What about when Adderall doesn't work?
September 29, 2008 11:44 AM Subscribe
I saw the doctor to discuss ADD and getting a diagnosis. He started me on Adderall XR, 10mg, slowly increasing the dose. By 40mg, I was jittery as can be, having serious anxiety apparently caused by the medicine, but still as ADD as ever. I have a follow-up appointment with the doctor tomorrow, and want to know what to ask for.
(First, in case anyone's alarmed... Yes, I backed off the dose at 40mg, and am back to 30mg, which for some reason is significantly less troublesome.)
I'd been tested for ADD in high school, but the doctor seemed to rely primarily on tests, which concluded I didn't have ADD. I was pretty sure it was wrong, but lived with it until a few months ago, when I went to see my doctor. (I'd finished reading Driven to Distraction, which could pretty easily be my life story.) He decided to start me on Adderall XR to see if it cured me, agreeing with my reasoning that being unable to focus on anything, ever, was a better test for ADD than a computerized test from a decade ago.
But... I'm not feeling better. I still can't focus. All the descriptions of people with ADD starting Adderall have pretty much been, "It just worked, just like that" and, "It was the difference between night and day." But not for me, which has me quite discouraged.
I'm getting all the side effects of Adderall. It certainly keeps me from being drowsy. It's suppressed my appetite, though not to dangerous levels. I'm bursting with (amphetamine-induced...) energy... I just can't focus it.
I should mention, since I can't follow up (being an anon) that I'm also taking 10mg Lexapro for anxiety, both social anxiety and generalized anxiety. The Adderall leaves me feeling more outgoing, but also leaves me feeling very anxious. And feeling very anxious about nothing plus feeling very jittery/hyper is pretty miserable... (My doctor and I discussed the risks of Lexapro+Adderall ("serotonin syndrome"), but the risks were minor and he's monitoring me for that, so don't think we overlooked a dangerous drug interaction.) This isn't my main complaint with the Adderall, I just wanted to mention it in case it was relevant to any answers.
ADD is really very handicapping in my life, especially right now when there's not a lot of outside structure. I've been working on things like setting up a structured environment, but that's no panacea. I'm not a big fan of drugs, but I think I need medication for this.
I have an appointment tomorrow with the doctor, and he is quite competent. But I don't want to go in empty-handed, either: I really like to go in already knowing my options and having some recommendations for treatment. Is it common for Adderall to not work on people with ADD? All my research really only turned up people who had Adderall work miracles, and a couple people who had bad experiences; I didn't see any stories of people in my case. Any advice at all, really? email@example.com will reach me if need be. :)