Medication Problem- Inattentive ADHD Question and Answers

Medication Problem

Primarily Inattentive ADD: Questions and Answer 


Dear Tess: 

Hello. I have been given Concerta 18mg to treat my ADHD- Inattentive Type. For the first few days I had a mild headache and felt strange but since then the only effects that I have had are People telling me that I have changed and that I do not interact with them in the same way. ? I also feel as though the way that people interact with me is different. I cannot tell if this medication is working or if all that I am feeling are side effects. Can you explain these effects or side effects to me? 

Thank You. 



Dear Susan, 

Hi. This is a very common concern for people with Inattentive ADHD as some medications do not help their attention and only cause mild or more severe side effects. In your case it is difficult to say if the medicine is working just based on what you described. In some people with Inattentive ADHD, medication makes them feel kind of "flat" or depressed. These effects generally do not go away. People do not get "used" to ADHD medication. If their first response to the medication was that it made them feel "depressed" or "weird", it will likely continue to make them feel "depressed" or "weird" for as long as they are taking it. Some people have positive effects along with the negative effects and the positive effects out weight the negative so they continue to find the medicine beneficial. For other people, they only have positive effects and the medicine makes them more focused, more alert and more responsive. 

It does not sound as you are feeling more alert, more focused and more responsive. Health care providers do not determine that a drug is working or not working based on the side effects that a patient has. If the only effects the patient is having are side effects or NO effects, then a new drug or another therapy is tried. From your question it sounds as if you are having either no effects from the medication or just bothersome side effects. 

I think you need to call your doctor and leave a message regarding these concerns and side effects. I always counsel patients to call and leave a message with the nurse or the medical assistant as well as a message with the doctor. The message left for the nurse or assistant is often responded to faster than the message left for the doctor. The nurse or the doctor's assistant will relay the message to the doctor and quickly get some type of resolution to your medication issue. 

I believe that your doctor will probably change your medication to something other than this low dose Concerta. Concerta is a long acting Ritalin (methylphenidate) and you may respond better to a low dose of long acting Adderrall. Your doctor may decide to try a non-medication therapy if you have already tried an Adderall type medication. Some of the non-medication therapies that have been used successfully to treat Inattentive ADHD include cognitive training (Luminosity), Neuro-biofeedback, exercise and meditation. 

I hope that this helps answer your questions. 


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