• 4 months ago

    How can I get off my meds?


    I’m 17, and was diagnosed with ADHD as a child. As such, I’ve been on meds for the past 10 or so years. For the past few weeks, however, I’ve decided to abruptly stop using Concerta (of which I recently got a new, higher dosage of 72mg), as I don’t want to depend on them for the rest of my life. Today I decided I should start taking them again, as I’ve had a few difficulties with behavior in some classes over the past few days. Throughout today I’ve been experiencing many symptoms as a result; I’m anxious and shaky as heck, my mouth feels really dry and my head has felt a bit funny. I’m guessing these are simply due to my body not being used to the meds after so long so I’m not terribly concerned, but nonetheless, I still want to move away from using any medication. Does anybody have any tips as to how I can effectively do this, such as tips on how to improve my attention span and impulse control?



  • RE: How can I get off my meds?

    Hi Tristan,

    I can understand why, if you've been taking the stimulant medication for 10 years, you might be curious if you still need them or can find new ways to cope.

    Yet, if your ADHD symptoms are severe enough, it is important to recognize that you might benefit from medication for the foreseeable future.

    What you do NOT want to do is self-experiment with on-again, off-again dosing. Especially at what is considered a rather large dose of 72mg for Concerta.

    Even though stimulants take effect and clear the system rather quickly, your body (including your brain) has been on Concerta for many years. That means that your body has gotten used to it. Even though there isn't "withdrawal" per se, there is definitely up and downstream effects.

    Ideally, you and your prescribing professional would help you take stock of your ADHD-related challenges, to see what are symptoms that merit medical treatment and what are poor habits around organization, sheduling, etc. You just might have to do this yourself.

    In my experience, "tips" seldom take folks with ADHD to the finish line.

    There are the obvious steps, of course, for anyone to improve attention span, such as reducing distractions, turning off devices (and limiting use overall), and setting timers (e.g. 30 minutes of work and then a 5-minute break to walk around).

    These tips are abundant online. But typically, they are best applied when there is a foundation of effective medication.

    Also: check to see if your Concerta is brand or generic; it can make a big difference.

    Good luck,
    Gina Pera
      • 2 months ago
        Your tip helped me a lot. I had also been wanting to function without meds at all, and I have just gotten my first prescription of 72mg Concerta. Because my research on ADHD symptoms and treatment tells me it is very different in girls, especially with large amounts of stress on their shoulders (...aka high school), I had no idea what to do. I was diagnosed with severe ADHD when I was really young, so I've been on meds my entire life. Thanks so much for your info.