Meds update

08 Sep

Tomorrow will start my second week on Vyvanse, and I figured I’d give a quick update, since things have changed.

The first day I took Vyvanse, I noticed a very pronounced increase in my ability to focus. This lasted for several hours, until between 4:30 and 5:00 in the evening, when I experienced a sharp decline in my focus. After having taken the drug for a week, the initial high has all but gone away, and instead the drug provides a very small focus boost for most of the day, even into the evening – for example, last night around 10pm I (again) started working on a crocheted dice bag, and I’m maybe 60% done with it now, whereas before I probably would have quit working on it before getting even halfway through. Without distractions, the Vyvanse is helping me to keep myself on task.

The story is a little different at work though. In this cube farm I can hear every conversation in the area. That first day I was effortlessly able to concentrate on my work despite the distractions. Today, I feel much the same as I did regarding distractions as I did before I started taking the drug – even the smallest distraction pulls me out of my task, and as such I’ve been struggling to get my work done again. *sigh* It’s frustrating, but I do realize that this is a process of trial and error, to find the right dose for me, and also that it must take time as the drug settles into my body. I suspect when I see Dr. Fermo again next Thursday he’ll up my dose.

My other med, Latuda, is a bipolar medication. I think it’s been effective in helping me to control my emotions – while the drug is in effect, I feel much more even-headed, more capable of dealing with frustration or setbacks than usual. I also haven’t felt that overwhelming ‘omg life is awesome’ euphoria feeling since I’ve started taking the drug, which sounds like a bad thing (who wouldn’t like some euphoria?) except that such feelings are a precursor to my lows. It’s been that way for as long as I can remember, and it’s nice not to have to worry about an impending crash. However I think this dose might also be a little too low, as this effect wears off around 3pm (if I take it the night before, as directed).

As far as side effects go, neither drug has been terrible. The Vyvanse ups my energy level all day, into the night, making it more difficult for me to sleep. I had some appetite issues, but those have mostly gone away. My heart is still easily excitable, but my heart rate doesn’t stay high for as long when this happens, nor is my blood pressure as high as it was that first day. The Latuda has an initial drowsiness effect, which in theory makes it ideal to take at night for putting myself to sleep. This worked the first couple nights, but for the past several it hasn’t been enough to counteract the Vyvanse.

Further, I’ve noticed that the weird visions I’d get while falling asleep (called hypnagogic imagery) have pretty much vanished while I’m on Latuda. I use these images when falling asleep – they give me something to *not* focus on, which distracts me into sleep. Without them, I find it much, much more difficult to get to sleep, which only compounds the problem Vyvanse causes. As a result, for the past several nights, I’ve gotten maybe 2 to 3 hours of sleep a night. The Vyvanse in the morning counteracts most of the sleepiness I feel during the day because of that, but I know I’m still impaired in some way due to lack of sleep. My cube neighbor E suggests melatonin supplements to help with the lack of sleep – when I get paid tomorrow I’m going to give that a try.

Despite these issues, I’m happy with what these meds are helping me to do. The Vyvanse helps me focus and stay on task (and thus make my work life much easier), while the Latuda evens out my moods and makes me easier to live with, both for others and myself. Overall I’m calling this round a success, though one that needs some tweaking.

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Posted by on September 8, 2011 in Personal Development


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