I am 40 years old and have just started taking Adderall for Adult ADD. I am concerned that my system will get use to the dose that works best for me, and will eventually need more and more to achieve the same results.
The word is that people with ADHD don't "habituate" to the stimulants. In other words, many people can take the same dose of stimulant for years, with equally good effect.
That said, Adderall isn't a simple neurostimulant, such as methylphenidate (Ritalin, etc.). Its mechanisms are a little more complex.
For this reason, and in my experience -- from talking to hundreds of people taking medication for ADHD -- Adderall can also cause side effects that might not show up for a few months.
Over time, all the stimulants can back-suppress serotonin in parts of the brain, thus creating new problems with anxiety, depression, OCD-like behavior, etc. But Adderall seems to do this to a more severe degree in some people.
Keep in mind, too, that some of these medications will put more demand on your B vitamin -- vitamins and minerals actually help to carry these molecules along the synapse. So, you want to be sure you're doing well in the nutrition department.
Overall, the top experts I've spoken with are leaning away from the old-school formulations (Adderal, Ritalin, etc.) and moving towards the newer-formulations (Concerta, Vyvanse, Daytrana) because they have lower side-effect profiles.
Beyond all that, many people with ADHD do tend to forget over time what life was like before they took medication. When the change that medication brings loses its novelty, they assume that the medication has stopped working. This is another reason why it's important to keep a journal about symptoms, so you can note your progress and also remember where you started.
From GinaPera's post: "Beyond all that, many people with ADHD do tend to forget over time what life was like before they took medication. When the change that medication brings loses its novelty, they assume that the medication has stopped working."
I agree with this, I've been taking it for 3 years & it has changed my life for the better. However, sometimes I dont feel the 'high' i felt when i first started it & i've gone through stages thinking it wasnt working. But, when I feel like that and actually think about it I ask myself how I would be feeling if I did not take the medication at all? Which makes me realize If I didnt take it I'd probably be doing anything other than what i should be, like sleeping, & I realize the adderall actually still is helping me carry out my day.
I originally got prescribed 40mg of the XRs to take everymorning, but I alternate between 20mg & 40mg so I wont become "immune" to them & because I wont allow myself to take more than 40mg. Switching from the 20mg to 40mg then back to 20mg theoretically seems stupid but it works for me...and I do know people that have started taking more because they think they need it, instead of switching from up and down. If you have self control its not too bad
Adderall question: Starting Adderall, many have the unanswered questions of tolerance and less than effective best use over time. The Wt. of the Pt. and the Amt. as well as other factors are important. Some contriversy exists. Weekends are used as a drug holiday on days less intense as work days to lessen tolerance. Worry not. Your individual needs will be known well as you become accustumed to the drug over time. The fact is, many psychatrists report that most of the individuals that take Adderall, simply do NOT take the maximum Amt that is required for the best effective use for Tx of ADD/ADHD. This is quite common, and causes comcern for the best efficatous indication for Tx.
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