Non-stimulant Medicines for ADD ADHD (plus other tips on medicines)— ADD Tip O the Day 592

Advantages of the non-stimulant medicines for adult ADD ADHD:
Don’t cause agitation or insomnia; not controlled and easier to obtain; not abusable or addictive; longer acting and smoother effect. Sometimes added to stimulants to improve symptoms or reduce side effects.

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Probably most commonly used are Strattera and guanfacine.

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Strattera (atomoxetine)- an antidepressant, works mostly on norepinephrine. No generic, capsules, expensive. Takes some weeks to work; must be taken consistently.

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Possible side effects include: upset stomach, decreased appetite, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, mood swings.

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Guanfacine generic (brand name Estulic, Tenex and the extended release Intuniv) –   a high blood pressure medicine, not officially approved for adults (may be less effective in adults?). Inexpensive, except for extended release.

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Possible side effects include: headache, fatigue, abdominal pain, sleepiness.

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Other non-stimulant medicines for ADD ADHD:

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Clonidine generic (Kapvay)- a different high blood pressure medicine, inexpensive.

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Possible side effects include: drowsiness, dizziness; feeling tired or irritable;cold symptoms such as runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, cough, sore throat;mood changes;sleep problems (insomnia), nightmares; headache, ear pain; mild fever; feeling hot; constipation, diarrhea, pain in your upper stomach; dry mouth, increased thirst; loss of interest in sex, impotence, difficulty having an orgasm.
(I don’t think these are very common. If they were, would anybody use clonidine?)

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Buproprion generic (Wellbutrin) -antidepressant, works on dopamine and norepinephrine. Not expensive.

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Possible side effects include headache, dry mouth, insomnia, nausea, sore throat, dizziness, constipation, irritability, ringing in the ears.

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Other antidepressants – less studied for ADD ADHD but reported to be helpful for some people. Probably have a higher frequency of side effects than the other medicines.

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Important note for any medicines:
Always check for interactions with other medicines or other substances you are taking. Your doctors should do this but I can’t promise they will.

Next Note, on expense:.
You can usually save money for any medicine: buy larger quantity, get large doses and cut pills, get coupons online, shop different pharmacies, ask your doctor about samples or certificates. If you have a hardship, you can sometimes get a break – ask your pharmacy and/or the manufacturing company.

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Next Note:
I haven’t personally used nor prescribed any of these medicines for ADD ADHD. I believe they tend to have a lower rate of effectiveness than the stimulants but every person is unique.

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Advantages of the stimulants:
You can usually tell if they will help you with only a few doses and you can take them only when you want to.

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Important link:

Check medication interactions

doug

He who knows not and knows he knows not, he is a child, teach him.                   He who knows and knows not he knows, he is asleep, wake him.                          He who knows and knows he knows, he is wise, follow him.                                   He who knows not, and knows not he knows not, he is a fool, shun him. .

ancient Persian proverb

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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. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at amazon.com, or smashwords.com (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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2 Responses to Non-stimulant Medicines for ADD ADHD (plus other tips on medicines)— ADD Tip O the Day 592

  1. Tina Carrigan says:

    I have ADD for which I did take a stimulant for awhile (didn’t care for it-it made me headachey and I despised the fact that I had to see a psychiatrist once a month to get a refill).  I use a CPAP machine for sleep apnea. My doctor has me do a little quiz when I see him with questions about the likelihood of falling asleep during the daytime. I believe that is actually a narcolepsy quiz. My doctor put me on Nuvugil because my quiz score was high. I helps me at least as much as the stimulant did, so I know I have a dopamine issue.  FYI  Tina Carrigan Personal Life Coach/Strategist Powerful Conversations, Inc. http://www.chaoscontrolcoaching.comblog: http://meddlingmom.wordpress.com610-631-0825

    From: ADDadultstrategies To: tina_pci@yahoo.com Sent: Saturday, February 28, 2015 10:49 AM Subject: [New post] Non-stimulant Medicines for ADD ADHD (plus other tips on medicines)— ADD Tip O the Day 592 #yiv9418485056 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv9418485056 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv9418485056 a.yiv9418485056primaryactionlink:link, #yiv9418485056 a.yiv9418485056primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv9418485056 a.yiv9418485056primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv9418485056 a.yiv9418485056primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv9418485056 WordPress.com | addadultstrategies posted: “Advantages of the non-stimulant medicines for adult ADD ADHD: Don’t cause agitation or insomnia; not controlled and easier to obtain; not abusable or addictive; longer acting and smoother effect. Sometimes added to stimulants to improve symptoms or redu” | |

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tina – nuvigil appears to be a stimulant but possibly to have less effect on the norepinephrine than the others? So it seems it is working for your ADD ADHD? Great. three cheers for dopamine. Also, treating sleep apnea properly is a great thing to do.

      “DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Armodafinil is an oral drug that is used to promote wakefulness. It is similar to modafinil (Provigil). Like amphetamines, armodafinil promotes wakefulness by stimuatIng the brain; however, the exact mechanism of action of armodafinil is unknown. Armodafinil may work by increasing the amount of dopamine (a chemical neurotransmitter that nerves use to communicate with each other) in the brain by reducing the reuptake of dopamine into nerves”
      thank you for commenting.
      Doug

      Like

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