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Hey all,

I just created an account specifically for this post, but I have been reading posts in the forums for months. My tolerance to adderall has gotten pretty bad, so I followed the advice of many posters on this site and have started taking Memantine to lower it. I wanted to share my experience so far with you all and hopefully get some advice/feedback.

Let me start with a bit of background:

I was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD in junior high, but I didn't start taking medication until college. I also have generalized anxiety, and while I hate it, it seems to be the motivating force for me in life. I believe my anxiety is the reason I was able to make great grades throughout high school despite being unmedicated.

In high school, my pattern was basically: procrastinate-start getting really anxious-realize the project/homework/essay is due tomorrow-stay up all night working-get an A. I graduated with honors and got into my school of choice, but soon realized that my "strategy" didn't work at the university level. I was a disorganized mess and it was clear that I needed help. After making it through a tumultuous freshman year without medication, I finally had enough and went to see my psychiatrist.

He prescribed me 15 mg of Adderall (after trying a variety of other medications), and I started getting my life under control. Along with therapy and time-management courses, the adderall helped me become more organized and get things done in a timely manner. It did tend to make my anxiety worse sometimes (especially social and speaking anxiety), but it was worth it to finally have my act together.

Fast forward to now.

Over the past 3 years my dosage has been increased from 15 mg, to 25, to 30, and finally to 40 mg. My tolerance to adderall has become really bad over the past several months, to the point where I have to take more medication than prescribed on some days and I'm running out early. My psychiatrist doesn't think it's a good idea to raise my dose any further, and I kind of agree with him as I can see this leading into a bad pattern, but I really need help focusing now more than ever.

In my undergrad I would keep my tolerance under control by taking my medication as little as possible with long breaks over the summer and winter holidays, but since I've graduated my new circumstances don't allow me to do that. I am now in my second semester of an extremely demanding 2-year masters degree program which requires me to take 20+ hours every semester, as well as classes during the summer and winter holidays. Thus, long medication breaks are pretty much out of the question.

So I've been trying to find another way to lower my tolerance.

I've tried magnesium and DXM, but have had less-than-stellar results. The magnesium helped some and I still take it, but it's just not enough. And the DXM just seemed to just make me tired and loopy and made no noticeable difference in my medication.

I read several posts suggesting memantine, so I ordered some and have been taking it for almost 4 weeks now. I started at 5 mg daily, then titrated up to 10 mg (5 mg twice daily), then 15 mg (10 mg in morning, 5 in afternoon), and now 20 mg (10 mg twice daily). I have been taking my adderall only 3-4 days a week and just the memantine by itself on the other days.

I experienced the brain fog for about a day every time I raised my dose, but I got over that pretty quickly. Taken by itself, the memantine actually seems to make me feel more social and outgoing. It also lowers my anxiety a lot. Almost too much, to the point where I no longer have the worrying feeling that drives me to get things done.

And it has definitely had an impact on the way my adderall affects me, but not necessarily in a good way. Here are the positive and negative affects memantine has had on my adderall so far:

Positives
I don't really experience crashes when coming off adderall anymore.
I feel a lot more mellow during the day.

Negatives
I feel less driven to work than I do with adderall alone.
Sometimes I feel a little spacey during the day (ex. Making spelling mistakes while writing that I normally don't make, etc.)
Severe insomnia, even on days when I don't take adderall.

But the biggest problem is, it doesn't seem to have reduced my tolerance at all. Not even in the slightest bit. In fact, sometimes I feel like I need to take more (though I haven't) due to the lack of drive that memantine seems to be contributing to. I'm kind of disheartened, seeing as the whole point of me taking this medication was to lower my adderall tolerance.

It may be too early to see any results, but I would imagine that since I am experiencing all of the other effects I should be seeing some degree of lowered tolerance by now...what do you all think? Has anyone else taken this combination or know anything about the effects of memantine? Any advice/feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Em
 
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