Adderall

Today I had my first dose of Adderall. Well, I think it’s a generic, as it says Amphetamine salts on the label. Being a schedule II controlled substance in the US, an original signed prescription is required for the pharmacy to fill it. That means no calling or faxing it in. So I took it in and had it filled. The nice pharmacist man asked if I had ever taken it and I said no. So he proceeded to tell me all the negative side effects, decreased appetite (yes please), decreased sex drive (what’s less than zero?), accelerated heart rate (okay), yadda, yadda, yadda… Oh and by the way, it’s the second most powerful stimulant after cocaine.

Whoa.

What…

So then I was feeling all nervous. First because I was staring him in the eye when he said, “sex drive,” and then because I felt like I was smuggling narcotics by getting my prescription filled. Needless to say, I was a little anxious by the time I got home.

So I’m given 10 mg to take once a day. It’s immediate release, so it takes effect right away and can leave you crashing in a few hours. I had only had a glass of milk and had skipped lunch, so I had it with a couple of sandwiches. It took about 40 minutes to feel it start to kick in. At first I felt a little drugged. It was a subtle version of what I felt when they gave me morphine in the ER for a kidney stone. It started out like a warm blanket–over my head. And even though I never felt like my brain was moving, I had a very physical sensation of my brain settling down, like it had literally been fidgeting and was now sitting still.

I was almost immediately more present. I didn’t feel harried. I was interacting with my daughter. I was finishing things. I had a calm conversation with my husband about–of all things–health insurance. And though that could get anyone riled up, I was able to remember the plans we had talked about, discuss it, articulate my thoughts on the matter, and not once get confused or frustrated. It was great!

My friend and I had made plans a few days ago to get together and color our hair. She came over and I was telling her about it all. (She’s the one with the son who has ADHD.) While we were talking, I started to feel the effects of the med wear off. It was so strange because the impulse control problem came right back. I was interrupting her and going off on tangents. Bless her, she’s a saint. I don’t know how she’s been able to put up with me all these years. She was telling me that she had a friend who was diagnosed with ADHD in college, and how much it changed her life. It was so nice to talk to someone who has had some experience with all this, even if it is second-person. Hell, it was nice to talk to her for so long about anything. Since I quit work, we haven’t had much time to just talk. (And, now we have fewer gray hairs!)

So today was day one. I go see my doctor again in a month. In the meantime, I anticipate that I will adjust to how the Adderall affects me, and won’t get that drugged-up feeling after a while. I can only imagine that she’ll increase my dosage to taking it 2-3 times a day, or that she’ll give me the extended release variety. In all honesty, it’s a good thing I felt it start to wear off (it was a little over four hours) because it was after 2:00 PM when I took it.

Oh, and for anyone wondering why she started me on Adderall, she said that the insurance companies don’t like paying for the newer (or better) drugs at first. They tend to ask what else we’ve tried before going for the big guns. I can say that I trust my doctor and my therapist, and I know they have my best interests at heart. I feel like I might finally be seeing a light at the end of a very long and frustratingly confusing tunnel.

I’ll keep you updated. (I’m sure of it!)

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