Asked in Medication and DrugsAdderallPsychostimulants
What is your experience with Adderall?
February 23, 2008 8:18AM
I have been on Adderall for nine years now and, if I had to make the decision again, I would have never gone on it. It worked great at first but then I developed a tolerance to it and, with each increasing dose, developed a tolerance to that dose. Now it is only marginally effective and I will not increase the dose any further because of the risks and consequences of doing so. It now takes three to four hours before the first dose begins to have any significant effect and, oftentimes, it is not until the second dose that I obtain relief. Generally, now I only get about six to eight good hours each day. But having made the decision to go on Adderall nine years ago, I am now stuck with it. The other medications I have tried do not work and, because I have been on Adderall for so long, my brain chemistry has changed. Even though I was off it for several months at one time, my mental abilities did not return to their pre-Adderall state. Instead, they returned to a much worse state. I do not know how accurate it is, but one scientific study I read said it takes five years of being off Adderall before a person's brain chemistry returns to its pre-Adderall state. I have tried all of the other ADHD medications and, at least for me, none of them work. So, if I had not gone on Adderall, what would I have done to cope. Well, my original reason for going on Adderall was to stop using nicotine to cope with my symptoms. At the time, I believed Adderall was the safer answer because it would not present the risks that nicotine presented. But the doctors had not told me that Adderall has risks no less dangerous than those of nicotine, especially to the cardiovascular system, nor had they told me that I would develop a tolerance to Adderall. So, in my naivete, I stopped smoking and switched to Adderall. Ironically, after only seven years on Adderall, one of its risks came true. I developed an atrial arrhythmia for which I had to be hospitalized twice. Now, suddenly, the doctors do not want me on Adderall anymore because its too risky but they have no substitute for me so they have no choice but to keep prescribing it. I have developed a tolerance to Adderall but, to increase its effectiveness, I cannot increase its dose because that only increases the risks. I cannot give it up and return to the nicotine, which was very effective for 28 years, because the Adderall changed my brain chemistry and nicotine by itself is no longer effective. So, now, I am stuck with the worst of both worlds. To effectively cope with my symptoms, I have to take Adderall suplemented by nicotine. So what would I have done differently nine years ago. Well, my answer will evoke lots of criticism but so be it. I would have stayed on nicotine and never went on Adderall. Yes, nicotine has significant health risks, which I do not dispute, but Adderall presents no less of a risk. Also, what the doctors probably have not told you is that nicotine is very effective in combating the symptoms of ADHD. If you do not believe me, do the research on nicotine and you will find the scientific studies that support what I have just said. Indeed, there are two studies I read that even recommend developing a safe form of nicotine for the treatment of ADHD. No, the nicotine patch is not sufficient for ADHD. Why? Read the studies and you will find out. What I have just said is no doubt "politically incorrect," but what medicine has done is simply to substitute one dangerous substance which, at least, works, with another equally dangerous substance which only works for a limited time.