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Ritalin - Dosage And Timing Questions


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#1 Kat_A

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 04:19 PM

My neurologist prescribed me Ritalin to take along with the Nuvigil (150 mg). He told me to take the Nuvigil and 20mg Ritalin first thing in the morning (I usually take it around 8 a.m.), and then another 20mg Ritalin between noon and 1.

Because I am very sensitive to medications and am a small person, I started with 1/4 of a pill (roughly 5 mg) and worked up. In the morning, I have never taken more than 10 mg, and I feel awesome for about 2-3 hours with that dose. Around 11:30, I start to feel sleepy again and by 12 I would very much like to nap. I am creeping up my afternoon Ritalin dose slowly - 5 mg did nothing, 10 helped for a brief period of time but I was still tired. I know I can go up to 20mg at each dose, but I wanted to ask:

1. If you take Ritalin, how often do you take it, and at what dose? (Do you take any other medications for narcolepsy as well?)

2. How long does it seem to last in your system before it wears off?

3. Does anyone here also take Nuvigil and Ritalin together? Do you notice the morning dose being much more effective? (I'm wondering if the afternoon dose is less effective because the Nuvigil has started to wear off at that point).

I'm wondering if maybe I should take it more frequently throughout the day, in smaller amounts (up to 40 mg total, since that's what I was prescribed), or if it won't be as effective that way.

Any insight is appreciated....thank you!

#2 sometimes

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 09:39 PM

20 mg seems like a lot at one time, unless you're 170+ lbs. Ritalin typically lasts for 3 hours, give or take a little. There is longer acting Ritalin sold as Concerta. With the longer acting form, a whole days worth is taken at a single time. Concerta, however, was designed for people with ADHD. It only has a duration of 10 hours or so, and most of us here really need something to last almost 16 hours.

I take either 5 mg or 10 mg. The 10 mg lasts longer and has a more rapid onset. It also makes me more moody and it has a little bit of a rollercoaster effect on me which I don't so much enjoy. In this sense the 5 mg is better, but I could really use something stronger. I'm more tired during some periods of the day than I am at others.

I'm only taking 5 mg of Ritalin at the moment plus some Vyvanse. I've been sleepy though, so I'm not sure how long this will last. I've taken every where from 30 mg to 80 mg per day. Generally, I prefer to have that spread out across the day as evenly as possible. I would like to be taking 150 mg Nuvigil plus two 5 mg doses of Ritalin daily, but my co-pay for the Nuvigil is obscene.

I've never taken 20 mg of short acting Ritalin as a single dose. I wouldn't want to. I'm skinny though, and I don't know particularly well how other people react to it.

#3 Kat_A

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 09:39 AM

Thank you so much for your reply. I agree, I think 20 would be a lot to take at once (I am under 110 lbs - so tend to take smaller doses of most things anyway). Today I am going to try taking 10 mg every 3 hours, up to 4 times, and see how that goes. I don't seem to get any moodiness issues with 10mg at a time, luckily.

The Concerta sounds interesting. I wonder if there is less of a "crash" at the end of its duration, or if I could take a dose of Concerta to last most of the day, then supplement with some regular Ritalin if it's wearing off sooner than I need it to. I'll talk to my doctor.

#4 ImSleepin

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 09:46 PM

I'm going to guess that you're taking the short-released/fast-acting Ritalin? When I took that I had to take 15mg at a time to stay awake, but it wore off in about 3-4 hours, so I'd take another 15mg.

1. If you take Ritalin, how often do you take it, and at what dose? (Do you take any other medications for narcolepsy as well?) I started with the fast acting Ritalin in 5mg pills and would take 15mg at time and by the end of the day I would have taken anywhere from 30-45mg, depending on how I was feeling. I also take Xyrem at night. Now, I take Ritalin LA 30-40mg a day, and if I absolutely need it, I have 10mg of fast acting Ritalin that I can take in the late afternoon if I need a pick me up. I have found a huge difference in terms of feeling awake and alert, without any jitters for me, when I take 40mg as opposed to 30m. Also, I only take Ritalin 4-5 days a week. I like to have at least 2 days off a week so as to keep its efficacy and because I like the freedom of not having to take a medication everyday.

2. How long does it seem to last in your system before it wears off?
I found it dependent on the dose as well as the type of Ritalin I was taking. When I took 5mg or 10mg of Ritalin it didn't do anything for me, so I didn't feel it in my system at all. When I took 15mg, I felt a difference and was much more alert and energetic. I found it didn't last more than 3 or 4 hours. When I took 30mg of Ritalin LA, it would last a couple hours longer, and I find that if I take 40mg of Ritalin LA at 9AM, I can make it until 4pm or 5pm, possibly even the whole day on a good day (I might get sleepy around 8, but I'm not going to take anything in the evening).

3. Does anyone here also take Nuvigil and Ritalin together? Do you notice the morning dose being much more effective? (I'm wondering if the afternoon dose is less effective because the Nuvigil has started to wear off at that point). My doctor preferred me to be on one or the other, and to really mix stimulants. I started on Nuvigil, but it wasn't enough for me. The max dose is listed at 300mg, I think, but my doctor okayed me to go higher. I think I had gotten to 350 or 375 (I remember having to break pills, even though it's time-released). It just didn't keep me awake and it make my skin feel really hot and itchy, plus it gave me GI issues (but I'm prone to those anyway). I only take Ritalin by itself now, and one of the benefits is that it's a lot cheaper, too.

If you don't feel comfortable taking both, or want to start with one and then add in the other, you should talk to your doctor about it and see what he/she thinks. If you're not comfortable, you shouldn't feel obligated to take something. If you just want to take something at a slower pace, then let your doctor know.