Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by marinemom, Oct 23, 2002.

  1. marinemom

    marinemom New Member

    Just wondering who is taking ritalin, how much, and does it really help? I've noticed a lot of posts about this.

    Inquiring brain cell wants to know.

  2. marinemom

    marinemom New Member

    Just wondering who is taking ritalin, how much, and does it really help? I've noticed a lot of posts about this.

    Inquiring brain cell wants to know.

  3. lucky

    lucky New Member

    I am taking Ritalin since one year ago, and it does make a huge difference in my life. In my case Ritalin SR (time release)(20mg) and 15 mg are enough to cope with all the cognitive problems a lot of us have, like brain fog, short term memory, concentration and even the fatigue, and I am able to enjoy a few more things in life. Is it worth it? For me it is.
    Take care, Lucky
  4. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    And read Dr. Cheney's articles: One on Klonopin and one on the dangers of taking SSRI's and stimulants like Ritalin. The Klonopin article is one of the best I have ever seen which describes the overfiring of the neurons which puts us in a constant slight state of seizure. This causes sleep deprivation, sensory overload, and anxiety. Klonopin also helps RLS.

    There are a lot of people here who are getting benefits from SSRI's and stimulants and swear by them. Dr. Cheney believes that while they may be helpful in the short term, they cause long-term brain damage.

    Love, Mikie
  5. dbirdman

    dbirdman New Member


    I'm new here, though seem to fit in pretty well. I've been fighting terrible fatigue for almost twenty years. One doctor gave me Ritalin, and it did help to keep me alert during the day - for a while. My body adjusted to it and it stopped having an effect after a few weeks. You also need to be careful about other med interactions.

  6. lucky

    lucky New Member

    I have been taking the Ritalin for more than a year now, and like with any meds we are taking, we have to be monitored a lot with each one of them.
    May I ask what you are on now since the Ritalin lost its effect? Would be interesting to know. Lucky
  7. lucky

    lucky New Member

    I hate to say this. But when I told my doctor about Dr. Cheeney's remarks about SSRI's and Ritalin (by the way he is reading these reports as well), he looked at me and shook his head and the rest I am not going to say. In my case, I do believe my doctor more than Dr. Cheeney whose reports I am not even reading. I know that you are probably not taking any of these drugs, which is fine, but what about those people who are really suffering and who cannot get out of bed for a very long time and whose lives are so shattered, their depressions so bad that these stresses are on top of it contributing to their illness?
    It would be interesting to know what alternatives you would recommend which would help the many people who are suffering so badly?
    I only can say, I have tried it all, Mikie, and spent thousands, so therefore, I am most interested to learn about the treatments you would recommend.
    There is no need for suffering if there is help out there, and without some of the meds the suffering is just endless and unbearable. Kind regards, Lucky
  8. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I always mention that many are taking SSRI's and stimulants and that they swear by them. I don't want to present a one-sided, them versus us, atmosphere here. However, I do believe that people need info before making a decision. Dr. Cheney is one of the foremost researchers in the area of CFIDS (there is so much overlap between CFS and FMS that I believe this info applies to both). He has been doing research on CFIDS since the mid 80's cluster outbreak in Incline Village, NV. He has fought vigilantly to get our government to recognize our illness and to release research funds to try to find a cure or, at least, viable treatments. He nearly went broke and had his reputation ruined in the process. Still, he kept on and now practices in NC. He was instrumental in getting official recognition for our illnesses. Unfortunately, the government still does not fund our illnesses as they deserve. He is very expensive to see, and I have not heard of one person who has been cured of CFS nor even had his symptoms reversed by seeing Dr. Cheney. On the other hand, he probably knows more about our illnesses than just about any doctor in the country.

    We have had some people post here with horrendous side effects from taking SSRI's. It just makes sense that if our brains are already overfiring, adding a stimulant or antidepressant which causes even more overfiring of the neurons is not a good thing. Again, the damage is long term, and the benefits are short term.

    We often have to make decisions with no clear answers and just do the best we can. I do not judge anyone who uses SSRI's or stimulants. We all have to make our own decisions with our doctors. I just feel it is important to take all the benefits versus the risks into consideration. Most of the docs prescribing stimulants and/or SSRI's are woefully inept to be prescribing these meds. They are often family docs or rheumies who have no idea the damage they can do.

    Since you asked, two years ago, I was so tired, dizzy, and fogged up that I could barely get out of bed and stumble to my computer to try to find answers. Some days I couldn't at all and lay in bed for days on end. When I started taking the Guai, my Fibro Fog almost immediately disappeared, along with the dizzyness, although I was still clumsy and to this day, my balance is not what it used to be. The Guai is a very old, tried-and-true medication with very few side effects.

    After reading Dr. Cheney's article on Klonopin, I asked my therapist about it because I was having anxiety, panic attacks, sleep deprivation, and sensory overload. Therapy was not addressing these problems. She suggested I try the Klonopin. It has been tremendously successful for me. I sleep 8 hours and awaken refreshed. My anxiety is gone, and it helps so much with sensory overload, especially noise. Not everyone is helped by the Klonopin, but many have been. I have been on it for a year, and I have not built up a tolerance. I'm still on the same dose. Mel has been on it for longer than I for his tinnitis (BTW, it has helped me with that too). Benzo-family drugs are not without their side effects too. They have been known to increase depression in some individuals after long-term use. I have heard of no one here who has had that problem. Neurontin is another antiseizure/antispasmodic drug which has been helpful, but it is trickier to get the dose just right, and I believe people do build a tolerance to it.

    None of us need defend our choices, but I see it over and over again, docs handing out prescriptions for SSRI's and stimulants because they do not understand the nature of our ilnesses and they "have heard" that SSRI's or other antidepressants help with chronic pain and Fibro Fog. The most often prescribed is Elavil, a tricyclic antidepressant, which can have more side effects than other medis in this family. Yet, this is overwhelmingly the drug of choice by family docs for sleep and pain. The medication makes one sleepy, but can leave one groggy in the morning, does nothing for quality of sleep, and can cause rapid weight gain.

    It's tough to face the reality that no matter how much we think of our docs, it is up to us to do our own research in order to made decisions relating to our treatments. If we have done that and are willing to live with the risks, then we should feel good about our choices.

    Love, Mikie
  9. lucky

    lucky New Member

    I am amazed how knowlegeable you are and how much of your own research you did. I have to agree with you and like to stress also the importance that we are all raesponsible for our actions and should not blindly follow what doctors may advise or prescribe.
    Much as I value my doctor, I always question him and ask his opinion on new treatments I come across.
    We should be thankful for the existance of the Internet which not only educates us about anything we wish to know, but also to communicate our views and experiences to eachother as we have been doing.
    Thank you and have a nice Sunday, Lucky
  10. WorldFalls

    WorldFalls New Member

    Ritalin works very well for some people. Others, however, have unpleasant side effects, such as depression and suicidal tendancies. I tried Ritalin in 1995, as did my daughter (who is ADHD). We both HATED it! Robin (my daughter) and I both felt groggy on it. Furthermore, when the drug would wear off at the end of the day, we'd both experience anxiety and tears and sadness. It only lasted a half an hour or so, but the daily crash from that drug was God awful for us. I know of other people who had similar bad experiences. But then I also know of people who like the drug.

    I'm a firm believer that if one drug doesn't work for you, try another! My doctor (after the Ritilin failed) put me on dexedrine and my daughter is on concerta. My daughter's grades have went WAY up on concerta! :) And on dexedrine, the "fog" goes away and I can get my school work done. I don't get that unpleasant feeling as the drug wears off. It seems to wear off more slowly. Even though it's a four hour drug, I feel as though it lasts longer. With Ritilin, I could "feel" when the drug wore off, but I can't feel it with dexedrine.

    There are side effects with these medications, though. I notice that my heart beats faster while on stimilants, and I don't like that. I've also noticed that when I take dexedrine for study purposes (because of a closed head injury and ADHD) I need more of it. But if I take dexedrine to get rid of "fibrofog" just to "enjoy the day" I only need a 5 mg tablet to get me through the day.

  11. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    You have a nice Sunday too. This is very unusual for me to be up this late, and I am very tired, so I will most likely hit the hay here shortly. I've had a little wine this evening, and it doesn't take much to get me sloshed these days.

    It is nice to see that although we use different medicinal approaches, we agree that doing our own homework is essential. Also, I agree, the age of the computer and the internet has been my salvation.

    Love, Mikie
  12. lucky

    lucky New Member

    Hope that you do enjoy a peaceful Sunday. And thank you for your reply. Your long note the other day gave me the opportunity to find out who Mikie really is....and I like this person because I think that we have similar views. Take good care, Lucky
  13. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Heres one thread on Ritalin, if you put ritalin in the 'Search Messages' at the top of the board, there are about 20 threads on it.

    Shalom, Shirl
  14. diner

    diner New Member

    Thanks, Shirl.

    It is going to be a tough decision for me about the Ritalin. I don't feel I will be able to live my life and enjoy my children without it. Thanks, everyone, for the info. I have taken Ritalin before (I've been treated for ADD-inattentive) and it was incredibly helpful.

    I loved Mikie's post about Elavil - since being on Elavil and Remeron for the last year, I have gained 50 lbs. Just went off of both of them. I want my body back! And all this extra blubber certainly doesn't help my pain level or energy depletion!!! Going to see a great endocrinologist tomorrow for a consult.

    Pray for the cure!!!