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CNS stimulants and OCD, which stim made it worse?


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I am writing in regards to the effects of CNS stimulants on OCDers, maybe this should be posted on the OCD board as well.  If you are an OCDer taking a stimulant, what has been your experience with Ritalin, Adderall, and Dexedrine affecting your OCD . . which CNS seemed to have less side effects on your OCD?  I've been looking for some info on the web in regards to the CNS stimulants effects on OCD in individuals but have found only a little, do you know of any other individuals experience with OCD and CNS stimulants (such as what stimulant may be worse for OCDers)?

And i was also wondering about Provigil and its effects on OCD, any comment?

the main emphasis of this letter stems from the event that i have been taking Concerta . . [at 18 mgs (took it for a month) and am now taking Concerta at 36 mgs (have taken it for about 15 days or so) . . ] and am having side effects of irritability and a bit of rage (nothing out of control, but i am being a bit too persistent fukkin with my roomate negatively in a joking manner . . she knows i'm messin around, but i just feel compelled to keep on doing it to get under her skin . . then everything clears up after a childish spell of 30 minute obnoxiousnes, and i level off to an extent to a mellow state (this is a very similar issue i had during my childhood), and the intrusive thoughts are getting intermixed with a bit of the irritability as well, which is bothering me.

The plus side of this situation is that i haven't abused this drug (i have a drug addiction history) nor am i using any other street drug (though i have had a bit more cravings while on this drug, but nothing too obsessive).  I am considering taking Adderall if the doc does indeed prescribe it, (maybe Dexedrine, though it may be too strong?) and am hoping the Adderall doesn't fuk with my OCD as much as Concerta has.  Do you think the OCD seeming to be more extreme could be a bit related to the irritability caused by the Concerta?  How is Adderall on causing irritability versus Concerta?

Maybe Provigil would be the drug to take, but it cost so damn much!  i guess i could go in for a sleep study.

The plus part of the Concerta is that it does seem to help me function better . . and i can stay awake better (though i'm getting sleepy again at 36 mgs), i read better and write better as well.

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I was going to start a post here on the exact same subject.  I have multiple anxiety disorders in conjunction with OCD, but I have the same concern.  I'm worried about an ADD med sending my anxiety/obsessive-compulsiveness into orbit, and Adderall was the med I was hoping to try. 

I'm interested in hearing what others have to say on the subject, too. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry it's taken so long to get to this. I've had zero attention span lately and have ended up doing something else before making it this far down the list of forums.

I've got OCD and ADD.  I've pretty much decided that I can't take any of the stims a dose high enough to actually do much good unless I'm taking an anti-psychotic to blunt the side effects.  I'm doing OK with a dexidrine/seroquel/wellbutrin/cymbalta cocktail right now.

Desoxyn is probably the stim with the fewest side effect.  Unfortunately it's pharmaceutical methampetimine.  The fact it has so few side effects at high doses makes it highly abusable.  If you have a history of substance abuse there is almost no chance in hell you'll find someone willing to write an rx for it.

I've found dexidrine to be "cleaner" than adderal with fewer side effects.  If you had problems with Concerta, the only other methylphenidate based stim worth trying is Focalin (dexmethylphenidate-hcl).  As an isomer of methylphenidate, it's has many fewer side effects.  I've found that all the methylphenidate make it harder for me to switch tasks and cause me to get stuck in hyperfocus on a specific task for way way way too long.  I think I played tetris for 6 hours without getting up one time.

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Hi Johnathanupr,

If you think the concerta makes you agititated, try the regular ritalin. It only lasts a couple hours, then it wears off and you go from Dr Jekyl to Mr Hyde. You're probably getting grumpy when the concerta wears off. Since I'm a little bipolar, I find I have to take a mood stabilizer with stimulants to keep from comitting homicide. A mood stabilizer helps a lot with the anger and agitation.

As for OCD, my personal experience puts adderall at the top of the list. It makes me extremely overfocsed. Helps a lot with work because I will not leave the computer and will forget to eat, sleep, etc.  Dex does the same but to a lessor extent. On Ritalin, I'm less obsessive but have to really watch the ups and downs. With trileptal and an ocasional ativan, i can take ritalin without killing someone. Can also take adderall but still have the obsession issues.

I think it wise to get ant co- existing conditions such as depression, bipolar, OCD under control before you tackle the ADD with stimulants.

As for provigil, it helps some if you have non hyperactive add like me but for adhd it would probably just wire you up. It lifts my mood and gives me a lot more energy but it's a mystery to me how to keep it working consistently. It's kind of like ritalin lite... and like ritalin, it doesn't mix well with caffine.

All of this info is based on my personal experience and body chemistry. Milage will vary.

Regards,

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  • 1 year later...
  • 2 years later...
Guest Guest_michelle_*

my daughter was just started on concerta for ADHD but is also on luvox, seroquel and clonazapam. The ocd has been on good control until we increased the dose of concerta from 18mg to 27mg. For the past week she has been in an ocd flare despite decreasing the dose back to 18mg. We will probabley have to stop the concerta altogether.

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  • 2 weeks later...

OCDer here, I take provigil, although I've been trying to taper off of it. not sure of the mechanism with provigil but it's not an amphetamine. I've had no side effects from it, and it definitely helps me concentrate and probably helps relieve obsessions as a result (hard to say, I'm on a lot of stuff).

I developed a tolerance for provigil quickly, but if I stop taking it for a few days the tolerance goes away. It's not hard to stop the drug periodically. No withdrawl symptoms.

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  • 1 year later...
Guest OCD&Sleepy

I've been on Zoloft for 6 yrs b/c of OCD (now up to 200mg!) - and the efficacy is waning. Worse, I developed TERRIBLE hypersomnia - would sleep 12-14hrs/d easily if I let myself.. and always falling asleep during daytime. To deal with this, I started taking provigil as well. UNFORTUNATELY - my ocd is worse now, and I'm anxious much more than before. I feel pretty desperate at this point. I can either help the OCD (somewhat) with Zoloft, and be constantly falling asleep, OR take Zoloft and Provigil... and be agitated.

One difference with Provigil is that it raises hypothalamic histamine levels. Unfortunately, some believe that high histamine levels are major triggers FOR OCD (Great).

I've been looking (a LOT) into what else I can do... non-pharmaceutical supplements seem to be an option with a fair evidence base... but these take a long time to start working. I've purchased N-Acetyl-Cysteine and Inositol to try to take the edge off (http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/articles/ocd.htm ; http://www.healthyfellow.com/401/nac-for-mental-health/ ; and various google-chat groups). I'm concerned about adding both of these to an already multi-med regime. I NEED something to help me function (stay awake) during the day ... but am hoping for a better alternative to Provigil (also Terribly expensive).

One of the supplement solutions is Rhodiola (supposed to help with feeling energized. It's also supposed to help with something called "stress exhaustion" (that would be me... Apparently, it is a clinical diagnosis in Sweden, but I don't think it appears in our DSM-IV). And it's supposedly good for depression and all-around mood/motivation. Anyone with experience on this?

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