In the United States right now, around 6 million children aged 2-17 have been diagnosed with some form of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Of those, over half (62%) are on some kind of ADHD medication: usually it is either Adderall, Concerta, Ritalin or Vyvanse.
Despite ADHD being so prevalent, there is often very little discussion about dosing. Doctors will generally start everybody on the same standard dose of Adderall, Concerta or Vyvanse. They will then increase this steadily over time as the patient inevitably builds a tolerance to their ADHD medication. This is a vicious cycle; one that often leads to dependence and diminished efficacy of the ADHD drugs in question (which is why people search for over the counter Adderall alternatives).
We think a lot of people are taking an ADHD medication dose that is far too high for their needs. This means they are being exposed to side effects unnecessarily, and they are paying for drugs they don’t really need (in terms of dosages).
In this article, we’re going to look at the signs that your ADHD medication dose is too high. If you have experience lowering your Adderall dose to good effect, please share it with us in the comments.
10 Signs that your ADHD medication dosage and treatment is too high
Here are eight indicators that your ADHD medication dosage is too high:
#1. You Feel Tired All Day Long and feel like you have a Physical Dependence
Your ADHD medication dosage may be too high if you feel tired all week. This could happen if you take too many medications or don’t adjust your dose properly. Talk to your doctor to adjust your dosage.
#2. You Find Yourself Getting Angry Easily
Your ADHD medication dosage may be too high if you feel easily irritable, angry, or frustrated. This could happen if you take too many medications or don’t adjust the dose properly. Discuss this with your doctor right away.
#3.You can’t concentrate in class or at work
Your ADHD medication dosage might be too high if you have trouble concentrating, focusing, or paying attention. This can happen if you take too many of the drug or don’t adjust your dosage correctly. Talk to your doctor about lowering the dose.
#4.You feel constantly stressed and uptight
Your ADHD medication dosage could be too high if you feel anxious, stressed, or worried. This can happen if you take too many, don’t adjust your dosage correctly, or if you stop taking your medication altogether. Talk to your doctor.
#5.You have insomnia/trouble falling asleep
Your ADHD medication dosage should be decreased if you are experiencing insomnia, frequent awakenings, or difficulty sleeping. These symptoms can occur if your medication dose is too high or if you don’t adjust it correctly. Ask your doctor for guidance.
#6.You feel more anxious than normal
Another side effect of too many medications is anxiety. ADHD sufferers often experience social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic attacks and depression.
These conditions can be made worse by medication. If you have ADHD symptoms, talk to your doctor to reduce your medication dosage.
#7.You feel nauseous shortly after taking your ADHD medication
One of the most common side effects to ADHD medication is nausea. People may experience dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation and dry mouth.
Talk to your doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms. Your doctor can adjust the dosage of your ADHD medication to address these issues.
#8.The ADHD medication significantly changes your behavior
People who are taking ADHD medication claim they have trouble controlling their behavior. They can become impulsive or irritable.
This is another indication that your ADHD medication dosage is too high. Talk to your doctor to reduce your medication.
#9. You experience a “comedown” when your ADHD medication wears off
If you experience a kind of comedown or hangover once your ADHD medication wears off, then it is highly likely that your dosage is too high. People who take too much Adderall, Concerta or Ritalin typically find that they feel awful once the drug starts to leave their system, whereas an optimal dose shouldn’t produce this side effect.
#10. You crave your next dose of Adderall, Concerta or Vyvanse
If you find yourself looking forward to – or even craving – your next dose of Adderall, Concerta, Vyvanse or any other ADHD medication, then your dosage is likely to be far too high. Taking elevated doses of these ADHD drugs for prolonged periods can cause a kind of creeping dependency and addiction in some users.
Signs of ADHD Medication Overdose
There are two types of Adderall overdose symptoms: mild and severe. Some mild symptoms include:
- Stomach pain
- Dry mouth
These side effects aren’t serious and do not necessarily mean that you have taken too much Adderall. These minor side effects should be reported to your doctor so that you can adjust your dosage.
Signs of a severe or acute Adderall overdose are immediately apparent and include seizures, fainting, blurred vision, shortness of breath and a pounding heart. If you have any of these symptoms it is vital that you get medical attention immediately.
These symptoms will be the same for any stimulant-based ADHD medication overdoses.
How much Adderall does it take to overdose?
It is impossible to predict how much Adderall will be required to cause an overdose. Factors like:
- How to take the medication
- How long has it been since you last took your dose?
- You were able to drink alcohol and other drugs at the same time.
- Your tolerance to the drug
- Previous history of overdoses
- Your overall health
You should only use Adderall if you have a prescription. Then, only take the medication exactly how it is prescribed.
Are the signs of overdose different for Concerta?
How can you tell if your Concerta dose is too high? Are the signs and symptoms different to those of Adderall?
The answer is “yes and no”. The signs that your Concerta dose is too high are broadly the same as those you see from taking too much Adderall, Vyvanse, Focalin, or any other ADHD medications. Irritability, trouble sleeping, decreased appetite, energy crashes, nausea and comedowns are clear signs that your ADHD medication is dosed too high regardless of the medication being used.
However, it is true that with Concerta, specific side effects of overdose do sometimes present. It is more common for people taking too much Concerta to feel depressed or anxious compared to Adderall or Vyvanse. You can also often tell if your Concerta dose is too high from personality changes you might notice (or others might notice in you).
But these are very slight difference sbased on anecdotal evidence. Generally speaking, you can tell that your Concerta dose is too high the same way you can tell your dose of Adderal, Vyvanse, Daytrana or anything else is too high!
How can I tell if my Adderall dosage is too low for adults?
It is important to determine if your medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is working well enough to control your symptoms. This can be done by tracking your symptoms over time. You can do this by taking the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Self-Assessment (ASDA). This questionnaire will help you identify ADHD-related behaviors and allow you to track your progress while you adjust your medication.
The ASDA is divided into three sections. Section A questions you about your behavior and other problems. Sections B, C and D ask about your thoughts and feelings. Each section contains five questions, each of which addresses a specific ADHD symptom. The first section asks about impulsiveness and the second about concentration problems.
The ASDA can be completed online or printed. You will receive feedback on your responses after you have completed the assessment. Your score will show the severity of your symptoms. This allows you to compare your current functioning with your past levels.
A high score means that you have severe symptoms that require more treatment. A lower score means that your symptoms may be milder or less frequent. Zero indicates that you have no symptoms.
Signs your Adderall prescription is too low:
- You feel lethargic in the early afternoon
- You still struggle to focus throughout the day
- Your ADHD symptoms persist even when on your medication
Your doctor can increase your ADHD medication if your prescription is genuinely too low.
Do I have the correct Adult ADHD medication?
You may have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and know how difficult it can be to find the right drug for you. It’s possible to wonder if you are getting the best treatment for your needs and if there are any drugs that don’t work as well as others. There are many medications that can be used to treat ADHD. Each one has its own pros and cons. Here are some things you should consider before you decide to start taking prescription ADHD medication.
How can I select the best ADHD medication?
When choosing the right medication to treat ADHD, there are many factors you should consider. Before prescribing long-term treatment, your doctor may want to give you a trial period. This will allow you to test the medication’s effectiveness in your body. Titration is a gradual increase in the dosage of medication and monitoring your response. Your doctor will monitor your behavior and function to determine if there have been any changes. Your doctor may recommend that you continue the medication until the dosage is correct.
What are my options for ADHD medication?
There are many effective treatment options for ADHD. These include behavioral therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), diet modifications, exercise, sleep hygiene, and behavioral therapies like CBT. However, natural remedies may also be available that can provide relief without side effects. To treat ADHD symptoms, some people turn to nutritional supplements such as vitamin B6, omega 3 fatty acid, magnesium, zinc, L-theanine, and vitamin B6. Some people turn to herbal remedies such as valerian root and chamomile tea. Others may turn to complementary therapies such as yoga, meditation and massage, chiropractic care, aromatherapy, and acupuncture to heal their bodies.
What are the risks of ADHD medication?
There are no known side effects associated with ADHD medication. However, there have been some side effects. These side effects include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, dizziness and headaches. These side effects are usually mild and resolve once the medication has started to work.
How do you determine your first dose of ADHD medication?
When deciding how much medicine to give you, a doctor will consider many factors. These factors include:
- Your age
- No matter if you have heart disease, asthma, thyroid problems or diabetes
- How severe are your symptoms?
- If you are taking any other medications
When determining the right starting dose, doctors will take into account each patient’s unique situation. When determining the best starting dose, doctors will consider your age, medical history and severity of ADHD symptoms. It is important to find the right dosage for you, while minimizing side effects.
Insomnia is the most common side effect caused by methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin. Too high doses can cause insomnia. Talk to your doctor if you experience this. Side effects that could occur include nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, dizziness and dry mouth.
Brian Johnson is current Editor of Vagarights.com and a long-time writer for VAGA. A former psychologist, Brian is passionate about improving mental health and finding ways to stave off cognitive decline. He is an expert on nootropics, cognitive enhancement and biohacking more broadly. You can see his work on Google scholar.