Okay, I just want to start off by saying that there's going to be some matters in here in which I "completely" understand that they've been over before. Each case is unique and I hope that anybody who posts here understands that. Anyways, I've now been taking Vyvanse for, I would say about 3 weeks. I'll list below what I was already on before taking Vyvanse:
Zoloft 1xDay - 25mg
Subutex 1xDay - 4mg
Okay now, I have a family of three including a 4 year old son whom I love dearly. I'm going to college and work full time out of my house. I have many, many obligations and it's becomes really hard to cope with all of them when you've been suffering from ADHD/ADD since you were a child. I'm sure that there are a lot of you out that that can relate.
Now I'm not a fan of taking any medication to treat ADD. The side-effects at times aren't worth it and in other times it just doesn't work all together. I'm at a point in my life where I "NEED" something. I've tried everything from meditation, exercise, herbal therapy and I'm currently seeing a therapist for 'Cognitive Behavioral Therapy'. I'm not 'primarily' seeing this therapist for ADD related issues even though she knows about them, but for anxiety. I have always had a very high level of anxiety if you can't tell already. ;-)
Anyways, I began treatment with a therapist roughly a month ago and we really haven't started getting into anything yet. That sort of stuff takes awhile anyways so I'm not expecting any miracles. Now around the same time I was prescribed Vyvanse. Now I didn't start it right away because of a mix-up with my insurance. Instead I started taking Adderall which was also prescribed by my Psychiatrist. This was to hold me over tell I could start treatment on Vyvanse. I've taken Adderall before with limited success. It worked for about 2 days like it did when I tried it around 19, I'm 30 now.
Now, a few weeks ago I started taking Vyvanse and completely discontinued my Adderall. In fact I waited a whole 24 hours until my last Adderall pill to take Vyvanse just to make sure I was safe. When I began Vyvanse treatment it really worked. It kept me focused I was pretty much where I wanted to be. I had some tension and anxiety but I could cope with it. Vyvanse was giving me the clarity that I was looking for with some side-effects that I could manage, at the time. Also I was placed on a starter dose of:
Vyvanse 1xDay - 30mg
Now we're in week 3 of my Vyvanse treatment and I'm experiencing some 'extreme' levels of anxiety. Basically I'm experiencing full blown 'panic attacks' almost everyday. I feel like I'm dying, going crazy, like my heart's going to explode, blah, blah, blah. It's miserable! So before somebody goes on and on about the high-risk of anxiety/panic episodes on these drugs, I know. I'm fully aware of this so there's no need to repeat it. I'm really trying to manage my anxiety but it seems impossible to find a doctor understanding enough to prescribe me something for my anxiety that doesn't leave me retarded, like trying to put me on Lithium, Depakote or Zyprexa, which all I have tried. I've tried everything to try and 'tame' my anxiety that I experience on Vyvanse. This includes the usual arsenal, mediation, breathing exercises, Kava-Kava, Valerian root and drinking fluids with an acid PH level to try and lower the blood levels of Vyvanse. Non-works. But I'll tell you what sort of works. After I've done all of that, and after I'm about to just lay down and try and try ride it out I take a small swig of 'Pepto-Bismul' and for some reason it seems to neutralize the Vyvanse. The side-effects go away but so does the psychological stimulating feelings of Vyvanse. It's as if it snuffs it out almost completely. I don't know if it's a drug interaction that nobody knows about or if it thins my blood out so that I don't notice any of the effects of Vyvanse, I don't know. Either way it's the only thing that seems to do 'anything' which is really weird.
Okay so now after I've tortured you through all of my rambling (god save whom ever managed to read all of this) here are my questions.
1. Why would Vyvanse work so much better than Adderall for a longer period of time? I understand how each is broken up and there different delivery methods but I feel like I'm missing something. [Adderall works 2 days with little psychological effects, Vyvanse work 'really well' psychologically but only seems to last a week at full strength.]
2. Why in gods name might 'Pepto-Bismul' assist in dampening the effects of Vyvanse? Is there anything behind this chemically or biologically?
3. Valium (forgot to mention) was the 'only' thing that ever worked on my anxiety. I'm sorry to say that when it did work I was on a very high does 3xDay 30mg but that's what worked at the time, for over 3 years. Why is it so hard to find a doctor that would even prescribe me Valium at all, even when I'm not asking for 30mg 3xDay? Because 'trust me' I understand how that looks. They always want to put me on some sort of anti-psychotic that leaves me practically retarded.
4. I know that there's a lower does of Vyvanse, 20mg. Would this be worth trying? Has anybody switched to this because of similar effects? Would anybody recommend any other type of ADD/ADHD medication? Already tried Strattera 'non-stimulant' medication. Didn't work even after 6 months of use. Honestly I'm convinced that medication is a placebo.
P.S.: I want to thank everybody and anybody in advance for first taking the time to read all of this and to post any comments and/or suggestions that they might have. "PLEASE" be respectful and don't say anything stupid like "you're killing yourself with this medication" or "think about your family and the harm that you're doing to yourself". I respect that some people might be opposed to this type of treatment and that's fine but when you cram s#*t like that down somebodies throat you're acting like a d#*k and it's not only inappropriate and rude but very disrespectful.
Well, maybe I can help for a few of your questions.
Of a bunch of web sites, this one is pretty clear and useful - http://healthlifeandstuff.com/2009/07/vyvanse-vs-adderall-simple-vs-complex/
I think it completely answers question #1.
Question #2. One thought is that since V has to work in the digestive system, and since Pepto-bismo coats that system, it must stop it from working. But let me go off an a tangent here. You mention how V is now causing you anxiety. While that can happen, something like adderall is much more prone to do so. I am just wondering if there is something else going on lately that is causing the anxiety, and not the V. Like maybe you are now more focused, which unfortunately lets you let focus on the things that cause anxiety. I know from personal experience that when I get anxious the first thing that goes is my stomach. The acids start going crazy! It's also possible that the pepto-bismo is soothing your stomach and getting rid of that sensation? If any of that is possible, you might want to try an over the counter stomach acid blocker like pepcid and see what happens. Do not go for the complete blocker like Prevacid (Lansoprazole).
I can't answer your questions on treatments for anxiety - except to say that a lot of adults with ADHD/ADD have it. Getting to know and understand what it ADHD/ADD is doing to you will help. I hope that the therapist can help you. If that person has experience with ADHD clients, it could be very helpful. Everything I have read, says that the behavioral therapy is very important.
One other thing that could help. Two sites aimed at the adult ADD sufferer that you might want to check out are totallyadd.com and http://jeffsaddmind.com/for-first-time-visitors. I think that you will find them helpful. They have a very different view then most sites. Jeffs sad mind - if you take the time to navigate it will certainly let you know that you are not alone.
I hope some of this helps. Please let me know if any of this makes sense. Best wishes.
First off I want to say thanks for your input. I really do appreciate it along with the additional information that you forwarded me. I too have thought that something else could possibly be causing my anxiety besides the Vyvanse. I don't know it's really weird but here's how it usually works when I try to go on some sort of ADD/ADHD medication. Also mind you that I've only been prescribed Adderall and Vyvanse so I can only reference the symptoms that I receive from these. Usually when I start taking the medication everything's fine. It works out well and about 2 weeks from when I began the medication I begin to start noticing side-effects. I have nausea, anxiety, acid reflux, what feels like high-blood pressure and I can't really focus. I begin to taper my medication down and notice that even the smallest amount of my medication has a big effect on me. For example, when I start taking Adderall I'll begin with let's say "for example" that I begin taking 10mg 2xDay. Week one is great. Week 2 the medication doesn't seem to be as affective but I stay on the same dose. Week 3 rolls around and I start developing or noticing nasty side-effects. From here I begin tapering my medication down. I usually get to a point where I'll practically be off of the medication and when I take even the slightest amount it feels intense. Instant anxiety and what feels like high-blood pressure, etc... It isn't until I stop taking the medication for awhile until I can start taking it again and feel normal. But then the same thing happens. I don't feel as though I'm over doing it but I don't know. When I started taking Vyvanse I began with 30mg, the usually starting dose. It started out great and then it felt like 'way' too much. I've thought that the medication might be building up in my system but with what we're dealing with I'm not sure how that's possible. Most of this stuff is supposed to be out of your blood stream in a fairly quick amount of time. Sure Vyvanse is 'extended release', or at least it takes longer to fully metabolize but it should be completely out of my system within 24 hours. I too wonder if there's something else at play here but I can't figure it out or whether that's even true.
I never thought that Pepto-Bismul might be coating my stomach and blocking Vyvanse from even entering into my blood stream. That's a very good theory, I hadn't of thought of that. Whatever it is Pepto seems to work better than anything else. I do know that it's supposed to be a blood thinner but again I don't really know exactly how much of an effect this could have.
I'm going to the doctor today (a family physician) to see if there's anything that he might be able to do. My insurance recently changed to an HMO and I have to go see my primary before I can see my specialists. Hopefully he'll understand and help me out until I can see a specialist. I just hate doing this cause too often have I gone to doctors for referrals and they either don't give me one, advise me to stop taking a medication without additional help, or try me on some exotic medication that leaves me all messed up. I don't know why doctor's sometimes make it so hard for you to get honest help. Also I don't understand why it's so hard for some of them to listen to you. But then again I am in California and if that 15 minute law that we have in place out here it's really hard to try and put in any sort of 'quality time' in with your doctor. All I can do is try I guess and hope that he understands. It just ***** because I always feel like in the end I'm the one who's left trying to figure out what's wrong.
Wow, there is definitely something else "at play" here.
I know by now you have probably seen your family doctor. Hopefully, he will put you in touch with a psychiatrist. Sounds like you have something like Kaiser. If you get the right person, the specialists can be pretty good. If its a long wait, call the doctor back and exaggerate the case. Tell him you are freaking out or something.
The fact that you only seem to last about two weeks or so on meds is very puzzling. That is very untypical. All most makes me think that the meds are acting more like a stimulant - at least symptom wise. Make sure you tell the new doctor how you react to the meds - that is VERY important. Do take the time (and it will take time) to check out the two web sites on adult ADD that I gave you. Check the symptoms - see if they match what you remember or have now. The way the meds act on you, I am beginning to wonder if the anxiety and depression are really the major issue, and the ADD/ADHD diagnosis was a quick fix. Obviously, can't tell from the info you have give - only going by the way you reacted with the meds and a lot of other things can come into play.
The good thing is that with the HMO, you should be able to spend some quality time with the doctor. Do it. Tell them everything. I think this will take a bit of time and effort on your part. Try what they suggest, and immediately get back to them with the results. It really takes a lot of communication on the part of both the patient and the doctor. Make sure that it happens! Please do get back to me and let me know how this works out. Best wishes!!!
Yeah I thoroughly checked out those links that you sent me and again I appreciate it. I just wanted to give all an update as to what's been going on. First I did go see my doctor last week and spoke to him about my current condition and symptoms. It seems as though I've finally found a doctor who not understands what I'm experiencing but is willing to help. He placed me on the fallowing medication in order to cope with my symptoms.
Vyvanse 1xDay - 20mg (I asked for a lower dose!)
Valium 2xDay - 10mg (For anxiety and panic attacks!)
Omeprazole 1xDay - 40mg (For acid reflux)
First of all the Valium is very, very nice to have. My panic attacks are very strong and my anxiety is quit powerful as well. For me having something like this within my arsenal really helps when coping with these problems. This on top of CBT should yield some good results. Another thing, I wasn't too optamistic about taking the Omeprazole. I've taken stomach medication before like Prilosec and Zantac before with little to no success. But I'll tell you what Omeprazole works! It works really, really well. I forgot to take it the first night I had it even though I'm suppose to take it an hour before bed time. I woke up in the middle of the night due to acid reflux again. I remembered that I had this medication (because I put it next to my night stand) and ended up popping one. After that I had the best 3 hours of sleep that I haven't had in years. It's been like that since as well. These last four nights I have had no reflux and really, really deep sleep. I've been waking up feeling well rested, calm, and at piece. It's amazing to feel like this because I haven't felt like this in years. The ADHD medication seems to be working ALOT better too. I still find that I need the Valium through-out the day (I just take a little here and a little there as I need it) and I'm focused, happy, and in a much better place. I am soooo re-leaved that I have finally found a doctor and a regiment that seems to really be working. For anybody out there dealing with the similar problems don't give up hope, try and understand (for yourself) what's going wrong and what works, and also have an open mind. Thanks 'Sandman2' for all the great advice. I really do appreciate it!
Hi! I have heard that biofeedback and Neurofeedback also are helpful -in the long term- for ADD/ADHD. If you haven't heard about that one, it is a more natural treatment that can be paired with medication (depending on the person) and it is kind of like exercise for your brain. The Neurofeedback/biofeedback person monitors the brainwaves and there are games or activities that may be used (I'm not sure if this varies by the company) to help "train" your brain in the areas that are lacking or weaker (compared to someone without ADD/ADHD). This isn't a miracle solution or a guaranteed thing, however, I have observed significant results in friends who have tried this. After the Neurofeedback sessions, one of my friends (a college student who has the stress of a full course load) noticed that a low dose of medication helped whereas another friend went off medication.
One thing that makes Neurofeedback/biofeedback difficult is it can be expensive and it is not always covered by insurance.
Hope this helps and I hope you find the right solution for you!
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