newly diagnosed at 52

Hi,

I was newly diagnosed at 52. I found a psychiatrist who specializes in ADD. He put me on Vyvanse. I found the medication made my ADD worse. I was totally distracted, got nothing done, was jittery and felt my HR go up and up. Has any ever had the issue that the med made the ADD worse?? Made me doubt everything - like think maybe I don't have ADD....when I read Driven to Distraction and felt like I was reading my own biography.

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  • I'm newly diagnosed too as of this last June. Doc put me in Adderall, eventually increasing dosage to 20mgs twice a day.

    Not much difference experienced by me. We're now trying Focalin, 20mg XR once a day. At current dosage I can't tell a lick of difference, I think Adderall/amphetimine at least kept me more alert, if not the laser focus I've read others experience.

    It still amazes me that what non ADHD people take to stay awake for days has so little affect on me. But unlike you, nothing adverse as of yet.

  • Hi there. What dosage are you taking? I've noticed when the dosage is too high or strong with Vyvanse, it makes your ADD symptoms worse. It might take some time to figure out which does work best for you. I have ADD and take Vyvanse 20mg.

  • I tried 20 mg and 40 mg. Both made symptoms worse plus increase hr and feeling like crawling out of my skin. Psychiatrist. switched me too atomoxetine and decided to not try anymore stimulants with me since my rxn to it was so strong. I start the new med tomorrow. Since it is in a different drug class - NE reuptake inhibitor - it won't work right away. Should take a week he said.

  • I am on Vyvanse 30mg for an ADD diagnosis at 45 yrs old. I struggled through school barely got C's and graduated high school with a 1.7 GPA. I couldn't follow directions and was very easily distracted from the shuffling of paper or other sounds etc. I just couldn't understand as a child and even through adolescence why everything was so difficult for me. I would study for a test understand and comprehend the material and when it came time for the test it was like I have never seen the content before. Out of frustration and not bragging my IQ is 134. In my case IQ and grades don't go hand in hand. I was resourceful enough to get into junior college not do so well and was put on academic probation. Next chapter, I transferred to a 4 year university and was also put on academic probation. After dead end jobs for about 6 or 7 years I went to a Psychiatrist and tried a few meds. and the only one that worked for me immediately was Vyvanse. It was like a light went off and a weight was lifted off my brain and the cloudiness was gone. I went back to school and completed my degree and have been working at the same agency for 17 years.

  • I just tried Atomoxetine for a week at 2 different dose levels. I could live with the dry mouth, suppressed appetite and being cold all the time. I could not live with the insomnia and resulting sleep deprivation. I lasted a week and it had no effect on the ADD. Go back to Dr. next week and will probably try something else.

  • I took Adderall for two years. Stopped for a pregnancy. After pregnancy I went on Vyvanse. I felt like it took a good month or almost two for stability and positive effect with Vyvanse and now I really enjoy it. When ADD meds seem to cause ADD it is one of two things: too high a dose, or meds are new to you (which essentially means the dose is high anyways because you’re not used to them) and you need time to adjust. It doesn’t mean that you do not have ADD though :)

    Best of luck with it all!

    Also, don’t forget proper self are. Make sure to hydrate, eat enough, and sleep enough. Even if you can’t, just make yourself and then when you’re used to the meds you’ll actually get your appetite and ability to sleep back.

  • It is so easy to get discouraged! I have not heard of anyone in my ADHD circle of pals who has had your experience to date. Perhaps what you’re currently taking would work better for you at a lower dose. Are you normally extra sensitive to medication? It may be that another medication will work better for you. I have spoken with many who rave about one medication over another. This seems to occur after a journey of trying a variety of medications over a period of time.

    Originally I read about a female technical writer who took meds when she needed to focus on her writing. I am not interested in taking medication all the time. So far, my best result is with generic Ritalin. I was diagnosed at age 56 and promptly read everything I could get my hands on. My doctor prescribed Ritalin (generic: Methylphenidate)—10mg. She told me to take as many pills as I needed to feel a difference. I misunderstood and just took one pill a day. I noticed no difference at all! After three months of that confusion, my doctor explained that I would need to experiment and gradually up the dose until I noticed a positive result! Finally, I had good results with 40mg (2 20mg pills) for 4 hours of focus. Unfortunately my job was demanding and I could never work out having more than 8 hours of focus. Even with XR, I could not achieve more than 8 hrs. of focus—that is, if I wanted to sleep at night. After my doctor retired from her practice, a prescribing psychologist (who does no therapy—only prescribes & monitors pulse/BP) said I could take an additional 40mg for a total of 12 hours of focus in a day. I still can’t do that without damaging my sleep cycle.

    Periodically I experience an energy “crash” from the medication in conjunction with my overly-stressful life situation. I read many posts here where others expect to achieve a sense of normal with the right medication. I don't expect to achieve a steady-state of energy or focus anymore. I am working to learn and practice new coping skills. I don't think I will ever feel normal. I am thankful to have learned how to use the medication to aid my productivity. Patience with self is KEY!

    There doesn't seem to be appropriate medical support in my area and I don't have the budget to try out a variety of doctors. I don't use the medication every day (now I am retired, but still need focus help), but am thankful to have the meds when I need to perform well in complex, detailed situations.

    My story may not help you, but please be as patient and self-loving as possible. Don’t forget that many physicians are encouraged by drug companies to prescribe specific products. Don't be afraid to let your doctor know that the supplied prescription is not working! Most ADHD-ers I know are happy with Adderol (sp?), but figuring out the right dose for you (whatever you use) may take time. Don't give up!

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