So at the ripe old age of 38 I finally went through with things and was diagnosed with ADHD after a lifetime of issues that I won’t go into here. After trying a few different meds I’ve landed on 60mg Vyvanse per day. The results have been pretty remarkable. My ability to stay on task and engaged in boring shit during the work day has been thrown into high gear. Truly amazing change. I have had no side effects from this med personality-wise, sleep is fine too. Had some serious ED issues when I tried Adderall but those thankfully didn’t carry over to the Vyvanse.
Anyway, the only significant side effect has been the loss of appetite. I knew to expect it because stimulants are well known to impact appetite but I wasn’t prepared for how dramatic it’s been.
Prior to getting medicated I was an avid endurance athlete and had run 1 Ultra, 2 Full Marathons, 2 Half Marathons and 5 Tris in 11 months. I’m 5’9" and weighed a steady ~165lbs until I got on meds. I’ve always eaten pretty huge portions and had noticed last summer that I was eating too much.
Since then I’ve stopped doing any exercise at all as I tried to adjust to life on this medication. This is because my appetite is so low now that I have steadily lost weight over the last 4 months without doing any exercise. All totaled it’s been about 10 lbs or so. That doesn’t sound like much to some but I was happy with my weight before and now alot of my clothes don’t fit. I attempt to jump into endurance training right now I’m afraid I’ll lose weight even faster.
Since I’ve been on the meds I struggle to choke down breakfast unless I actually consume it before the stim kicks in and kills my morning appetite. I generally take my pill at 7am, drive to work and eat at my desk at 745. If I haven’t eaten by 830 there’s a fair chance I won’t. Lunch? That’s basically scattered throughout the day as I’m not hungry but remind myself to eat a bit here and there. I’ve had several days where I’ll be working in the yard or something all day, doing physical labor, and skip lunch without batting an eye. I’ve noticed that I just will NOT eat if gathering/preparing the food takes ANY effort. Walking down the hall to the microwave and waiting 4 minuts while my meal cooks is too much on some days. This is because I get hyper focused on whatever task I’m working on at the moment and can’t bear to break away. My lunch box is full of random prepacked garbage that I can tear open, choke down and keep working. I do pig out at dinner time though.
The life impact of the meds are too positive for me to stop taking them. I’m an engineer and the added focus has made me a super star at work. I went from checking the internet on my phone or desk PC every 10 minutes to not opening IE at all in a day.
I need to figure out how to overcome the appetite loss. I’ve thought about grabbing protein shakes and pounding one at a set time every afternoon just to try to catchup. Other than that I am kind of lost.
How long have you been on the Vyvanse? In general, the appetite suppression from amphetamines (if we’re dosing them properly) doesn’t last for too much more than 12 weeks (once you get to your stable dose) for most patients, though there are always outliers.
What dose did your Doctor start you on and how often (and by how much) did he/she titrate you up?
Eat breakfast BEFORE you take your morning pill. Why do you have to take the pill precisely at 7 am? If you don’t want to get up earlier to eat, take the pill a bit later.
Use some of your newfound ability to focus on putting together a decent lunch that you can bring to work instead of junk and some breakfasts that are easy to grab in the mornings. Do this the night before and/or prepare stuff on the weekends. Dehydrated fruit and homemade beef jerky are convenient calorie-and-nutrient-dense snacks.
Get back to exercising, even if not to the extreme of training for ultras. After you exercise, have a protein shake.
I lost my appetite and some weight while I was on Wellbutrin. My appetite eventually improved, but I kept the weight loss until I stopped taking it. (I’ve gained about five pounds since. Enough for me to notice, but not weep over.)
Easier said than done. I’ve got a wife and 3 kids who eat at the same time every night. Exercising during the work day is a non-starter. Just no way to do that unfortunately.
These V pills last just enough time to get me through my work day (approx 10-11 hrs) so if I take them too early (like 6am) it will wear off around 4 instead of 6, and I work will 530-7 most days. If I take tit later, say 8 when I get to work, it will last too far into the night, and it takes about an hour to really kick in, which puts me at 9ish before I start getting the “boost”.
Should I just force myself to chug a protein shake at 2 in the afternoon everyday?
You’d be eating dinner at your normal time, with wife and kids. It’s lunch you move, replacing it with a before-bed snack.
Eat breakfast right before your morning pill, as soon as you wake up. Have something ready and waiting for you, preferably something with protein. Be very careful not to develop the habit of eating a bunch of sugar because your appetite is low.
You had to have been spending at least 12 hours a week exercising, so now that time is free. Exercise for 6 and use a couple of the remaining extra 6 for making healthy food to snack on.
Sometimes parents are told to take their kids off of these meds for weekends and holidays so they will eat during those times, but parents I know say the kids are absolutely impossible when they try that. If you feel okay without the meds, maybe just take them on work days, but if you spend all weekend throwing hysterical tantrums and crying, this is not a good option.
Mirtazapine is a drug which usually promotes appetite, it also makes you very drowsy and will last for up to 12 hours so best to take at night when you’re not going to be operating any heavy machinery. I take it to aid sleep and get pretty hungry so some light snacks - raw veggies for example - are good to have on hand, but I could easily eat a whole roast chicken.
IANA doctor, so not recommending it, just saying it might be worth looking into.
Why does your lunch box need to be random prepackaged garbage? There’s no shortage of healthy foods which require no refrigeration or heating (fruit, nuts, etc).
Absolutely eating breakfast before the stim kicks in is important. For the rest of the day, could you set a couple of alarms, and again make it absolute - when the alarm goes off, you stop what you are doing and pull out a snack and eat it. Or could you tie it to something else you do - when you go for a pee break, right after, you drink a drink (ensuring more pee breaks) and eat something. At that point you are pulled away from the immediate task already.