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Old 03-09-16, 01:46 AM
Bouncingoffwall Bouncingoffwall is offline
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Re: Share your Ritalin Success Stories

I've been on stimulant therapy for about 6 years and have used Vyvanse, Ritalin IR, Concerta, and Adderall. Right now I'm on a combo of Concerta 36 in the am, with a 10 mg Ritalin IR booster in the pm.

Vyvanse was a smooth med, long-lasting, with little dosage control. Side effects were mild, if at all noticeable. My dose tended to crap out around 2 pm after taking my morning dose at 6 am. Pdoc at the time didn't prescribe "boosters." I switched due to the early crash and lack of dosage control. Hyperfocus and mild palpitations were occasional side-effects. Impulse control and mental clarity were fantastic.

Ritalin IR on its own worked OK, but with too many peaks and valleys, along with the annoyance of having to dose three times a day. Sometimes I would forget the second am dose, and it would screw my dosing schedule up. Ritalin is like the lightweight of pharmaceutical stimulants, peppy as a strong cup of joe, but lasts longer and is far less jittery. Mild heart palpitations are a common and annoying side effect, along with some occasional crazy hyperfocus. Mental clarity is decent. It requires a bit of mental discipline to work with the drug. It can make you very focused and driven, yet all your focus can be wasted on something non-productive.

Adderall IR was like a kick in the ***. Plenty of pep and motivation, with the most pronounced effect on my blood pressure, along with more frequent palpitations. Adderall made my mind fire super laser beams of focus; I had to make sure I aimed that focus in the right direction. It was easily the most motivating stim I've taken for pharmaceutical purposes. Mental clarity was okay, there wasn't a terrible improvement in that area. But I sure wanted to get stuff done! Again, it had the IR dosing drawbacks that Ritalin IR had. The crash was a *****, evening workouts were mandatory to smooth it out. Plus, the inconsistency - MY GAWD, the inconsistency! BARR was absolute crap - some days I'd get no effect all; other days I'd want to crawl out of my skin! I had to find a pharmacy that stocked only CorePharma brand Amphetamine. Even then, I'd have off days. Amphetamine tolerance builds fast, even with weekend holidays. I'd have to take an occasional two-break to rebuild sensitivity.

And finally, my experience with Concerta/Ritalin IR combo. I had taken Concerta by itself before, but my pdoc at the time wouldn't prescribe boosters. Concerta by itself craps out early, around 1 pm, with a 6 am dose. Concerta had all the benefits of Ritalin IR described above, with a longer duration of effect. Fortunately, my current pdoc is very open-minded and research-based when it comes to prescribing stims for ADHD. He had no problems starting me on a regimen of 27 mg Concerta in the AM with a 10 mg IR booster in the PM. I recently crept up to 36 mg Concerta, after taking the 27 mg for over an entire year.

I'll stress that I ALWAYS take weekend/non-workday holidays from my Rx, which is approved my pdoc. I've avoided a lot of the tolerance-buildup problems that non-holiday stim users have.

So far, in terms of convenience, long-term risks and side-effect profile, the Concerta/IR combination has been safest and most benign of my stim experiences yet. In terms of controlling ADHD symptoms, it's been moderately good. Vyvanse was stronger, but the lack of dosage control sucked. Also, I got some of the side effects I had with IR Adderall, albeit less severe. Ritalin has been super-consistent in terms of daily effects. "Off-days" due to a bum pill are very rare in my experience with Ritalin. Ritalin is as benign at Tylenol at therapeutic dosages, and also sports some neuroprotective effects. Ritalin can even improve brain function over time. It also doesn't affect my blood pressure as strongly as Adderall/Vyvanse does. Concerta/IR is a nice compromise between"one pill a day" convenience and the dosage control of IR. Having to take only two pills a day is a lot easier to remember than having to take three pills a day, and I get coverage throughout my workday. The comedown happens around 5 pm to 5:30 pm, which I deal with by working out at the gym. I sleep really well on most nights, something I didn't always do with Adderall/Vyvanse.
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