Four Common ADHD Medication Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

by | May 30, 2019 | ADHD Symptom Control | 127 comments

ADHD medicationAs an adult ADHD coach, my clients and I talk about many ways to make life with ADHD easier. When we focus on the details of their ADHD treatment, finding they are making common ADHD medication mistakes isn’t unusual.

Adults with ADHD don’t do this intentionally. Most people just don’t know what prevents ADHD meds from working correctly. A great source for accurate ADHD medication information is Dr. Charles Parker’s book ‘New ADHD Medication Rules’.

I’m also a big fan of Dr James Greenblatt’s book, Finally Focused. It’s full of lots of useful information and ADHD medication hacks for children, but has great ideas for adults, too. Dr Greenblatt has some keen direction about sugar and how it makes ADHD worse.

Four ADHD Medication Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

ADHD Medication Mistake #1: Drinking citrus juice. According to Dr. Parker, the acid in oranges, grapefruits, and their juices interrupts the absorption of short acting stimulant ADHD medications (you know it’s short acting if there is an SA on the bottle).

So drinking that glass of orange juice or grapefruit juice when you take your Adderall or Ritalin is a no-no. Citrus messes with the long acting medications such as Vyvance and Concerta, too, because they all start with a short acting boost to quickly kick your brain into gear.

With long acting medications you can enjoy citrus later in the day because by then the drug has moved on down to your intestines where the acid in the citrus won’t interfere.

People have different experiences with this. It’s easy to test it out on yourself.

ADHD Medication Mistake #2: Not eating breakfast. It doesn’t matter if you’re late or you don’t like to eat in the morning. It’s important to eat something before you take your ADHD medication. Your meds will work better and you’ll get a meal in before the medication suppresses your appetite.

This doesn’t have to be a big meal. Even a small, healthy, protein-based snack will help. A banana and a handful of almonds. Peanut butter toast. Microwave an egg with some salsa added (coconut oil will make the bowl easier to wash!)

ADHD Medication Mistake #3: Not drinking enough water. Stimulant ADHD medications are dehydrating. Dehydration causes brain fog. 99% of my new coaching clients don’t drink enough water whether or not they treat their ADHD with medication. Hydrate up. If you want your brain to work it’s important. You can read about ADHD-Friendly ways to remember to drink water here.

My first sign that I’m dehydrated is brain fog. The stronger sign is a headache. When dehydration goes to headache stage it can take a couple of days of focused water drinking to recover.

ADHD Medication Mistake #4: Forgetting to refill your prescription. Ever experience the panic of taking your last Adderall on a Sunday morning? You need your ADHD medication to focus at work on Monday and there’s no way to get your prescription refilled in time. (If you spend your weekend drifting and unfocused you need your ADHD medication then, too. Just sayin’.)

The solution is simple: make a reminder in your phone to refill your prescription a week before your pills run out. Reminders will work better if you use a reminder app, like the Due App. Due doesn’t stop bugging you until you’ve done the task. (Sorry, Android users. The Due App is only for iPhones. If you have a good Android reminder app, let us know in the comments.)

Another trick a number of my ADHD coaching clients use is to keep a couple of extra pills stashed away just for these types of emergencies. Bingo. Problem solved. But, this is really just a band-aide. The best thing is to remember to refill your prescription.

These are all common ADHD medication mistakes I run into frequently with my new ADHD coaching clients. I’m curious. Which of these common ADHD medication mistakes are you making? And what steps will you take to avoid them?

Dana Rayburn is an ADHD Coach in Oregon, but don’t worry… She works by telephone helping ADHD adults all over the world live more effortlessly and successfully with ADHD.

 

 

127 Comments

  1. Janelle Marie Bird

    So i just started drinking this “lemonade” mix which has fresh squeezed lemon juice, cheyenne pepper, organic maple syrup mixed in a 50.72 oz bottle. Will this effect how fast acting adderal works? I feel more tired then usual, but the drink is to help me loose some weight. Not to mention is a detox for my body. Any advice? What exactly does citrus stuff do to adderal, and the way it works? If the combination effects me, what symptoms will i have? Thanx

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Great question! Citric acid blocks the absorption of the stimulant medications like Adderall or Ritalin. Don’t take the meds at the same time you drink your “lemonade” mix. Wait an hour and see if that helps you be less tired.

      Reply
      • Benjamin

        I wish I had known this long ago. I eat a lot of citrus fruits and drink a lot of orange/lemon/grapefruit juice. After taking Adderall (30mg) for a number of years, I switched to Vyvanse (70mg) and was amazed that I felt totally over-medicated on the equivalent dose of Vyvanse. Turns out, my morning half of a grapefruit with a glass of OJ had been decreasing the effectiveness of the Adderall. This apparently isn’t a problem with Vyvanse! So, after years of needing a larger dose of Adderall, I wound up learning that I only needed about half that amount (40mg of Vyvanse) to get the desired effect. Oddly, I don’t recall ever seeing the same “don’t eat grapefruit” warning on my Adderall bottle that I’ve seen on some other prescription medications.

        Reply
        • Wendy

          So, just so I’m clear. I can take my vyvanse with a glass of lemon water? I like to squeeze a 1/2 lemon in my water

          Reply
          • Dana Rayburn

            Wendy, my understanding is the citric acid blocks the effectiveness of the medication. Do a test for a few days with and without lemon water and see if you notice a difference.

      • Ahmad

        actually i like to have a cup of tea in the morning before take my medication i am wondering if that is detrimental

        Reply
        • Dana Rayburn

          Hi Ahmad, A cup of tea before your medication should be fine as long as the medication is working for you as you want it to be. Warmly, Dana

          Reply
          • Salman

            sometimes I drink sodas with my morning meals, but I take my pills an hour earlier every time.
            My question is, will it effect my concerta medication in any way, if i drink sodas an hour later after taking my medication or it won’t?

          • Dana Rayburn

            Hi Salman, after an hour sodas shouldn’t impact your Concerta’s effectiveness. The pill has typically moved along your digestive track by then. Good luck, Dana

    • Leroy Awar

      Excuse me Dr Rayburn but does increased body temperature affect the effectiveness and absorption of adhd medication?

      Reply
      • Dana Rayburn

        First off, Leroy, I’m NOT a doctor. I’m a life coach who specializes in teaching ADHD adults to have easier lives. Now, to answer your question, I have never heard that there is a connection between body temperature and ADHD medication absorption.

        Reply
      • Jonathon

        How long should I wait to drink acidic products after taking 30mg xr? I’m an avid coffee drinker but I’d rather not affect my medication. Thank you

        Reply
        • Dana Rayburn

          Jonathon, from my research, it’s citric acid (think orange juice) that blocks the effectiveness of stimulant ADHD meds. And, they say wait about an hour. Coffee doesn’t block the meds but the caffeine combined with the stimulants causes problems for some people. Not all. Some. Agitated, shaky, etc. So notice what’s up with you around coffee and ADHD medications.

          Reply
          • Jonathon

            Oh wow I was under the impression that the acidity on coffee did effect it. Thanks. One more question, if you don’t mind? Since it’s xr how long should I be waiting to consume acidic beverages? Still one hour, or slightly longer? I don’t want to effect the delayed dose. Thanks!

    • Fatima

      I would like to say I have all of these things happening to me thank you for your advice I believe I’m dehydrated because I fell foggy and uneasy at time I feel at the end of the day that I need to have a glass of wine to relax. My doctor gave me Xanax for my anxiety and that helps me sleep but I don’t want to take it every night. Any advice you can give me to help with this problem.

      Reply
      • Dana Rayburn

        Hi Fatima, exercise and meditation help manage anxiety as well as ADHD. Good luck Dana

        Reply
    • Austin

      The biggest thing with acidic drinks is the alkalinity in your stomach needs to be balanced because you’re stomach is naturally acidic anyway so when you add any acidic drink to the mix is breaks down the amphetamines In the medication which makes them lose potency. I personally with adderall if I have had an acidic breakfast try to get a good bit of water in and a couple tums before the medication but normally I’ll wait about 30 min to an 1 hr and then take the medication. I really just try to avoid acidic foods and drinks and keep a more alkaline diet overall and that helps tremendously. My Medication I’ve been on is Adderall 60mg a day. The problem is the ridiculous tolerance you can build sting out with your therapeutic dose eventually making people have the need to take more overtime it just makes the tolerance harder to reverse. If anyone is curious look up how to reverse ADHD medication tolerance.

      Reply
      • Dana Rayburn

        Thank you, Austin. Great information. Dana

        Reply
      • Jason

        Hey, Austin. I thought I’d share an idea with you. It may or may not work, so you should check with your doctor. I’ve heard that people on stimulants should try and take an occasional drug holiday. From what I gather, doctors sometimes recommend this for children, and they’ll take the med during the school week but then skip it over the weekend. As an adult with ADD, I’ve tried doing the same and have been successful in not developing a tolerance. Perhaps you work weekends and that wouldn’t be feasible, or maybe your doc doesn’t want you skipping any doses. However, it may be worth bringing up to him/her.

        Reply
        • Dana Rayburn

          Thanks Jason. Yes, talk to your doctor, Austin. That might help.

          Reply
        • Britt

          From my personal experience, taking days off hasn’t been great. Whenever I take a break from adderall, I can’t stop myself from binge eating and my appetite is out of control lol

          Reply
          • Dana Rayburn

            Thanks for sharing, Britt. Everyone is different. You need to know what works for you. Warmly, Dana

  2. Riley

    I wish I could refill early. In my state, I can only refill after 30 days. Literally, I take my last pill and then the next day can get my refill. Drs can authorize an early refill in an emergency, but they rarely will do so.

    Can you explain how eating breakfast makes Adderall work better?

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Now, that’s an ADHD nightmare.

      Reply
      • Janet

        Yes not being able to refill your adderall prescription except every 30 days is a nightmare believe me. My doctor counts on the calendar exactly 30 days to the day until he writes the next prescription. Can you believe that??? If I have accidentally lost a pill or one has gone down the drain (which has happened before) I am out of luck. My other Psychiatrist never did that to me. I hate that. Obviously he doesn’t trust me and I don’t know why. I have never given him a reason not to.

        Reply
        • Dana Rayburn

          Janet, it’s probably not be that he doesn’t trust you. Your doctor may have had a bad experience. Adderall is a highly abused medication. It’s frustrating for people who actually need it, I know. Dana

          Reply
          • Jennifer

            It’s interesting because I have noticed the thirty day thing as well but there are only 4 months with 30 days: September, april, June and November. All the rest have 31. So you’re already missing a day right there. (Except for February which is short)

    • Kelsey

      Hi Riley,

      I know you wrote this question long ago, but maybe someone else will read this with the same question. This is what I do in your circumstance – if there are any days during which you aren’t responsible for long focus-oriented sit-still tasks (i.e. vacation, days of physical labor work or long errands), take only part of you normal daily dose so that you can store some “safety pills”. I don’t tend to take as much on those types of days for a couple of reasons: I can make sure to keep some relative relationship with a non-medicated brain (esp since it’s not a 24-hour med that you must take consistently), my tolerance of the medication is a little more in check, and I have a small safety stash. If there are days that allow it, I enjoy letting my mind wander at will even if I’m more forgetful :/

      Reply
  3. Wenonah

    What information do you have about acids/bases with ADHD meds? My son is on a Tagamet regime for treating a large wart on his toe. (weird sounding I know, but the dermatologist said there was evidence out there to support doing this) Since Tagamet lowers the pH of your stomach, will that improve absorption or do nothing at all. Would it be different for children vs. adults? My son is only 7.

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Wenonah,
      That’s an interesting question. I’m sorry, I just don’t have an answer. Best check with your son’s doctor.

      Reply
      • Meredith

        I know this is a late reply, but it may help someone else. A pharmacist may be able to answer that question easier than a doctor, so I would check with a pharmacist as well. Pharmacists are often better at catching interactions between different medications taken together as well as interactions between food and supplements and medications. It’s a larger part of their training than it is for doctors.

        Reply
        • Dana Rayburn

          Thank you! Better late, etc… 🙂

          Reply
  4. mandi

    i take adderal for my narcolepsy and zantac for my heartburn….i take both together in the morning…..have i been cancelling my addreal out with the zantac?

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Mandi, I’m not sure. You better ask your doctor.

      Reply
      • Allison

        Does apple cider vinegar effect Vyvanse as well? I knew not to have citrus, but never considered my apple cider vinegar water may be lessening my meds.

        Reply
        • Dana Rayburn

          Hi Allison, as far as I know it’s the citric acid that reduces the medication effectiveness. You could do a little experiment and see what you notice on days you’ve tried the apple cider vinegar water. Or, take the apple cider vinegar at least an hour after you take your Vyvanse. Good luck, Dana

          Reply
  5. Annie

    I’ve been trying different ways to balance my digestive health naturally. Having life long issues with it and bring prescribed Nexium recently (which I won’t take because I don’t need it), I’ve found that when my acids were too low, I over absorbed Adderall XR and lost electrolytes within the hour. So I ate low to medium acidic foods to balance again and found Adderall XR working again. To try and keep balance naturally, I drink warm lemon water about 2 hours after taking my dose and the last few days my ADHD is out of control, and the Adderall stops working right after the lemon water. I’ve noted it with many foods. Being histamine intolerant, my diet is limited. For me taking Adderall XR the same time each day, drinking a nutritional shake three hours later is effective for me. I don’t puke up stomach bile as I do if I eat breakfast before the natural morning sickness goes away, with or without Adderall. I don’t have over or no absorption issues that way. Definitely for me, food intake plays a huge role in the effectiveness of my treatment. The lemon water has to go, maybe make it a night time thing. For me when digestive system is happy my treatment dose of Adderall XR 40mg in the morning, smoothly releases for 10-12 hours. Hopefully some day I’ll get this digestive system balanced with being able to continue ADHD treatments effectively.

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Annie, What a challenge you have! I’m glad you’ve figured out a plan that helps your Adderall XR work. Citric acid can block the absorption of ADHD medication. That’s probably what’s happening with you and the lemon juice (orange juice would do the same). Your idea to try drinking lemon juice at night is the next thing to try. Wishing you all the best!

      Reply
  6. Chris Sneed

    Ok so how long before and after to get your lemons? Seeing as lemons are one of the most alkalizing foods you can eat, I am quite confused by this. As a matter of fact many fruits that people advise not to eat on adderall, in reality alkalize the body. Also I have heard that acetic acid is not good to take either, yet once again acetic acid i.e. Apple cider vinegar alkalizes the body. All of this can be found by googling alkaline diet or the best alkaline foods. Every article I have read regarding this lists lemons at the top of the list and encourages eating lemons or drinking lemon juice. So what gives?

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Great question, Chris. It’s the citric acid that blocks the absorption of the stimulant medications. I’ve been told to wait at least an hour on either side od taking the meds to have citric. If you’re taking a long-acting like Vyvanse it’s okay to have lemons in the afternoon. By then the pill is in your intestines and the citrus won’t interfere.

      Reply
  7. Lauren

    Should I be drinking more than 8-10 ounces of water per day while taking stimulants? I know for a fact I drink a minimum of 8 ounces every day.

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      YES!! In case you didn’t get that, I’ll repeat…oh, YES! Medication or not, drink more water. According to Dr. Daniel Amen, a rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces. So a 180 lb person needs to drink 90 ounces of water a day. Your brain won’t work without enough water. If you exercise a lot you may need more. Water-based foods (lettuce, oranges, etc.) can help. Can be herb teas, etc. Coffee dehydrates. Hydrate up!

      Reply
  8. Michelle

    Okay-I have the extended release Adderall and I’m having trouble sleeping at night. Should I ask my doc to switch my Adderall to the other type, the non-extended release?

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Michelle, are you taking your Adderall first thing in your day? The Extended Release should last 8 – 10 hours if the dose is right. If are giving it time to wear off and you still can’t sleep, yes, talk to your doctor.

      Reply
  9. Holt

    I am beginning to feel as if the adderall is not lasting as long as used to, should I talk to my doctor about Adderall about the extended release as I am already taking 60mg per day or another medication?

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Holt – talk to your doctor. He or she will know if you need a higher dose because you got used to it or if you need to try a different medication. Good luck!

      Reply
  10. Alex

    So ive been on concerta since I was 11 and im on 54mg 1x daily. Some days when I dont drink enough it seems not to work at all. Should I try and get 8hrs sleep..no citrus juice near it and pleanty of water or should I ask to up my dosage. It was working not but. Three months ago. Im 27 now.

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Alex, I always suggest doing what you can to make the medication more effective before upping the dose. Yes, drink more water and get more sleep. See if that helps before increasing the Concerta.

      Reply
  11. Robyn

    Hello I drank a lot of orange juice around 7am and took concerta around 8:30 9:00 . I felt nothing at all! Could the citric acid actually effect the medication that long after?

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Robyn! Do you normally feel your medication working? If the OJ is the only difference than it probably is. People don’t always ‘feel’ the longer acting meds – Concerta and Vyvanse – working. It may be more subtle. You notice you’re focused and getting stuff done.

      Reply
  12. Hannadhd

    All of them. I’m doing all of this. I was supposed to pick up my medicine yesterday. I ate breakfast…it was a grapefruit. Followed by orange juice.
    And I’m fairly certain that there is no such thing as enough water. I feel like I drink constantly, but it could just be that I think about drinking every time I get thirsty but my morning grapefruit/orange juice routine means that I can’t actually remember if I really did it or not.
    Damn it all anyway. Thanks, Dana. *sigh*

    Reply
  13. Rory

    Hi Dana,

    Do you do paid telephone consults? I need to speak with an experienced person, like yourself, about medication issues.

    Regards,
    Rory

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Rory, No, I don’t do medicine consultations. You need to work with a licensed medical professional about your medications.

      Reply
  14. nancy

    lemons are acidic themselves but alkaline when they are in the body, as such, lemon water would not interfere with Adderall right?

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Nancy, my understanding it’s the citric acid that blocks the absorption of the Adderall / Ritalin.

      Reply
  15. denise

    My son takes adzenys XR-ODT 6.3 mg in the am and complains of feeling “depressed” daily around 2 – 4 pm then slowly feels better, We talked to the doctor and he suggested he drink orange juice at 1 pm to increase dopamine. Do you have any suggestions to the afternoon dip?
    thanks denise

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Denise, I suspect what your son is experiencing is the time when the stimulant medication wears off. Does the orange juice help? He might also try eating protein during the wear-off time. Some medications wear off less dramatically than others, so a different medication might be the solution if this side effect is unbearable. Hope this helps, Dana

      Reply
  16. Tony

    I’m seriously not convinced that orange juice manipulates Adderall and it’s effects in a negative way. In fact, I feel as if orange juice in the Morning with Adderall provides and enhances the feel and helps the medication work easier.
    Unless THE Doctor can take one for himself and output this information to the public stating that he mixed adderall and orange juice and further studied its “Consequences” This information is misleading.

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Tony, It’s nice to hear OJ doesn’t effect your Adderall. Many of my clients experience otherwise. Not everyone is the same. Try both and do what works for you.

      Reply
  17. Kate

    I take Vyvance, it works great but I get gerd from it. Will nexium let the vyvance remain effective? Also, are you supposed to eat first just so you get a meal in you or does it really make the meds more effective? Not eating is never a problem I have and I thought taking it on an empty stomach may make it work faster. I have a large lunch.

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Kate, I occasionally hear a client gets GERD from the Vyvanse. Better ask your doctor about the Nexium. Or try eating first to see if that helps. My experience with clients is eating before taking meds seems to make the meds work more smoothly and effectively. This is especially true with Vyvanse. -dr

      Reply
    • Tab

      Kate! Hi! Im On 70mg vyvance for years. A doctor told me to take it mixed in milk or a meal replaced or protien drink. Warm milk with a tea bag. Warm or cold milk with Ovaltine or what I found to be the best is yogurt I use Greek vanilla. I found it works faster better longer. I didnt notice it 1st. people around me noticed 1st. Then i realized o wow theyre right. Good luck!
      -Tab

      Reply
      • Kristen

        Dana Rayburn do you still answer adhd adderall questions or any for that matter since it’s an old question? Thank you!

        Reply
        • Dana Rayburn

          Hi Kristen. Yes, I do answer all questions old and new. Ask away, Dana

          Reply
          • Tami

            What about Diet Coke? It has citric acid.

          • Dana Rayburn

            Tami, I’ve never heard Diet Coke is a problem with the meds. Anyone else have any experience? Thanks, Dana

  18. Pottypants

    Can any one help with intense salty/ sugar cravings when the Methylphenidate starts to wear off…I take 3x 10 mg a day and is my second week slowly titrating up to 20mg 3x’s day. I also take 45mg Mirtazapine.
    Incredibly thirsty and want sodas. I can’t find much on this .

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Gosh, I’m sorry, this is a new one to me. In his book, Finally Focused, Dr. James Greenblatt writes about the connection between blood-sugar / glucose and ADHD. Perhaps this is what’s going on. As the meds wear off your brain is craving glucose? I’m guessing here. What does your doctor say? Hope you find an answer! Dana

      Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Here’s a comment from another reader: Try looking into your Miratzapine Rx as your direct result on why you feel such intense sugar & salt cravings. POSSIBLY. I only give you my suggestion because I had been on the Exact similar prescriptions with near identical issues, and after a short while I had learned that the Miratzapine Rx was causing excessive fluid build up (primarily within my lower legs, ankles, feet). After stopping that Rx, two weeks later all was back to normal… Just an idea. Best of luck.

      Reply
  19. Peggy

    Do you know if apple cider vinegar supplements will affect adderall absorption? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Peggy, as far as I know apple cider vinegar should be okay. The citric acid in orange juice is the problem. Vinegar has acetic acid – a different molecule – according to live strong. Hope this helps, Dana

      Reply
    • Thoams

      Peggy, apple cider vinegar is unlike the other types of vinegar. Upon digestion, ACV will increase digestive pH levels, consequently lowering your urinary pH level. Taking the supplement later in the day may be more beneficial.

      Reply
  20. Toni - Jan

    What about concerta 18mg and a bottle of Lucozade?…. what may that do? I just started taking concerta. … used to drink lucozade a lot… wondering if it may cause problems …

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hummm… Does Locozade have citric acid in it? If so, wait an hour or so between taking the meds and drinking it.

      Reply
  21. Abe

    Hello,
    Wanted to know if digestive aids like ginger tea specifically help or deter a derail absorption/functioning!
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Abe, I haven’t heard any problems with ginger tea, etc., and ADHD medication. Good question! Dana

      Reply
  22. ashley

    I take my medication like clockwork, morning and afternoon (20 mg twice daily) and my urine analysis came back negative for anything. scary. i have been on generic adderrall for well over a year and a half now. i have missed a few afternoons or mornings here and there but have not missed a pill in months. i do not abuse and only take as prescribed but a negative test result makes it look like i am selling or abusing. i had test result sent back for another lab to confirm results and they too came back as negative for adderrall. what happened? lab error? my metabolism? please, please help!!

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Ashley. I’m so sorry you’re struggling with this. This is out of my area of expertise, but quick research shows that often the tests aren’t reliable. False negatives (and positives) happen often. Talk to your doctor. You many need to find a new doctor. I wish you all the best, Dana

      Reply
  23. Sophie

    I take 54mg xenidate (concerta) daily and I’ve just been prescribed ranitidine but I’m worried it’ll effect the way my adhd meds are absorbed because it lowers the stomach acid? Can you advise me ?

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Sophie, please check with your doctor or pharmacist about an interactions between your medications. Dana

      Reply
      • Tawnie Hester

        If I find that taking adderall is actually increasing my insomnia would a having a glass of citrus choose such as Orange juice around 6:00 p.m. to help flush adderall out of my system so that I could sleep better

        Reply
        • Dana Rayburn

          Twanie, I don’t think so. Talk to your doctor. Maybe you’re taking the adderall too late in the day. Or, perhaps the dose is too high. Insomnia is a side-effect for some people. Good luck! Dana

          Reply
  24. Liam

    Hi, I’m 17, i take concerta because of my ADHD, I don’t always take my meds on weekends,but i always drink them in the school week, will this effect me because I don’t constantly drink my concerta?

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Liam, drug holidays are something to work out with your doctor and parents. One thing to notice is if you need your medication on the weekend to keep up with your homework or work. Good luck! Dana

      Reply
  25. Jen

    Hey if grapefruit in a sauce could that effect the medication?

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Jen, probably not enough to make a difference. If you have the sauce everyday when you take your meds maybe, but I’m suspecting that’s not what you do. Hope this helps, Dana

      Reply
  26. Christina

    I drink coffee all day. I take my adderall XR with coffee then off to work. I drink 2 cups at work over 12 hrs, so about 3 10oz cups a day. Is that the cause of my brain fog,constant fatigue, and headaches? I don’t look dehydrated but maybe i am. My labs look ok too. I just thought my adderall wasnt working anymore.

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Christina,
      Are you eating? Drinking water? Or, living on coffee? If it’s just the coffee do an experiment. Eat something – a healthy protein is best – before you take your Adderall and see what happens. Also healthy snacks and food during the day. Also, drink water. A dehydrated brain will be foggy, headachy, and tired. Hope this helps! Dana

      Reply
  27. tori

    Hi,

    I’ve been on Ritalin for years but this past year it has not been working at all. In fact, when I take my eyes start to drain mucus and it’s all I can focus on. I am 37 years old, 5’7″ and 129 pounds and I drink at least 64 ounces of water a day and max 128 which equates to 4 big cups that I leave at my desk. I’m not focused, I feel exhausted and I can’t get anything done because all I want to do is sleep. I work from home so I’m eating and hydrating and I’m not drinking orange juice, just water and a coke after it wears off. At first I thought it was the generics so I switched to brand name and nothing has changed. I feel like I can’t do anything but sit in front of my screen like a zombie. My doctor wants to up my meds but when I do it’s worst and then my heart starts racing. Any ideas as to why this is happening?

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Yikes! Have you tried another medication such as Adderall? Your body may need a break from the Ritalin. Also, double down on ALL the brain care – diet, sleep, exercise, probiotics, etc. Good luck, Dana

      Reply
  28. Nicole

    Hi Dana,

    Can you offer advice on how much water a person on adhd medication (Adderall ER 30mgs daily) should od consume daily?

    I’m a 30 year old female, and 120lbs, 5’5. I generally drink between 60-64 oz per day (advised by my doctor.. Prior to being prescribed this medication) but feel this is not enough due to taking a stimulant every day. I often experience signs of dehydration.

    Thank you!

    Best,
    Nicole

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Nicole, according to Dr. Daniel Amen adults need half your weight in ounces a day. However, one of the biggest side effects of stimulant medication is dry mouth. So, you’re drinking a good amount of water, but I’d suggest experiment with drinking more. See if it helps. Good luck, Dana

      Reply
  29. Marcella

    I add a little water to the liquid dynaval for my daughter’s ADHD. I try to get the most liquid out of the bottle. Is this wrong? does it make the medication not work?

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Marcella, well…I don’t know. Do you notice a difference in how your daughter functions? Check with your pharmacist or physician to be sure. Good luck! Dana

      Reply
  30. Melanie

    Hi i take a folic acid supplement in the am with my adderal. I know foloc acid is something in citrus drinks. I still feel my meds working but im curious if im dampening it at all in your opnion. Thanks fpr taking the time to read this.

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Melanie, I don’t think the folic acid will make a difference. But, everyone is different. Try taking the supplement at a different later in the day and see if you can tell. Good luck, Dana

      Reply
  31. Sam

    Can you take ADD/ADHD medications with milk??

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      As far as I know. Try it and see if you notice a difference in the medication effectiveness. Dana

      Reply
  32. Michael

    Why does the Vyvanse website show that you can open the capsule and mix with orange juice? Your article was the first to show when I searched “Vyvanse and orange juice” on Google. The link below was the second result. Perhaps you share sources of your conclusion on this?

    https://www.vyvanse.com/dosage

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Michael, warnings that citric acid block the stimulants absorption have been around for years. A couple of years ago Dr William Dodson, an ADHD physician I trust, said it in a medication training I attended. He said don’t drink OJ within an hour of taking the meds. I don’t know why the Vyvanse web site would show that. This underlines how hard it is to find accurate information about ADHD medications. Dana

      Reply
  33. Kate

    Hi, it’s it normal to get a come down after the dose leaves the system? Or if I forget to take my meds for a couple of days and jump back to 54mg? I get very tearful and anxious, like I’m hormonal.

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Kate, yes, when the dose of a shorter acting stimulation medication (Adderall or Ritalin) wears off it is normal to feel tired a spacey for a few minutes. Better talk to your doctor about what to do about the ‘hormonal’ feeling when you’re off your meds for a few days. She / he may have a plan. Or, set up reminders and systems so you don’t forget to take your ADHD meds. Hope this helps, Dana

      Reply
  34. Josh

    Got a weird comment from my psychiatrist today regarding caffeine with Concerta.

    Now, mind you, I’ve been prescribed this stuff for the past 20 or so years…and while I’ve noticed an issue if I have soda right before or after my meds, I’ve never noticed any problems having a soda later in the day.

    Is there any support that caffeine later in the day would affect this, or is my doctor merely confused?

    Reply
  35. K Crain

    Great information!
    If I hadn’t taken my ADD medicine today, I wouldn’t have noticed the missing letter “s” in the word “days.”

    “My first sign that I’m dehydrated is brain fog. The stronger sign is a headache. When dehydration goes to headache stage it can take a couple of day of focused water drinking to recover.

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      LOL K – Thank you for catching my typo. All fixed! When one of us is more focused, we all benefit!. Be Well, Dana

      Reply
  36. Dani

    I have been taking Adderall 6 days a week for ~15 years but had to stop about 2 weeks ago because of an absessed molar. Today is the first day I felt like it was safe to take my 30mg XR – 5 days after the tooth was extracted and I feel awful. I am nauseous, dizzy, and my concentration is worse than before I took it. I have never had these side effects before. Is this normal after a 2 week hiatus? FYI – I only used ibuprofen for and no opioid pain-killers.

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Dani, Wow! That’s an odd reaction. Better check with your doctor. Good luck, Dana

      Reply
  37. Sudden Insomniac Anonymous

    I just started 20mg of Adderall today. My first dose was around 3:00pm and when I saw that I had to take it between 4 to 6 hours, I took it again at 9:00pm. I did not realize it caused insomnia until after this dose.
    It is currently 4:00am and I have not felt tired or fallen asleep (which is really WEIRD as someone who normally feels at least weepy/unfocused when being up this late).
    But my question is this. Should I skip taking Adderall tomorrow to get my sleeping schedule back to normal? Or just take it during breakfast and lunch? I heard people crash after it’s out of their system… should I wait until then before taking it again? I also have an hour drive tomorrow around noon… should I be worried about driving after an Adderall all nighter?

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi! You’ve learned the hard way that if you take your Adderall too late in the day you’ll pull an all nighter. Hope it worked out okay! Dana

      Reply
  38. Liam

    Hello
    I’ve been taking Concerta for about 2 weeks now for my ADHD and I feel normal mentally, I’m so happy but my appetite has went down drastically, I can’t even finish two slices of bread and I puke if I force myself alot of food. I noticed that I’m losing weight, like, becoming really skinny (I don’t like it because I look sick). Is it okay to take appetite boosters with Concerta or is that going to F me up? If not, are there any other medications or supplements that can help w the appetite and/or nausea?

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Liam, if your appetite hasn’t returned in a couple more weeks, talk to your doctor. Some people also time it so they eat extra large meals when their medication has worn off. Good luck!

      Reply
  39. Trista lower

    Will drinking sodas with your adderall affect the medication?

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Trista, I don’t know if drinking sodas with your Adderall will effect your medication – experiment and see. Do be aware that too much sugar messes up some ADHD brains – makes them more scattered and foggy. Drinking something else might be a better choice if you want to soften your ADHD. Good luck,Dana

      Reply
  40. Deb

    So much useful information! I was never told to not drink citrus juice and I wondered why some days I was not feeling like my concerts was working! My question is this, what happens if you accidentally take your dose twice? I happened to stop myself as I remembered I had already taken my medication that morning! My dose is 54mg.

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Deb – So happy to help! If you do accidentally take a double dose of your meds you’ll probably feel very wired. Please ask your doctor on your next visit, though. Just to make sure it won’t cause problems with another medication or condition. Be well, Dana

      Reply
  41. Nicole M

    Hi! I stumbled upon this page while doing some research about Ritalin for myself and my 15 year old son. I was originally diagnosed at 21 (I’m 38 now) and was on adderall for about a year until I got pregnant with my son. Fast forward 15 years and I just never sought treatment again, just dealt with it. Saw a new neurologist in October and he started me on adderall again, since I was on it before and within 1 week I was ANGRY! Like burn the house down angry. He switched me off that immediately and started me on Concerta 18mg QD. The seemed ok for a few weeks then he upped me to 27mg QD with 10mg Ritalin in the afternoon since I work 12-14 hour shifts. Again that worked for a while then I noticed an increase in my anxiety, headaches, and kind of feeling “out of body”, so he thought maybe the Concerta was too much and put me on 10mg Ritalin TID. That seems to do the trick BUT I’m not much of an eater since being on that. I normally wake up by 7-730 habe my first dose within the hour (with coffee) and “breakfast” turns into late lunch and dinner is by 630 usually and then I BINGE at night. Luckily I haven’t gained any weight back but what can you suggest for me? Same thing goes for my son who is on 54mg Concerta and 10mg Ritalin in the afternoon (mind you he’s a big boy at 6’ 260lbs). I’ve noticed mild headaches with myself and my son says he has some here and there. I feel that these may be the right dosages but want to experience the correct effects.. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Nicole, I’m not sure about the binging at night. Are you hungry? Is your brain searching for stimulation after the medication has worn off? About the slight headaches for you and your son – try drinking more water. Headaches can be caused by dehydration and the stimulant medication is dehydrating. Good luck, Dana

      Reply
  42. Nada

    Hello Ms. Rayburn. There is so much useful information! I wanted to reach out to you to ask about exercising. I typically run about 3 miles a few times a week, have been for about 8 years. Last Fall my son had a brain surgery and I completely fell off. I started Adderall shortly before. I started back trying to run about 2 months ago and every single time I start to run and get at about 3-5 minutes, I get seriously sick at my stomach to the point that I have to stop for a few minutes and then restart. Within minutes the sick feeling returns.

    The feeling is so bad that I’ve transitioned from running and only walk now, there’s no issue with walking. However, as you know running a quick 3 miles is much quicker and more efficient than walking 5+ miles to gain the same outcome.

    Have you ran across this? Do you have any advice or guidance?

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Nada, I hope your son has recovered from his brain surgery! Are you taking the Aderall BEFORE you run? If so that might be causing the nausea. Take it after or try eating a small bit of something first. Hope that helps. Dana
      PS- Thanks! I’m thrilled you like the blog. 🙂

      Reply
  43. Melissa

    I did all of these things today. Didn’t drink water drank alot of coffee and didn’t eat. I must say I feel terrible. Shaky and nauseated as well as lethargic.

    Thank you for helping me understand why I have side effect some days but not others.

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Happy to help, Melissa. This stuff matters! Warmly, Dana

      Reply
  44. Adam C

    I’m not sure if this has been asked before but I usually do eat before I take my Ritalin. However when I begin to get hungry later if I don’t eat something quickly I’ll get terrible acid reflux. Do you think it could be caused by my medication?

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Adam, That’s a great question. Heartburn is listed as a common side effect of Ritalin. You’ll find more info here: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325333 Sounds like you need to have food on hand when you get hungry. Hope this helps, Dana

      Reply
  45. Eddie

    Hi, I have been taking tea or coffee for a long time. I recently started aderall xr and I get headache after 10mg aderall xr. I drink 1/2 glass milk and a protein bar then take aderall xr 10 mg and then probably eat omelette or something similar. My headache only goes away with 1 cup coffee. Do you think since i have been drinking coffee for a long time, not drinking coffee brings on headache. I will usually get headache if i don’t take either tea or caffeine till noon?
    Also I have dry mouth after aderall xr, do you think it will go away eventually ? I am trying to drink more and more water?

    Reply
    • Dana Rayburn

      Hi Eddie, the headache is probably caffeine withdrawal. You might want to try reducing the amount of coffee or tea gradually over time and see if that helps. When I took Adderall the dry mouth side effect never went away. For some of my clients it does get better. Good luck, Dana

      Reply
      • Krissie

        Hello, I take Adderall + decaf coffee in the morning. Then I need a jolt so I usually have one Diet Coke in the afternoon or maybe two. Or a Zevia cola – is this too much? I am on a benzo too which makes me sleepy so I feel the need to take extra caffeine – is this dangerous? Also, what about a glass of wine at night?

        Reply
        • Dana Rayburn

          Hi Krissie – talk to your doctor. It sounds like you’re working hard to get the focus you need. Also about the sleepiness for the Benzodiazepines (tranquilizer) and the wine. I’m not able to advise you on this. Thanks for asking, Dana

          Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. What to Expect from ADHD Medication - Dana Rayburn ADHD Coach - […] of often from my private and ADHD Success Club clients. Many people aren’t clear about what their ADHD medication…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Welcome to ADHD Success

Tired of struggling with ADHD? You’re in the right place. ADHD Success is loaded with free, practical tips to help you get organized, manage your time, and live more easily with Adult ADHD. Like what you read? Sign up for the newsletter now! No Spam. I promise!

Like Dana on Facebook: