Ritalin; Kicking Fatigue in the Butt

OK so some of you know that the other day I started taking Ritalin (Methylphenidate) since I stopped the Nuvigil about a month ago. At first my doctor was recommending Adderall but I had some concerns that I was unsure could be addressed. I tried to make it through the month with nothing but coffee and it was horribly difficult. So on Wednesday they offered Ritalin since I was ready to try something new despite my previous concerns.
When I got home and read some of the potential side effects I was pretty worried. Headaches? Same as Nuvigil, great. Psychosis? Well that is a new one. The list went on and since I am usually the lucky guy who gets the rare side effects (if any at all) I was worried. Loss of apatite; great for trying to put weigh back on… Well I took it anyways. Can’t know if it works until I try it right? The first day I didn’t really notice anything. Yesterday however, yesterday I felt great. I had energy, more than I have had in a while. I also started taking Aleve for the aches and pains at work and I tied that just right so I felt good at work! Not fine, GOOD. No insomnia as I was expecting, good sleep. I have been waking up before my alarm goes off and even with 7 hours of sleep (instead of my usual 8 that I could not stray from) I feel great.
I also bought some new foot orthotics (Dr. Scholls) and though it feels weird at first I think it is helping with my knee pain. I can walk across my second floor apartment much quieter that is for sure so I am sure who ever is beneath me can appreciate that! I am still waiting to notice and cognitive differences, mainly my focus, attention span, and problem solving skills. I have heard it really helps with all that fun MS stuff but so far not so much. Maybe it takes time or I have to adjust the amount I am taking since right now I am starting off at the lowest amount (10mg twice a day). Either way I am just grateful for the energy and lack of side effects (thus far) because now I feel like my days are longer (in a good way).

So if anything changes I will be sure to let you know. Sure it’s a Schedule II drug and sure getting off (when the time comes) can be rather difficult (so they say) but I am liking it’s effects so far. It is much easier to be positive about the near future when you don’t feel like passing out and your not in as much pain. Now I can work on my next goal; finding a new job so I can visit my loved ones in California for Christmas!

7 Responses to Ritalin; Kicking Fatigue in the Butt

  1. Joey says:

    Matt, googled Ritalin on your site, and prior posting you talked down on this, even with doctors. So why now?
    Let everyone know the short term and long term of now taking this if it works or side effects

  2. Short answer; DESPERATION. I am planning o do an article on the pros and cons. I don't think I had as good of an understanding on balancing the potential risks and the potential benefits as I do now.

  3. Nikki Olin says:

    I completely understand your desperation. I just started ritalin yesterday because my insurance would not cover provigil. I had only had a couple of minor flares since my diagnosis in 2010 but had a doozy at the end of September. Right side was numb and useless, short term memory was gone, and extreme fatigue and cognitive impairment I have never dealt with before. Physical symptoms have improved to a manageable level but the fatigue and cognition issues are keeping me from working. It is driving me crazy! 2 weeks ago I started having pressure and girdling around my ribs that I assumed were symptoms of MS hug. My neuro is not certain it is related to MS so I see my PCP tomorrow to rule out any other issues(primarily heart). Day two on ritalin has shown no improvement but I am hoping that I will see a change after being on it for a while. Keep us posted on how it continues to work for you!

  4. Nikki Olin says:

    I can completely understand your desperation. I just started ritalin yesterday because my insurance company would not approve provigil. I had only had a couple of minor flares since my diagnosis in 2010. The end of September I had a whopper. Right side was numb and useless, extreme fatigue, short term memory loss, and cognitive impairment. All of my physical symptoms have improved to a manageable level, but the fatigue and cognition issues will not let up. Two weeks ago I experienced what I thought to be my first MS hug.extreme pressure and pain throughout my rib cage that I had never felt before that lasted around six hours without letting up. It has happened three other times since then but my neurologist is not certain it is related to the MS. I have an appointment with my PCP tomorrow to rule out any other causes of the pressure and pain, primarily heart. As of day two, I have not seen any improvement in the fatigue from the Ritalin but I am hoping that it will work for me once I am on it for a while. Keep us posted on how it continues to work for you!

  5. Yes, they will always want to check the heart first JUST IN CASE. Better safe than sorry right? As far as Ritalin goes, what dose are you on? I found it worked best at first and slowly wore off as I got used to it…

  6. Nikki Olin says:

    Found out that the pain was due to my gallbladder and had it removed three days ago. Glad that little issue is taken care of!

    As far as ritalin goes… it has done nothing for me. At all. Started at 10 mg 2x daily and upped to 20 twice a day and nothing. Had a follow up with my neuro today and he is sending me for a sleep study to rule out sleep apnea or other causes of the fatigue because he said the ritalin was it. There is nothing else that can be used to treat MS fatigue because ritalin is the highest potency of fatigue meds.

    I am hoping they figure something out from the sleep study. I am already on vitamin d supplements and with the ritalin doing nothing, I am fearful that if something doesn't present during the sleep study that I am stuck with this. Bleh….

    Hope things at improving for you!

    • Well glad you got the gall bladder taken care of, but now, fatigue.

      "ritalin is the highest potency of fatigue meds" – That could not be further from a true statement. There are many different meds, mainly Provigil, Nuvigil, Ritalin, and Adderall. Some say "med A" works and not the others where other people say "Med B" or "Med C" works but not "med A" and that is because we are all different and respond differently to medications. Have you tried one of the other 3? He may say Ritalin and Adderall are the same thing as well as Provigil and Nuvigil but again, that is false, otherwise why would they have made the different medications? You can even look at them on a chemical level; they are different. So if you have not tried already, try a different one because Ritalin works for some but many people say it's crap for them. It's NOT the most "powerful MS fatigue drug" at all….

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