What’s your dosage?
August 3, 2021 9:12 AM   Subscribe

You are an adult successfully medicating your adhd. What dosage of what are you on?

Simple as that. Just saw that a typical dosage for Adderall for an adult might be 60mg which might explain why 10mg did nothing for me. Have tried various dosages of various meds. It am beginning to think my psychs have no idea how to dose adults so survey time it is.
posted by Iteki to Health & Fitness (42 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
The whole "successful" part is yet to be determined but I am on 60mg of strattera
posted by Amy93 at 9:18 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]

10 mg Adderall XR works alright for me; 15 was too much since I didn’t like the hyperfocus it gave me. My psych said 10 is on the low side and he usually uses it as a ramp-up dose to something more like 20, but if it works, it works. (I also think my ADHD is mild, when I compare my symptoms to those of my friends, so that may explain it.)
posted by chaiyai at 9:44 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]

40mg Adderall XR here.
posted by 2N2222 at 9:51 AM on August 3

It is different for every person, I think, as is the specific medication you're on.

And I encourage you to actually take the time to go through the monotonous trial-and-error process of finding what your proper dosage is, and ramping up slowly. I say this not as a person with ADHD - but as a person who saw what happens when you aren't careful and rush this process, and jump straight into what you think is the "proper" dosage. A friend's roommate did that - they made a huge jump up to 60mg Adderall from 10mg, and they felt fine for a while - but then after a couple weeks they started experiencing sleep loss, then paranoid thoughts after 2 days, and finally went through a full-on psychotic break that required an emergency hospital visit.

They're fine now, but are absolutely certain that it was caused by 60mg having been too strong a dose for them. They only made that big jump because the doctor they were seeing had been careless about letting them do so instead of trying to go more slowly.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:52 AM on August 3 [12 favorites]

I've been on 30mg Vyvanse with a 10mg "booster" Adderall IR taken about 8-9 hours later for a year now & it's really working well. I started on 20mg Vyvanse a few years ago, moved to 30mg last spring when isolation/depression made my symptoms worse, and added the booster when I started a job working fairly long days and noticed the Vyvanse seemed to lose effectiveness early enough in the day that I still had work left & basically never had energy/focus for anything non-work afterwards.

Prior to Vyvanse, I had tried an Adderall IR taken every 3-4 hours regimen, but that made me jittery and very up-and-down in terms of focus. Taking it as a secondary med after the Vyvanse seems to operate really differently and mostly just extends the smoother, calmer Vyvanse type of focus rather than making me feel hyper or jittery. I hadn't even known that using it as a "booster" this way was an option until one of my therapists suggested I ask my psych about it.
posted by augustimagination at 9:52 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]

5mg xr. It's very low but I only use it once every few weeks.
posted by bbqturtle at 9:54 AM on August 3

10 mg ritalin, no noticeable physical effects but it keeps me on track. 20 mg and I feel a little nervous but very focused and can complete more difficult tasks. I take it about 2x a week.
posted by InkaLomax at 10:09 AM on August 3

I am taking 20mg extended release methylphenidate (ritalin), once per day in the morning. I take it 4 or 5 days a week (weekends off typically)

Works significantly better than morning&lunch doses of shorter-acting version of similar overall dosage.

Have never tried non-ritalin drugs (Adderall, or Vyvanse)
posted by cschneid at 10:09 AM on August 3

I’m really hesitant to answer because I think it might be dangerous to go to 60mg of Adderall making average dosage hard to pin down. The reason it is so high is tolerance build up. Your doctor should slowly ramp your up. For me that amount worked well but sleep or lack there of was a huge factor. Never got over that without other drugs.
posted by geoff. at 10:13 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]

10mg every 4 hours during work/study time
posted by Jacqueline at 10:32 AM on August 3

I was on 80mg of atomoxetine (generic Strattera) for years, which worked well but alas side effects including constipation eventually grew bad enough that I chose to go off it. I did not have those problems as badly on the brand name Strattera, but chose not to fight my insurance company on that.

Then I took a low dose of Vyvanse (30mg?) once a day for two weeks, which also worked, until it also made my ankles swell and I immediately stopped that.

I am currently on a very low (10 mg) short-term (3 hour) dose of methylphenidate (generic Ritalin) on the basis that if I get any nasty side effects it's not going to be in my system long enough to be a problem. It remains to be seen how well it works because I have to actually remember to take the damn stuff. I think it works a bit, but it will be a few more weeks and perhaps a larger dose before I can say for sure. I definitely feel like a very light blanket has been thrown over my thoughts, so that the constant low-level buzzing in my head that I never realize is there until it's gone damps down enough for me to say "Is this what regular people's heads are like?"
posted by telophase at 10:47 AM on August 3 [2 favorites]

I take 20 mg of Adderall XR on weekday mornings, after a few months of slowly increasing and then decreasing the dosage. 25 mg definitely was more effective, but the side effects were too great for me (mostly nausea/reflux). My psych advocated this approach—keep increasing until either there’s no additional benefit or the side effects are too strong, then bump back down—and it makes a lot more sense to me than the “lowest possible dose” school of thought.

I also find that the dosage and schedule work in tandem—if I take it for more days in a row, or fewer, the balance skews a little. (I assume this has to do either with tolerance or medication half-life, but regardless it’s what works for me.) I do wish I could take meds on weekends for the benefits, but I also like being able to eat more normally a couple days a week.
posted by CtrlAltDelete at 10:55 AM on August 3

I am new to this, only a little over a month in, but I've been doing tons of reading on it. It's not clear that there is a typical dose, as people react so differently, but it's very important to ramp up slowly.

I started on 10mg Adderall XR, weekdays only, and for the first few days, that seemed like a little too much. But my body adjusted pretty quickly, and after a couple weeks, my doctor had me increase to 20mg. So far, that seems stable, but I'm still in a stage where I am actively paying attention to how it's working, watching for side effects, and taking daily notes on the experience since I don't trust my memory regarding repetitive things.

I am just working with my primary care doc on this, as I got very lucky and the first thing we tried seems to be working really well. But I have friends who strongly suggest working with a specialist, especially for titrating meds, and that is something I'll consider if things get more complicated for me.
posted by ktkt at 10:56 AM on August 3

Back when I was on it - 35mg Adderall XR.

However, I have not needed medication since 2014. Prior to that, I was on it for about 10-years, diagnosed as an adult in my 30's.

I was told that it was a low dosage - many people are 75mg and upwards (and my research here at Ask suggested the same).

But my psych used the slowly increase and then ramp-down technique to arrive at my number. Prior to the XR, I was on standard quick release, and was constantly missing doses, that interfered with my appetite (nausea) and sleep patterns. The XR was so much better.
posted by rozcakj at 10:59 AM on August 3

Like telophase, I’m struggling with the side effects of atomoxetine, to the point where I have to take vacations from it so the side effects can…resolve themselves. I’m on 60mg, and will probably wind up trying something else. Vyvanse ruined my sleep and Concerta made me pull my hair out so I’m feeling a little stuck frankly.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 11:08 AM on August 3

Response by poster: Just to reassure everyone, I am not jumping anywhere, I've been ramping up and down and testing adhd medicines for ten years up to and including 120mg Vyvanse and 95mg of Concerta (with no effect or side-effects). I'm not looking to set my own dosage, just looking to see what the span looks like for other people. This is very useful reading so far, thanks!
posted by Iteki at 11:10 AM on August 3 [2 favorites]

Edge case here. I take 5mg Adderall XR twice a day. XR is supposed to last all day, but for me it doesn't, perhaps because of the low dose? But I tried 10mg XR once a day, it still didn't last all day, and gave me unpleasant headaches. This works OK for me - I could probably try something different that might work better - but I have enough coping mechanisms due to managing my ADHD through sheer force of will for many years that this allows me to function well.
posted by sparkling at 11:11 AM on August 3

I've been taking 10mg of Adderall XR once a day since 2017, and am just now considering bumping up the dosage to 20mg. I'm hoping if I take the autumn off Adderall completely I won't need to, though; I've been hesitant to up the dosage because I don't want to feel exhausted and foggy on my off-days, and I've definitely found that the effect of 10mg even after this long of nearly-daily use is still there, even if it hovers just above sub-perceptual..
posted by knucklebones at 11:30 AM on August 3

I tried Strattera but it did nothing for me except provide some annoying side effects. SO I recently switched to 5mg Adderall XR. I apparently have the medication tolerance of an infant so I always start medications on the lowest level and gently go up from there. I'm going to ask my PCP to up my level the next time I see her - I can feel a difference but it's not really helping me as much as I'd like.
posted by Gray Duck at 11:37 AM on August 3

40mg/day of Vyvanse for me. I've tried going higher, but find that I don't like the feeling of being on a higher dose (hyperaware, and like my eyes are made from glass). Most effective for me is medication combined with some level of exercise (which, yeah, I usually don't do).
posted by nubs at 11:53 AM on August 3

Loved one gave me permission to post their dosage: Adderall 20mg in the morning, 10mg after lunch, 5mg in late afternoon. Tapering down into the evening helps reduce headaches.

This dosage has been very effective for them. Ritalin and Vyvanse didn't do anything.
posted by brook horse at 12:08 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]

Almost homeopathic amounts of Vyvanse do the job for me, when I take it -- but usually I don't bother taking it. (I'm also a lightweight when it comes to caffeine, and booze.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:12 PM on August 3

15mg Adderall weekday mornings for the last year. Probably have developed some tolerance because here I am on Metafilter during the workday.
posted by libraryhead at 12:46 PM on August 3

Jornay PM, 100 mg. I am always surprised at how few know about this medication. It was a game changer for me.
posted by GeorgieYeats at 12:55 PM on August 3

Usually 15mg Adderall IR early morning, 10-15mg Adderall IR early afternoon.
(Late diagnosis of "inattentive type" ADHD, about 9 years ago. What hasn't worked: XR Adderall, generic Adderall, Vyvanse, methylphenidate, non-stimulant meds. After years of trying ADHD medications and doses, your insurance might cover pharmacogenetic testing.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:16 PM on August 3

Up above I said I'm currently on 10mg of short-term Ritalin generic, and I had that wrong--I just looked at my bottle and it's 5mg. Again, it does seem to have a small effect on me, but I need to take it a few weeks longer to be sure I'm getting the attentional benefits and it's not just wishful thinking.

(Recently re-diagnosed as ADHD combo, for what it's worth. I was diagnosed as primarily inattentive before.)
posted by telophase at 1:56 PM on August 3

10 mg Adderall for the last 20 years. I usually skip weekends.
posted by Ideefixe at 2:29 PM on August 3

I am just hitting the tail end of my ~two-week trial prescription, but I can't resist the synchronicity of seeing your question, so just in case you can glean something...

I'm taking 10mg of generic dextroamphetamine (commonly branded as Dexedrine) once a day. My next trial will be for one month, and there's been talk of switching to Adderall XR.

My dose definitely works, and doesn't seem like it's too high. However, I suspect my ideal dose (or equivalent with another medication) is higher--the question is how much higher. I perceive some...deficiencies in my focus compared to what it sounds like other people feel when taking similar medication as prescribed. I also want more coverage time than ~4 hours, but I'm not sure whether I'll address that with an IR or XR medication, or both.

I have no complaints about dextroamphetamine so far (my provider starts most people on this medication because it generally takes effect quickly, making its effects easy to evaluate).
posted by Carouselle at 3:29 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]

My dosage varies depending on how intense the tasks I need to accomplish are. I am on Ritalin, and take a "base" dose of 30mg a day (one 10mg in the morning and two 10mg in the early afternoon) but it's common when I have days that require a lot of focus for me to take 50mg (two 10mg in the morning and three 10mg in the afternoon).

I take weekends off. I'm generally very tired from suddenly not having any stimulants but the tradeoff is worth it because it prevents me from habituating too much. I'm already on a pretty high dose so I can't afford to need even more of it.
posted by forza at 4:14 PM on August 3

50 mg Vyvanse in the morning, 20 mg before bed. Yes, I take stimulants to sleep, thank you every pharmacist who doesn't believe this is possible or necessary.

120mg Vyvanse

Oof: I thought I was on the maximum recommended dose at 70 mg. Hope your liver's okay, 'cos it's rough on your organs
posted by scruss at 6:55 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]

35-40mg of Vyvanse, ramped up from 20-30 when I started last year. I drink a few cups of black tea on the weekdays, which seems to help it last til just before bedtime. I also take 100mg of Lamotrigin, fwiw.
posted by ananci at 7:28 PM on August 3

the only available medications in my country seems to be concerta and ritaline (no vyvanse or anything else). I was doing ok with 10mg ritalin 2x a day but I switched to concerta (27mg) because it's slower release, so it's perfect during fasting month. Switched full-time after that because my problem was that I keep forgetting my second pill for the day. My doctor also wants to put off dependency and tolerance for as long as possible, so I'm currently taking weekend and holiday breaks as well.
posted by cendawanita at 7:30 PM on August 3

30 mg of Adderall a day. It's been a life-changer.
posted by bendy at 8:41 PM on August 3

30 Vyvanse in the morning and 20 at noon.

I don’t always take the 20. Used to be 40 and 10 but now I have insurance that doesn’t include Vyvanse 10 on the list of drugs that are covered. I think I prefer the 30/20 because it’s easier deal with late evenings and have a bedtime routine. The booster 10 would wear off before I wanted it to sometimes.

especially if I had something particularly acidic or basic to eat or drink… looking at you, orange juice…
posted by delezzo at 11:11 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]

wow bold of you to presume "successful"


for about 3 years now, i'm on 30+15mg vyvanse (before that i was on ritalin IR then LA for like 6 years). that is, i take a 30mg pill in the morning (8-9am) and then at noon, i mix another 30mg pill in 32oz of water and drink half of it (and then drink the other half the next day). the latter solution was mostly because i was living in a country without access to 20mg pills. i now have access to them and already experimented with them but went back to 15mg for now, but might try that again soon...

the reason for this very unorthodox setup is that i need vyvanse to cover my entire day because it's one of the things that's holding my depression at bay (somewhat). if i only take the 30mg pill, it lasts me 8-9 hours at best and then the rest of the day is... bad.

this is a very imperfect solution, and i think it got a bit less effective over time, but it's the one i have.
posted by bee jam but sketched at 12:37 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]

lol i wrote this whole explanation about me taking 30+15mg without reading the comments and then i see right above me delezzo is doing the same thing and others further up. i guess i'm not such a unique snowflake after all and that makes me feel genuinely better.

(i know scruss so i already knew about his even more unusual setup)
posted by bee jam but sketched at 12:40 AM on August 4

I currently take 10 mg IR dextroamphetamine (dexidrine) in the morning, then about 3 hours later (around 10) I take 10 mg ER dex. I take another 10 mg ER around 4. If I take my first ER dose a few hours later, I may swap the second for an IR. On the weekends, sometimes I’ll only take the first two doses, or I might skip the IR and only take one ER.

I came to this schedule after a year of intensive experimenting with my psychiatrist, following my diagnosis. I also tried Adderall (headaches), Ritalin (made me edgy), Vyvanse (worked for a while, til it didn’t), and various combos of ER and IR boosters. I was struggling with keeping things going in the evening. I was killing it at work, but I would turn into a pumpkin at 5:30. So a lot of the experimenting was with timing to get the coverage right. I really like the flexibility my current regimen gives me; regardless of when I take my first dose I have options. When I was on vyvanse, I would run into situations where I slept in or forgot to take my dose until midday, and I had to decide whether to risk the impact on my sleep. Oh, speaking of sleep! I also take a low dose of clonidine at night. It helps me slow down my thoughts enough to fall asleep. I used to have to have the tv or an audiobook going to distract myself enough to go to sleep. Now I only sometimes require a podcast!
posted by bluloo at 8:09 AM on August 4

The med that works the best for me is Dextroamphetamine ER.

I take 5mg right when I wake up, and then another 5mg dose about 4 hours into the day. That lasts me through the workday, and then for a couple hours after, so I can get personal projects done. No problem sleeping a couple of hours after it's wound down. I do get grumpiness in the evenings, but being aware of that mitigates it. I also get slight stomach upset, but snacking throughout the day, and drinking iced rooibos tea, also helps.

I have Post-Viral Chronic Fatigue as well as ADHD, which is why I take my first dose so early. Otherwise, I'd never get out of bed!

I do - with my doctor's blessing - take a 'drug holiday' for one day on the weekend. My brain is overall happier when it has some downtime to just chill.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:52 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]

Dextroamphetamine: 5mg in the morning + 10mg at noon.

Has had a very good effect on RSD and on the sense of action paralysis I would get on weekends ("I have to go out in seven hours; I can't do anything before then"). Intermittent effect on work, motivation etc - wondering if I need a slightly higher dose in the morning.

Like spinifex23 I have problems sleeping, and am noticing I get a bit grumpy as it wears off (though also have a few things to be grumpy about at the moment....).
posted by Pink Frost at 12:57 PM on August 4

I should add that I've been on 50 mg Vyvanse for over a decade. It mostly works, but it's definitely less effective than it was. I'm uninsured right now, so it costs me roughly $9 CA/day. I supplement it with at least half a pot of strong coffee daily.

I miss the early days: the hyperfocus, possibly even the speedy hours when you could do everything and everything else moved soooo slooooowwww. I don't miss the jaw clenching and dry mouth that came with it, along with the occasional unbalanced spin-dryer heart palpitations.
posted by scruss at 7:18 PM on August 4

I take 40 mg of Vyvanse. I've been on it for 4 or 5 years I think? I started on 20 mg of Vyvanse, but switched up to 40 after a few months. I originally tried Adderall XR (not sure of dosage) but it didn't work well for me.

Although I'm now very interested in the idea of doing a 20/20 or 30/10 split, to get better coverage later in the day!

I don't have any side effects from the Vyvanse. When I first went up from 20 to 40, the first couple days I got a bit of that speedy/heart racing feeling, but it went away after a few days and now I'm fine.

I definitely think I'm on the lowest possible dosage that really gives me therapeutic benefit. I'd probably see better effects slightly higher, but I already take other medications that raise my heart rate (for asthma) and have a medical condition that also gives me high heart rate (POTS) so I've decided to stick with what works for me.

I wonder whether being more hyperactive vs inattentive ADHD makes a difference in medication dosage? For me, I'm much more on the hyperactive side, and if my stimulatnt dose is too high, it just makes my hyperfocus go into overdrive. I find a combo of Vyvanse + exercise + clonidine ER works best for me.

Of course, YMMV/IANAD/etc.
posted by litera scripta manet at 4:43 AM on August 6

40mg Adderall XR is reasonably successful for me… I ramped up gradually from 10mg, but lower doses were like taking nothing. My doctor stopped as soon as I felt some effect; we didn’t keep ramping up until I had negative effects and then back down.
posted by Kriesa at 8:16 PM on August 6

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