What happens when you stop using ADHD medications?

When Dana Rayburn learned that she had ADHD In her 40s, her doctor prescribed Adderall.She has done very well on medication for several years, but then she Insurance Stop covering it up. Instead of trying to pay the $200 monthly drug bill, she decided to try to stop the drug.

For other adults ADHD, Loss of appetite or insomnia and other side effects prompt them to stop medication. Some people say that these drugs make them less interesting and spontaneous.Others don’t like the stigma that often accompanies drug Or simply enjoy the idea of ​​coping with disease more naturally without the help of drugs.

Regardless of the motivation, it is wise to talk to your doctor before trying to stop the medication and have a good idea of ​​what might happen.

Talk to your doctor

Whenever you want to change the medication regimen, it is best to ask your doctor to intervene. If your provider agrees that the medication can be discontinued, it should be discussed whether it is safe to use turkey or whether it is necessary to gradually reduce weight.

carry on

The answer depends on the medicine you are taking, says Dr. L. Eugene Arnold, the resident expert of CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder).You don’t need to gradually reduce irritating drugs, such as Adderall with Ritalin, He explained that you should not be affected by any withdrawals.

On the other hand, non-irritating drugs usually do require a gradual reduction in dosage. “Atoxetine (Stratla) Has a long half-life, so it will gradually become thinner,” Arnold said. However, if you have been taking α2 antagonists, such as Clonidine or Guanfacine -Many people with ADHD take stimulants in the morning and one of the other drugs in the evening-you need to be slow to avoid potentially dangerous spikes blood pressure, He warned.

Anticipating temporary physical changes

Arnold said whether you will feel any difference in your body depends on your medication, dosage and body chemistry.He said that some patients who stopped using stimulant drugs reported more fatigue In the daytime. In other words, they may sleep better at night. Some people suddenly feel hungry.

After a day or two, the changes in energy and concentration leveled off. However, it may take several weeks for your appetite to return to normal. Of course, “If you had too much appetite before, [starting ADHD drugs that were suppressing it], It will be permanent. “Arnold said.

You may also not work

Unless your diagnosis is wrong, you will ADHD medications For some reason. Without the help of these drugs, can you continue to complete tasks and complete projects?

Fortunately, for Rayburn, non-drug methods-including organizational strategies, fish oil Supplements (some studies think it may help ADHD) and staying hydrated-serve the purpose. She no longer needs ADHD medication for 16 years. But Reben, trained with other ADHD adults, has almost no drug resistance. In fact, she said, most adults with ADHD are best treated with medication for at least their lifetime.

Rayburn advises anyone who is considering discontinuing a drug to first consider why the drug was used in the first place and the changes that may occur thereafter.Have you adopted a specific organizational strategy that has greatly changed your lifestyle (e.g. work out with diet), or make other changes that may help you continue to perform the task?

Monitor yourself and act accordingly

“If you want to stop taking medication, you must be very self-aware and pay attention to when Your brain Can’t work properly and can’t make adjustments,” Rayburn said. She said that some people will get lost, but once they recommit to strategies that will help them maintain their past tasks, they will perform well. Others realize they need specialization now. Extra help from a coach or therapist who engages in cognitive behaviors ADHD treatment, Arnold said. Some people find that taking fish oil supplements can help. He said: “This is a subtle effect, but it will weaken the advantage.”

carry on

Of course, some adults with ADHD stop the medication and realize that they need to use it again to work well-it doesn’t matter. “It’s a good idea to recruit another observer-spouse, roommate or coach-who can give you objective feedback on what is going on,” Arnold said. Moreover, if you do continue to take medication, please do not think that you can give up the non-drug therapy you have been using.

“Drugs for ADHD cannot be cured; it is a tool,” Arnold said. “This makes things possible, but not necessarily easy. You still have to work hard.”

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