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Old 02-03-2020, 05:50 PM   #1
VanillaGhostie
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Chat Medication - a happy medium seems impossible

I've been on ADD medication for as long as I can remember. My mom would tell my babysitter to crush it up and put it in my strawberry milk back in kindergarten, maybe earlier. In grade school, they wanted me to start taking the pills normally. I was afraid to swallow them (irrational fear of choking, I think), so sometimes I'd pretend to take the meds, but really stash them behind this broken light switch in the hallway. Sorry Mom and Dad, they tasted REALLY bad!

Around 4th grade, I'd begun noticing the side effects. No appetite, couldn't gain weight, I'd completely crash when I got home from school. We tried the XR's in middle school and high school. I was doing better! The appetite thing still happened but I was getting such good grades. BUT I developed insomnia in high school. It's been 10 years, I haven't been able to get a good night's sleep without prescription sleeping medication. I don't know what's causing it. The ADD? The medication? I really miss falling asleep normally.

Has anyone else experienced severe insomnia while also dealing with ADD/ADHD? I've been trying to ween off the sleeping medicine, but so far I fear I'll still be needing it. I think I've only ever been on Adderall, and my sleeping medicine is Seroquel.
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Old 02-05-2020, 01:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: Medication - a happy medium seems impossible

So sorry this is happening to you. Insomnia is something I suffer but in my case it is caused by depression. Sure hope you find something that helps!
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Old 02-05-2020, 05:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: Medication - a happy medium seems impossible

Thank you! I also hope you find some kind of solution as well. I know insomnia can really take a toll on daily functioning.
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Old 02-10-2020, 05:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Medication - a happy medium seems impossible

I take 50mg of Vyvanse every morning. It wears off in about 9-10 hours and then completely wears off in 11-12 hours.

I stopped stimulants at one point but I still couldn't sleep at night.. Could be ADHD.. So many thoughts and tangents.. (It took me 2-3 hours to fall asleep) so I started taking a sleeping pill (Seroquel).

I've been taking the Seroquel every night (50-100mg) for 2-3 years. I went back on the Vyvanse so now I sleep 12 hours a night.. Without Vyvanse I sleep 14-15 hours a night.

A few times I took 100mg of Vyvanse and after 9 hours, I crash without sleeping pills and wake up over 12 hours later.. So maybe a higher dose of the stimulant in the day can make you crash so you don't need a sleeping pill (Just a thought)...

I now have an irrational fear of taking Seroquel because I think it causes heart palpitations (They checked my heart and there's nothing wrong with it) but I still have the fear so I need another sleeping pill.. Just the Seroquel is such an amazing sleeping pill..
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Medication - a happy medium seems impossible

Seroquel is definitely a powerful sleeping medicine.

At first, I was prescribed 100mg which proved to be way too much for me. I was falling asleep in class and it made me sleep for 12 hours, maybe more. We cut it down to 50mg, but for the last few years I've been cutting the pill in half because I felt that it was still too much. We're trying to slowly decrease the dosage, but I've found that 11.5mg isn't effective if I take my Adderall too late in the day. Playing around with the meds has made me learn what time of day is best to take them in order to sleep properly. The Adderall is best taken before 9am (I'm on 15mg XRs) and then I try and take the Seroquel a around 9 or 10.

About the heart palpitations, I've noticed a similar side affect. It's like your body feels slow, and you can feel your heartbeat heavier than normal. Does that sound familiar? It's an odd sensation but I've come to accept it. It has the ability to change your blood pressure which can be scary. The side effects were a bit of the reason I wanted to lower the dosage.
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Old 02-12-2020, 04:03 AM   #6
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Default Re: Medication - a happy medium seems impossible

Hey @VanillaGhostie I am probably going to ask too many questions but please bear with me. I am very passionate about Adult and childhood ADHD and its treatments. I also get fired up about it so I hope I dont bore you to death lol. I and my husband have ADHD and all three of my kids have it as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by VanillaGhostie View Post
I've been on ADD medication for as long as I can remember. My mom would tell my babysitter to crush it up and put it in my strawberry milk back in kindergarten, maybe earlier. In grade school, they wanted me to start taking the pills normally. I was afraid to swallow them (irrational fear of choking, I think), so sometimes I'd pretend to take the meds, but really stash them behind this broken light switch in the hallway. Sorry Mom and Dad, they tasted REALLY bad!
Did you regularly see a psychiatrist at that age? Or a doctor? Do you remember how your were diagnosed and were you offered the opportunity to participate in your own treatment? Even when you got older?
Quote:
Around 4th grade, I'd begun noticing the side effects. No appetite, couldn't gain weight, I'd completely crash when I got home from school. We tried the XR's in middle school and high school. I was doing better! The appetite thing still happened but I was getting such good grades. BUT I developed insomnia in high school.
One of the most important things regarding adhd medication is the class of stimulants you are using, in addition to the dose and whether its an xr formulation.
The methylphenidate class of medications (ritalin, concerta, focalin, ritalin LA, metadate) dont always work for everyone. The amphetamine class of medications include: Adderall IR and XR, Vyvanse, Elavanse, mydayis, dexedrine, dexedrine spansules and desoxyn-I may be missing one. Some people respond well to only one class. And some people have a terrible responses to one class over another. My son was medicated very young- he was 4. ( he is 23 now) He started out on ritalin but it took a couple of years to figure out that amphetamines were better for him and he took dexedrine all the way up until he was 16. The summer he was 16 he had decided to take a break from his medicine and when he resumed it he said he did not like the way it made him feel so he stopped. He was 16 and knew his body so we let him make that decision but I can tell you it saved his life. My middle daughter took medication on an off for about 4 years. She flipped between focalin and adderall. But she could never really get any consistent benefits from the medication so she also chose to stop when she was a freshman. My youngest daughter tried medication in elementary school but could never handle the side effects. She has expressed to me recently about wanting to take medication so I will be making an appointment with the P-doc for her. I also want to note that all of my kids also took depression medication. Finding the right med and dose is often a very long process and very much an experiment. Our bodies change too. I have been on adhd medication for 15 years. The first year was ritalin which triggered mood swings, then I was on dexedrine for 7 years and then adderall xr up until this day. Its been a life saver. I also suffered horrible insomnia and still do sometimes.
Quote:
It's been 10 years, I haven't been able to get a good night's sleep without prescription sleeping medication. I don't know what's causing it. The ADD? The medication? I really miss falling asleep normally.

Has anyone else experienced severe insomnia while also dealing with ADD/ADHD? I've been trying to ween off the sleeping medicine, but so far I fear I'll still be needing it. I think I've only ever been on Adderall, and my sleeping medicine is Seroquel.
Another important thing is to have a sleep study, whether you think you are having issues with the medication or something else, insomnia isnt something we have to just suffer with and deal with an elusive diagnosis of. I wont bore you with my study results and bog down your thread-but if you are interested in what I learned you can pm me and I'll share. Believe it or not, many people when properly medicated for adhd sleep better due to consistent medication compliance - and find that when their stimulant meds are screwed up they have a messed up sleep cycle. Of course being that they are stimulants there is a possibility that the stimulant contributes to insomnia but its not the exclusive reason. I had to take sleeping medicine for a long time before my sleep training and there is no shame in that. Another thing to not is that Seroquel is better for sleep at lower dose and better for mood control at a higher dose. So 50-100mg could be great for sleep but 250mg may have the opposite effect. And to be fair I have my own personal bias with seroquel and dont want to get up on my soap box so I'll spare you that too, but I feel like doctors are so hesitant to prescribe things like valium or hypnotics because they are controlled substances so they throw seroquel at every patient and assume sedation is the same as a good nights' sleep. I could go on and on so if you have any questions and liked what I shared please ask.
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Old Yesterday, 11:30 AM   #7
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Default Re: Medication - a happy medium seems impossible

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
Hey @VanillaGhostie I am probably going to ask too many questions but please bear with me. I am very passionate about Adult and childhood ADHD and its treatments. I also get fired up about it so I hope I dont bore you to death lol. I and my husband have ADHD and all three of my kids have it as well.

Did you regularly see a psychiatrist at that age? Or a doctor? Do you remember how your were diagnosed and were you offered the opportunity to participate in your own treatment? Even when you got older?

One of the most important things regarding adhd medication is the class of stimulants you are using, in addition to the dose and whether its an xr formulation.
The methylphenidate class of medications (ritalin, concerta, focalin, ritalin LA, metadate) dont always work for everyone. The amphetamine class of medications include: Adderall IR and XR, Vyvanse, Elavanse, mydayis, dexedrine, dexedrine spansules and desoxyn-I may be missing one. Some people respond well to only one class. And some people have a terrible responses to one class over another. My son was medicated very young- he was 4. ( he is 23 now) He started out on ritalin but it took a couple of years to figure out that amphetamines were better for him and he took dexedrine all the way up until he was 16. The summer he was 16 he had decided to take a break from his medicine and when he resumed it he said he did not like the way it made him feel so he stopped. He was 16 and knew his body so we let him make that decision but I can tell you it saved his life. My middle daughter took medication on an off for about 4 years. She flipped between focalin and adderall. But she could never really get any consistent benefits from the medication so she also chose to stop when she was a freshman. My youngest daughter tried medication in elementary school but could never handle the side effects. She has expressed to me recently about wanting to take medication so I will be making an appointment with the P-doc for her. I also want to note that all of my kids also took depression medication. Finding the right med and dose is often a very long process and very much an experiment. Our bodies change too. I have been on adhd medication for 15 years. The first year was ritalin which triggered mood swings, then I was on dexedrine for 7 years and then adderall xr up until this day. Its been a life saver. I also suffered horrible insomnia and still do sometimes.

Another important thing is to have a sleep study, whether you think you are having issues with the medication or something else, insomnia isnt something we have to just suffer with and deal with an elusive diagnosis of. I wont bore you with my study results and bog down your thread-but if you are interested in what I learned you can pm me and I'll share. Believe it or not, many people when properly medicated for adhd sleep better due to consistent medication compliance - and find that when their stimulant meds are screwed up they have a messed up sleep cycle. Of course being that they are stimulants there is a possibility that the stimulant contributes to insomnia but its not the exclusive reason. I had to take sleeping medicine for a long time before my sleep training and there is no shame in that. Another thing to not is that Seroquel is better for sleep at lower dose and better for mood control at a higher dose. So 50-100mg could be great for sleep but 250mg may have the opposite effect. And to be fair I have my own personal bias with seroquel and dont want to get up on my soap box so I'll spare you that too, but I feel like doctors are so hesitant to prescribe things like valium or hypnotics because they are controlled substances so they throw seroquel at every patient and assume sedation is the same as a good nights' sleep. I could go on and on so if you have any questions and liked what I shared please ask.
Hello! So sorry for the late reply. The last week has been really hectic for me.

So to answer a few of your questions, yes I remember regularly visiting doctors, although I did not have a good understanding as to why back then. At the age of 4, I was diagnosed with a mild form of Autism Spectrum Disorder, another fact my parents hid from me until my late teens. I don't remember having a choice of involvement until my middle school years when the only input I could give was whether the dosage was too much or too little. I can't recall if I had been given another stimulant later on or not, but I definitely know adderall has been the main one.

I do like how seroquel puts me to sleep and all, but it can be SO hard to wake up in the morning if I have a commitment early, and I've noticed it can make me so irritable. My psychiatrist and I have discussed the possibility of weening off of it and trying something new. Right now I'm on 25mg of it and it's plenty enough to get me to sleep. Still, I wonder if there are better alternatives out there.

Thank you so much for sharing all of this with me! It was really helpful, especially hearing you and your kids' experiences with it as well. And if you don't mind I'd actually really like to hear about that sleep study! I can PM you.
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