Why are my ADHD meds making me feel so very, very sleepy?
October 19, 2008 1:15 AM   Subscribe

I just started taking Concerta this week on a trial basis and I'm experiencing a rather odd side-effect ... sleepiness. Just what kind of mutant am I?

After much discussion with my psychiatrist I have started a two week trial of Concerta. Much to my surprise, I feel more like I'm on a anti-anxiety drug. My brain is much less chit-chatty and I feel very mellow. That I expected to some degree. But the sleepiness? Didn't expect that.

In the past week I've had a much better night's sleep than I've had in a long time. I have an overwhelming urge to go to bed at 7 PM, when normally I don't fall asleep before midnight. Tonight I'm up late but I'm really struggling to stay awake.

I've looked at ADHD message boards and it seems like most people have the opposite side-effect. In fact, I was a little nervous about trying stimulant medication because I got into a spot of trouble with crystal meth back in college. That experience makes the Concerta side effects seem even weirder.

I like the feeling of calm and my ability to focus on things has improved, but I'm a little perplexed by the sleepiness. My doc is also giving me a 2-week trial of Vyvanase. Will I experience the same thing when I try that med?
posted by echolalia67 to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
Did you used to find yourself deciding sleep was for the weak, there was TOO MUCH TO DOOOOO! when you lay down previously? Given your other description (the less chit-chatty bit) this probably means you really are ADD (and it may mean it's appropriate to dither your dose a little, but I'm not a doctor or anything). When I wasn't taking Concerta I dare not just drink one cup of coffee or I'd be half awake all morning.

I have no experience with Vyvanase, so I can't help you there.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 2:42 AM on October 19, 2008

No experience with that particular medication, but everyone reacts differently to medications. Whenever I tooke Ambien (sleeping pill), I would have a ton of energy for several hours.....I would clean the entire house, eventually fall asleep, and the next day wake up with no recollection of what happened. (though I had a clean house!)
posted by texas_blissful at 6:56 AM on October 19, 2008

Is it during the time Concerta is supposed to be active or after it wears down ? During would be the reverse effect, after would be more normal.

I've been taking Concerta for some time and I some times experience my energy level going down when the effects stops.
posted by Baud at 8:16 AM on October 19, 2008

Are you taking the Concerta in the morning only (like at about 7:00am?) It wouldn't be unusual to feel it sort of 'wear off' after about 12 hours. Read up/ask your doc about timing your medicine so it kicks in and wears off at the right time.

(Data point of a freak: I take one Concerta in the AM and one about 15 minutes before bedtime. The bedtime dose of it doesn't keep me awake whatsoever.)
posted by oldtimey at 8:59 AM on October 19, 2008

Definitely talk to your doctor about the sleepiness. You are almost certainly not the first person he or she has seen who gets sleepy on stimulants. FWIW, when I was taking Adderall, I was super relaxed shortly after taking it, and if I found that I couldn't sleep, I'd take a quarter of a tablet and be out like a light. Everybody's brain chemistry is different--you may run into people who tell you that this couldn't possibly be happening, but I'll bet anything that your doctor doesn't say that.

If the sleepiness is getting in the way of your day-to-day activities, maybe the doc could lower the dosage?

Good luck!
posted by corey flood at 9:05 AM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

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