Talking About ADD ADHD Medicines — ADD Tip O the Day 585


When, and why, did medicines begin to be called drugs?  That used to be the term for illegal substances of abuse. Were I a little more paranoid I’d be suspicious. I’m old-fashioned and prefer to say medicines.

Side Effects

Almost every medicine has side effects – potential side effects. That means you may not get them.  Water “has side effects”.  When you read that the side effects of this medicine are X,Yand Z, you’d like to know what percentage of people actually get them, how serious they are, and if they are reversible.

If someone does get side effects, they can usually be managed by adjusting dosing and scheduling, or the medicine can be changed.  A person should hardly ever need to put up with any significant side effects. Rarely are the benefits of a medicine so essential and the options so limited.

Some people are frightened about side effects, but if they try the medicine and do have side effects, they do have the option of immediately stopping it. In general, side effects, if any, will go away quickly.

Side effects are not a life sentence.

What is the best medicine for ADD ADHD?

There is no “best” medicine. Every person is unique and needs to find the medicine that works best for them. You might choose a medicine that worked for a relative, or has a lower percentage of side effects, or doesn’t have potential side effects that particularly concern you.  And cost is a factor; only some of them are available in generic.

For example, Daytrana, Ritalin in a skin patch, has a lower frequency of side effects than the pills and gives you more control over the dose and timing.  But it has a high incidence of skin irritation.  This was a minor annoyance, but apparently my skin has gotten used to it.  And I don’t get the mild side effects that I got from the pills. I take it off by 2:00 or I’ll have insomnia.  It is expensive.


Side Comment

I am suspicious about how patients began to be called clients. I see patients.

Second Side Comment

Change of plan already. I wanted to get terminology and side effects done before getting into the medicines.

Coming up: executive dysfunction, opinions, stimulant medicines, medication or therapy?


ADD ADHD Medicines

Trying Medicine – Are we guinea pigs?

Ritalin and Daytrana

Side Effects

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Acme Health Insurance Company

About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at, or (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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14 Responses to Talking About ADD ADHD Medicines — ADD Tip O the Day 585

  1. Kris says:

    Question: I am a female who has been taking medication for years for ADD. I have tried going without it and found out that I still (really) need it. At this point in my life, I have been advised to go off of all medication because my husband and I are trying to start a family. Without the ritalin, I feel like I’m going crazy! I have been exercising 45 minutes a day but it’s still not enough. Any suggestions?


    • kris-that’s a difficult spot. The exercising is great. Keep it up!
      A few ideas:
      1.Caffeine – coffee or green tea
      2. Meditation (difficult with ADD ADHD).
      3. Other possible helps: prayer, yoga, massages, acupuncture
      4. if becoming pregnant is a priority, then that is your priority project right now. You might need to cut down on some other things and lighten your load.

      5. Remember the basics: sleep, good structure, get outdoors daily
      since I don’t know about your situation. I don’t know which of these things might be possible or helpful.
      Thank you for writing.
      Best wishes

      5. Be sure to get enough sleep 6. If are coming pregnant is your project. The night is a priority and you will need to cut back on other things. You can’t do it all.
      I tried to increase the structure of your day, get out the worse everyday.


  2. I’ve slipped a couple times and referred to ADHD medications as “drugs” in front of kids. They are quick to correct me. Your sensibility must be entirely correct. I will continue trying to be more like you…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. rammkatze says:

    Hi again, Doug. Another thing popped into my head (when does stuff NOT pop into our heads?): are any of these pills you mention – Ritalin, Strattera, Concerta, etc. – delayed action? I usually mention my taking Ritalin so the north-american bloggers understand better but I’m taking Medikinet® adult with the same active principle as Ritalin. Medikinet® presents not in pills but in tablets with delayed action. I had this thought when I read about you advising not to take the stimulants after 2pm and I wondered: what about my delayed action capsles? I fortunately don’t have insomnia, but after upping the dose yesterday as the doctor said, I got some unexpected but very welcome effects. One of them was sleeping only 8 hours, as is usual for my unmedicated self (when I’m content and not stressed).

    Liked by 1 person

    • RAM – Ritalin comes in several different slow release forms. Some people take a long acting form in the morning and a short acting form later. Not Strattera, which works differently. I don’t know about Concerta. Glad you’re getting good effects.
      Thank you for the comment.


  4. Anonymous says:

    I have high blood pressure I can’t take anything for my ADD. I was on addarall it at one time years back and did very well on it, they took me off because it shot my pressure through the roof. I go it alone these days and I’m still in many ways a mess! lol…

    Liked by 1 person

    • anon- have you tried daytrana or plain ritalin?. they may not affect your blood pressure as much as adderal.
      otherwise,you might be able to get away with Strattera or buproprion and they might be helpful and might or might not affect your blood pressure.
      If not, guanfacine is sometimes helpful and lowers blood pressure.
      have you tried any of these?
      Thank you for commenting.


      • Anonymous says:

        Strattera did not work well for me, I was given I think to high of a dose and shot up my pressure. I did not like the way it made me feel. I will ask about the others you suggested thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Doug Puryear says:

          anon- it is a matter of trial and error, find the right medicine, the right dose, the right schedule. From your story, it would probably be a good idea to start on a very low dose on anything you try and then you can consider raising it.
          Best wishes


  5. rammkatze says:

    Enjoyed reading it. I had one side-effect from medikinet/ritalin: dizziness/nausea. Once it was so strong I had to excuse myself and go outside while at a friend’s house. It made me very pissed and willing to go to the doctor and say it wasn’t working well, but all was soon forgotten once the nausea was gone. I’m expecting more side-effects starting tomorrow, when I up the dose, but I’m sticking to it. The positive effects aren’t huge, so far, but noticeable. The most sudden change was my being able to write sentences that make “temporal” sence: I often had several sentences that were a mix of tenses and incomplete sentences I had inadvertently not devided upon.

    Liked by 1 person

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