Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by ourlife, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. ourlife

    ourlife New Member

    I was taking Provigil for CFS and my insurance wont cover it and it's very expensive. My doctor suggested Ritalin. Has anyone as an adult taken this?

    I have heard stories about kids being on it but not adults. I have to have something to keep me awake during work hours. I'm lucky enough to still be able to work but not if i'm falling asleep at my desk.

  2. spacee

    spacee Member

    It might help you since the Provigil does. Dr. Bell says that with CFS patients, ritalin can help but at times even ritalin won't keep you awake. And that is how it is with me. Nevertheless, I find it very beneficial to have on hand and not take it constantly. I have a very severe case of CFS. Hopefully yours is not so severe since you can still work. Cognitive problems are bad for me.

    Dr. Cheney thinks that ritalin kills brain cells and does not rx it.

    Mayoclinic.com lists it as an experimental drug with CFS.

    That is about all I know. Except maybe if you need it to work and it helps, don't take it at other times...rest then and just save it for working.

    Hope something helps!

  3. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Actually I know of two adults who have taken Ritalin for ADD. Both discovered that they needed this when their kids were diagnosed.

    I take Provigil and it helps give me about six hours of 80% function. My insurance balked at first bu my neurologist put it under excessive daytime sleepiness/narcolepsy. That worked.

    Even with insurance it is twice the cost of my other medication but thank goodness it is not that much as I know it is very expensive.

    I don't know if the makers of Provigil offer free medication. Some pharmaceutical companies do this. I use it myself, years ago, for my Zoloft.

    If you go on Ritalin please post your results. My rheumatologist that I had in Chicago used Concerta for some of his patients. However, I was already on Provigil and it was working so we decided to just stay on that.

    I take a very small dose. Larger doses don't seem to give me much more benefit. However, I have been known to take a dose and go back to bed for six hours. So I know at that time my body needs a lot of rest!!

    While not a miracle it does improve my quality of life.

    Hope things work out for you.

  4. heapsreal

    heapsreal New Member

    Are you able to get edronax/reboxetine where you are. Im from australia and i take this medication for energy, its an antidepressant that works on noradrenaline only so has stimulant properties, which is what i have found, it helps with concentration etc. I started low with 1/2tab in morning and now on 1 whole tab, i dont use it all the time just when i need that extra energy. When it is used for depression they dose it at 1 tab in am and 1 tab in pm. Initial side effects are sweating which eventually went away, and it does say insomnia but i have avoided this by dosing once a day. It is also said to help with chronic pain but have found that minimal.
    Its also cheaper then alot of meds too, with a try.

    good luck
  5. cfsgeorge

    cfsgeorge New Member

    Stick with the provigil if it's working for your daytime sleepiness. Provigil is not a CNS stimulant or an amphetamine. amphetamines are neurotoxic and can cause brain damage with chronic long term use.

    Provigil is much "safer" than amphetamines like ritalin which is more often used for ADD and narcolepsy. Provigil is better for daytime sleepiness or trouble staying awake w/o cataplexy. Different health problems require different stimulant type medications. If you don't need a CNS stimulant for your condition, than don't go that route just because it's cheaper IMPO.

    Hint: provigil is only expensive in the US. The generic versions are readily available outside the US. You can legally purchase it overseas with your doctor's script.
  6. steach

    steach Member

    I've tried so many things, including Provigil, but none helped. My doc gave me Adderall, which is available in a generic- amphetamine salts. I have one on my night stand and take it when I awake and then throughout the day in small doses.

    Hope this helps.

  7. isiselixir

    isiselixir New Member

    I am starting on ritalin today, I will keep you posted.
  8. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member


    I've taken Provigil off and on over the last few yrs (ordered generic online from Canada w rx from my dr). It was ten dollars per 200mg pill at my Calif pharm (ins wouldn't pay)...way too expensive. I think it was $2-3 per pill from Canada. If you'd like the info, let me know, it was a reputable pharm w excellent service. I was also getting a lot of free samples from my Dr, drug reps were very generous w them. Unfortunately it lost it's effectiveness after taking it regularly for a year or so.

    Dr suggested stimulants for various reasons, they help me w mental focus (I now think I've always had ADD), boost my pain meds, and give me a lift of energy and mood. I tried a few different ones including Ritalin, Concerta (time release Ritalin), Adderall and Dexedrine.

    I settled on Dexedrine ER 30mg per day, the time release version is much better for my system. It's helped me a lot in several areas and I haven't had any side effects. I do have to get an rx on paper every month tho, no refills allowed since it is "controlled".

    Everyone has different opinions about stims, you just have to figure out what works best for you. My blood pressure is very low, so that's not an issue and I don't have any other problems that could be worsened by the Dex. I just couldn't stand living w zero energy any longer, I had tried so many supps etc without any luck.

    Some days my body still stays weak and fatigued, so I listen to it and rest. You just have to be careful that you don't overdo it while on these meds, which I learned about quickly;)

    It just feels good to be able to be more physically active, and my pain is reduced. I've also lost about 35lbs in the last year, the extra weight that my other meds had packed on me! So, Dr and I think it's a good thing for me. Good luck to you.

    .[This Message was Edited on 07/30/2009]
  9. cfsgeorge

    cfsgeorge New Member

    Be careful with ritalin. i was prescribed ritalin by an ignorant psychiatrist who did not believe in CFS only CF. He didn't treat or care about any of my other symptoms. He prescribed me ritalin for the fatigue because he thought it was "logical" LOL! I did feel about 80% functional from about 20% functional, but it was short lived and caused my CFS to worsen.

    Treating any disabling fatigue with amphetamines is just a band aid to a much larger problem. It does not address or treat the cause as with most meds for CFS/ME. Amphetamines only works in the short term and is very damaging in the long term IME. Further, the psychiatrist did not treat me for my sleep problems(insomnia) so the ritalin kept me up even more and worsened my overall condition.

    I caution you on the use of ritalin or any amphetamines for CFS/ME or even chronic fatigue. It makes as much sense to use amphetamines for the chronic fatigue in CFS as it's use in the chronic fatigue seen in AIDS, MS, and Cancer. It may seem like the answer to your fatigue, but it's really the devil in disguise.

    After much trial and error, I have found that taking amphetamines as needed about once every 1-2weeks or on special/important occasions(doctor's visits, wedding, family reunion, grocery shopping, driving, etc) gives me the needed short term functionality w/o worsening of my CFS. It does help with the NMH or OI when you're out in public and can't afford to be lightheaded and dizzy. Do not use it when you're crashed or just resting at home because the increased HR, increase BP and increased respiration just makes the anxiety much much worse. i do not find a mood lift with the amphetamines if anything it makes me more irritable and "wired".

    My overall recommendation to everyone with CFS/ME is NOT to use amphetamines at all if possible or at the very least use it very very sparingly not daily please.
  10. isiselixir

    isiselixir New Member

    Thanks for your concern. I was taking provigil but it stopped working. I have a severe case of EDS despite sleeping like a baby at night with no insomnia, since I've had CFS. I sleep about 13 hours and wake up unrefreshed. If I try to sleep 8, I totally crash. I am starting on a low dose of ritalin and hopefully I can stay on a low dose. I definitely don't feel 80 percent on it though, I wish! It feels similar to what provigil did for me, wakes me up (but I'm still disabled with a severe case), I just refuse to live a life sleeping all the time doing nothing but that. I know this drug is a potentially dangerous bandaid but at this time I am willing to do it. I thought my doc would prescribe adderall but he said ritalin leaves the system faster and wanted to try me on it. Again I appreciate your concern and it carries weight with me, I just don't know what else to do right now. I'm doing it out of desperation, never would I have thought in my life that I'd be on ritalin. However never in my life would I have thought I'd get CFS. The whole thing is a bummer, I am just enduring the best way I know how.
  11. cfsgeorge

    cfsgeorge New Member

    I've been there with the amphetamines and wanted you to know what i know so you don't get worse and regret it. I was started on ritalin and later switched to adderall because it does last longer at a lower dosage. Some also use dexedrine. It really depends on the person.

    Amphetamines is a CNS stimulant that can temporary help with symptoms of NMH/OI/Low BP, dizziness, lightheaded and concentration problems by increasing your HR, BP and respiration. You're basically on "speed".

    Provigil is not a CNS stimulant nor an amphetamine so it did not work for me because i do not have EDS. I'm "tired and wired" with OI but cannot sleep. i don't need any meds that keep me awake w/o the added benefits of controlling my OI.

    You have hypersomnia. I have insomnia and need no less than 8hours or i crash! try getting 8 hours of sleep when you're fighting severe insomnia! i went throught hypersomia the first couple months into CFS and sleeping about 14hours a day. I have awful UNREFRESHING SLEEP with both insomnia and hypersomnia. made no difference.

    I think getting deep quality sleep or refreshing sleep is a major component to getting well from FM and CFS. Xyrem is the only way to go at this point IMO.

    Take care
  12. hugs4evry1

    hugs4evry1 New Member

    But I am a 47 yr old woman with ADHD who is on Ritalin for that purpose. I also have Fibro and many other difficult medical conditions.....

    Ritalin won't keep you awake much with the constant fatigue, it does nothing for this.

    But....I use 2 things to help me through the times when I just can't function from the debilitating fatigue...Excedrin for migraines....I take a half of a pill to keep me going. And sublingual B-12 that they sell here at PH.

    Both work well, but I prefer the Excedrin...it doesn't drop you like a cup of coffee will.....but the lift it gives you is gentle and very effective. Helps keep your mind sharp if you need to get through the next 2 or 3 hours.


  13. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    Since taking Dexedrine and becoming able to be more physically active, I sleep much better. Many nights I don't wake up at all, I guess my body is repairing itself from the extra activity, plus I'm TIRED at the end of the day. I no longer have to nap daily...before Dex I took 2 naps a day, which in turn messed up my nighttime sleep.

    Nancy, I also keep Excedrine migraine around, it helps too. It's different from other caffeine containing products I've tried, no jittery feelings, no upset stomach, no crash. I wonder why? Maybe because the buffered aspirin and tylenol combined w the caff? One pill is equal to approx 1 cup of coffee, so I just take 1 at a time occassionally, also helps w frequent headaces I get. Whatever works!!

    Isiselixer, You sound like me as far as being desperate for a life change. Sure, there are "bad sides" to every med and there will always be someone who strongly disagrees about safety. My doc mentioned several positive things biochemically that the Dexdrine does to my system...Helps boost one of the brain neurotransmitters and some other biochem reactions (sorry, I cannot remember exactly what right now). Anyway, you'll be the one who knows if Ritalin is helping your quality of life. I know I got tired of sleeping my days away, it was embarassing, I just could not wake myself up or move somedays. Happy days are so much better, and I am not out on the street looking for meth or any other type of illegal stims...only use what is prescribed and dr checks me monthly. OK by me. :) H

  14. isiselixir

    isiselixir New Member

    Thanks for your input Hermitlady. I've been so scared of this ritalin, I've been taking half the dose. Basically I was on 300mgs of provigil and it wasn't getting the job done so I talked to my doc and he said go down to 200mgs and add 10mg ritalin. I was amazed at how cheap the bottle of ritalin was. Provigil isn't expensive for me though, just not as cheap as the ritalin. (provigil = $35 for a month supply, ritalin = $10) Anyways, he wants me to taper off the provigil and eventually be on ritalin. The past two days I've taken only 5 mgs of ritalin and the 200 provigil but it feels the same as the 300 provigil did. Tomorrow I will take 10mgs of ritalin and see how that goes. I did notice after taking 10mgs the first day that I went for a very long walk. I didn't feel stronger though, just more awake. I walked slow but I walked pretty far. So I don't think the ritalin will be a life saver or anything like that but if it can help wake me up more that's great by me. I'm just worried about heart palpatations and other side effects like that.

    P.S. I am wondering what the difference is between ritalin and dexedrine?
    [This Message was Edited on 08/01/2009]
  15. isiselixir

    isiselixir New Member

    I appreciate it. Funny thing is that now that I've taken ritalin 10mgs for a few days, I practically don't even feel it. The first day I felt it super strong. That is so scary that you feel asleep at the wheel!!! I'm glad no accidents occurred. I'm going to google strattera. Have a blessed day.