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Re: Adderal or Ritalin?

Posted by collegeguy on May 24, 2004, at 12:36:14

In reply to Adderal or Ritalin?, posted by Maxime on May 24, 2004, at 12:05:44

So, it's a mixed bag. I suffer from anxiety and depression and the stimulants are the only things I've tried (and I've tried lot) which have helped.

For me, the amphetamines were the answer. At the right dose, they are better at calming me down than benzodiazepines--this reaction is quite paradoxical though, so don't expect the same for you.

I first took Adderall, but that ended up being too stimulating after time (not in a good way, but in a jittery, nervous way that was layered on top of the calm). I also tried XR, and while it was smoother, it also had more sustained side effects (they were always there now, though at a lower level).

I also tried Ritalin in the form of Concerta. In me, it was the best in the ADD sense. It made me hyperfocused, but oddly, it also made me feel very slow and stupid. So while I could concentrate on things very well, I could barely understand them. However, if Ritalin seems to be right for you, I strongly recommend Concerta--it uses an osmotic pump to release the drug and has one of the smoothest, best sustained effects of anything I've taken. It is expensive though.

I am currently on dexedrine spansules 2-3 times a day depending on my sleep schedule. They do not make me jittery, but still give me the antidepressant, pro-confidence boost that normalizes me. The also are very subtle when entering and leaving your system--you don't feel the effect begin or end, there's just a point where you notice yourself feeling better. Likewise, there is no crashing as they wear off--you just notice yourself feeling back to your old, depressed self. For me this was a great benefit because I was a bit concerned about being on amphetamines (which can be highly addictive). I don't wait in anticipation for "pill-time," and occasionally I even forget to take a second one because my mind is sometimes able to sustain its non-depressed state past the end of the pill.

Sorry if I have been rambling, but I really feel strongly that more people should give stimulants a chance instead of running in the other direction because they are Schedule II substances. I recently switched to a new pdoc who is a bit older and seems to have seen it all and he has tried me on sample weeks of each of the major stimulants because Adderall showed promise in me.

Because everyone reacts differently to each stimulant, it's hard to tell you which one is better. For me it was dexedrine, for you, it could be ritalin. If you forced me to choose, I would say start with Adderall 5 mg immediate release tablets 2x a day. Titrate your dose up (or down) from there.

One last bit of advice when it comes to the stimulants: if you can afford it, definitely try the brand-name (non generic) versions of the stimulants first. Everyone always claims generics are just as good as the brand-names, but that is really not the case (the FDA only requires the medication levels to be +/- %20 of the real thing). I was first prescribed generic Adderall, and that turned out to be one of the most unpleasant medications I have ever been on (very anxious, nervous, jittery,....). Brand Adderall produced the opposite effect.

Good luck! If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask...and don't give up either, there is something out there for you that works, you may just not have found it yet...




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