The other day I blogged about my fury at having my stimulants withdrawn, or more accurately, the psych’s refusal to write another refill. Yeah, I’m such a risk for selling my meds that I’ve been hoarding them in case something like this came up. Ridiculous.
Anyway, I spent a lot of time yesterday looking up side effects and interactions for Strattera. I won’t get into side effects because like I’ve said before, you’ve gotta try ’em to know what will happen. If I get the most typical side effect – sleepiness – then I’m discontinuing immediately. I simply can’t afford to work less than 12 hour days right now. More interesting, however, is the fact that Strattera is typically much less effective than stimulants. It often does not remove the need for additional stimulants on top of it. So that seems more than a little absurd, given that I took stimulants for 10 years with zero problems and massive benefit.
It hasn’t been tested for my body weight or anything close to it, but the extremely conservative dosage levels can apparently be exceeded substantially because at least one doctor suggested that a weight-based formula for dosage is more appropriate than the 100mg “maximum” dose. If they applied that formula to me, I’d be taking about 300mg, not the 80mg that this starter pack goes up to! And there’s no research to verify that such a dosage a) works, and b) isn’t dangerous – not very comforting. Brilliant work, Lilly, really. I’m more than a little disgusted that the FDA approves this stuff with so little testing.
It takes 4-6 weeks to see results from Strattera. Assuming you get up to the right dose, of course. This is the major problem for me with trying this just now. The next 6 weeks are the biggest deal in my life, work-wise! I’m freaked out about this on a general level before the damn psych even threw me this particular curve ball, which is unsettling to the point of being an enormous distraction from my work.
The stupidest thing of all about this medication is that Lilly hasn’t tested it for longer than 9 weeks. It’s specifically labeled as “not for long-term use.” WTF?!? If ADD sticks around to adulthood, and Strattera is the only ADD med that is FDA-approved for adult ADD, then it’s not going away. Some kids do manage to “outgrow” it, or so I hear, but that is not happening here. So what is really needed is a long-term treatment. Apparently Strattera isn’t that. So again, ridiculous, but whatever. I’m not the pharma shill with the prescription paper in my printer.
I’m going to assume Dr. Suspicioustwit isn’t going to prescribe me stimulants again. I’m also going to assume that I’ll start shopping for another psych when he tells me that I’m too much of a druggie risk next time I go in. I’m not going to get over that insult to my integrity anytime soon. Buying cannabis and selling drugs with addictive potential are completely different things in my mind. I think non-addictive cannabis is seriously underrated for medicinal purposes, but that’s a post for another day.
In the meantime, though, I’m going to try to give Strattera a chance. It might actually work, who knows? It acts on norepinephrine, which Wellbutrin does as well, so chances are good that it won’t make me manic. Every SSRI either zombified me, did nothing, or made me psychotic. Now that I think on it, the one SNRI that I took was OK – I think – but it was so long ago that I can barely remember. Anyway, the slow increase in dosage is my main concern, so I’m going to take my stimulants (what remains of them) as well while I try to get it up to proper levels. But I really don’t have high expectations, and I’m still really frustrated with this stupid situation.