This topic is lacking so much that I thought I'd bring it up for the whole internet to watch and learn.
I've tried a lot of ADHD medications, and I wanted to find one with a low side effect profile that still worked to not only help me focus, but also to help motivation and lethargy. Stimulants gave me really high blood pressure and tunnel vision. Strattera made me miserable and anorexic. Modafinil worked for 2-6hrs out of the day depending on how much I took, and then it didn't help with motivation or focus afterwards. Welbutrin almost worked, but it hurt my memory recall so bad I had to stop. There they are: all the basic ADHD meds.
Strattera "worked" the best, but I was such a miserable person that I may never turn back.
I asked my Psych about possibly Intuniv (guanfacine XR) or Clonidine. She said that those are mainly for hyperactive children, not inattentive adults. I asked her about Deprenyl tablets or capsules, which are covered by my insurance. She said that MAOi's have had very little effect on ADHD in trials, despite the dopamine/norepinephrine theories.
Finally I said, "Could I try a tricyclic?" To which she prescribed me generic Pamalor, nortriptyline. I looked it up on Wiki, and sure enough it was one of the better tricyclic antidepressants out there, a very strong NRI in comparison to 80% of the other ones. Since Strattera worked so well, I thought this one might work.
The side effects of antidepressants are mostly from titration. What that means is that your body responds to it poorly at first dose increase and then gets used to it over the course of a few days to a few weeks. Strattera had a nightmarish titration period that zapped me out of my energy, mood stability, and tolerance... but it was over within 3 days. Nortriptyline had a less severe but longer titration period of about 20-30 days.
During the first couple weeks, I was so absolutely tired, unmotivated, and depressed. I could see why people kill themselves when taking antidepressants. I called up my psych in this depression and asked if I could take myself off. She said that wouldn't be a problem, but the next day I had gotten some rest and felt like waiting it out.
It wasn't two days later that the depression completely subsided, and I got my energy back. One side effect still persists... the sweet tooth. I have been craving sweets all day long - every time I get bored or hungry. I feel like drinking soda, eating doughnuts, pounding down cookies, wolfing down ice cream, and popping chocolates in my mouth like its popcorn.
When I heard people take nortriptyline for headaches, I thought... wtf, this thing gave me a headache. My eye and ear hurts so bad... wait, that's from the giant cavity in my back molar that the constant sugar brigade has obviously worsened. I think it's on the same nerve channel... I'll have to look up the acupuncture diagrams or something.
As far as for the ADHD, nortryptaline has done almost nothing. Why I say "almost" is because it has helped me gain some perpetuated anxiety, which I totally lack so much that it actually complicates my ability to focus. Not to say that I don't get anxiety, but ADHD makes it hard to have anxiety for very long before the next butterfly or jet plane steels my attention. So to have some negative thought loops is actually a good sign it is working (effed up, but true). I've still got another week of this before I'm calling it quits and getting back on a low stimulant dose or Strattera.
A benefit from nortriptyline is it works as a decent decongestant and antihistamine.
Does anyone have any experience with this drug?
If so, when and did it help concentration, drive, or motivation?
Any thoughts and opinions on this matter will be appreciated, regardless.