strawberrymom

58d

How do adhd medications negatively affect you?

I told my sister the other day that I have an appointment for an adhd evaluation, she agreed that I likely have it because it runs in the family. She doesn't have it herself yet she told me "the meds they give you will f*ck you up". I know this is a common view on adhd meds, but im curious to know from people who actually take the meds, what's the truth? I currently use marijuana to keep me going throughout the day, but because I lean more on the innatentive side of adhd, im not sure how much it's truly helping me. I can't help but wonder how my life would be different if I took legitimate ADHD medication.

Methylphenidate

Dopamine

Chronic Restlessness and Agitation

Lethargy

Headache

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Dizziness

Guanfacine

acute lethargy

Numbness

View all
  • Crow123

    58d

    The worst that can realistically happen at therapeutic dosage is sudden cardiac death, which is why many psychiatrists will have you go for a EKG/ECG beforehand. The next worst things are higher blood pressure so that's only an issue if high blood pressure already is. Then after that it's insomnia and poor appetite. It can also make you feel upset and all that. When people talk about it messing people up, they are usually referring to the dosages that one would take recreationally, which are a lot higher than someone would be prescribed. These can include psychosis and dependency. When I tried concerta for the second time it did not help me at all, made me cry and be upset more often and made me not want to eat or sleep. However, the day after I stopped taking it, everything was fine again. It will most likely take you a few times to find something that does work for you, in this case I discovered that concerta did not work for me. I am trying vyvanse now and I am not getting upset or anything and it is actually helping so I know that it's probably correct for me (although I do think the dose needs to be altered). If you are following the instructions and dosages given by your psychiatrist, then there isn't too much to worry about.

  • sorenachy

    58d

    Just remember that everyone is different and you might not get the right medication on the first try. I work as a pharmacy technician and we have many patients that have to take multiple types of ADHD meds to be able to get through their days. Some people talk way too much if they aren't medicated, etc. I was a b@*ch when I was unmedicated. I always had to be right, I got irritated easily. I've been on Ritalin LA for about 4 yrs now (I just turned 49) and there has been a huge improvement in my life. I don't get irritated as easily. If I get distracted I can usually find my way back to what I was doing pretty quickly and easily. Even my wife noticed a difference almost immediately. Just make sure to keep your doctor in the loop about your thoughts and feelings in how you feel the med is working otherwise you may be on the wrong med for too long and be getting no benefits.

  • strawberrymom

    58d

    Thank you for this! I had a feeling that the negative connotations associated with them were from those who weren't actually prescribed them

  • EyeballKid

    58d

    I had some blood pressure issues with one of the ones I tried and fatigue with another, but that's why you try different ones until you find a fit. You'll likely not have immediate success, but someone should be able to work with you to find what med works best for you and titrate it appropriately. Honestly, I wouldn't go without them now. People like to talk about them dimming the imagination and turning people I to zombies or whatever, but I find the opposite. They give me much better control over my focus and ability to get things done as well as helping me control my emotions much better without curtailing my creativity or zest for life one little bit.

    • strawberrymom

      58d

      thank you for commenting on the creativity aspect that's definitely important to me. I often feel like I can't focus on my passions enough to make something of them

  • beater.queen

    58d

    Adhd meds aren't going to magically fix most of you adhd symptoms. Adhd is a dopamine deficiency. There is no medication that induces your brain to create dopamine. Our brains are not only dopamine deficient, but we also don't have a high storage capacity for it either. Adhd meds make the storage capacity bigger. They do not generate more dopamine. A bigger storage capacity can make a huge difference in the attention span symptom, but the problem is that if you aren't finding ways to produce dopamine, it isn't going to matter if the storage capacity is bigger. Thus, adhd needs to be treated through therapy and adhd meds. The therapy helps you find ways to induce the production of dopamine, and with medicine, it means you have to go scrounging for dopamine less, which means your attention span will be longer. Dopamine is motivation juice. It is what motivates us to perform tasks. You can have very severe adhd and be perfectly functional if you're aware of what induces your brain to produce dopamine. Typically, dopamine is created by doing something fun and active. For me, that's rock climbing or whitewater kayaking. I rock climb 2-3 times a week for about an hour and then once or twice a week I go whitewater kayaking for 3 hours. The kayaking gives me tons of dopamine and paired with my adhd meds lasts about 2-3 days and I keep it going by rock climbing. The best thing you can do for your adhd is to prioritize the activities that make you happy and schedule them in a way that keeps the dopamine alive throughout the week. Adhd meds allow that time between the fun activities to be longer bc the capacity to store the dopamine is bigger, which means you can spend more time doing chores and responsibilities without getting burnt out from a lack of dopamine.

  • verasama

    58d

    I've been on ADHD medicine for about 3 years now. I was originally prescribed a low dose of Adderall, and eventually they had to up it because we figured out it wasn't doing enough to help with my attention based problems, and that seemed to work really well for me with no negative side effects. The only real issues I was having were potentially if I took my second dose too late in the day, it would keep me up for a while. Also, I had gotten in the habit of self-medicating with caffeine, because that was what I needed to help me focus, and the combination of the caffeine and a stimulant ADHD medication sort of led to occasional palpitations or lightheadedness. I cut back dramatically on the amount of caffeine I was drinking everyday, and that problem has nearly completely cleared up. I don't think that marijuana would really help much with your attention based ADHD. I've never taken it myself, but speaking from a semi-scientific standpoint, the ADHD medicine that I found works for me and my attention based issues are stimulants. Marijuana is not a stimulant. In fact, according to a Google search that I did because I wanted to have some information before I just started talking here, studies show that it can worsen executive function and short-term memory, which is a lot of what the problem with ADHD is, when it's attention-based. I think as long as you talk to your doctor about it, and take the medication as prescribed, there shouldn't be any negative side effects. And if there are side effects that you don't like, or the medication isn't working for you, talk to your doctor about that too. It's also important to remember that medication will only do so much by itself. You're going to have to learn how to manage your ADHD symptoms in addition to the medication. I still struggle with executive function, and it is still really hard for me to actually get going on a task. That was better when I was on the Adderall, but because of the nationwide shortage that was going on, my doctor switched me to Vyvanse and I just don't think it works as well for me. But like everyone is saying, different medications affect everyone differently. You're not going to know if it'll help unless you try it, and it's not instantly going to be that you take your first dose and have a massive heart attack. At least, that is so unlikely that it's almost ridiculous. Just keep an open mind, and I hope you can find something that works well for you.

    • beater.queen

      58d

      I agree. I had to limit my caffeine dramatically after starting adhd meds. My doc was pissed when she found out I was drinking 4 monsters a day while on adhd meds. Now I have one cup of coffee in the morning and that's it.

      • verasama

        58d

        I wasn't doing monsters, but I was drinking multiple mountain dew a day, as well as Dr pepper, Coke, basically anything caffeinated. Now I have one caffeinated soda in the morning (can't do coffee because it hurts my stomach) and possibly one caffeinated cup of hot tea some point in the afternoon, although most of my teas are herbal/decaf. Which I'm sure is going to make both my therapist and my neurologist very happy. Lol

    • strawberrymom

      58d

      Thank you for all the info! I definitely agree with you on the marijuana, I started using it years ago to help with my anxiety and racing thoughts and it does help with that quite a bit. Since realizing I probably have ADHD I've definitely understood the ways it doesn't help me. Just trying to weigh the pros and cons of each option, I appreciate your feedback! I definitely will have to watch my caffeine intake if I go the stimulant route, boy do I love coffee but it is a trigger for me.

    • Koalaluver05

      57d

      adhd medication does In fact increase dopamine your comment mat be very confusing to those that are just begining their journey in all of my packets I have gotten from.the pharmacy and all the Drs I have spoken with about the medication it's been the same just as antidepressants increase serotonin adhd increases the dopamine if it made the storage bigger and you had to find dopamine it wouldn't work the first time you took it ( methylphinidate/ amphetamines) unless you are speaking of alternatives to stimulants. But there is a definantly effect on the body which means it's adding stuff into your brain. I have been dealing with it and researching it for over 20 years and and learned of the changes in them.

  • Cosmo_collective

    58d

    For me it turned me into something that had no thoughts or emotions it made me not be a person. It was like I was a living zombie. I stopped enjoying everything and was numb all the time

    • verasama

      58d

      not to bump into a conversation or whatever, but maybe this meant you just weren't on the right medication? Considering that it's most medications are stimulant, and not a depressant, it doesn't seem right that it would affect you that way. Perhaps you just need to try a different medication. Were you taking any other medications at the time? For other illnesses? It could be that perhaps it was the combination of other medications, and it only started affecting you when you took the ADHD stuff. Not that I'm trying to push you into getting back on anything, but I know that the Meds have helped me so much, and I would really like to help others if I can.

      • Cosmo_collective

        58d

        it's probably because of my mother. She encouraged overdosing. Which probably made the meds not work properly

  • 100Percent_K

    58d

    Honestly, they impact everyone differently. Both my younger brother and I are med free because the side effects we experienced weren’t worth it for either of us. It made me feel more crazy on it then it did off of it. He had issues with weight loss and feeling too dulled by it. It’s not that way for everyone, but that’s for you to decide for yourself personally

  • didiathena

    58d

    The ones I take make me stop eating,makes me more angry or emotional and tired

  • Koalaluver05

    58d

    I agree it depends on you as a person my son took methylphinidate and on the in crease he climbed the walls(it was when I knew he didn't have ADHD but trusted our Dr's) amphetamine he was depressed concerta he hallucinated and guanfacine did nothing for him so we took him off it all. My daughter on the other hand methylphinidate works very well for her. We recently started her on a brand new form of it that is immediate release then extended release... She also does concerta. I do extremly well on concerta and due to recent triggering events my Dr just added guanfacine. I don't do well with any anti depressant meds because my dopamine needed boosting not my serotonin so being diagnosed properly really saved me from a serious guessing game.

  • moonbeammountain

    58d

    i was prescribed ritalin! when i was taking it, it helped a lot with school and such. i stopped taking it for about three months, and then when uni started i was getting daily headaches after each dose, so i stopped taking it. the headache onset was a new problem though. definitely had decreased appetite, but sleep wasn't much of an issue for me

  • Jeezuskrys

    57d

    Jeez the misinformation surrounding meds is insane. Your Adhd nurse will discuss different medications, benefits and side effects with you before even going on them. When a diagnosis is made they will give you an appointment to talk with a meds specialist, who will find the right medication for your personal symptoms, and what will work around your lifestyle (long release, short release tablets, frequency of dose, strength of dose etc) There is going to be a lot of trial and error unfortunately. You will be reviewed every few weeks by the nurse, this will be for how it's benefitting you, side effects etc. You just have to be 100% honest with how the medication is making you feel. For example, I was on Vyvanse, however i was one of the very rare few who developed Raynauds Phenomena. Other than that, the Vyvanse worked spectacularly for me. I did have to switch to Methylphenidate, and I've been on that a couple of weeks now. With my dose increasing weekly to find the right dose for me. If side effects occur, or I don't get the desired effect, we just look at other options. It isn't going to be a walk in the park. It really boils down to how much you want to help yourself, and how much you feel your Adhd affects your life. There will be victories and setbacks, you just need to take it in your stride and keeps reminding yourself why you're doing it 😅

    • strawberrymom

      57d

      I've definitely noticed the misinformation lately and I'm just really trying to educate myself before going in to my appointment. It's good to know that they probably won't try to prescribe something at the first diagnosis! I've really gotta make a decision about if I need medication in my life, but I think if I don't give a shot I'll regret it. Thank you!

  • AnimalBoy

    57d

    I was fucked up by ADHD medication but it took a lot of really stupid medical malpractice from my entire care team, including my own mother, as a child for an extended time. My mother couldn't be fucked to do anything in the way of actually helping me or understanding my ADHD, all the diagnosis was to her was a reason I wasnt doing the tasks she told me to correctly and all medication was to her was a way to get me to do more chores. The real reason I wasn't doing her tasks correctly for her was that she was giving me a list of 4 or 5 tasks at the minimum and half the instructions were usually inncorect from the beginning. I was on Adderall a long time, it made my disassociation a little worse and what inwas doing during dissociation episodes got a little weirder but for the most part was decent, I improved in multiple areas of my life and felt fantastic for once, until my mom started asking my doctor to increase the dose every time we saw her because I wasn't "following instructions" right. She never did a single life style change or therapy related thing to help me. After my dosage increased so much I started having issues with my appetite, although I was bulimic by this point so I foolishly considered it a win, as well as my sleeping schedule if I took my meds even a tiny but late. I had feelings of emptiness frequently and my energy took a bit of a dip. My mom kept complaining about how I wasn't following instructions. Eventually they switched me to Ritalin and did the same increase routine, by the time I was 15 I was on the max dosage with a smaller fast acting dose I had to take in the morning, bad enough for anyone but Ritalin is bad for people under 22 years old in general. The side effects were horrible, suicidal thoughts, no appetite, a constant weird buzzy/wired feeling that intermingled with constant fatigue, poor sleep even when I could get it, everything felt grey, and I was constantly nauseous or having stomach cramps. It also destroyed my ability to metabolize any kind of ADHD medication and made it significantly worse, they stopped working around the time I was at max dose and my symptoms were significantly worse than they were before i started taking them, I stopped taking them against my mother's shitty advice and realistically behind her back. After a few years as an adult i felt ready to try again but nothing I ever tried had any effect on me whatsoever, even Adderall which had been great for me in middle school was like taking a sugar pill and my therapist mentioned that Ritalin at a young age can have effects like that as well as a number of other issues including worsening symptoms. My friend who had also been on Ritalin at the same time as I was and had similar issues with it later sent me a few articles that confirmed that. The kicker is I'm my mother's second child with ADHD, she's since said a number of things that made it clear she hasn't handled his ADHD well either, including trying to shame me for still having symptoms by claiming my brother outgrew his ADHD. I lost what little respect I had left for that woman when I realized how much shit she put me through just because she couldn't bother to use Google or ask about a specialist and how much she ignored because she knew nothing about the medication she was force feeding me. This was all a bad experience and is most definitely a cautionary tale, but the main thing you should take away from it is that it was that bad entirely because I had absolutely no bodily autonomy or control over my own medication and the people who were in charge were severely misinformed or under informed and only had their best interests in mind. If I had been older I would have fought it, I did tried at the time but obviously that went nowhere because of my age. You're old enough to pay attention to side effects, decide whether a medication is right for you, communicate that to a doctor, and find a new doctor/specialist if your current one doesnt seem to be competent enough.

  • RainbowNarwhal

    56d

    The first medication I tried made me significantly more anxious, but I felt fine once I stopped taking it, and the one I'm taking now doesn't make me anxious at all. My worst side effect is decreased appetite, but making sure to eat before I take the medication helps make sure I'm getting enough food.

  • SuicideShrimp

    56d

    My experience with adderall is that it suppressed my appetite so much I lost 12 lbs and I’m only 95 rn :( my weight was at 102 and I’ve tried for five years now to get back to that … i can’t do it … messed me up

  • hoofedcracker

    54d

    I tried stimulants a few times now. Once when I was 5/6 (Methylphenidate and dexamfetamine trials) and two tries of dexamfetamine and lis-dexamfetamine in the last 12 months. The things I had most difficulties with were eating on time (else I would get nausea, which would take a while to overcome after eating), while cognitive function increased I found it difficult to be "emotionally available". I think for the medication to work it's best it's important to set expectations and to work out the right dose. The expectations might be similar to improved cognition/ working memory, "staying on course" with mundane tasks etc, as opposed to taking advantage of the "excess energy" you might feel at the start. I'm still not sure if stimulants are for me, the eating on time thing is really taxing for me and I don't know what I'm doing for the long term. I'm currently taking Strattera (non stimulant; SNRI) instead, which has improved the "staying on course" expectation in a subtle way. I like to believe that even though there isn't a lot of long-term usage research that it's a better quality of life type decision. I wouldn't buy into the "it's bad for you" perception - if your goal is to have improved cognition etc, then it's proven to be a valuable option. I wish you all the luck, if I had any advice, it would be to remember it's all about pros and cons and your individual biochemistry - you might find it easy or maybe more challenging. But I hope it's a smooth ride for you :)

  • sorenachy

    52d

    I've been taking long acting Ritalin for about 5 or so yrs now. It's been good for me. I can multitask better now at work, if I get distracted I can usually find my way back easier and I am much easier to deal with.

  • Futuremuffin

    43d

    Might as well try it, they are free and they can drastically improve your life, personally they have really helped.

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