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friday, january 16, 2004

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i have really got to stop taking two of my adhd pills at a time. the prescription says i can, but taking two is almost as bad as not taking any at all.

see, adhd medications have to be prescribed specific to the individual. this is one of the reasons why it's good that ritalin now has some competition as an adhd medication. not everyone with adhd responds to adhd medications the same, which we should have realized years ago when ritalin became the "miracle pill" for those with adhd.

(heck, back then, we should also have understood that not every active child is an "over active" child. there is a distinct difference between the normal distractibility of any child and a child with even mild adhd. it can be a small difference, but it is a difference just the same. course, by the same token, i'm glad we now see that not all adhd kids are distractions in the classroom. some of us have perfectly good coping mechanism, but are adhd all the same, like i was. adhd is not something you can "catch," so having it as an adult means i had it as a kid and was just undiagnosed. thank goodness our understanding of the problem and what to look for has advanced the way it has.)

in our house we have 3 people with adhd and have had a number of different medications tried. the hard part id finding the balance of what works to keep the distractibility, over activity, and impulsivity down without killing the person appetite, making them irritable, or doping them out, among other side effects (okay, maybe an appetite suppressor might not be a bad idea for me, lol, but for my son, really bad idea!). wellbutrin made me shake so badly i couldn't write well, and i was queasy sick all the time. it's hard to concentrate on anything when you're queasy. my son has been on ritalin and wouldn't eat much at all, when he switched to the concerta/risperdal combination, the kid gained weight - his ribs don't stick out any more and we actually have had to by clothes because they were too tight rather than him being too tall. my youngest has an impulse control issue that wasn't being dealt with on her previous medications. she's still having some problems with impulsivity, but not nearly as bad.

and it's not just the type of medication, it's the dose. too low of a dose and you might as well not be taking any at all. too high and the kid could get doped up or, conversely, worse adhd symptoms. most adhd meds are stimulants, many of them illegal, such as adderall. doctors has to fill our triplicate prescription forms and we have to sign for it when we get it filled. if the prescription changes, the doctor must notify the pharmacy. the idea here is to keep someone from over using something that's the equivalent of speed. granted, people with adhd don;t react to it the same way a "normal" person does, but it's still speed.

anyway, when i first started taking adderall, i was put on 10 mg twice a day. the dose was too low. now, usually, at least what's been done with my children, is a person is started at 5 mg and gradually taken up 5 mg a week until the right dose is found. in my case, the doctor might have been taking my weight into account and bumped me up to 30 mg twice a day and another 10 at night if i needed it because of my night owl hours. i've long since discovered that, in general, 20 is too much. i'm not as distracted as i would be without it, but i do tend to be more scattered and less focused than at 15.

but every now and then i seem even more distractible than usual and, for some unfathomable reason, try taking 2 to compensate for the higher level. and nearly every time it doesn't work. i get the same reaction on days where the adhd feels more out of control as the days when it's pretty much at a normal level for me. i really should know this by now, but i every now and then, i do it again.

maybe i can blame the 5 minute memory lifespan.

and maybe i should just put a post-it note on the monitor that reads: "adderall: 1 1/2 - NOT 2."


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