I'm new to the whole narcolepsy thing and I'm still trying to find what works best for me. I've read through many posts on here in regards to people's experiences with adderall and ritalin and I'm really amazed that people have such widely varying reactions to it. I study pharmacy and medicinal chemistry so I'm very familiar with what these drugs do in the body. Unfortunately, especially with psychotropic drugs, that information doesn't really tell you how any given individual will respond to treatment. I'm no exception to this, and I haven't responded to stimulants the way I thought I would.
Essentially, I respond very weakly to stimulants, with no significant negative effects, and only mild positive effects. I take a 15mg adderall in the morning and notice the cognitive effects for perhaps 1-3 hours after which I'm foggy again, after that time I notice only the bodily sensation (a kind of tightness) which is more associated with L-amphetamine. Unfortunately I can't take a second dose 4-6 hours because this, paradoxically, causes me to become even more fatigued and foggy than if I weren't to take anything at all. I can take a second dose some 10-12 hours later, but then it interferes with my sleep. So what am I to do? I need to be able to function for at least a part of the evening, I'm a student in a very intense program. My physician and I decided to try ritalin, but after several doses it's obvious that 10mg ritalin has exactly zero effect on me. Aside from a slight increase in heart rate I notice no change whatsoever.
Yesterday I couldn't chance not being alert in my organic chemistry lab, because microchemistry is sensitive to even tiny mistakes. So I popped a 15mg adderall in the morning, which got me through my lab, came home and took a 90 minute nap, then immediatelly popped a 10mg ritalin and was able to function pretty well for the rest of the evening and still go to bed. That was great. Somehow taking 10mg ritalin after taking adderall several hours earlier was able to raise dopamine/norepinephrine levels enough to exert a mild stimulant effect.
My current theory is that I've developed cross-tolerance to ritalin from adderall, which is why ritalin has zero effect taken alone. And that I'm a slow metabolizer of adderall, particularly the levorotary enantiomer, which has the longer half-life of the two anyhow. This puts me in a position where I can't take a second dose of adderall soon enough after the first one to maintain a cognitive effect, but I also can't take it later in the evening due to insomnia. But perhaps I can work out some combination of adderall in the morning and ritalin in the evening and that way get a little bit of functionality in the late afternoon/evening hours.
I guess my question is, has this worked for anyone and/or has anyone tried a combination of adderall and ritalin?