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Anyone On Ritalin?


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#1 manicpanic

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:31 PM

I've been on Ritalin (20 mg daily) for the last two months for my narcolepsy. So far it seems to be working out great, as it really seems effective at combating my EDS, and the only side effect I've noticed so far is dry mouth. Most of the research I did about medications before I got my Ritalin prescription didn't mention it as a common treatment for narcolepsy anymore, though. I'm just wondering if anyone else has been on Ritalin for an extended period of time, and if so, did you find that you built up a tolerance to it quickly? I keep getting conflicting reports about how addictive it is--both my doctor and pharmacist said I won't find it "addictive" at this dosage, but other things I've read about the drug in general suggest that it's EXTREMELY addictive. Does anyone have experience using it?

#2 SleepyDays

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:06 PM

I've been taking Concerta for several months. My Sleep Doc put me on generic (Canadian generic). I was started at 54 mg and then a week later was told to double the dose to 108mg.
When I saw my family doctor she said I should switch to Brand name.
I started at the same 108mg dose. I was way too wired and felt like a zombie at the same time.
I lowered the dose to 90 mg and stayed there for quite some time. I noticed that the afternoon crash was bad around 2pm....I had a hard time thinking straight. I tried supplementing with IR Ritalin but I found my throat got really sore when I took the IR Ritalin.
I tried splitting the 90mg Concerta dose into two doses per day (60% of the dose (54mg) in the morning and 40% (36mg) 4 hours later). I noticed that I could think better and felt more "normal" during the day...but the morning dose was too low, I felt exhausted until 2pm.
So I went back to 90mg in the morning. I noticed that I was super irritable and grumpy on the 90mg dose and I wasn't thinking clearly in the afternoon.
So I lowered my dose to 72mg in the morning. I've been on this dose for several weeks. I can think more clearly, I don't feel like a zombie.
A week ago I was feeling really, really exhausted. I hadn't slept well the night before. I was bringing out the recycling and I stopped at the bottom step of my back porch. I realized that the big recycling bin was locked in the garage. My thought was: "Ah, Crap, I'm going to have to get the key to the garage". Next thing I know, I'm falling down to my knees and onto the concrete patio stones. My first thought was: "Why am I falling?" my second thought was: "Did i forget i was still on the last step?". Actually, I think it was cataplexy - both knees gave out. Previously that week, I caught myself falling asleep at my desk at work again. So...I think I'm going to have to up the dose again. I'm going to talk to my family doc about trying 81mg in the morning.

Sorry...this was a long, convoluted story to say...I've had to lower my dose. But it looks like I might have to up it a bit.

When I think about changing my dose, I find that I have to really take a step back and assess what exactly is it that I want Ritalin to do for me? I want it to keep me awake, stop the hallucinations, stop the muscle weakness, etc, etc.

When I first started taking Ritalin I did a lot of reading about Ritalin for ADHD adults. I wanted to know...."How do you know if you're over medicated?", "How do you know if you're under medicated?"
One person who was taking Ritalin for ADHD wrote that he doesn't notice a difference when he takes his Ritalin, but that everyone in his family and his workplace notices a huge difference (benefit) when he takes it.
That stuck in my mind.....as PWN we are lucky that we have clear signs of it working/not working...less tiredness, less falls etc, etc.
But, like the guy above....I've found that when it works the best, I don't really notice that I'm taking it.....I don't feel wired, I don't feel grumpy, I'm not crazy thirsty, I feel awake and I'm just going about my daily business as usual.
I have to be careful that the I'm not just "thinking" that it isn't working and upping the dose. I have to see a strong sign of it not working before I change the dose....like falling asleep at my desk in the afternoon, or having another cataplexy attack.
There seems to be a sweet spot....it just takes a lot of fiddling and self reflection to find it. I find it easier to notice being under medicated than over medicated. But each are equally important in my self assessment.

It will be interesting to see once I hit the sweet spot....if I can maintain myself at that dose for an extended period of time. I will keep you posted.

Thanks for bringing up this topic. It's something I think about a lot too.

#3 MINItron

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:39 PM

I've been on Ritalin (20 mg daily) for the last two months for my narcolepsy. So far it seems to be working out great, as it really seems effective at combating my EDS, and the only side effect I've noticed so far is dry mouth. Most of the research I did about medications before I got my Ritalin prescription didn't mention it as a common treatment for narcolepsy anymore, though. I'm just wondering if anyone else has been on Ritalin for an extended period of time, and if so, did you find that you built up a tolerance to it quickly? I keep getting conflicting reports about how addictive it is--both my doctor and pharmacist said I won't find it "addictive" at this dosage, but other things I've read about the drug in general suggest that it's EXTREMELY addictive. Does anyone have experience using it?


I have been taking Ritalin for a couple of months now. I am currently taking 20mg twice a day. I have slowly worked my way up to this dose, and for now it is working pretty well. Every time I have increased my dose I found that it would work for a few days, and then the sleep attacks would start to come back. 20mg twice a day has been the best so far. I have been at this dose for a couple weeks now, and I am still fairly happy with it though the sleepiness is slowly creeping back.

The normal maximum dose of immediate release Ritalin is 60mg per day so I still have some room to find the right dosing. Ritalin is the first med that my sleep doc prescribes, and I have a coworker with Narcolepsy that takes it as well. He tried several meds before finally going back to Ritalin.

I have not found Ritalin to be addictive myself. If I forget to take my bottle with me when I leave the house in the morning I find that the afternoon is pretty rough to stay awake, but i have not had any reaction to not taking it that would seem like addiction.

#4 sandygears

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 09:16 AM

I find that immediate release Ritalin only lasts for 3 hours at a time. I take 15 mg 4/day/


I have been taking Ritalin for a couple of months now. I am currently taking 20mg twice a day. I have slowly worked my way up to this dose, and for now it is working pretty well. Every time I have increased my dose I found that it would work for a few days, and then the sleep attacks would start to come back. 20mg twice a day has been the best so far. I have been at this dose for a couple weeks now, and I am still fairly happy with it though the sleepiness is slowly creeping back.

The normal maximum dose of immediate release Ritalin is 60mg per day so I still have some room to find the right dosing. Ritalin is the first med that my sleep doc prescribes, and I have a coworker with Narcolepsy that takes it as well. He tried several meds before finally going back to Ritalin.

I have not found Ritalin to be addictive myself. If I forget to take my bottle with me when I leave the house in the morning I find that the afternoon is pretty rough to stay awake, but i have not had any reaction to not taking it that would seem like addiction.