Could Meds For ADHD Cause Problems With CFS or Fibro??

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by ksp56, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. ksp56

    ksp56 Member

    I was diagnosed as having bipolar six years ago. It seemed to make sense. Meds helped somewhat. Flash forward to the present. Now the docs are saying I have ADHD, which has many of the same symptoms of BP. Whatever...

    The doctor had me stay on all BP meds and would wean me off gradually, after seeing how increasing doses of Adderall helped, or not.

    First week, small dosage, I had two days where I felt more energized and focused. That was it, even with increasing doses slowly.

    What I found it DID do was: made me agitated, sleep was less, more depression, and fatigue. As in I may not be able to sleep, but I can barely get up from the chair.

    I have been off of it for 4-5 days. They say it is out ob my body now. All I know is I have never had fatigue like this before, even having CFS. My limbs feel like lead, my eyes are extremely dry and tired, my voice is monotone. I am just to tired to care.

    Has anyone had anything like this happen? I feel as if my body has changed. I am depressed due to this, but not about anything else. It seems so weird this hit after starting the meds.

    I was coming out of fibro flare when I started the medication. In the three years since being diagnosed, I have never felt the fatigue to this extent and for so long.

    I did call my doctor. They want me to try 'another' type of stimulant. I think not, until I can find some answers. I will be talking to his nurse, again tomorrow. I want him to look at all my other meds and see if this new one is affecting them.

    Any thoughts are welcome and so appreciated.


    I do use herbs and supplements along with traditional meds.

  2. ksp56

    ksp56 Member

    Thank you for your reply!

    I did do a search for adderral,etc, but did not see posts pertaining to what I am feeling. I will go back and definitely check again!

    Now, I know it is not a 'just me' feeling...


  3. DenialQueen

    DenialQueen New Member

    My husband, son & grandson all have severe ADHD so I know a fair amount about it.

    I have CFS, FMS, IBS, etc. & have tried Adderall, Ritalin & different amphetamintes for the overwhelming fatigue. What's helped me the most is Provigil, although I can't take enough to do that much good. More than 1/2 a tab (100 mg) & I'm tired but wired.

    The problem with you having ADHD & taking meds for the fatigue of CFS is that stimulants have the exact opposite effect on you then they would for us. My husband can drink a pot of coffee, hit the pillow & he's out. One cup in the morning is almost too much for me. The caffeine, as well as the stimulants used to treat ADHD actually calm down the ADHD person, so how would that help your fatigue? Add to that your bi-polar diagnosis & I can imagine you're feeling a bit overwhelmed & confused (not to mention your docs).

    Sorry I'm not much help, but I think you'll need more patience than most with your multiple diagnoses. My husband has felt overwhelming fatigue when he's been given too much of his ADHD meds (currently Ritalin & Wellbutrin). Remember, it has the opposite effect on someone with true ADHD, so if it's supposed to keep most awake, it could worsen your fatigue (and all that goes with that).

    Good luck! :)
  4. ksp56

    ksp56 Member

    What you wrote makes sense. Even with being so fatigued!

    I am going to ask the doctor about that. I truly don't think he paid much attention to the fibro or cfs written on my chart.

    Thank you!

  5. MsE

    MsE New Member

    My niece was diagnosed as bipolar. She was on meds for that. She was also on adderall and lorazepam and who knows what else because she was exhausted all the time in the day and couldn't sleep at night. This ended up a terrible mistake.

    She landed in the adult psychiatric ward of the local hospital where she was diagnosed, after many tests including an MRI, with CFS. She had Epstein-Barr in full bloom in her blood stream. Was taken off adderall and the lorazepam was cut waaaaay back.

    The doc said that the adderall had burned out her already wiped out system. In other words, she was using the meds as uppers and downers to keep going! This had been going on for approximately two years. Another case of well-intentioned physicians not even suspecting CFS--if they had even heard of it. She ended up one very very sick young lady.

    So, be careful!
    [This Message was Edited on 09/21/2006]
  6. hugs4evry1

    hugs4evry1 New Member

    I'm ADHD, hubby and daughter are too. Daughter has psychiatric problems as well and not being on her Ritalin is a problem for her.

    One thing I have a problem with on your post is that Bi Polar and ADHD have many of the same symptoms. I strongly disagree with this statement and would question any doc who said otherwise.

    An ADHD person's brain runs at light speed, most often in all different directions. We do great in jobs where things are going on everywhere because we easily can keep track of many things at one time.

    The problem you may have had was that most bi polar medications are designed to slow you down. Really slow you down to avoid the manic phases.

    Most ADHD medications are stimulants and the two don't work well together. Also with our DD, if you give someone a stimulant and their body isn't ready for the excess energy, it can cause a crash type reaction.

    One thing that's very important is that going on a medication for ADHD does NOT mean that you will be able to come off your bi polar medications. Apples and oranges and Ritalin, Adderall (whatever) has nothing to do with treating bi-polar.

    So in answer to your question, ADHD medications shouldn't be a problem with FM/CFS. I take mine daily and have no problems since they only slow down my brain so I can focus. But I usually can't sleep or nap while I'm medicated with my Ritalin, no matter how exhausted I am.


    Nancy B
    [This Message was Edited on 09/21/2006]
    [This Message was Edited on 09/21/2006]
  7. ksp56

    ksp56 Member

    MsE: Your neice's situation sounds horrid. It makes sense. It is sad when doctors don't add in the complications of other possible factors, such as cfs and/or fibro. I am seeing a psychatrist, who is nationally known for his work with ADHD. It is sad to think he would not know the possible ramifications of CFS, etc., not interacating well with the meds. I hope your niece is doing well. Thank you for taking the time to write!

    MCD56: I appreciate you sharing your own personal experience. I looked through so many posts and they seemed to deal with using stimualants as more a pick me up, for this darn fatigue. How long did it take you to feel better? Which I hope you are. Your post makes a lot of sense. You pretty much nailed exactly, how I have felt. Thank you very much!

    Brookiesmom: Thank yor for the information you shared! They are not sure if I am BP or ADHD. Or some of both. I have compared tests for both,as well as taken them, and they do share many common traits. My mind is never quiet, it runs faster than I can! LOL!

    I cannot focus or stay on task. I don't experience the mania in a BP way and do not experience the slow down response that many feel with their meds, accept from the fibro and cfs, or when my deep depression 'visits'. Due to not taking the anti-psychotic meds that many do, I don't feel like my body ever feels slowed down.

    I am seeing one of the best psych docs,in the nation, who is working in the ADHD, field. I do think he either didn't pay attention to me having these DD's, or does not see a that one would affect the other. That does make me uneasy.

    It is great how these type of meds have helped you and
    your family! I can only imagine the difference it must make in your lives!

    They have another one they want me to pick up and try. I am not interested in doing so until I meet with the p-doc in early October. I am feeling a little less fatigued and depression is there, but lifting. Very undecided if I will go forward. Probably not.

    Your responses mean very much to me. I know most people, who do not have these DD's, would raise an eyebrow only!

    I am going to see a specialist who deals with cfs/fibro only. He is affiliated with a state college, and was recommended by another member. His take will be most helpful.

    Again, thank you!


    [This Message was Edited on 09/22/2006]
  8. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    I am so sorry to hear of this awful turn of events. It sounds like someone wound you up and wrung you out...and you are left limp and exhausted but unable to refresh yourself with sleep...which you need.

    I am glad you are going to see the DD doc and the p. doc before trying anymore meds. What a confusing mess this is! Do you or don't you have b.p.? Doesn't seem like anyone really knows. I think it's very important to have the p. doc acknowlege the DD's. I wonder what he "thinks" about them? Could you have the FM doc send his findings to him?

    I'm so sorry this is all happening. I hope that soon you can get some rest so that life can begin again.

    You take care of yourself and will check in on you soon.

    Love you!
  9. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    Have you been checked for Lyme disease? It can be misdiagnosed sometimes as ADHD, especially in children.
    There are tons of symptoms in Lyme that can be mistaken for CFS/FM, vice versa.

    Go to, there's tons of info on that site about Lyme, including the "psychological" problems that can occur. As for the States that report Lyme disease, there are some states that are reported "low risk", but as you look at the veterenarians reports of Lyme in dogs, the numbers are suddenly totally different!

    Just another sign that we all should go to vets,,,LOL!
  10. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    I posted an article on the site called "The psychological effects of Lyme disease". Good article!
  11. ksp56

    ksp56 Member

    Susie: Thank you for caring, as you always do! I haven't been as active on the pc since this 'whatever' has kicked my butt from here to CA, and back again! I think I might get in with the fibro/cfs specialist before anything else. To me, that makes the most sense. Love you!

    lenasvn: I will most DEFINITELY check into the Lyme site you suggested. I am overwhelmed and didn't even give a thought to this. Thank you!

    MCD56: I want to clarify myself on how you are feeling now! LOL I meant since stopping the ADD meds. I know dealing with these DD, there are not many of us who are up to scaling Mt. Everest, etc! HA Everything is so subjective with the various the different dx's. It's all confusing. Even without these DD, bipolar, ADHD, whatever, whatever...

    Thanks again to you all! Hope this is a good weekend for everyone..


  12. dani78xo

    dani78xo New Member

    i don't know about the other problems, because i haven't experienced any on ritalin myself, but my doctor told me that since i have severe insomnia, i shouldn't take ritalin after noon, AT THE LATEST.

    apparently even after the effects wear off, it can still cause insomnia, but it stays in your system for such a short time it's out by nighttime.

    the only fatigue-like thing i've had with it is just because it's such a difference. when i take ritalin i feel almost normal, like i'm not even sick sometimes, but when it wears off i crash.

    it might not be the case for you, or for some other people who experience flares, but sometimes just the drastic difference between it energizing you and then wearing off can feel like it's causing severe fatigue.

  13. ksp56

    ksp56 Member

    Your response makes sense. I am just not sure I want to try another type of stimulant and deal with the fatigue and depression it has caused.

    I'd love to be more focused, but if all of those meds react the same, I will live with being ADHD. Those extreme ups and downs mess with my system too much!

    Thank you for taking the time to respond!


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