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Thread: Please help me get off amphetamines...

  1. #1

    Default Please help me get off amphetamines...

    I have legit ADHD, dg. at 33 as primarily inattentive and re-stared stimulants in February 2012 after 8 months break. I started with Dexedrine IR 10mg/day which was great while it lasted. Due to nationwide shortage I was switched to Vyvanse 70 mg but that stuff is addicting!! I mean it cured my depression, it clears my head, I can focus and actually want to go out and get a job etc. but that's another story...

    My husband & I are going on a trip for 4 days and I desperately need to get off this as Vyvanse makes me too serious, unable to relax - all I wanna do is study and be productive. Problem is...every time I try to take a day off I get very depressed, light headed, dizzy, and sleep 14-16 hrs/day and nothing gets done. I hate feeling like that...so I always end up taking just 30 mg

    I recently started taking l-tyrosine 1000mg/day to replenish dopamine and was going to start Wellbutrin to help with the depression but it's not working

    Could anyone offer any advice on how to get off this crap? I've tried taking just 1/2 capsule (35mg) in the morning but it wears off by noon and my brain starts screaming - "more Vyvanse now! it makes us feel good and strong"

    If I could only find a way to feel OK while taking the break then everything would be fine but I always feel like shi* and it pisses me off!!

    Thanks!


  2. #2
    From what you've written, it sounds like Vyvanse is either ineffective at the dosage you are taking or just overall not an effective treatment for your attention disorder.
    Rather than worrying about stopping it somehow, why would you not discuss this problem with your doctor (even via telephone) and try another course of treatment ASAP?
    I can tell you that the patients I've worked with who have had an appropriate clinical diagnosis for adult ADD do not take their medication in fits and starts to control the symptoms. These stimulants are typically prescribed to be used on a consistent basis once they have been titrated properly.
    I believe the nationwide shortages of drugs like Dexadrine have pretty much abated and should be much more available locally.
    If I were you, I'd talk to your prescribing physician.
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  3. #3
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    Yeah. In fact Dex is widely available now again. As far as getting off of them you may want to try the other ADD routes and see if they work for you if you have not. Also, my Dr has given me Nuvigil and I taper off amps every couple months for a month or so. I know this is not for everyone but otherwise I get to the point where the affect is less and it takes more and that is so frustrating that it is worth the taper and really is not evern that bad anymore and I know it will be good again.

  4. #4
    The only med that works for me is Dexedrine IR. The shortage is still going on...I called all the pharmacies around here, I'm in SoCal. Another option is Adderall but it makes me feel stressed, I've tried Ritalin - gave me panic attacks.

    My psych doc can't really do much right now...I'd prefer to get off and maybe take Wellbutrin XL 150mg for a while and wait till Dex comes back but who knows when that'll be....

    *This post was auto-merged. The following text was added 3 minutes after the last post:*
    @GoingBananas yes, Dexedrine spansules are available but I take the IR tablets which are still OOS. The spansules are ridiculously expensive...

    Quote Originally Posted by GoingBananas View Post
    Yeah. In fact Dex is widely available now again. As far as getting off of them you may want to try the other ADD routes and see if they work for you if you have not. Also, my Dr has given me Nuvigil and I taper off amps every couple months for a month or so. I know this is not for everyone but otherwise I get to the point where the affect is less and it takes more and that is so frustrating that it is worth the taper and really is not evern that bad anymore and I know it will be good again.
    Last edited by slick76; 06-02-2012 at 06:35 PM.

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    Oh, got it. Yeah I never thought about the IR. They are really hard to get where I live most pharms do not have. My insurance covers the spanules and my dr gives 90 a month so I almost always have enough but I know there will be a day when he retires and the new guy will say..." No way...I don't RX that!"
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  6. #6
    @slick76 : If what you really want to do is calm down, you may not be helping yourself with the l-tyrosine. It's actually a "stimulating" neurotransmitter that increases the production of dopamine and neuropehiphrine - both "stimulating" neurotransmitters. I suppose it might feel like what your body is craving, and might even help some in that way, but what about decreasing the craving by increasing your "calm?"

    There are several "calming" neurotransmitters that I take, and would suggest you try. They all promote seratonin production, which aids feeling calm and content. 5-HTP and Tryptophan are a good place to start, adding vitamin B6 in the form called P-5-P to help convert the supplements into serotonin. I also use GABA and Taurine, both "pre-cursors" to seratonin. I know there are contraindications about taking seratonin supplements if your taking an SSRI, so if you are, go slowly through the list and figure out what works. I pretty quickly quit taking the SSRI when I got consistent with the supplements.

    And also, you might consider finding a small supply of one of the longer acting benzos to help see you through the rough edges, if you're actually trying to decrease or come all the way off the vyvanse. I'm truly no expert on either supplements or ADHD meds. These are just some suggestions that you might look at and consider. Good luck!!
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    Sometimes tapering off amphetamine is counterproductive. You're just giving your brain a "tease" every so often, and that makes things worse. Go cold turkey, deal with the depression somehow, but no more amphetamine. The cravings will subside if you stop teasing your brain with treats.
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    Unhappy Catch 22 with amphetamines

    I relate to this post on long term use of C-II stimulants. Since June 28, 1994, I have been on a C-II stimulant, to this very day. Started out on 40mg of I/R
    Ritalin, switched 3 yrs later, to 20mg Adderall AM, and 20 mg Adderall I/R, again at noon, and, was authorized to take up to three 5 mg GSK Dexedrine Sulfate I/R "Orange E-19 hearts" now up to 55 mg of dex and d-amphetamine/amphetamine salts......in 1999, my Psychiatrist moved out of state, my new Psychiatrist, observed, even with a big dose of ADD now close to age 50, began a tapering down program, very gradually, by 2005, I was down to one 15 mg. Dexedrine Spansule, and one 10 mg Adderall I/R late afternoon. Something happened....and by, 2007, I am back up to 35 mg a day, and by 2010, up to 40 mg a day, just switched from Brand to 100% generic Dexedrine Spansule and Adderall (Barr Labs). I have taken a break about 4 times in nearly 18 years, once 3 days, once 15 days, "all I did was sleep my life away, was very depressed, and a hermit. Stopped a couple of times for one day maybe twice, "same thing absolutely no energy, to even care to shave, or get out of my pajamas". At the present, my Psychiatrist, now with me for the 12th year, is perplexed. I also have always had a anxiety problem, and, co-morbid spells of dysthymia, with some bouts of major depressive disorder of two weeks, even on stimulants. It seems my neurotransmittors, have become somewhat immune to the benefits of the stimulants, "all they do anymore, is wake me up, like drinking a pot of coffee" but, I have a lot of amotivational syndrome, a joyless life in general. It did not help to get my only Divorce, and at the same time burn out in high pressure sales, expensive cars, and expensive menswear. My M.D. wants me to now "try to taper down" I am at 30mg of generic Adderall max per day, it is not enough, and have resorted to self medicating, from 2 cups of coffee per day, for 15 years, to now a full pot of 100% caffinated coffee, to stay alert. I have also been self-medicating, with, pain medications, out of frustration, for the past 3 years, but, my supply line, has been cut off, for 9 months, and, I am tapering forced to taper down off of either oxycodone, now with 18 months of C-IV TalwinP, (Pentazocine) also known as Sosegon, and Fortral. It really helped, or it sure fooled me, while I had a strong supply line, but, that is over, a done deal, just bought heavily, last year, knowing a good thing usually never lasts. Finally, my M.D, has always preferred for me to take only sustained release d-amphetamine, but, "it now takes 90 minutes to kick in, and only lasts about 7 hours, Dexedrine Spansules, or the generic, Teva/Barr capsules. To add to my misery, is the off and on true shortage, of fast acting I/R Adderall, where I live this city of 700,000 people was sold out for 60 days late last Fall, and is now sold out, again, of most all generic amphetamines. Never thought I'd see this happen. The prices of uppers have gone up significantly, in only the past 2 or 3 years..........now in between a rock and a hard place. Have tapered down on pain meds to one tablet a day, but prefer them over stimulants honestly, but, no ethical M.D will prescribe them to me, (narcotic pain meds) My ADD file is very thick with documentation, of my ADD history. I do not have the answers on this one........ not adjusting to semi-retirement, and spoiled with living on a high roll for 30 years, but no more, on a tight budget, is another depressing, element in my life, now approaching age 62. Just a aging lounge lizard, and party animal, from the 1970's from Ft Lauderdale's hot disco clubs, "Art Stock's Playpen South" to Studio 54 NYC, and private parties of Quaaludes, and nose candy, served on occasion, on Waterford crystalwear and rolled, one hundred dollar bills. It is a crash landing, to growing old, on a tight budget, selling off assets, to live. No where near destitute, but, have been headed downhill, since my 6 digit divorce, causing me to sell all 4 of my collector cars, and, just drive a very high mile 10 yr old Caddy now, and, read about famous people dying................depressing. "the life of a recluse,
    is not what I thought it was".....solitude is healthy but isolation is very un-healthy for me. Just savor many artifacts in my condo adorned with reminders of the good old days of the late 1960's to the end of the Reagen years of the 1980's..."he who dies with the most toys wins" ain't gonna happen now.......goals set to high with too much exposure to Guru's like Tony Robbins, and Est, the Forum, and Landmark Education, "transformation".....
    "the price of growing old, is having one's youth" (Dr. Robert Schuller)
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  9. #9
    @Whisperjet727 ~

    Wow....that was really a fascinating post to read. Thanks for posting that.

    What really interested me is that I'd not realized that one could build-up a tolerance to amphetamines......similar to opiates.
    Your description of what happened to you almost reminded me of some of the experiences I've read of those on long-term bupe/sub maintenance.......that eventually the medication stops working and can even turn on some of them and make them feel worse.

    I mean....I did imagine that one could not just skip off of any sort of regular use of amphetamines.....and might experience some difficulty with alertness, motivation, etc.....but did not really know it could go to the extent that you've described here.

    And I'm guessing that the main benefit of the opiates for you was for energy and mood (euphoria)? Or were/are you in severe pain?
    It's really unfortunate that almost all of these medications that straighten-out unbalanced brain chemistry, etc.....seem to all cause quick increased tolerance and possible eventual lack of effect.....and also physical dependency. Even the new generation of AD's is causing withdrawal in many users when/if they discontinue them. There are multiple message boards on the net just dealing with and helping people going through withdrawal off AD's like cymbalta, effexor, etc.

    You should write your life story.
    What you wrote here reminded me of a book I read....about an aging club kid (his name was James St. something....can't remember exactly....but it was a great book)
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  10. #10
    These are some very powerful stories.

    When I was a teenager, I got myself addicted to amphetamines (for recreational use). At first I thought it was a wonder drug, then, well pretty much everyone here described what happened.

    I stopped after 2 years of daily use. I would recommend using a "downer" to replace your addiction, which is what I did. After a few weeks I was off it and I will never touch that stuff again.

    I'm not going to lie, you're probably going to feel like crap during that time, but we're here to help and I hope the best to you.
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    @Whisperjet727 - that was an intense story. It goes to show, no matter what our medication need is, we can be chained to that need to the point of misery.

    It seemed like your ADD was in full effect while typing because I had to slow down several times to make sure I read thing correctly. LOL

    You mentioned your preference to opiates over stimulants to improve your mood but no doctor would rx such thing. The euphoria is probably what makes you feel "better", but for anyone to rx you that is setting you up for a new addiction (even though it sounds like that's a moot point now).

  12. A lot of people with ADD also suffer from depression so adding an antidepressant like wellbutrin can help keep things ballanced. Also wellbutrin is a stimulant so it can help with the exhausting effects of amphetamine wd's. maybe try weaning off slowly and adding in a cup of coffee of some milder for of caffene.

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    Trying some form of modafinil may be of help to you as was suggested by going bananas. It is a mental stimulant without the full body effects of amphetamine. It is effective in keeping you awake and focused but without overfocusing. I use it for my shift disorder and it works well for keeping me alert at work and for studying but does not make me feel overly serious. That is my take on it but meds work differently for different people. Good luck!

  14. #14
    OK, I tapered down to approx. 35 mg Vyvanse and took 2 days off. The first day wasn't too bad, I slept like a log and had cravings for sweets, chocolates etc. which I normally don't eat. The tyrosine helps to replenish dopamine and sort of wakes me up a bit.

    2nd day was awful! I felt very, very dizzy...light headed and unable to focus on anything. That after a pot of coffee, tyrosine and wellbutrin. I had to study so took 30 mg Vyvanse in the afternoon.

    It is doable and I ordered some aniracetam, centrophenoxine to help with focus. Took my meds this morning cause I really hated being wasted for so long.


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