Wednesday, August 11

I Hate Adderall... and It Hates Me

So last night I finally told my husband how much I hate his medication.


If you could hear the loathing in my voice when I spit out that word...

My husband has narcolepsy. That means he is often sleepy, tired, or mentally drained. The solution to that would simply be to wake him up, right?


The solution actually does not currently exist as narcolepsy is incurable (for now). But there are several treatment options available, including a variety of medications that can help alleviate or lessen symptoms. Unfortunately, I don't believe Adderall to be one of those for him. Although it does keep my husband awake sometimes, the side effects are so extreme that the moments when he is lucid aren't even worth it.

Here are some of the benefits of Adderall:
  • Improved concentration
  • Mental alertness
  • Appetite suppression (some may consider that a benefit)
That's the effect I can see it has on my husband. Here are the side effects:
  • Irritability
  • Inability to sleep
  • Teeth grinding
  • Loss of appetite
  • Agitation
  • Mood swings
  • Depressed moods
  • General anxiety
  • Increased desire for nicotine (in ex-smokers)
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/
See the difference? I'd rather have my un-medicated, sleepy husband who is at least normal to a certain extent than the alert but antsy, unpredictable guy Adderall makes him. Last night when I told him exactly what I thought of his medication, I felt like I was confessing to hating one of his close friends or something. His reaction was similar. He sighed, admitting that he knew it wasn't the best for him, and he was already considering letting it go. Like telling the friend who isn't good association, "Sorry, man. We can't hang out anymore."

So now as he weans himself off of this drug, we're going t figure out what to do next. Until then, good riddance.


  1. Has he tried Provigil/Nuvigil yet? Far fewer psychological side-effects in my experience with them. Food for thought...

  2. Yep, he's tried Provigil and we did like it, but it was just too expensive (even w/insurance). We haven't tried Nuvigil - that's something to consider. Thanks for the input!

  3. Has he tried xyrem? Unfortunately its very expensive, but for me it was life-changing. This past weekend I was able to do a huge basement reorganizaton project with my husband and we got it done with ease. At the end, he said to me "I'm so glad you're on xyrem...what we did today would never have been possible in the past 10 years, it's like you're a whole different person". That about sums it up. Got through the rest of the night with no nap, woke up this morning feeling normal, not overdone. Xyrem is outrageously expensive but the results, at least for me, have been unbelievable. For the first time, I feel like I understand what a person without narcolepsy must feel like.

  4. Nope he hasn't tried Xyrem yet, but we've heard lots of good things about it.

    I'm so glad you found something to help you feel "normal." That's awesome! I hope my hubby finds something that works for him to that extent.

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  5. I want to second the praise for Xyrem! "Life changing" is a perfect description; I only wish I had started taking it earlier!

    Effexor has also done wonders for me. I know some people are opposed to the use of antidepressants, but it's really helped me. It completely got rid of my C (I started taking it before Xyrem) and it seems to help me stay awake, too.

    Thank you so much for creating your blog! You have no idea how helpful it is in helping me to see things from my husband's perspective!

  6. Thanks lab!
    I am not at all familiar with Effexor - I'll have to do more research on it, and Xyrem sounds more and more intriguing...
    Thanks for reading!!!

  7. sounds like adderall did the same to him as Nuvigil did to me. I hated it with the purplest of passions! My brain wanted to sleep, my body wanted to run a marathon, and I was literally stuck in my bed unable to do either one. I felt like I was going to go crazy mad!

    1. Interesting...I am currently on Nuvigil and feel the same way,,,like two beings in one body, both pulling in opposite directions! We are looking to change to either Adderall or Ritalin...

  8. Wow! I just started Adderall and I like it. The XR or extended release is much better than the straight dose though. I've only tried the regular one once and it was crazy at least for the first hour. I was not able to breath, etc etc. The xr is great though. I am less irritable, happier, more productive, and almost normal. I take it at the lowest dose possible because i am sensitive to meds. I feel like myself again. There are some problems, like bad insomnia, which I am not sure if it is fully related or not. I'll still fall asleep if I don't get enough sleep. I have no appetite which for me is a problem. However, compared to Ritalin and Provigil, Adderall is great! I am angry I didn't try it earlier.

    About the $$ issue, sometimes it is worth paying a lot for a drug if it makes you functional. You have to consider all the benefits and the idea that you may save money due to your husband being able to fully function. It depends. Of course, if it is extremely expensive, you might want to look into getting a discount from the manufacture.

  9. My husband starting taking xyrem when we first started dating. I was leary of it at first but I thought if it made him feel better then so be it. Well it's now 8+ years later and he no longer takes it. I say good riddance to that too. His sleep paralysis was through the roof. I would sit in bed praying for him for as long as it took him to stop. There were many other bad side effects to it for him. If xyrem is working for you, PLEASE don't stop taking it. Just wanted to give another perspective on the med. What works for one doesn't necessaraly work for another.

  10. I hate Addies. I hate them. I hate them.
    I'm 5'9 i weigh 117 and dropping. Food makes me sick, the smell, the feel, the taste.
    I'm already moody, but now.. I go nuklear.
    I tried taking it only when I'd be driving or going to work.. but it gives me head rushes if i'm not on it ALL the time.
    I lose my vision, get dizzy, I can bairly stand.

    I'm glad he's gotten something better then this now though.

  11. having been on provigil for many years over 7+ and ritalin 2 to 3 times a ady just to stay awake, i am finally going to give up both to switch to adderal, and yes i want the appetite suppressant lol. As to the side effects,no matteer what i do i get irraitable have mood swings etc, it can al be part of the narcolepsy, since sometimes when we are awake we really arent, and it gets...tedious and upsetting to have the issues to begin with. Now on a second note, in regards to Provigil, it is now available extremely cheep! it is now a generic and the generic , modafinil is extremely cheap, under 20 bukcs a month at walmart without insurance even. Good luck.