As 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.
We traditionally think that you get up, take your medication and go about your day.
BUT there truly are simple day-to-day activities that can hinder the effectiveness of your medication.
Four ADHD Medication Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
ADHD Medication Mistake #1: Drinking citrus juice.
The acid in oranges, grapefruits, and vitamin C interrupts the absorption of ADHD medications. The short-acting Adderall and Ritalin. And, long-acting medications such as Vyvance and Concerta, too. That’s because they start with a short-acting boost to quickly kick your brain into gear.
According to Dr. William Dobson, high doses of vitamin C (1000 mg.), in pill or juice form, can also speed up the excretion of the medication in the urine so it moves out of your system too quickly.
So drinking that glass of orange juice or grapefruit juice when you take your Adderall or Ritalin is a no-no.
You don’t have to give up your daily glass of juice or Vitamin C pill. Wait about an hour before and after you take the medication. By then the drug has moved through your system 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 have fewer side effects. And you’ll get a meal in before the medication suppresses your appetite.
You don’t have to eat a big meal. Some people aren’t breakfast eaters and many people with ADHD run late in the morning.
Even a small, healthy, protein-based snack will help. A healthy protein bar or drink (read the labels and watch for extra sugar). 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.
My first sign that I’m dehydrated is brain fog. The stronger sign is a headache. When dehydration goes to the headache stage it can take a couple of days of focused water drinking to recover.
Drinking enough water is an easy way to help your ADHD medication work for you!
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: set a reminder on 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.)
A second tip to remember to even take your pills and a visual so you see when you’re going to run out is to use a pill dispenser. You can go simple with this monthly medication organizer or high-tech with this Bluetooth electronic medication dispenser (my aunt’s favorite!).
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-aid. 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. If you’re taking Adderall or Ritalin or another ADHD drug, why not do everything you can to help it work?
I’m curious. Which of these common ADHD medication mistakes are you making? And what steps will you take to avoid them?
Let me know by adding a comment below.
- Blog: How to Remember to Drink Water
- ‘New ADHD Medication Rules’ by Dr. Charles Parker
- Blog: 10 Targets to Know if Your ADHD Medication is Working
- Episode 32 of Kick Some ADHD: Is Your ADHD Medication Working?
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
I definitely should be eating beforehand. This may explain my stomach frequently playing up in the morning.
If I take XR when will I be able to eat my vitamin c and citrus acid foods?
Edith, I’ve heard it’s best to wait at least an hour.
The grapefruit warning is because with some medications grapefruit juice will inhibit one of the enzymes responsible for breaking down the medication therefore increasing the bioavailability of certain drugs to potentially fatal levels.
hi I really struggle with eating 1st thing in morning I’m on 50mg elvanse and another 20mg top up at dinner. can I have bone broth or mct oil in my decaff coffee?
Hi Mandy, Bone broth or even protein powder in your coffee ought to be fine. Your brain just needs some fuel. Not sure about the MCT oil.
Can I eat a cup of pudding with my instant release ritalin? It curbs my appetite so I like to at least eat a small meal before I take it.
Hi Dylan, eating with your Ritalin IR shouldn’t be a problem. Dana
I drink a lot of water through out the day- usually a gallon or a bit more.
I take my concerta 18mg at 6:30 am and it usually wears off around 2:30-3pm. I don’t have any crashes, but I do feel less energy and a bit tired.
Can drinking too much water cause my concerta to wear off faster?
Hi Emily, That’s a good question. I don’t know. Better ask your doctor. Thanks, Dana
Right! I was taking my 30mg XR with OJ to keep my potassium from bottoming out again. I had no idea this affected its overall absorption and effectiveness! So glad I found this article!
I drink OJ at bedtime to keep my vitamin c and potassium levels up.
actually i like to have a cup of tea in the morning before take my medication i am wondering if that is detrimental
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
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?
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
The adderal it’s not working for me either and I’m not taking it with citrus or not not hydrating and I also eat breakfast before I take it I have been taking it for about 4 years what do you suggest I do?
Susan, talk to your doctor. If it’s the wrong medication at the wrong dose, nothing you do will help. Good luck, Dana
Are some ADHD medications more dehydrating than others? I’m curious if Adderall is more dehydrating than say something like Focalin?
Gail, great question. I hear about this with the stimulants. Anyone else know? Dana
Can you drink electrolyte beverages on adderall?
Hi Margaret, as far as I know, it should be fine. Dana
The pediatrician suggested we mix the 10 mg Adderall capsule with one teaspoon food. Can peanut butter be a choice? Dealing with sensory issues- applesauce and pudding are only foods that will be accepted, except for peanut butter.
Peanut butter shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, the protein would be a good choice.
Hello miss I’m still in school I’m just worried if you can take adhd medicine (aderall) while drinking milk I’m avoiding citrus acid an making sure to eat plenty and stay hydrated but I believe it’s not working it’s best because I’m drinking milk
Hi Harley. I haven’t heard that milk impacts the medication as a rule. Perhaps it does for you? Many people are sensitive to milk. Try taking the Adderall with water for a couple of days and see what you experience. Good luck, Dana
For breakfast I usually have two brown eggs with spinach and tomatoes, and toast, would this be okay taking dexedrine (extended release)? Also, I was wondering if plain greek yogurt 0% (no sugar added) would make dexedrine less effective or more effective.
Let me know,
Your diet sounds well-balanced and fine as long as you don’t have a food sensitivity to dairy, eggs, or gluten.
I’ve had a gastric sleeve, does this affect absorbing adderall
Hi Rita, I don’t know. Ask your doctor for the specific information for you. Dana
How can you stay hydrated if you are someone who seriously hates drinking water?
I recently started taking adderall XR 20mg. However, my whole life I’ve started my morning with an energy drink, eat my first meal around 1pm and drink water maybe twice a month. To top it off I am a smoker.
After 3 months on adderall and the side effects I’ve had, I started researching and am learning that my daily routine is full of no-no’s and that I’m making my symptoms worse. I’ve been trying to drink water and am struggling with it. I don’t like sparkling water, flavored water or sports drinks due to the weird film it leaves in my mouth. I’ve always drank energy drinks and diet Pepsi all day every day.
I’ve been trying to quit smoking and am failing. Chantix made me sick. The gum doesn’t help. The patch broke out my skin. Vaping makes me cough until I feel like my ribs are broken.
I need help 🙁 the dry mouth, nausea and mouth soreness/constant mouth movements are driving me crazy
Hi. I’m no expert, but I do a lot of research on ADHD & stimulant medications. The dry mouth is both a symptom of your dehydration & a stimulant side effect. But the mouth pain & movements that you mentioned are not supposed to be stimulant side effects. That sounds more like a smoking related issue that you need to speak with your doctor about, as it could be serious. It may also be a severe dehydration problem. You definitely have developed some bad addictions, not only to smoking but soda & energy drinks as well. It’s often difficult for people with soda/energy drink addictions to drink water. The only solution you have in your situation is to slowly increase your water intake. Start with two or three cups (16-24oz, the average size of a plastic water bottle) per day & as this gets a little easier, add another cup & so on. Do your best to lower the soda & energy drink intake as you do this because these drinks actually make you more dehydrated. Remember that the risk of dehydration goes beyond just the side effects of the stimulants, chronic dehydration can cause MANY major, permanent health issues & even death. I cannot help you with the smoking as I have no experience with it. Please seek professional help on that matter.
Hi, I realize that this post was made over 2 years ago, but figured I would respond in case it helps anyone who later reads all these comments…
I know you said you don’t like drinking carbonated water or flavoured water, but have you ever tried combining the two to help you get off the soda?
I have Tourette Syndrome as well as ADHD and one of my tics gives me the feeling that I have mucus stuck in my throat that I need to cough out. Carbonation helps relieve the feeling so what I most drink is water, which I use a Soda Stream to carbonate and then I add water flavouring. It basically ends up tasting like an exotically favoured pop, and since the flavouring comes in so many different flavours I never get bored with just one.
Hope that maybe helps…best of luck!
I add electrolyte powder to mine. They have some good brands on amazon where you can get a tub of it for pretty cheap, it comes with a scoop, I don’t like the taste of water so I do this. You could also try the mio things where you squirt a little flavor into your water, they have sugar free options too.
Sammi, I really hope that you are doing better, but in case you are still struggling I have a few tips. I was doing pretty much same routine as you for years. Especially the dislike of water. So last summer I bought a 32oz hydro flask in my favorite color with a straw lid.
It was the best $45 I have ever spent. I drink the entire bottle before I have me energy drink in the morning and if that’s all I drink at least I got half the recommended amount of water. If I refill it and finish it even better. My goal is to finish 3 full ones a day which I rarely do. Here’s the catch, the water. Tap water from my sink has yuk smell and taste. The “filter” in my fridge grosses me out. So I have 6 glass growlers because I am trying not to use plastic. I take to them grocery store or co-op to fill from the reverse osmosis filter system. It’s 39 cents a gallon. It tastes like nothing. It makes me happy and I am hydrated.
Excuse me Dr Rayburn but does increased body temperature affect the effectiveness and absorption of adhd medication?
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.
From what I have seen, it is no necessarily an increase in temperature but in feeling hot, much like hot flashes and it is common.
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
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.
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!
Can I eat blueberries in the morning ? And a nutrient grain bar ? Will it effect the Adderall or take the pill early then eat . What happens if you take all of them within 5 minutes ! You know ! Rushing in the morning to get out of the door
Hi Charles, blueberries and your bar are fine to eat in the morning when you take your meds. Good thinking to have a quick breakfast! Easy gets done, ya know. Thanks for asking, Dana
I was wondering if you could tell me if there are any negative consequences to taking Concerta and a Probiotic at the same time in the morning. Thank you for your time!
Hi Savannah – Not that I’ve heard. Best ask your doctor to be sure. Thanks! Dana
Leroy Awar, it depends on your fever/temperature. I actually JUST asked my doctor this question at my appointment today. He said not to take it if you’re sick because you will need to take something to bring your fever down, it’s not good to mix. Stimulants also have a tendency to raise your body temperature (it does the opposite to me, im always cold)… anyway, elevated body temp, (with a fever) will cause more damage than good. Hope that helps!
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.
Hi Fatima, exercise and meditation help manage anxiety as well as ADHD. Good luck Dana
Hi can I ask some sugar to vyvanse powder because my kid can’t take a capsule !!! And how much water do I need to add with 20 mg vyvanse thanks
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.
Thank you, Austin. Great information. Dana
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.
Thanks Jason. Yes, talk to your doctor, Austin. That might help.
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
Thanks for sharing, Britt. Everyone is different. You need to know what works for you. Warmly, Dana
Is taking apple cider vinegar in the morning after taking 30mgxr a bad idea?
Not that I know of.
I actually do this occasionally, I will take a day or two off here and there from my adderall so I don’t become addicted to it, generally it is on a weekend, I may extend it into the week depending what I have going on for work and school.
I realized if I stop taking it a few days, the same low dose magically works perfect again. I don’t know if I’m the only one that has that and I don’t know if it’s “safe” to microdose but I do not want to get the point were I’m needing these huge dosages because at least for me I would not do well when the effects wear off
Can I take peanut butter while taking Ritalin?
Yes, should be fine
Dana, I didn’t get to read all of the comments, but did see 1 re: soda (an hour after his med). Do you know any info on how the minimal amt of citric acid in (diet) soda affects these meds when taken together? I take Vyvanse & am not a coffee drinker – I start my day with a Diet Dr. Pepper. I just learned about the citric acid (outside of the actual grapefruit/OJ) connection in a FB group & am digging in to learning more since I’m a soda drinker.
Hi Chelsea. Hummm….I don’t know if there is a minimal amount of citric acid. Anyone know, Dear Readers? Dana
So my adderall is making me really dehydrated 10mg IR twice a day. I’ve been on this for 2 days now and I’ve been using rapid hydration powder in my water but I’m still feeling dehydrated. What can I do? Will this go away or down over time?
Hey Kate, give it some time. The dehydration will likely go down some over time, though it may never go away.
The dehydration powder will help since it has potassium and sodium but you have to drink more fluids than your body sweats or urinates because your losing your electrolytes that must be replaced. I workout 5 days a week at the gym for 2 hours and I drink water before I go and a whole gallon during my workout and 1 liter after the workout and that works perfect but one way that you can tell if you’re hydrated is when your urine is perfectly clear without any yellow color
Yep! That pee color test is the easy way to tell. Thanks for commenting, Dana
My impression is that the threshold you speak of is zero- any amount will interfere with it.
Also, the issue with acidity doesn’t just cease after it leaves the digestive system. Amphetamine degrades more rapidly in acidic environments in general. While your general body and blood PH are very tightly regulated by your body (it’s something in the low 7 range IIRC, and fluctuates +/- 0.1 or so; you will fall ill or die if it deviates much from normal range), your urinary system can swing wildly from acidic to alkaline and vice versa from food or other factors (baking soda will very rapidly and acutely alkalinize your urine- and also give you terrible diarrhea). All things that flow through your bloodstream must go through your natural toxin filters called the kidneys. That which is retained by the kidneys instead of being allowed to pass is sent to your bladder for later expulsion from the body.
Because amphetamines degrade/are eliminated more rapidly in acidic environments, the lower your kidney/urinary system PH is (7 is neutral, and below that is acidic, and above that is alkaline/basic, and each point is something like 10x more/less acidic/alkaline than the last, if memory serves), the more rapidly your adderall will lose effectiveness via kidney attrition. You can drink more water, drink alkalinized water (one brand is PH 10, which is very basic for a food item), and also, paradoxically, citric acid (the body somehow reacts to it in a way that actually alkalinizes your urine- but don’t drink it within +/- ~2 hours of taking the drug), to lower the attrition rate (though you will never arrest the process entirely- drug molecules will be metabolized or filtered out or destroyed eventually, no matter what you do).
It minimizes absorption from what I’ve read. So bad idea. If you have to drink that than maybe wait an hour or two before taking the adderall I don’t know. I was drinking Gatorade and it’s orange. Upon reading the ingredients CITRIC ACID. I just screwed myself and literally am not feeling the effects of the adderall. I wonder if you took a “pontentiator” it would cancel out the citric acid. I don’t know but I won’t do it again. I read also that some people take it before they’re going to sleep since the effects or dissipating anyway
Did it help you loose weight? Sounds like fire cider without the apple cider vinegar
Does eating food with Adderall help stop the shakes and tics I can get?
Em, try it and see. Though if these side effects continue, talk to your doctor about changing your dose or your medication. Good luck, Dana
Can poptarts for breakfast counter affect the dose for taking ritalin?
Hum….Not sure why you’re asking, but poptarts are loaded with sugar (at least last time I looked) and sugar can snarl up an ADHD brain for some people. ADHD brains will work better with food that are less processed and have less sugar. Dana
Another hack I’ve found for mistake #4: find out the days supply of your rx and put the corresponding date on the calendar! I check my calendar everyday, and since I have a view of the entire upcoming month, I always see that date coming. Once it’s about a week away, I make sure I have an appt scheduled w my dr 🙂 I’m terribly forgetful, but this is one thing that’s stuck.
Adderall inevitably makes you lose weight so I’m curious as to why you are trying other methods on top of that. I had a problem maintaining a healthy weight on adderall. I had to eat A LOT just to not be under weight.
Lime juice helps iron absorption for me and low iron can be an issue for me. Multivitamins also seem to affect adderall efficacy so I have just been taking them half an hour or so before bed where taking away the effects would actually be helpful.
Great tips. I implement most of these. Though sometimes I forget about it (like the citrus rule of thumb.
The eating one is difficult for me because I don’t tend to have breakfast (most of my life) and so i have to make sure there are fruit and nuts available.
Sometimes I just genuinely forget to eat since I hit the ground running in the morning 😝
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?
Now, that’s an ADHD nightmare.
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.
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
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)
Alot of insurance companies won’t fill it earlier than 30 days, I know mine will not fill 1 day early, has to be exact 30 days.
Yes a adderall holiday helps me out or i split the tablet in quarters and only take it on a weekend if i really need it and it’s good to take a break from the adderall to lower the tolerance to it Ritalin is similar use same method be safe
It certainly is. I’ve taken medication for about 12 years in a state with the same 30 day law. Combined with frequent shortages of brand Concerta and my higher pill count, it’s a perfect storm.
In Mn. We have a 3 day window on controlled substances. I can get my Ritalin/stimulants filled within 3 days of previous months fill.
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 :/
Hi I wanted to know if not drinking enough water could be causing my adderall to make me tired and lethargic?
Try drinking more water. Also, eating healthy food (proteins!) before you take your Adderall. If you still feel tired and lethargic, than it could be the wrong dose of the wrong medication for you and you need to talk to your doctor. Good luck, Dana
I found one thing that really helped for me, it’s the same way where I’m at, was to take a meds holiday a couple of weekends (especially on days I was out in nature) and save those meds aside. Having about a week’s worth of extra meds made it so if I miss my refill date or lose my meds I don’t have an unexpected drug holiday on a day it’s not planned for. I also don’t keep all my meds in the same place- I have one spot I keep my main pills and then a travel container, so I don’t lose all my meds when my adhd brain misplaces it, just a weeks worth or less.
Thanks, Bex! Excellent suggestions. Dana
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.
That’s an interesting question. I’m sorry, I just don’t have an answer. Best check with your son’s doctor.
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.
Thank you! Better late, etc… 🙂
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?
Hi Mandi, I’m not sure. You better ask your doctor.
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.
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
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.
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!
Annie, I know your comment is years old now so maybe you won’t see this reply, but I’m going through similar issues as someone with histamine intolerance due to MASC and trying to get used to taking long-release elvanse.
Did you determine any other methods for sticking to a histamine free diet while also allowing the ADHD med to work to its potential?
I’m really struggling because the allergic reactions I get from so many foods are affecting the efficiency of the Vyvanse and I haven’t been able to find a high protein food I can tolerate at breakfast.
Hi Lily, I do check the comments every week, even though the posts are old. I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling. The histamine intolerance is beyond my expertise. I wish you all the best and hope you can find someone to answer your questions, Dana
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?
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
How can I stop my hands, feet, legs etc. from cramping with horrible cramps throughout the day beginning about an hour after taking 30mg Adderall tablet.
Hi Arlene, That shouldn’t be happening. Please talk to your doctor. Good luck, Dana
I had this problem when I first started my medication.
This is caused by a lack of potassium and magnesium in the diet and there are studies that have shown that ADHD medication can deplete them. Once I started adding more potassium and magnesium to my diet, this problem went away! I added more bananas, melon, cheese, and nuts/seeds to my daily diet.
Magnesium and potassium are two very important minerals for nerve function!
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?
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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*
Do you do paid telephone consults? I need to speak with an experienced person, like yourself, about medication issues.
Hi Rory, No, I don’t do medicine consultations. You need to work with a licensed medical professional about your medications.
lemons are acidic themselves but alkaline when they are in the body, as such, lemon water would not interfere with Adderall right?
Hi Nancy, my understanding it’s the citric acid that blocks the absorption of the Adderall / Ritalin.
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
Dana Rayburn do you still answer adhd adderall questions or any for that matter since it’s an old question? Thank you!
Hi Kristen. Yes, I do answer all questions old and new. Ask away, Dana
What about Diet Coke? It has citric acid.
Tami, I’ve never heard Diet Coke is a problem with the meds. Anyone else have any experience? Thanks, Dana
I was taking a 1000mg vitamin c supplement at night. I’ve stopped recently. Was that preventing my medication from working properly, because of the dosage, or was it far enough away from the medication time that it didn’t effect it?
Amanda, it’s far enough away that it shouldn’t be a problem.
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 .
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
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.
Yes this is me too! It’s crazy
Do you know if apple cider vinegar supplements will affect adderall absorption? Thank you.
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
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.
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 …
Hummm… Does Locozade have citric acid in it? If so, wait an hour or so between taking the meds and drinking it.
Wanted to know if digestive aids like ginger tea specifically help or deter a derail absorption/functioning!
Hi Abe, I haven’t heard any problems with ginger tea, etc., and ADHD medication. Good question! Dana
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!!
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
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 ?
Hi Sophie, please check with your doctor or pharmacist about an interactions between your medications. Dana
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
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
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?
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
Hey if grapefruit in a sauce could that effect the medication?
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
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.
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
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?
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
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.
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
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?
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
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.
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
Can you take ADD/ADHD medications with milk??
As far as I know. Try it and see if you notice a difference in the medication effectiveness. Dana
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?
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
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.
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
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?
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.
LOL K – Thank you for catching my typo. All fixed! When one of us is more focused, we all benefit!. Be Well, Dana
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.
Hi Dani, Wow! That’s an odd reaction. Better check with your doctor. Good luck, Dana
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?
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
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?
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!
Will drinking sodas with your adderall affect the medication?
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
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.
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
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!
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
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?
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. 🙂
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.
Happy to help, Melissa. This stuff matters! Warmly, Dana
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?
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
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?
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
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?
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
I’ve been on Vyvanse awhile and find it very effective with minimal side effects, I recently increased my dose due too increased tolerance (with my Drs.approval of course ) now that I’ve increased my dose , I have Intense salt cravings , I try to make sure I drink enough water or other electrolyte beverages especially cause it’s hot out , but it doesn’t seem to help and sometimes makes it worse . Is this normal , is there anything I can do ?
I haven’t heard of this before. Talk to your doctor and good luck!
Can I take concerta whith alkaline water?
Gosh, Tricia, I don’t know. Anyone have an idea? Dana
I have acid reflux and have to take omeprazole. Does taking omperazole effective how my Adderall or vyvanse works since it’s a proton prohibitor?
Hi Johnathan, that’s a question for your doctor or pharmacist. Good luck, Dana
My daughter has trouble swallowing pills and just started taking Focalin. Can it be mixed into a microwaved muffin cup, or will the microwave reduce the efficacy?
Hi Diana. I have no idea. Perhaps check with your pharmacist? My daughter had trouble swallowing pills when she was young. Taking the whole pill mixed in applesauce was our trick. Good luck, Dana
So I have ADHD, and I been studying for some test. And I am failing and properly preparing. I notice sometimes when I’m studying it’s like I have a sharp brain. And most of the time it’s not as good as sometimes when everything is soaking in. So I failed my test. I did drink pineapple and coconut juice before test and took 20mg of adderall 1 hour prior to test with fried chicken and coleslaw for lunch. So on my test nothing was clicking like I would of wished to. After reading this and yes I was dry mouth and dehydrated I’m sure. No water in test but breaks allowed. I didn’t take a break. I failed. And I think most of my problem on studying and testing is impacted buy my intake of water and food. Only thing my doctor said was eat bacon with it. That’s it. Me failing these test is so hard for me to deal with. Seams like I could of screwed my self by my lack of knowledge on my medicine. I have another test next Saturday. I will definitely stay hydrated and cleaner. And I hope this atleast put my focus and mind where I need it to be to concentrate on taking the test to my full potential is at its peak.
Hope the test goes better this week! Start to notice if some foods / beverages help your brain be clearer or foggier, too. Dana
I’ve just started my first dose of Adderall this month, and it’s been so far so good. Though, I wasn’t aware of the “no citrus juices” rule, and had a cup of orange juice with my breakfast for about a week. I’ve since switched to carrot juice so I could have something healthy to drink in the morning without it interacting with my meds, but would that one week of orange juice be enough to change how my body absorbs Adderall from now on? Or should it be fine now that I’ve cut out citrus juices?
You should be fine now Jessica. The OJ would have only impacted the days you drank it.
Hello Dana! I have just started taking Vyvance. I also enjoy doing herbal cleanses occasionally. I’m due to begin one. Will this affect my meds?
I don’t think so, Megan. What did you notice?
Hi, thank you so much! I’ve just found your site and it’s very helpful. Do you know anything about taking magnesium glycinate and/or ashwagandha along with Adderall XR?
Hi Caroline, you are so welcome! Thank you. Check with your doctor to be sure what’s right for you. Dana
Thanks Dana for your informative article. I was noticing that the effects of concerts were wearing off quite quickly. My doctor said it could be because I was eating before taking it and that it’s better not to eat before. Does food impact the effectiveness if eating one hour before?
As you mentioned, I’m not hungry after taking and often skip eating so would prefer to go back to eating before if it doesn’t impact.
Thanks in advance.
Hi Caroline, I don’t want to go against your doctor’s advice. However, what I’ve been taught is it is better to eat before taking a longer acting medication like Concerta. Healthy food – protein. Doesn’t have to be a lot. Try eating before and after and see what you notice. You might do better on a different dose or a different med. Keep talking to you doctor. Good luck, Dana
Here are a few things I have *personally* learned on Vyvanse (40mg morning, 30mg afternoon, total of 70 mg daily):
– It is a prodrug and as such, has lower abuse potential and is not impacted nearly as significantly by the acidity of your stomach like other ADHD meds. However, foods or supplements that affect urinary pH can impact how long or short it’s duration of action is.
– A high-protein meal is a MUST to ensure proper absorption and effectiveness, however I find it is best to eat the high protein meal 30 minutes to an hour and a half after taking your first dose
– In the same way, a meal high in carbohydrates seems to significantly dampen and even “end” the effects of the Vyvanse. Same applies to sugar, as carbohydrates can work similarly to (and/or are a form of) sugar and both dramatically reduce the effect and length of activity of the Vyvanse in my personal experience. I have found this to be true with other amphetamine based ADHD medications as well (cannot speak for methylphenidate based medications
– As stated many times previously, adequate hydration (water and sufficient electrolyte replenishment), adequate sleep, and adequate exercise are invaluable in ensuring your ADHD medication works at optimal levels. Without these, it’s like trying to drive a car with no gas in the tank. This being said, I would highly recommend avoiding Gatorade to replenish electrolytes or stay hydrated on ADHD medication as it contains high amount of carbohydrates, sugar, and other things that negatively impact the performance of many ADHD medications
Good luck and best wishes!
Well said! Thank you, Dana
Any idea why having a high protein meal *after* Vyvanse helps more? And is sugar actually interacting with Vyvanse or is it that sugar/carb crashes offset the help from Vyvanse?
My first week on adderall I goofed and drank orange juice with breakfast (can’t remember how long I waited after breakfast to take my meds though). I’ve switched to carrot juice with breakfast and that works fine along with being naturally energizing. I’ve actually changed my diet in general to avoid foods that might effect my adderall and that’s led me to eat a lot healthier these days. 😊
there is a very helpful app for Android and iOS that helps me remeber to take and to refill my meds: https://www.medisafeapp.com/ You can enter all medikation you need to take and get reminded several times a day and then it counts down from your supply until it reaches a specified limit and reminds you to get a refill.
I am following these tips for quite some time now, they really work! Thanks
Hello Brother Egidio. Lovely to hear from you. It’s been a long time! Thank you for the suggestion. I hope it helps others remember to take their ADHD medication and manage their refills as well. Be well, Dana
I have found that drinking a cup of milk with my Vyvance gives me the best effect from the drug. The fat from the milk fights off acidity in my stomach and safely delivers the drug to my digestive tract.
Thanks Steve, great suggestion. Everyone else… if milk makes you sleepy or your brain sluggish this isn’t for you. But, if you can drink milk with no problem and it helps, go for it! Dana
Dear Ms. Rayburn,
I hope you are well. I would like to get clarification regarding your point about eating breakfast, please. When you suggest this, do you mean for breakfast to be eaten prior to taking the first dose of medication? If so, how long prior to taking the dose?
I just started taking medication last week at a very low dosage, and while I do not normally eat breakfast in the morning, I have been managing Evolve protein shakes. I take my first dose immediately after drinking the shake. I have found that I get an odd “agitated”/tingly feeling about an hour after eating and taking the medication that tapers off after a while. Would eating earlier perhaps stave off that feeling? Thank you so much for your help and advice.
Hi PTK – yes, the doctor’s suggest that most people get something in the stomach (it doesn’t have to be a lot) before taking the first dose in the morning. That ‘agitated/tingly’ feeling is interesting. You can experiment with when you take your medication and eat and see if you can avoid that odd feeling. Good luck, Dana
I am 69 years old and in good health. I have been taking adderall for over 15 years for ADD. I do not have the hyperactivity (HD) symptom.
For the past several years, (3-5 times per month), I will get this very foggy brain symptom at the end of the day where I forget the words I want to say and can’t complete a sentence without thinking really hard about it. People have noticed. I also am very physically tired at these times (in conjunction with a day of physical work). I contributed the brain fog to that and possibly, dehydration. Are these symptoms “normal”?
Hi Susie, that’s gotta be frustrating. Brain fog can be normal for dehydrated or sleep-deprived people. Also, notice what you’ve eaten before the brain fog and see if there’s a pattern. It may be a ghost food allergy, too. Good luck, Dana
I just picked up my scrip for Adderall and unlike any refill I have recieved the pills are soft and seem to be almost damp. Should I take them back or is this not a problem?
I’ve never heard of this. Talk to the pharmacist.
Will drinking alkaline water cause the rapid absorption of the Adderall as well?
I don’t know, Dawn. Check with your doctor.
I have noticed the diminished effect of Vyvance (60mg). I take Invokana for type 2 diabetes, and I am also on an additional water pill for Hypertension. I was wondering if increased urination would have the same effect on the body’s ability to metabolize Vyvance as an increase of acidity of the urinary tract.
“INVOKANA® works with your kidneys to stop some excess sugar from being absorbed back into your body and to help you lose approximately 100 grams of sugar a day through the process of urination.”
Gosh Joseph, I don’t know. Please ask your doctor(s). If the Vyvance did work and now isn’t, perhaps you can connect it to the Invokana or just normal body adjusting to the Vyvanse dose. I hope you can find answers! Warmly, Dana
My 6 year old daughter has had a regression the last 6 weeks with her vyvanse. While researching I found numerous articles that talk about vitamin c making vyvanse less effective. Almost on the nose on when her regression started we started her on 2 a day pediasure to help with the weightloss she is experiencing. I notified her doctor and was told she could not find any medical literature that stated this. Would you happen to have any references I could show her. I am already compiling a list of articles and sites that I have found this on.
Hi Rebecka, here’s a link to an article by ADHD expert, William Dodson, MD. See item #11 about Vitamin C. https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-medication-side-effects-questions/ Wishing your family all the best. And, thanks for fighting for your daughter. Warmly, Dana
I’ve started with Elvanse (Vyvanse) late last year at 30mg, eventually upping the dosage to 70 in the morning and 20 at noon due to side-effects being too harsh at lower dosage. But one problem seems to stay the same.. it basically stops “working” after 4-5 hours, and I start getting a little anxiety, restlessness, backpain and a few other side-effects. My nurse is having a meeting with doctors on thursday of this week to see what we can do, whether to raise it to 70+50 or switch to something else like Strattera. I’d like to avoid raising it, it gets harder to eat and sleep.
Is there a way to enhance/prolong the effects of Vyvanse? What should I do/avoid doing?
Hey P, I’m sorry you’re struggling with the Vyvanse dose. Have you tried Concerta? It’s a long acting Ritalin. It might work better for you. Also, are you eating before taking the Vyvanse? Getting enough sleep? Hope this help, Dana
I’m getting enough sleep, weird enough, sometimes too much sleep, but only thanks to some “sleeping” pills called Clonidine, and melatonin 5 to 10mg. I do eat before taking Vyvanse, it seems to slow down the absorption rate but it’s not always I am eating breakfast.. And eating afterwards seems impossible, but I do manage to eat at night around 8-10pm. I try to keep myself hydrated but it also makes going to the bathroom more frequent.
I’m having a meeting with my nurse today, and we’ll be looking over our options, but I’m gonna try suggesting Concerta, see what he thinks.
Quick question, how do you KNOW if the dose you’re taking is either too high or too low?
I take cranberry pills for UTI prevention daily. One pill is equal to a glass of cranberry juice. Could this be affecting the effectiveness of my concerta medication? Additionally, it has 120mg of vitamin c in it
Josephina, according to Additude magazine: Don’t take ascorbic acid or vitamin C an hour before and after you take ADHD medication. Stimulants are strongly alkaline and cannot be absorbed into the bloodstream if these organic acids are present at the same time. High doses of vitamin C (1000 mg.), in pill or juice form, can also accelerate the excretion of amphetamine in the urine and act like an “off” switch on the med.
Hi, is it common to feel unrested and brain foggy if you took adderall too late in the day? I took 20 mg ER at 8 pm and went to sleep at 6 am. Woke up at 2 pm feeling like I hadn’t slept at all.
Do people feel this way every time they wake up if they are on adderall or is it because I went to sleep with it still in my system? The grogginess seemed to subside after taking another dose when I woke up.
Taylor, Adderall XR will stay in your system for 8 – 10 hours. Taking it that late will mess with your sleep cycle. Give your body time for it to get out of your system before bedtime.
Hello, I am a Chinese. There are some dishes that are acidic but not made with Citric acid, they are more often made with vinegar. So, If I take Ritalin, Will my drug effectiveness be affected by those foods?
In addition, I was some take PPI (Proton-pump inhibitor) for acid reflux, Will PPI interact with Ritalin ?
Hi Henry, I don’t think that vinegar will impact the Ritalin effectiveness. You can do a bit of self-experiment and see what you notice. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the PPI.
I started Vyvanse at the end of January. In June, I started getting pretty intense heartburn that has persisted since then. No changes in diet. The only thing I can think of is the Vyvanse. Is it possible for a side effect like this to start 6 months after starting Vyvanse?
Hi Alison, heartburn isn’t listed as a side effect of Vyvanse though stomach pain or indigestion are. what does your pharmacist or doctor say? Are you eating before taking your Vyvanse? It seems odd for a side effect to start six month later. Good luck, Dana
Does the citric/ascorbic acid affect the absorption of Adderall all day (since it is an extended/time release medication) or is it just the first hour of consumption of the medication you want to avoid? I don’t think this has been asked and it seems like a valid question factoring in the time release portion.
Hi Troy, great question! I’ve heard that it’s the citric/ascorbic acid impact of stimulant meds absorption for about an hour. After that you should be fine to have your OJ. Dana
I have been doing great on generic concerta, recently my pharmacy told me they cannot get that generic anymore so I was switched to name brand. It seems it isn’t working… I don’t want to switch to another brand being that I was doing so well. Any easy reason this could be happening?
Hi Amanda, It’s gotta be a formulation difference between the generic and the name brand. Talk to your doctor. Maybe a dosage adjustment would help. Be specific about what’s not working as well anymore. Good luck, Dana
Thank you for the article and it’s amazing to see you’re still willing to answer questions!
Do you know if the citric acid content in V8 is enough to throw off absorption? Any idea at what levels of citric acid people report seeing issues with vyvance?
Hey Mike. You’re welcome. LOL – It didn’t occur to me to NOT answer the questions. I don’t know if V8 has enough citric acid to cause problems. Sorry I can’t be more help. Dana
If citric acid effects both types of Adderall then why is it so commonly suggested that it can be safely sprinkled on applesauce. This has truly perplexed me and I’ve yet to find a suitable answer.
Hey Martin, That’s a good question. I’ve no idea. Dana
Thanks Dana for such an informative post! I take Ritalin daily (10mg instant 8am, then 20mg extended at 9:30am breakfast, then 10mg instant 1pm lunch, and again 4pm)
Problem is: Debilitating fatigue everyday by 2pm , so bad that after lunch (ex. veggies, apple, eggs or chicken salad) I am sooooo drained I must lay in bed zoned-out for 2 hours…. Useless all afternoon.
I’ll try dosing 1 hour before food, but is there anything else that will help this afternoon crash/zombie effect? Afternoon I’m drained…like I’ve taken nothing?
Instant has the best/noticeable effect, but that wears off in 2 hours with “crash”, I take the long acting pill to prolong ( but “long acting” is only 4 hours.. supposedly “smooth” but I don’t really feel it at all)
I drink 3 liters water everyday. I don’t eat citrus, nor drink soda (I have coffee & multivitamin every morning). I’m wondering if EVERYTHING acidic decreases absorption or speeds up excretion of med? (I eat oatmeal with blueberries, almonds & plain Greek yogurt for breakfast)
Ritalin is also helpful for my depression, but I’m now really struggling with only 3 productive hours per day…!
Hey JJ. Talk to your doctor. This is NOT the way Ritalin is supposed to work. You might need a different medication. Or there is something else going on. They typical rebound when the medication wears off is usually about 15 minutes or so. Good luck, Dana
Hi JJ- how are you doing with this? I have the exact same problem everyday. I felt like I was reading my own text.
Yeahhh so EVERYONE on here asking about when they can eat their vitamin C, citrus fruit or drink their orange juice totally has ADHD! 😆 BECAUSE, Dana answered that question in the article she wrote. Try an hour after you digest your medication but observe your reaction and adjust accordingly. Dana thanks for having patience with us ADHDers!
LOL, Nai! Thanks for noticing….Dana
I’m on adderall 20 bid. I started in April. I started to notice urinary issues. Urgency sometimes and then hesitancy when I would try to go. Discomfort also at times the afternoon of august 4 I had the above issues and bloody urine which progressed into what I think was a full blown uti by evening. I never had it cultured and took Bactrim for 5 days. Still felt slight issues. Again Sept. 15 I experienced the same thing and also bloody urine. I was given cipro for 3 days and it went away. Question being….I see that adderall side effects are uti. How do I stop this and will it go away? I started to take dmannose with it and am wondering if this will help. Should I stop it all together? I decreased my dose to only one time a day even. It really has me at my wits end of what to do or how to deal with this.
Oh! UTIs hurt. Are you drinking enough water? Adderall can be dehydrating. And, talk to your doctor for guidance. dana
I was wondering if I could eat apples with the medication called foquest. Also, it should be taken at the same time every day? What if I have to take it before eating? What are the pros and cons?
Hi Mathieu, that’s a great question for your doctor or pharmacist.
I have been taking concerta for the past month. I have noticed recently that it causes water retention. Does it mean I’m in danger at this point?
That’s a good question for your doctor! Thanks for asking, Dana
Hi. I take 50mg a day of Vyvanse. I can definitely tell it is dehydrating, especially due to experiencing very dry skin while on it. Is there a certain amount of water “they” say to drink each day to help combat the dehydration caused by stimulants? Didn’t know if there was a certain amount based on weight and height that would help with the side effects of dehydration.
Hey Liz – Dr. Daniel Amen says drink half your weight in ounces of water a day. That’s my source. Dana
51 years old . Taking adderal for 1 year now at 15mg . No matter what I do , the acid reflux is horrific . Sores in my mouth , constant burning and so I skipped 2 days to see if that was the reason , I felt so much relief .
What is the best way to stop using adderal all together . I’m looking into more natural options
Hi Shan, How painful – I’m glad you figured out the cause of the acid reflux. If you don’t take the ADHD medications you need to double down on your self care: eat an ADHD-friendly diet of regular meals, avoid foods / drinks that make your ADHD worse, get enough exercise and sleep and focus on hydration, gut health and meditation. All this can be a big ask for someone struggling with ADHD, yet are important to have control over your brain and life without meds. You also might try a different ADHD medication (Ritalin) to see if it causes acid reflux. Good luck, Dana
Dana, Thank you so much for the tips on medication. News to me!! Thank you so much!
Debbie, You are very welcome!! So happy to help.