How do you feel off meds?

This is a question about children and adults.

Both my son and I have ADHD. He is taking 30mg Ritalin LA, I have been prescribed 18 mg Concerta and 10 mg Ritalin.

I notice my son is worse when he is off of his meds at weekends or school holidays. I dont mean he has ADHD symptoms, I mean his behavior is way worse than what is was pre-meds (he only started 4 months ago).

I also dont feel anything on my meds and feel it is a waste of time as nothing has really changed.

Is this normal?

I thought Concerta and Ritalin were the same drug, one time released and one not? I’m relatively new to this so still have a whole lot to learn.

Things like this, I have witnessed with friends of mine that tried Ritalin with their kids, are part of what scared me off trying meds for so long. Surely that is not how it’s supposed to be.

I sure hope someone else here has a good answer for you. I am very interested as well.

They are the same drug, but it’s kind of like eating honey versus an avocado. Both have the same sugar, but the honey will hit your system in 5 mins, an avocado will take an hour or so.

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Good analogy… I like it. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: Though now I am thinking of making guacamole…

@gorilla it can take a while to get the right medication and dosage. For instance, you might need your doctor to step up your dosage until it’s an effective amount for you. Or maybe try you on a different medication, or a combination of medications. Unfortunately, for a small percentage of people who are diagnosed as ADHD, none of the meds are any help.


My doctor tried me on Adderall XR first, 10mg. It helped somewhat, it was definitely better than no meds, but I got cranky in the evenings when it wore off. My doctor increased my dosage to 20mg, no further improvement, and I developed the side effect of tachycardia (elevated heart rate), which was a little concerning. Then, off for a month with doctor’s orders to monitor my heart rate. (Remembering was too hard, so I got a cheap heart rate tracking smartwatch.) Heart rate wasn’t as elevated, but still higher than my doctor liked to see it at. Then 5mg, almost no help at all. Then 10mg, still only partially effective.

Finally, I convinced my doctor to start me on atomoxetine (a generic of Strattera), a non-stimulant ADHD medication. I’ve been on 40mg per day since last Spring, and it’s just what I needed! It’s twice as effective for me as Adderall ever was! I may need the dosage increased someday, but I still function pretty well on the starter dosage. (I think I read that most adult males go up to 80mg, and some to the maximum 100mg.) It’s good to feel, for the first time in my life, that I have a whole brain!


I’ve read about people on a combination of a stimulant like Adderall and also something like Wellbutrin (an antidepressant) for best results. Or alternating a few years in a Ritalin family stimulant, then a few years in an Adderall family stimulant, back and forth.

There are more medication options for ADHD than ever before.

As for your son, maybe now that his body and brain have a hard time adjusting to being off the meds on the weekends. Does the Ritalin seem to help his behavior and capabilities? Can he express what he’s feeling at those times that he’s on it and at the times when he goes off it?

If the Ritalin does indeed help, maybe talk to the doctor about a lower dose for the weekends, just enough to help your son to keep his behavior in check.

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