych in 2 weeks. Do I need to contact him sooner?

    Any advice is appreciated.

    Thanks!

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    #120687
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    seabassd
    Member
    Post count: 119

    @breeze I’m new to the forums as well. I’ve been trying meds for about 6 months now. I believe it was Focalin and then Vyvanse and now I’m on Ritalin. I’ve been trying to get my Ritalin dose right for about 2 months now. I think I’m getting close. The dose is higher than I wanted it to be but again nothing is set in stone and I always have the option of dropping it down or maybe only dosing two times and not three times a day. Just keep an eye on yourself. Make sure your pdoc is aware of your addiction history. He’s the guy with the script pad, the gate keeper.

    I’ve experienced the feelings you’re describing.  I don’t currently have any clear cut answers for you as I’m still trying to figure things out as well. You can always adjust your dosage down to 5mg and then titrate up to 10mg if you’re uncomfortable with some of the feeling you’re experiencing. My pdoc started me on 5mg then titrated me up to 10mg x3 a day. There’s also the option of switching to extended release which ramps up more slowly.

    Be interested to hear what other have to say with more experience.

    I forgot to add that I’ve struggled with alcohol addiction. It has been 15 years or so since I quit drinking. So I share your concerns.

    Damon

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    #120689
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    Amy
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    Post count: 161

    You may want to talk to your doctor sooner.  I’ve never taken Ritalin, but when I first started taking stimulants, I didn’t have a high feeling or jittery or get overtalkative.  In fact, it was the opposite.  I felt very calm for once and able to control myself.  You may be on too high of a dose.

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    #120690
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    Chica
    Member
    Post count: 18

    I started on Ritalin 5mg 3 times a day for 2 weeks, then ramped up to 10mg a day for another 3 weeks before moving over to 36mg Concerta. I felt a little strained on the first day, slightly jittery but not efficient like you are describing! Second day I woke tired, but took my 5mg on time – 40 mins later I lay down for a nap and woke two hours later feeling completely refreshed from sleep for the first time I could remember. That was a revelation. It made me feel like the meds help me to do just the one thing I am actually doing rather than feeling confused and scattered.

    I really think if you go too fast trying to modify which meds and which dose and all the possibilities, it gets confusing. I wrote notes about my impressions at different doses, partly because I know I forget myself and partly because I was worried about taking meds and getting stuck on them.

    I have inattentive type ADD too, and we often don’t need particularly high doses. (See Adele Diamond for comparison between ADD & ADHD.) I think you will feel more confident starting low and going slow with each possible adjustment. WRITE NOTES ON YOUR TREATMENT!

    We are all different, but the way I feel on 36mg Concerta now after more than a year is different than it was at the start. I like that I can rely on my own energy and attention. I always eat a protein rich breakfast with my meds because I found it really evens out the way I feel physically; before I worked this out I could feel over focussed and strained. I don’t feel hooked, if anything I have a problem forgetting to take my meds and wasting a day cos I only noticed I forgot when I find myself walking in circles and feeling overwhelmed.

     

     

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    #120693
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    Robbo
    Member
    Post count: 929

    Sounds like ya already got all the key advice here. My only other ideas are for you to be sure and get some slow burning carbs and definitely a good dose of protein for breakfast. When I tried Ritalin I started at 5mg and stayed there. I only felt a lil bit “high” about the first 2 or 3 times I had taken it. And I know taking it on an empty stomach made a difference. Later I took it on top of a good dose of just cereal with protein powder in it. Or at the very least a tall glass of milk.

    I bet it’s easy enough to just break one of your 10’s in half. This is not an anti-psychotic or anything. So heck gal, just cut back for a few more dosages, and remember not to drink any coffee with it. I can also tell you that when I was taking Ritalin (I took Methylyphenidate, the generic stuff) I was a lil bit more quiet. Less talkative, not a huge difference, but not more talkative by any means. Consider the possibility that you may not be taking the right medicine if you keep getting “chatty”.  I had a tendency take my time and I actually thought a lil more before I talked.

    When I took it I was already taking Wellbutrin. Now I just take the wellbutrin, and I take less too.

    When and if it’s the right medicine at the right dose, you won’t feel like you’re on any medication at all. The goal is to be much more like you, the real you. But organized a lil bit more right? 🙂

    I have not heard many cases where addiction became an issue for the folks that come and report about stimulant meds here. I guess it’s also possible that the “Dope Phens” are off getting high and don’t care enough to bother posting about it. It’s a risk your doctor is willing to take though. I bet the fact that you’re talking about it here, and telling the whole truth is a sign that you’re not in danger of running into problems.

    Hang in there, and maybe consider keeping some kind of journal for yourself. You’re doing great! I bet this is gonna get easier for you pretty dang quick!

    Peace.

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    #120694
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    seabassd
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    Post count: 119

    I wish I had found this forum 6 months ago. I’ve been so confused about what to expect from the stimulants. I believe my expectations have been way too high. I’ve monkeyed around with various doses and meds for 6 months. I kept waiting for some amazing experience to happen. From what I’ve read here, the effects are subtle and the difference it makes in your life is accumulative. Time to titrate down again. Ugh…

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    #120698
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    Patte Rosebank
    Participant
    Post count: 1517

    @seabassd, @breeze, @chica, this is the best place to start: http://totallyadd.com/medications.

    It’s current, unbiased information, compiled in consultation with ADHD specialists.  These online videos will answer your questions, and reassure you.  They’re entertaining too!

    As you watch them, you may want to write down the things you want to discuss with your doctor.

    Oh, and strong coffee with stimulant meds is NOT a good idea!  Caffeine is a stimulant too, so you may find you don’t need it at all, now that you’re taking proper meds.

    I love the taste of coffee, but I’ve trained myself to make it VERY weak.  Just enough for the flavour, not the caffeine, since my brain is now getting the stimulation it needs, from Concerta instead.

    ___________________________

    @breeze, 3 x 10 mg might be a little high to start with, but try cutting out the coffee for a few days, and write down the results of taking your meds, each day.  Take this “meds journal” with you to your doctor’s, and discuss it.

    It can take a few weeks for your body to adjust to a new med and/or dose.  So, give it a chance.  And do NOT change your dosing until you discuss it with your doctor.

    Above all, don’t worry about becoming a “druggie”.  That’s just a result of all the misinformation out there.  In fact, getting proper treatment for ADHD is a lot safer than trying to self-medicate with risky behaviours, booze, junk food, or street drugs…which is what a lot of us do before we get proper treatment.

    If you were diagnosed with Diabetes, and you had to inject yourself with Insulin several times a day, would that make you a junkie?  No! Your body just needs insulin to help it to function properly.  Just as you’re not a junkie if your brain needs Ritalin in order to function properly.

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    #120711
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    Scattybird
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    Post count: 1096

    Don’t expect too much from meds. They generally don’t work like a lightening bolt.  Rather, the effects are sometimes subtle and sometimes more obvious. How you respond can change from day to day depending on how tired you are or how well you have eaten that day.

    You are aiming for benefits with minimum side effects. I find with Ritalin that I just kind of get on with things and stuff gets done. No lightening bolt but things get done and they didn’t before meds.  I also feel calmer and I sleep better.  That’s on a Ritalin dose of 10 mg every 2.5 to 3 hours. If I need to focus I take 20 mg in one go.

    It took me a year to work out what dose works but that’s because I didn’t do it properly. Just accept you are going to take meds and you will find the right dose much faster.

     

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    #120713
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    seabassd
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    Post count: 119

    @breeze, I’m so glad you asked this question. The answers they gave you really helped me.

    @amy, @scattybird, @larynxa, @robbo, Great info! Really big help for me. I felt really at ease today after a few months of medication confusion.

    Can’t do this thing alone.

    Thanks, Damon

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    #120717
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    Scattybird
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    Post count: 1096

    Damon – you’re certainly not alone with us here. We’ve all been though what you are going through now so please use us mercilessly for info., shared experiences, or just as a sounding board.

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    #120718
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    breeze
    Member
    Post count: 2

    My gosh! Thanks for the responses you guys :).

    @seabassd I’m so glad I asked this question too! I feel so much better after reading what you all have written. It isn’t so scary now. Good luck on your journey!

    @Larynxa Thanks for the link. I will check it out after posting. I  drank a few sips of my triple shot cappuccino and threw the rest down the sink. I wasn’t leaping out of my skin this morning , yay! I think I’ll be buying a package of decaff today.

    @chica How have the meds affected your energy levels? Being mostly inattentive, I’m  enjoying the boost. I usually feel slow and foggy at points in the day.

    For an update. This is the 3rd day. I´m less speedy, less chatty. I feel really tired when the meds wear down. A little emotional too. My appetite is less but am able to eat pretty well.  I slept poorly the 1st night but better last night.

    I find riding my bike through traffic is a lot less stressful. I can see where all the people and traffic are in relationship to myself. Before everything seemed to jump out of nowhere. I can take a deep breath and confidently ride through the streets. Before it was confusing and sometimes scary. I would often feel angry.

    I only put the 2 items I needed for dinner in my  basket at the grocer the other night!! Ha ha. I didn’t need to look at everything in the store either.

    I feel confident speaking with people at work. Less self conscious, awkward, more receptive. Is this a common effect? Confidence is a good thing right? Or is it maybe too much of a high type thing?

    Anyway, I’ll be sticking with my prescribed dose until my next appointment. Hopefully we can work out the kinks then. I think I’d like to try the slow release stuff. Maybe it will be less of a roller coaster. I’ll use these posts to help me with my drug diary.

    Thanks for letting me rant and for the wonderful insight!

     

     

     

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    #120723
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    Chica
    Member
    Post count: 18

    Hi Breeze,

    Yes it has affected my energy levels in a very good way. I used to sleep long hours all night, then fall asleep or feel really exhausted periodically during the day unless I was around fun people, or busy with something engaging, or driving a bit too fast – you get the picture.

    All that time I was undiagnosed I was sleeping way too much. I had great difficulty falling asleep at a sensible time – 10pm seemed like the only time of day I was sure to be energised and organised. At first, the Ritalin pepped me up so I wasn’t falling asleep, and I felt more together as I tried to shop, or pack for a trip – this sounds a bit like what you are getting now.

    After a while, as I experimented with dose and timing of meals, or when to get up or go to bed, I started feeling tired and strained. If I had one big day where I tried too much it left me exhausted for three days after, so I would fall asleep even though I was medicated. This was upsetting because I didn’t know the situation would improve.

    It is the food and sleep I get alongside Concerta that make a difference long term. As Robbo & many others suggest, I eat 3 meals a day with protein in each, and go to bed on time. I try and be sensible with healthy carbs, I mostly avoid caffeine and alcohol. Sounds boring I know, and I’m not perfect with this, but this is the bare minimum of what I must do for the Concerta to work effortlessly for me. Now my meds give me a normal day, I can’t really feel them, but the days I forget meds are just frazzled and confusing.

    I think the subtle quality of my energy has improved gradually over the whole 16 months. I feel as though I am catching up on a lifetime of poor sleep and invisible stress. I’m glad I didn’t give up on the meds last summer when I couldn’t tell which problem caused what outcome. It took patience at the time.

    I now know exactly what overmedicated and undermedicated look like in ME because I took notes as I adjusted doses. I can see from those notes that sleep and sensible eating were OK at the time, so the problems were mostly about the dose. Now if I feel under or over medicated it is always linked to poor sleep or not enough good food for how active I have been. I am really sensitive with these two issues, and I really hate that, but I can see I am less sensitive than I was a year ago – my energy and appetite is more stable long term.

    I think the more consistent you are in your habits and meds, the more consistent the meds let you be. It’s kind of a two way street. I hope you find all this reassuring.

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    #120730
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    kc5jck
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    Post count: 846

    If I were trying to work out meds and dosages, I would consider finding someone who could give me feedback on how they see the meds working in me so I could compare the feedback to how I think the meds are working.

    From what I have learned on this site and through reading, the “patient” is not always a good judge of the effectiveness of the meds and dosages.

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