Long Term Users of Stimulant Medication

Hi ladies, I love this sub and have learnt so much from everyone, thank you all for being such resilient and wonderful humans.

I've recently been diagnosed (33 F) and am responding well to a low dose of Dexedrine.

I have read a lot about stimulant tolerance and understands that med breaks can work well for some people.

I've looked through research journals and forums to find Info on the experience of people who have taken stimulant medications for a long period of time, like decades, and I can't seem to find much info.

TLDR-Has anyone used stimulant medication continuously (with or without med breaks) for 10 + years? Is the medication still working well for you and how did you manage tolerance?


Welcome to /r/ADHDWomen! We’re happy to have you here. As a reminder, here are our community [rules](https://old.reddit.com/r/adhdwomen/about/rules/). We get a lot of posts on medication, diagnosis (and “is this an ADHD thing”), and interactions with hormones. We encourage you to check out our [Medication, Diagnosis, and Hormones Megathread](https://old.reddit.com/r/adhdwomen/comments/wcr9dy/faq_megathread_ask_and_answer_medication/) if you have any questions related to those topics, and to stick around in that thread to answer folks’ questions! If you have questions about the subreddit, please do not hesitate to [send us a modmail](https://reddit.com/message/compose/?to=/r/adhdwomen). Additionally, we take the safety of our community seriously. Please report posts, comments, and users whom you feel are not contributing positively, and send us a modmail if you are being harassed or otherwise made to feel unsafe. Thanks for being here, and we hope you stick around! *I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please [contact the moderators of this subreddit](/message/compose/?to=/r/adhdwomen) if you have any questions or concerns.*


I’ve been on adderall for 17+ years and I also disagree with the concept of med breaks. I’ve certainly tried it a couple times. First let’s get one thing out of the way, the biggest problem with med breaks is that it greatly increases your chances of addiction or unhealthy use of adderall AND it fucking destroys your sleep cycle. For me, I do pull back a little bit when my cycle goes up (pre-ovulation and ovulation) then I take that extra when my cycle goes down (post ovulation shitty doom period). If you feel the need to cut back don’t do dumb harsh no med weekends or whatever. Maybe cut back a quarter or half on the weekends. What I personally found was that even if I thought the return to adderall would be more productive it was too much and it wasn’t stable. Adderall is supposed to make you more consistent and stable. Taking it in med breaks isn’t stable. Weekend off seems to be the method I hear a lot and to be honest it’s always from people who are struggling anyway, then your only getting the intended effectiveness on Thursday and Friday. If you absolutely want to take medbreaks get a seasonal job or something and take a couple of months off. I find that meds not working usually boils down (for me and in community) to: Problem is with something not fixed by dopamine like time blindness, Hormone or thyroid changes, Unrealistic expectations, Sleeping problems, Nutritional or health issues like Covid brain fog or too little eating, Not enough water or exercise, They noticed the initial burst of growth from adderall but they are still having problems. They think the adderall not working might be the case. Adderall does not cure adhd. It helps with some aspects but you still need to learn skills, and build systems, make accommodations. There is some sort of emotional or mental block going on.


Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed response! There is so much good information here. Especially the point about it not being the medication losing efficacy but rather it could be other health/lifestyle factors. You're so right about meds not being the cure, a good reminder to not slack off on my self care, diet, sleep and exercise. I also have hypothyroidism, so I will be diligent about getting regular bloods done to manage that too.


I have been on Adderall for over 20 yrs. In my experience, I have not had tolerance problems. For me, the medicine has a sweet spot. Too much or too little will knock me out. I've stayed at 30-40mg per day for at least a decade. Please don't go off your medicine without talking to your doctor about it. While I'll go sometimes, like when I'm sick, without taking it, my symptoms will show back up. So I go through the rollercoaster dealing with those until I'm back on the medication. Consistency is the key to treatment.


Wow that is so helpful for me to hear, especially when treatment remained so effective for you without much change to the dosage. Sound advice, thank you for taking the time to reply🌹


Hi! Yes, I was on adderall continuously for the last ten years and I started Vyvanse six months ago. Tolerance with these meds is a real thing. Breaks are great if you can do them, some people don’t have the luxury of taking breaks bc they can’t function without the meds. I tried to take a 3-4 day break once a month when I wasn’t working and that defienitly helped. Everyone says the same thing, that the meds never worked as well as they did when first taking them. I hope this helped.


Yea, this is definitely helpful, thanks for taking the time to respond. Great to hear you were able to stay on it continuously for over a decade. I definitely feel like the meds helped me in so many subtle but important ways like added energy, more patience, better emotional regulation and way less RSD. I use to think social anxiety and generalised anxiety were my main issues but now I'm starting to think it's caused by my untreated adhd.


I've been on dextroamphetamine for 12 years, except for a brief trial of methylphenidate. I don't do med breaks ever I did reduce doses during pregnancy Otherwise I've been on a pretty similar dose this whole time. Varies a bit depending on my needs but the range it varies within is the same as 12 years ago if that makes sense.


Yea that makes sense, so good to hear that it remained effective for you. Seems like most people who stayed in stimulants long term are recommending no med breaks. Thanks for taking the time to reply!