Blog about personal experience with ADHD by Robert Dawson


This morning, I went to see a psychiatrist about ADD. She told me that I definitely have ADHD (I distinguish between ADD and ADHD because, by her facial expressions, she seemed to clearly suspect hyperactivity, along with impulsiveness and risk-taking) and prescribed Concerta, 18mg to start. Unfortunately, at the CVS pharmacy, I was told that Medco, which handles my prescription insurance, requires the doctor to fax back written authorization specifying that Concerta has been prescribed for ADD.

She said I can take another 18mg pill after 2-3 days if I don't see improvement. I asked about side effects and how I would know if it's working as well as when I've taken too much. She said side effects include loss of appetite and sleeplessness, I will know it's working if I can focus for extended periods (although, she pointed out, deciding what to focus on is my call), and I will know it's too much if I feel jittery and/or a racing heart, conditions that shouldn't last more than about half an hour.

I told her that I am taking piracetam, which I gather from her expression she had never heard of, and 5-HTP, which she clearly had. After prescribing Concerta, she told me to stop taking everything else. I assume vitamins are okay.

I also asked about caffeine and she said that it's okay but I might not want as much of it, since the attention-enhancing effects of caffeine will hopefully be replaced by Concerta's. I will take her advice. But I feel compelled to mention that WebMD's Medscape website indicates that I should expect no adverse reactions when combining Concerta with piracetam. So, it might be okay to take both, but I will play it safe and maybe try a lose dose of piracetam with Concerta later if Concerta helps. I think each works on a different pathway or mechanism in the brain.