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Questions regarding ADHD/ADD tests.
hellifino posted:
Hey everyone, been using webmd for most my medical questions, just haven't signed up until now.

Anyways, I'm 22 and ever since I was younger I always thought I may have ADD/ADHD but my parents weren't buying the whole medication thing. I'm horrible at organizing, I lack any ambition to listen to pretty much anything in class. I can't focus and study, and I put off anything and everything until the last minute.

I went to a local doctor and asked about it. She asked me a series of questions, told me to get a physical done and to come see her at a later date. While I was there she told me to get an EKG along with it, and also a blood test and to give some notes that she wrote down to the doctor giving the physical. I can't quite read her handwriting but its something like either "UBC or VBC" or something. T3, T4, TSA; LFT and also a UA test.

She then prescribed me a trial dose of 30 10mg XR Focalin. I can feel it hit about an hour in, but only lasts for a little while. I'm taking college classes all day and I don't particularly want to take one later as well and not sleep at night.

Anyways, I wanted to know what the blood test/UA was for as well as the physical and how they all relate to ADD/ADHD testing.

motherofrob responded:
Sounds like a general work up to me. You are young so she wants to make sure you dont have any other health issues. TSA is prolly TSH is a component of the T3, T4. They are thyroid hormones. If your thyroid is out of wack then you can have some similiar symptoms to adhd. The ekg is a baseline. Most adhd drugs are stimulants so Dr's want to be cautious when prescribing them to pts that may have any abnormal heart rhythm. I am guessing UBC or VBC is a CBC. That is pretty basic lab work. It tells your hemoglobin hematocrit. I would let the dr know if the meds dont have the desired effect. 10 mg is a pretty small dose for an adult and the XR is entended release which means it should last longer thru the day. But some pts will take a short acting dose to help with studying in the evening they typically last up to four hours, whereas an extended release should only be 8-9 hours.
Gina Pera responded:
motherofrob has done a great job of answering questions about the medical tests ordered by your doctor.

It's good the doctor is being careful in considering other potential physical causes of your cognitive symptoms.

Here's the not-so-good part: She's prescribed Focalin without, it sounds like, helping you to focus on your specific symptoms and gauge the medication's effectiveness.

You do NOT gauge a medication's effectiveness by "feeling it hit." Sometimes people with ADHD don't even notice the medication taking effect, but OTHER PEOPLE DO.

That's why you need more objective measures to help you know when the medication is working. For example, if you have a hard time keeping your eyes open during one particularly onerous textbook, try it when the medication is in effect. Are you better able to read, comprehend, and stay awake?

Objective measures are SO IMPORTANT. You simply cannot rely on a general "how are you feeling?"

A medication's duration of effectiveness (DOE) varies among individuals. Pay attention to when the medication seems to be wearing off. Then consider a booster dose a half hour or so before that happens (giving it time to take effect).

It MIGHT keep you awake at night, or it might not. Try it when you don't have an important appointment the next day. It might even help you sleep better!

Good luck,
Gina Pera