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Ritalin (methylphenidate)

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  #1  
Old 11-01-10, 08:03 PM
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"As needed" use?

Quick background: ADD, Inattentive. 37 years old, just diagnosed. Never caused me significant problems at school or work, becuase I created enough systems to compensate. The biggest ongoing problem is interpersonal connections, which is a problem since I am a pastor!

I have just (2 weeks ago) recently started using Ritalin (actually Mthylin, but there is no one over there!). I am experimenting with it to figure out what works best. So far I think I only need it Sunday morning when i am preaching and in high-stimulus environments.

Any thoughts on "as needed" use?
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Old 11-01-10, 09:52 PM
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Re: "As needed" use?

Surely your dr prescribed a particular dosage?
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Old 11-02-10, 01:05 AM
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Re: "As needed" use?

Yes, he said I could take it as needed. I was just curious if anyone else here had any experience with that. I have just found that i lose a lot of my accuity adn persecptiveness when I take it, so I hope to use it as little as possible.
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Old 11-02-10, 03:49 PM
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Re: "As needed" use?

I've heard of people taking methylphenidate medications as needed (like for certain on-the-job tasks, like technical writing, that seem to be almost impossible without the medication).

I should also say that, just like you, I've been wanting to take as little as possible. I keep on going back and forth about wanting to cut my dose. It's been almost a daily struggle. Like right now, I'm prescribed up to 50mg per day and I often take 40mg. I often don't take it in the morning because I think I'm doing just fine. I don't feel like setting my phone to remind me to take my meds, either.

I'm trying to change all that right now. Why? Well, first of all, I don't think my self perception is always that great. I may think that I'm fine without the medications, but I know a lot of things go better with the medication. If I take what's prescribed, I can get pretty good coverage for most of my days.

That said, maybe I'll have a job change or a lifestyle change that will make it appropriate for me to stop taking ADHD meds or to take them as needed one day in the future. Maybe you already have that job and life.
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Old 11-02-10, 08:33 PM
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Re: "As needed" use?

My doctor just started me on this too(10mgs), she used the words "as needed" but the pill box is 2 a day. so I've been doing that. She only thing she urged is that I don't take it after 4-5pm because insomnia would occur. I never had anyone that used adhd meds in my family so they are trying to see what works for me. I only need the pills when I'm out of the house really(driving, school, and work). I'm thinking about talking to my clinician about it, because If my pill box didn't say 2 a day I'd probably take 3 a day since my days usually run long. but nonetheless, if your doctor said as needed, I would test yourself first. take one the first day(try and notice when it wears off), so that the second day you can time when to take another. yada yada....you know?
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Old 11-02-10, 10:29 PM
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Re: "As needed" use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpio1988 View Post
My doctor just started me on this too(10mgs), she used the words "as needed" but the pill box is 2 a day. so I've been doing that. She only thing she urged is that I don't take it after 4-5pm because insomnia would occur. I never had anyone that used adhd meds in my family so they are trying to see what works for me. I only need the pills when I'm out of the house really(driving, school, and work). I'm thinking about talking to my clinician about it, because If my pill box didn't say 2 a day I'd probably take 3 a day since my days usually run long. but nonetheless, if your doctor said as needed, I would test yourself first. take one the first day(try and notice when it wears off), so that the second day you can time when to take another. yada yada....you know?
Your Ritalin came in a box? What kind of doctor are you seeing? Is it a psychiatrist?
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Old 11-03-10, 01:33 AM
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Re: "As needed" use?

I was presicribed methylphenidate "as needed". Eventually, after about a year, I developed a regular dosage system that made sense for me. I think that my doctor did this since I have been a patient my entire life and he is well aware of my family history.
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Old 11-03-10, 09:06 AM
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Re: "As needed" use?

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Originally Posted by SfumatoPants View Post
I was presicribed methylphenidate "as needed". Eventually, after about a year, I developed a regular dosage system that made sense for me. I think that my doctor did this since I have been a patient my entire life and he is well aware of my family history.
There is a saying: one needs to know what the rules are before you break them. With medication, if you don't know what the regular dose and dosing schedule is, as advised by research and the manufacturer, how can you know if it's working for you or achieving full effect?

SfumatoPants, I take what you wrote to mean that your doctor knew your background knowledge and understanding about the medication when he advised you to come up with a dosing schedule that suited you, but when I read questions from newbies that show they do not know that regular release medication does not last the whole day, I am concerned. I also wonder if this lack of education is why so many people report that ADHD medication does not work for them or only worked for a short time.

Regular Ritalin worked for me, my son and my daughter, from the first pill, but we all understood that it was short lasting and had to learn when to space our three or four pills per day in order to get full effect when we need it the most - two pills a day for someone with a job, school, and homework is not going to cut it for most people.
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Old 11-03-10, 09:11 AM
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Re: "As needed" use?

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Originally Posted by Scorpio1988 View Post
She only thing she urged is that I don't take it after 4-5pm because insomnia would occur.
My prescribing psychiatrist suggested I take an extra evening dose, if I had a class or meeting, no later than 7:00 p.m. My family physician was a bit dubious, but bowed to the expert and was surprised to learn he was correct. Each person is different, but my daughter finds she needs that late dose to study at night and she sleeps better because of it.
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Old 11-03-10, 12:53 PM
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Re: "As needed" use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Imnapl View Post
There is a saying: one needs to know what the rules are before you break them. With medication, if you don't know what the regular dose and dosing schedule is, as advised by research and the manufacturer, how can you know if it's working for you or achieving full effect?

SfumatoPants, I take what you wrote to mean that your doctor knew your background knowledge and understanding about the medication when he advised you to come up with a dosing schedule that suited you, but when I read questions from newbies that show they do not know that regular release medication does not last the whole day, I am concerned. I also wonder if this lack of education is why so many people report that ADHD medication does not work for them or only worked for a short time.

Regular Ritalin worked for me, my son and my daughter, from the first pill, but we all understood that it was short lasting and had to learn when to space our three or four pills per day in order to get full effect when we need it the most - two pills a day for someone with a job, school, and homework is not going to cut it for most people.
Yes, I should clarify. In no way did I intend to imply that my doctor handed over an open ended script with no instruction. We discussed the details of the drug's effect, it's half-life, side effects, common dosage procedures, etc... With full knowledge of the titration procedure, and appropriate guidelines, I was given a 3 x 10 mg/day script, which was a "common starting point". I started out with 2 x 10 mg daily, and switched to 4 x 5 mg, and on and on... until I am where I am today, 1 x 10 mg and 4 x 5 mg daily.
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Old 11-03-10, 05:22 PM
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Re: "As needed" use?

Hello, i'm 17 and i just started taking Concerta slow release 36 mg about a month ago. its become a lot better but i still get some nasty rebounds at night occasionally. my problem is that i ONLY need the medicine for school- i really don't need it on the weekends. My doctor said i should try Ritalin 5MG tablets in the evening to reduce the rebound. i have heard they cause sleep loss and im not into that at all. My other question is, theoreticly, if i take a ritalin 5MG on a weekend just to get some homework done, how are the effects going to differ from my Concerta? could really use some help im kinda scared to try, will i rebound the same way?
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Old 11-04-10, 12:40 PM
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Re: "As needed" use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimdyer93 View Post
Hello, i'm 17 and i just started taking Concerta slow release 36 mg about a month ago. its become a lot better but i still get some nasty rebounds at night occasionally. my problem is that i ONLY need the medicine for school- i really don't need it on the weekends. My doctor said i should try Ritalin 5MG tablets in the evening to reduce the rebound. i have heard they cause sleep loss and im not into that at all. My other question is, theoreticly, if i take a ritalin 5MG on a weekend just to get some homework done, how are the effects going to differ from my Concerta? could really use some help im kinda scared to try, will i rebound the same way?
A while back, I was taking 54mg Concerta. My doctor prescribed a 10mg IR to take late in the afternoon to help with rebounds. For me, I never felt it caused sleep loss. I felt not taking it would cause sleep loss because the early rebound would sometimes have me feeling wound up when it actually was time for bed.

For most people, IR will have a very similar effect as Concerta (it's the same drug, different release mechanism). It just won't last as long (and it might be hard for you to get the dose the same).
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Old 11-05-10, 12:41 PM
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Re: "As needed" use?

I get a lot of side-effects by prolonged use so I take it as needed.
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