ADHD Insights: Prozac, Paxil and Amphetamines

ADHD Insights: CYP 450 2D6 Details Matter
September 22, 2012
ADHD Insights: Prefrontal Neurotransmitters PEA
September 24, 2012

Bill Russell acts like Prozac and PaxilADHD Challenges: Depression Medications Block The Amphetamine Trajectory

Prozac and Paxil significantly, similar to Bill Russell in this picture, block the metabolism, the breakdown, the effective use of amphetamine products like Vyvanse, Adderall, and Dexedrine. If you don’t know that simple fact you can either:

  1. remain irritable and nasty for years
  2. give up ADHD or depression treatment altogether
  3. add more inappropriate meds on top
  4. find yourself “diagnosed” with bipolar illness
  5. become even more depressed

…. to name but a few.

Specific details are discussed in this sister video on the relevance of CYP 450/2D6 for those who really want to know exactly how… at this CorePsych posting from yesterday.

Remember This: Understanding liver function explains ADHD Treatment HOW, while label/diagnosis chasing is simply pursuing ADHD WHAT.


See this 3:34m video for more ADHD medications with Prozac and Paxil details:


To see the connection between brain science and common sense: evidence matters.

See the link below on “Drugs hurt my kids” to see the absolute relevance of this video. Then drop a note below to weigh in on these important oversights.

Dr Charles Parker
Connect & Subscribe To CorePsych News: This Link
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Complimentary & New: 23 pg Special Report: Predictable Solutions For ADHD Medications
Book: New ADHD Medication Rules:

Ref: This link to the first drug interaction reference [at] on a simple Google search for Paxil and Adderall. Also see the links just below in Related articles ↓


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  1. Sandman2 says:

    Thanks for your quick reply. I will forward your message on to Suan8719

  2. Sandman2 says:

    Oh boy, got this post and way outside my area of expertise. Any ideas? I will forward it on.
    My daughter is 18 years of age, she was prescribed 20 mg of Vyvanse, the first drug she has ever taken in her life besides an antibiotic. She woke up and took the 20 mg dose of the drug that morning as usual, and this was exactly two months to the day that she had been on it. She told the lady she worked with that she could not seem to concentrate, and felt confused. This was a Friday afternoon, and she was confused, complaining her thoughts were racing.
    By Sunday she was completely paranoid, jumping at the slightest sounds. She developed psychosis, became catatonic, and I took her to the ER, no drugs in her system, normal MRI, no medical issues. She has been in a state of psychosis for three weeks, hallucinating and even with lithium and zyprexa she is not any better. I am desperately seeking information on anyone who can help. She was a fully functioning dance teacher, outgoing, healthy and even the doctors are perplexed. Any answers or thoughts would be welcomed. Please.
    If you want to respond directly –—ADHD/Vyvanse-Psychois-/show/2833797

    • Sandman2,
      Will get back to you this weekend and will drop a note over there, right now no time. Strong immediate impression: She likely suffers with unrecognized biomedical contributory challenges, especially since refractory to meds. See this page for testing labs: and this specific video series for a place to start: [I’ve seen psychosis with milk] – and this specific page to drill down to molecular imbalances:

      Was she on Prozac or Paxil? I worked with a guy in Calgary who had, count them, 6 psych hospitalizations for paranoid schizophrenia on Adderall and Prozac.

  3. Sandman2 says:

    Dr. Parker, I am always amazed at how you take the time to answer the questions to you! Just wanted to say thank you for helping Wooky! And doing it so quickly!!!

    • Thanks back at you Sandman for your kind support out here. Serious stuff, excellent materials for the podcast down the road, not at all uncommon to see the complexity create confusion, – long distance high five wherever you are!

      • Johnnytwotimes says:

        I have been on 20mg of lexapro for 6 months and evwr since my adhd symptoms have all worsened even when I take my dexedrine at any dose. I feel nothing or very slight euphoria bot not much else. Could lexapro have the same effect on the 2d6 pipeline that you describe Prozac and Paxil having? If so how long after discontinuation would the dexedrine become affective again?

        • Johnny,
          That combo works very well most of the time. It sounds like an accumulation, but that interaction is not indicated in the book… but you may be having an atypical reaction to Lexapro based upon the dosage. 1. Talk to your doc about dosage, 2. changing the time of taking it to bed, 3. or switching antidepressants anyway because some have atypical reactions = Effexor?

  4. Meagan Ober says:

    Dr. Parker, I’ve been referred by Sandman2 on to seek your advice, as you may be the only one who understands both of the meds I take daily and very possibly, my last resort at finding reliable data. I am currently in recovery and have been for ten plus years. For the first 5 years, I was prescribed Suboxone and after that, methadone, which I’m currently prescribed 120mgs daily. I’ve always taken my medications prescribed correctly and have passed all random urine screens and bottle checks while on maintenance medication. (I can easily get the data to back that up, if needed.) The first four years in recovery, I spent most of my time in intensive outpatient therapy to change the behaviors associated with the disease of addiction. Every week, I attended 3 regular groups, 1 suboxone group, 1 individual counseling session, and at least 4 NA meetings, sometimes more. My prescribing Dr for Suboxone is in recovery. He personally knows what the true “medication” needed to recover from addiction is, so if we wanted the medical help, we had to address our behaviors.

    While at Crossroads Recovery Center for my outpatient therapy, I saw a psychiatrist for my duel diagnosis of situational depression. He noticed within 2 minutes, I could start 5 different conversations. He began testing me, without my knowledge, for adult ADHD. After 8 months, he was satisfied with the additional diagnosis. Being in recovery, the last thing I wanted, honestly, was to be prescribed to another addictive drug. We tried a couple nonaddictive ones, Strattera and Intuniv. I responded to neither as again, I was unaware of what he was testing. He wanted to try me on Vyvanse and because I’ve heard of that, it took a lot of convincing on his part for me to take it. Dr. Parker, when I joined the recovering community, I was ready. I’d just lost my brother to the disease. I trusted my psychiatrist though, and with the help of my Suboxone prescribing Dr, we found a dose that worked…mostly.

    Sir, what I’m about to write is why I was suggested to contact you. I was told, not only do you excel in ADHD medications, but also worked with addiction. When I took the Vyvanse with the Suboxone, I believe everything worked exactly as was needed. My only complaint was that I was on 70mgs and by 2pm, I’d crash very hard. I would fall into a deep depression and my mind was mashed potatoes. I was attending college at the time, had one child, and was told other people may be prescribed a booster, but the prescribing Dr refused to give “someone like me” a second “pill like that.” I learned, on days I didn’t attend college, to take the Vyvanse later. I was told to be lucky the psych Dr trusted the diagnosis and to make due with what I was given.

    Fast forward 4.5 years and I’m back in Louisiana and instead of Suboxone, I’m taking methadone. If you would like to know the exact reason for the change, please ask, I’m trying to keep this as short as possible. After 2 years getting used to methadone and having a second child, I felt the time was right to get back on Vyvanse, only to have a completely opposite effect. At first, I’d take my methadone as I’d usually take it at 5am, walk my daughter to the bus stop at 7am and pick my Vyvanse pill up from my trusted support person. I began getting so “high”. I’ve worked so hard getting away from just that, it made me sick. I started trying to research the difference in why Vyvanse would react so differently for both maintenance meds. I worked with my pharmacist, my general practitioner, and my clinic Dr in an effort to get the “high” feeling under control and get the Vyvanse to be therapeutic, the way it used to be with Suboxone . The best way for me to do this is wake at 4am and take the Vyvanse alone. I then take the methadone at 6am, as I wake my children for school (btw… I was able to immediately cut 30mgs of methadone off the top of my daily dosage by trying to avoid that high feeling). Most days, this routine works for me. Sometimes the methadone will still react with the Vyvanse very little and I get sleepy and fuzzy headed. I’ve tried taking the methadone in the evening instead but have only made it till ten am, and my body is aching for it. Since restarting the Vyvanse, it has helped surprisingly well with the impulses associated with adults with ADHD. I’ve been able to shut down impulses for smoking, eating, and wanting more methadone. (Remember, in the beginning, I was able to instantly drop 30mgs off my daily dose, making it now 90mgs daily of methadone) Once again, my only problem is the Vyvanse, not being an extended release medication and having to take it so early to work, runs out between 1 and 2pm and I’m left with my brain feeling mushy. My clinic Dr researched me possibly taking a booster of Vyvanse at that time and wrote a letter to my prescribing Dr, my GP, that it didn’t contradict. My GP wasn’t against the idea of a booster, but asked I gave it 3 months to test how I was taking it, that it still worked. I went back after 3 months, talked to the nurse, explained how good it felt to see an end in sight to taking methadone and having impulses no longer bother me. She responded with, “I’m glad there is something out there to help you people…” she then left the room. Next, I overheard the nurse inform my Dr that he had another one in his office wanting more drugs…. When will it ever end.

    I held my head high, talked to the Dr about our plan he forgot about, and gracefully took the prescription of welbutrin prescribed. Dr. Parker, unfortunately, the only data I can find on Vyvanse dosages conflicting with methadone at all, is on the “drug-harm-reduction” websites like blue light. I’ve yet to find anyone to take that data seriously, as I hardly do. I looked up the ceiling of prescribing Vyvanse and was directed to Mr sandman 2, who directed me to you for your knowledge of addictive medications. I know something in the methadone is making the Vyvanse not work correctly and end quicker than normal. I also know, sir, others without my history are prescribed enough Vyvanse to last their day and sir, that’s all I’m asking. I’m asking for a therapeutic dose of Vyvanse to take daily. I do not have insurance so when my income tax check comes in, I’m going to find a psychiatrist to prescribe the Vyvanse, and if I could go to him/her with information from a credible source, I’d be taken more seriously. Apparently never failing a drug test or pill count, isn’t worth the respect I’m looking, for as I’m still a junkie in their eyes. Sorry for taking up so much time sir. Thank you in advance Dr Parker.

    During my 4 years at the intensive outpatient therapy center, I saw a psychiatrist to prescribe my depression medications. At a session, he noticed several markers for adult ADHD and began testing me for it without my knowledge. After 8 months, he concluded I do have adult ADHD and I began treatment with Vyvanse specifically, because of it being a prodrug and my background. When I took Suboxone and Vyvanse, I never had issues taking them together because they act on different receptors. In 2010, I moved back home to La and continued taking Suboxone for another year until I got pregnant. The drs. preferred I be on Methadone instead for my second child (although I had my first with Suboxone.) I didn’t get back on Vyvanse until I became comfortable taking the Methadone, as it is so much different than Suboxone in so many ways. I took the Vyvanse with the Methadone just as I did with Suboxone and the reaction I had differed so greatly, I’ve been looking for some kind of help, guidance, or answers for 5 months. Instead of feeling a little light headed in the morning 2 hours after taking the Methadone, I started getting extremely high feeling. (like an opiate high) In fact I became very discouraged because I expected the Vyvanse to work in the same manner as before. I started looking everywhere for answers and until I could find any, I dropped 30mgs off my methadone instantly. I wish I could say this helped, it did not. I talked to my pharmacist, the Shire Company, my gp, and finally my clinic Dr. Nobody has any information on how the two work together on the pharmacology level. I scoured the Internet looking for someone who was experiencing what i was and sadly the most similar situation to be found was on the drug websites like blue light.  I kept reading about people being on methadone I’d been trying to find info on methadone maintenance therapy and “scoring” some Vyvanse, yet not feeling the Vyvanse like they had before starting the therapy. I didn’t even try bringing that information to my drs as I’m not looking to get high. I’m looking simply for the Vyvanse to work therapeutically. Before I continue, Dr. Parker, I’d like to state for the record, I’ve not used a street drug or abused a prescription in the ten plus years I’ve been in maintenance. I have ten plus years of random clean drug screens to prove I’m serious about my recovery. It was my choice to do the intensive outpatient therapy to change my behaviors associated with the disease of addiction.

    I finally came up with a system that seems to work best for me in my current situation with one minor problem and sir, this is where I’m hoping you might be able to help me. Sandman2 steered me in your direction because you used to work with addiction and now concentrate on ADHD if I’m understanding correctly. I am prescribed one 70mg Vyvanse. The same from the beginning. I wake at 4am, take the Vyvanse and drink a cup of coffee. At 530am right before I wake my kids for school, I then take my methadone. Because in order for the Vyvanse to work as close as possible to how it should, this is what I must do. My problem is by 2-3pm, I’m crashing from the Vyvanse. Four months ago, with the aid of working with my clinic Dr (I needed my gp to not think I was drug seeking, so the addiction specialist worked with me and agreed my motive was not negative), my gp told me he wasn’t against giving me a booster of Vyvanse but needed to do some research how much was OK to give me and asked I give the process 3 months to ensure the way I take it continued to work for me. I went back to my gp at the end of the 3 months and was humiliated by the nurse, being called you people, when she referred to addicts. My gp and nurse talked outside for a bit before he came in and informed me he wasn’t able to find the info be was looking for but he wasn’t giving someone like me two of those pills a day.

    Dr. Parker, if you could possibly send me some information to back up what I’ve been experiencing or lead me in the right direction, I would appreciate it so much. I don’t have ins but I plan on changing to an actual psychiatrist for my prescription but most drs specialize in what they do and that’s it. Again, sadly when I read a little of bluelight’s blog or some of the ADHD blogs, several people are prescribed up to three 70mg Vyvanse a day with dexadrine for breakthrough. It’s appalling. In fact, because the Vyvanse helps with impulses, I’ve found in able to take much less methadone add previously needed and see a possible end one day. Sandman2 didn’t want to steer me wrong as he admitted to knowing nothing of methadone. I’m at the end sir, I do pretty good but it’s hard being laughed at by professionals when I’m doing the right thing. Thank you for your time sir


    • Meagan Ober says:

      I apologize for the second half twic, iI proofread inan app before copy and pasting. Sorry

    • Wooky,
      Today everyone, including myself, is more gun shy than ever before about how to write for stimulants – why? Not the science, but public opinion, shaped by medical authorities such as the New York Times. The pervasive ignorance regarding basic medical/medication rules does lead to controversy that sells papers. – Simply because the lack of clear, verifiable treatment information about stimulant medications remains almost non-existent on Main Street, USA – thus my book on ADHD Medication Rules.

      Just yesterday I consulted with a person in Canada and he was clearly toxic on stimulants. Interestingly, just as we were here in the USA several years ago, his medical folk operated from far less supervisory criteria than we do, as he’s on Vyvanse 110 mg [50+60] and hasn’t actually seen his Dr in more than a year. Interestingly this issue of public opinion/concern does create a secondary gain for consumers, because medical folk really must become more informed about the basics – like proper diagnosis from a brain function perspective, and proper dosage titration with informed awareness of biomedical and metabolic impediments provided by somatic roadblocks along the way to synaptic function. ADHD complexity with comorbidity requires more attention and care, not less. Substance abuse history does add to your complexity.

      RE: Your Plight
      1. Your current medical folk clearly do miss some important points and suffer with a serious case of disrespectful Labelitis. Labelitis is an infectious disease in the medical community which abhors complexity and attempts to codify life into one-target diagnostic responsibility. More targets, more complexity = denial of reality and a frozen mind that can last a lifetime. You suffer with two labels: Addiction & ADHD – neither of which is in the knowledge base of most medical practitioners including psychiatrists. Put them together and you are out of the park – not a home run, but a foul ball. Forgive them for what they admit they don’t know, and move on. No sense in expecting accurate information from those almost completely uninformed about these two troubled areas of medical care.
      2. Even with your careful, engaging historical review many questions remain, most of them biomedical: I strongly suggest that you undertake to look at some of these tests, most especially the top two, second page, based upon your limited economic circumstances: Both substance abuse and ADHD [more than 80% of the time when combined] are encouraged by somatic imbalances that corrupt brain function.
      3. Take a look at these videos which spell out measurable medication dosage strategies:
      4. These videos may help offer thoughts about other comorbidity challenges:
      5. For the moment, short term, regarding Vyvanse dosage: Without knowing you I do think it useful to consider, with a doc who better understands ADHD Med titration, using two smaller doses of Vyvanse. Use care with the noon dose as closer to noon almost always interferes with sleep, based on the DOE, Video:

      Being laughed at for the excellent recovery progress you’ve made is completely unacceptable behavior – but highly indicative of uninformed practice.

      • Meagan Ober says:

        Thank you so much sir for giving me personally a place to look for great information. Luckily, my clinic Dr is sympathetic and together we have a starting point. I’m expecially interested in looking into the actual brain chemistry understanding. Thank you also for helping me see the Dr’s point of view even as misguided and stuck as it is. May you have a blessed day.

  5. […] ADHD Insights: Prozac, Paxil and Amphetamines – CorePsych – Prozac and Paxil create significant, predictable side effects when dosed with Vyvanse, Adderall, or Dexedrine, stimulant products for ADHD. […]

  6. Samuel says:

    Dear Dr. Parker,

    I am 30yo and have adhd and recently switched to dexedrine because ritalin doesn’t work for me.
    However, what highly worries me is that I read multiple times in medical papers and also at site of
    other psychiatrists that amphetamines are neurotoxic even at therapeutic doses. It seems to have something
    with the VMAT2 transporter. From what I read ritalin does not seem to cause these issues with VMAT2 which amphetamines cause. I am worried now. Should I rather not take amphetamines and instead take ritalin even though it’s not really very effective? I am simply scared of causing neurotoxicity and somehow damaging my dopamine receptors and then ending up worse on the long run. Are you aware of the VMAT2 problem and what is your take on it? I read a study which was done on animals where the authors wrote that it’s absolutely necessary to test wether amphetamines cause the same neurotoxicity in humans which it causes in animals. I am highly surprised by this because I always heard that stimulants are so well researched and have been around for so long. How is it possible that only now they are finding out that they could be toxic even in normal doses?

    Best regards,

    • Samuel,
      My experience and research does not confirm neurotoxicity at therapeutic levels. All the scientific reports do agree that unorthodox high levels of either amphetamines or methylphenidate products can create neurophysiologic problems. What is routinely missing from most, if not all, of these discussions are the comorbidity medical details that absolutely can create neurotoxic damage – like gluten – [See *cerebellar ataxia – gluten,* and *Fasano – Harvard*].
      Naysayers are like the preponderance of those studying ADHD – without looking at neurophysiology, comorbidity, or the underlying brain function associated with Executive Function challenges. See these multiple Interviews and Video details [ ] on GI and Gut for one small window into this complexity of variables.

      Press on with your AMP trial, your doctor is right not to worry. If AMPs are not indicated you will know quite soon, no harm.

  7. Heather says:

    Dr Parker,

    What are your thoughts on wellbutrin XL and Vyvanse combo if I were a 2d6 poor metabolizer? Also, can you explain how Vyvanse goes through 2d6. I thought it was converted in the red blood cells and then excreted through the kidneys so that there is no p450 interaction??

    • Heather,
      Two points:
      1. If you have already genetically measured your 2D6 for polymorphisms, and found it slow on that report, then you, more likely than not, will experience a problem with Wellbutrin [an additional partial inhibitor on 2D6] and Vyvanse a 2d6 substrate. The dual action of inhibition by the genetics and the partial block would likely back up the Vyvanse creating a situation of coming out the top of the Therapeutic Window [Video: ]
      2. The Vyvanse prodrug combo of lysine and AMP [amphetamine] is cleaved first in the red blood cells so that the AMP becomes active, vs bound and inactive. AMP then is later metabolized [made more water soluble] as it passes through 2D6 so that it can then be passed out through the kidneys in that improved, more hydrophilic form.
      Hope this helps,

      • Heather says:

        Thank you so much. Can your facility perform the 2d6 testing long distance? I’m in Ohio. How long does it take for results?

        • Sure Heather, takes about 2 weeks, we send the kit with instructions… Interestingly just a Q-Tip mouth swab. Please do to send a note to Tiffany to make this happen: or 757.671.1776 Desiree at

          We read these internationally – so Ohio is not a problem 😉

          • Heather says:

            Thank you! I have left 2 messages with Desiree and I emailed Tiffany hoping to hear back soon! If I have been taking Vyvanse 10mg along with 150 Wellbutrin XL and wanted to let the Vyvanse clear my system how long would it take and would I need to discontinue the Wellbutrin as well or would the Vyvanse still be able to clear while taking the Wellbutrin? Also, if I am a 2D6 poor metabolizer would 10mg of Vyvanse and 150 Wellbutrin XL be enough to cause a problem??

          • Heather,
            The beauty of the genetic testing: you don’t have to go off meds if they are working a bit. Genetics don’t change downstream from meds – meds do change downstream from genetics. On question #2, short answer: oftentimes, yes. These genetic changes occur so often I have incorporated these questions into my initial review/evaluation process in my offices since ’96. Once one sees what can happen with proven interactions it’s much more easy to accept the validity of the science.

          • Heather says:

            If I live in Ohio how could I go about you treating me? Is that possible to do long distance? I have talked to my Dr. about my inability to take drugs that go through 2d6 and I think he thinks I’m crazy. I could only take adderall for about 3-4 days before I became very sick, with Vyvanse since its QD and I was able to start so low I was able to tolerate it for a bit but then he’d added Wellbutrin and Ritalin IR and last night I was extremely sick and had horrific panic attacks. I really need to work with someone who knows what they are doing! Help!

          • Heather,
            If your reactions involve the other medical issues we often can consult RE: what to do with your local doc. Some GPs will work w us long distance, but psychs: very rarely. You very likely have a medical problem that once we review your results we can move forward. Schedule a .5 hr meeting at and we can cover detail. You sound like you’re considerably past just a couple of questions.

  8. Joshuah says:

    Dr. Parker,

    As long as I can remember I have had depression issues, anxiety/stress, and the inability to focus(most of it was from childhood and I think the other part is genetically predisposition) and decreased energy in my 20’s. I finally decided to do something 5 years and try an antidepressant in my first year of grad school. I have tried everything form effexor, to wellburtin. It seems as though what works best for me is Paxil (I’m currently on 40mg). I am also on buisphrone 15mg a day but do not really feel any affects of that medication. I was finally diagnosed with ADHD 3 years ago but could not seem to take anything from adderall, retalin, and especially vyvanse for more than a week to 2 weeks without dropping into a deep depression, so I only took it when needed, like studying for my Occupational Therapy boards, etc.

    Jumping to today I am on 40mg of paxil, 30mg of buisphrone( 10 mg 3 times a day), and 20mg of adderall x 3 a day as needed (usually just need 40mg) and 2mg of lexapro at night to help me sleep. Since February i was able to start taking adderall without the side effects of depression, and noticed that if i did not take it I did not have the motivation or energy to make it throughout my day. A couple weeks ago I noticed a jump in anxiety whenever I would add the busiphrone each day, so I dropped down to mg to 10 a day which seemed to help the affects. But I have noticed that my depression has increased a little not to mention my focus has decreased as well. I am currently going back to school and taking chemistry classes over the summer in order to apply to a D.O. program in April of 2016.

    What would you suggest to me taking to replace the paxil if needed, and/or busiphrone or if I should increase my buisphrone back to the normal dosage I was taking? What about the adderall? I know this is vague but any input really helps. I have just started reading about nootropic supplements, I have started on some Alpha GPC and phenlypiracetem because I have read that they increase memory/cognition/ and focus. But after two weeks of taking them I have only noticed increased some increase anxiety and irritation. If you have read about any nootropics or supplements that work well with antidepressants or adderall I’d love to know. My biggest worry now is switching antidepressant or going off adderall in the midst of going back to school and it affecting my grades. But I wold love to find a happy medium combination. Thank you for you time and any input helps.

    • Joshuah,
      Your absolute best bet is to ask your doc to switch you to an antidepressant [AD] that is clean on CYP450 2D6 as noted in this video. Those ADs include: the Venlafaxine family [Effexor, Pristiq or generic], Celexa or Lexapro, – even Zoloft. Your presentation is quite typical of the myriad times I’ve see these interactions with my own prescriptions before this interaction came to my attention in ’96.

      The Adderall builds up with the Paxil/Prozac blockage, and when one goes out the Top of the Therapeutic Window [TW Video Here: ] with Adderall or any of the AMP products one can become depressed, anxious, and much less able to concentrate. The reason you are able to take Adderall occasionally is that you’re actually giving your body some time to correct that buildup. Too often this array of symptoms encourages a reflexive, uninformed increase of the stimulant, which is already too high, with even more profound and potentially outcome of dangerous patient regression with an aggravation of that toxic reaction.

      Yours is an excellent example of how one can learn from side effects of ADHD Meds as seen in this video playlist:

      Hope this helps,

  9. JenniferE says:

    Dr Parker,

    I’m currently on a regimen of dexedrine 10md bid and today I started a cross taper from Brintellix 10mg to Lexapro 10mg . The regimen I was given is to take both meds together each day for a week and then half a Brintellix with the Lexapro for three days and the dc the Brintellix altogether. My main question: is cross tapering SSRI’s common practice?? I’m a nurse and am always extra vigilant when I have a patient on more than one serotonergic medication-due to my training on serotonin syndrome. I understand from your book that Lexapro should pair fine with the dexedrine. Great book by the way!

    • Jennifer,
      Many psychs do a slightly different cross taper, but this recommendation will likely not cause problems. Most go down on one whilst going up on the other from the start, rather than using both for the first week – then taking a longer taper off the old half. But this protocol is reasonable, and, more likely that not, will prove successful without incident.

      Remember this rule with psych meds: expect the unexpected and be prepared to make changes. Those who experience harm more often than not, don’t make timely appropriate changes.

      Thanks for your kind remarks about New ADHD Medication Rules.

  10. Cassandra Marra says:

    Dr. Parker,

    For the past year and a half I have been on Lexapro 10mgs a day and Xanex .5 as needed.
    I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child and took Aderoll, stopping about 10 years ago.
    I got a new job and was having trouble concentrating, staying on task and finishing any of my work.
    I decided to go see a Psychiatrist who is local to me and affiliated with Rutgers University. She put me on Prozac (40mg) 20 in Am and 20 in PM, and Vyvanse, started at 20mg in the morning now taking 40mg.
    I was on the Lexapro for general anxiety, not depression. All of my research on Prozac shows it is for depression and not anxiety.
    My anxiety is under control lately and I am feeling that the Vyvanse greatly helps. I have only been taking the Prozac for about a week and am considering stopping it all together. I had tried to stop the Lexapro but was getting “withdrawls”. Head ache, very dizzy etc. Not so much mental, but more physical. Which is why the Dr. switched me to Prozac. I don’t want to build up on the Prozac and make it difficult to stop taking it. Any suggestions? I keep reading of the dangers of taking Vyvanse with Prozac and do not want to subject my body to unnecessary harm. I still take the Xanex very rarely (When flying or if I cant fall asleep and large social gatherings).
    Please help.
    Thank You,

    • Cassandra,
      Prozac and Adderall don’t mix. As to the several other questions you ask I would be happy to weigh in after a more careful evaluation. The complexity of these matters stretches beyond cookie cutter remarks. I am on record repeatedly since 1996 disagreeing with the mix of Adderall and Prozac for the obvious reasons associated with drug interaction possibilities… still not commonly appreciated by many, and not yet the standard of care in the country.

      Your doc is doing her best, as Prozac has often been recommended as helping with “anxiety” – while overlooking, as most do, the differentiation between cognitive anxiety and affective anxiety. See the video explanation in this basic series :

      • Cassandra Marra says:

        Dr. Parker,

        My real question here is, it seems my Dr is using the Prozac to help me off Lexapro.
        If I am taking the Prozac at 20mg for a month while also taking Vyvanse 40mg, is this harmful?
        I am discontinuing the Prozac after what is now 3 more weeks to ONLY taking the Vyvanse.
        I see you say Vyvanse and Prozac don’t go together well, but if I am using the Prozac to taper off Lexapro and then discontinuing will I have a problem?
        Lexapro I was only on for a year, but it did not work well for me. I gained some weight and became lethargic. When I tried to stop I was getting very dizzy and bad migraines. I have read about Dr’s doing what mine suggested using Prozac because of the longer half life to taper off. BUT being I am also on Vyvanse is this harmful.
        Hope that is more clear.

  11. Fredrik Akerberg says:

    Dear Dr. Parker,

    Is there any possibility to manage the interaction between Paroxetine and Vyvanse by having “drug holidays” from vyvanse in the weekends or more radically, dosing vyvanse every other day?

    I am quite desperate, I have severe OCD which responds only to Paroxetine (40 mg a day), so that drug is a must for me. But I also have ADD, and the only medication that is effective is Vyvanse. But, most probably because of the interaction, I had to cancel the Vyvanse after about 10 Days when signs of accumulation began to show in the form of raised pulse and palpitations. Do you think it is meaningful to try managing the interaction by dosing Vyvanse every other day?

    • Fredrik,
      Each person is different. My preference, quite naturally, would be to find an antidepressant replacement for the Paxil, as you are experiencing exactly what I’m writing about here. I would consider talking to your doc about Effexor either generic or brand, and make that switch then restart the Vyvanse. The NE effect w Effexor will often turn the tide on anxiety, and the Vyvanse will then curb the cognitive anxiety. It’s unlikely that your suggested technique will work over time. Time is the variable that causes the obvious accumulation. Often on the short time they don’t show, but over time the interactions do occur, and trouble arises.

  12. Chad Garber says:

    Greetings again Dr. Parker. Question:

    You have said that you have seen the Paxil and Adderall XR lead to some really bad situations for some people (like being hospitalized, etc). Have you seen the same with people who use Paxil and Vyvanse?

  13. Breanne says:

    Hi I have been dx with ADHD as a child also generalized anxiety I have been on several antidepressants and anti anxiety over the years and most of which regardless of combos were unsuccessful.. Best combo Xanax lexapro I make it clear I don’t want to be on amps. Leading me to finally self medicate for my anxiety with marijuana and for my anxiety it worked sorta without being left in a haze or feeling sucidal. But it did absolutely nothing for my ADHD in fact according to my long term bf it made my symptoms worse. But I felt how I felt. I’m no longer doing the marijuana and since my life has become entirely out of control I am out of control I realize that my symptoms are drastically and detrimentally affecting my life and personal relationships. I finnally steped out of denial and reached out for help. I’m now on 40mg of vyvanse and 20mg of Paxil. My md refuses to give me lexapro even after I begged since it’s the only one I have ever truly had success with. I’m concerned with the information I’m reading I’m a Lpn and just love learning and being knowledgeable in general and my life I’m a mother of four… I started taking my Paxil at night without my dr saying so she wants me to take the vyvanse and Paxil together when I do it makes me feel horrible it’s so much better at night with the Paxil I feel amazing during the day with just the vyvanse I kinda don’t want to take the paxel at all do I absolutely need a antidepressant with my vyvanse since she won’t let me have lexapro.. I’m pretty self aware and I feel like I don’t have depression ( I have said this before) but that my anxiety comes from my extreme and how it directly effects my life eg mood swings forgetfulness inability to remain focused and organized and I get anxious because I feel like im messing something up do I don’t want to do the task at all because it’s to hard and that makes me anxious does thts make sense? sorry for the lengthy comment I have just been doing a lot of reading since I began this and have some concerns

    • Breanne,
      Process comment – beyond the science: The process with your doc either needs revision or complete change. See the last chapter in my book about choosing your doc and working effectively with him/her [on sale until midnight tonight at Amazon Kindle for 99 cents 😉 ]. New Rules covers the tolerable and intolerable in medical relationships. Not only is your doc insisting on remaining in control without listening, but is also misinformed about the interaction that is either now taking place or will in the future. 2 strikes. Book link at Amazon:

      Science: 2D6 is more completely blocked by Paxil than by Lexapro – a simple Google search on CYP2D6 interactions with either will show that interaction. Affective anxiety is often associated with serotonin issues, cognitive anxiety with dopamine. See the videos on my playlist on these 2D6 interactions at YouTube: For your doc: Stephen Stahl MD PhD Essential Psychopharmacology.

      Hope this helps – you are on the right path. If these simple changes don’t work and you seek more comprehensive testing to understand underlying causality see these testing links on page 2 here:


  14. Jon K says:

    Dr Parker,

    I have been on different amphetamines since I was 7 years old (I’m 28 now) and was just recently prescribed Prozac for my anxiety and is now combined with the 30-60mg IR Adderall that I take daily. I was first prescribed Lexapro, but it seemed to make my anxiety symptoms worse. The combination does seem to doing OK, but I have noticed that the Adderall is not as effective as I would expect it to be. I find myself having to take more to get the same effects, and considering I just got out of a treatment program for prescription drug addiction to benzos and opiates i’m worried about all these different combinations and how they might affect me. I want to manage my anxiety and ADHD, both of which have a hugely negative impact on my day to day life, but at what cost? I really wish there was a simple answer to this question, but I know there is not. I’ve done the CBT therapy, i’ve done talk therapy, i’ve had SPECT scans done by a neurologist… I just don’t know what the right thing to do is. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


  15. Susie says:

    I’ve been taking the Lexapro/ Vyvanse combo and have gained considerable weight since adding the Lexapro. My doc just switched me to a low dose of Prozac yesterday instead of the Lexapro. Glad I saw this video today! Any recommendations of something for anxiety that doesn’t cause weight gain?

    • Susie,
      More often than not the weight gain occurs downstream from inadequate coverage in the evening & at night while falling out after the med has dropped out, rendering the SSRI so dominant that snacking and large evening food intake becomes the pattern. See this video series to catch that possibility:

      My favorites with AMP meds are the venlafaxine series including the generic, Effexor XR and Pristiq, then Lexapro and Celexa. Try to dial the dose in a bit better, perhaps chase that DOE with a short acting dose of AMP stimulant in the PM and that whole evening thing [if I’m right should keep the impuliveness of PM snacking at bay. Other options include completely looking at carbs and numerous other dietary restrictions.

  16. Rick says:

    I have been taking paxil 20 mg and vyvanse 30mg for about 2 months. Also I have been taking klonopin since march. Feeling terrible…Is it because of the long term klonopin use or the combination of paxil and vyvanse?

  17. Sam says:

    Hi Dr. Parker,

    1. Do you think 40 mg Prozac and 5 mg adderall xr per day is likely to cause this reaction as Well?

    2. If I switch off of Prozac, on to celexa, how long until the feeling of irritability and toxicity goes away? As in, how many days into the switch to the new med will it take to feel better? When will I be able to take a proper dose of adderall?

    Thank you! Absolutely love your book and videos!

    • Sam,
      Oh yeah. 40mg is much more likely to back up Adderall than 20mg, but as I’ve repeatedly admitted to the naysayers on this subject, it’s not the same for everyone. Absolutely can happen. If you switch you can, with your docs permission, quite Prozac cold turkey as it’s stored lipophilically in your brain [in brain fat]. It will likely take 3-4 days to come around and then expect that you might need more Adderall because instead of collecting it will be metabolized more effectively.

      Times can’t be precise because human metabolic rates vary with each individual. Low and slow is the safest, and use the DOE strategy to dial in any stimulant you use effectively.

  18. Chad Garber says:

    Hey Dr. Parker,

    I am currently listening to your audio book about ADHD New Rules and I just finished the part about not taking Paxil and Adderall XR or Vyvanse. I have been on Paxil CR for 20 years and have taken Adderall XR for around 15 of those years but I don’t think I am experienced the problems you refer to (but I am not sure I didn’t). Currently I have switched to Vyvanse and I am still on Paxil CR and haven’t noticed any problems yet. But this information you are expressing is worrying me. You said that it is a simple solution, just switch the anti-depressants but anyone who has been on anti-depressants and has changed them or gotten off of them knows it’s anything but a simple thing to switch to another one. In fact, Paxil, from my understanding, is one of the hardest ones to switch off of because of the withdrawal syndrome that occurs. I know because one time I simply switched to the generic Paxil from the Brand Paxil (supposedly the same dosage) and I went to hell for a day and had to get back on the Brand. It took me months to fully recover and for the Paxil CR to do what it did before the switch. I have also stupidly quick Paxil cold turkey and lets just say that was really stupid. So if I take that very hard step (switching anti-depressants), that could end up making me unstable for months and months until the the withdrawals from the Paxil are gone and the new anti-depressant kicks in, I want to be make sure that it is for a solid reason. Right now, I am on Paxil CR for OCD, Vyvanse for my ADHD, and Trazadone for my sleeping issues (and which I think helps the Paxil a little). This combo is a new configuration for me (with the exception of the Paxil) and I feel better than I have in years. So I do not want to mess this up helpful combo up if there is another side to this story.

    You seem to be saying that Paxil will block Vyvanse FOR SURE and it will cause the Vyvanse to build up and later cause problems and become toxic FOR SURE. So first, how do I know that this happened when I took the Adderall XR with the Paxil CR for 15 years. I did require higher dosages of Adderall XR because it would’t last as long as it was supposed to (5.5 hours) but other than that and me being tired when it started wearing off, there were none of the other symptoms you cite as indicating toxicity. Blood pressure was a little high but I think that is normal for Adderall XR and I was put on a little blood pressure medicine that corrected that problem completely. Could I have missed the other symptoms of toxicity? If not, why didn’t the Adderral XR buildup in my system and become toxic like you said it would? This leads me to my second question, are you saying this happens to everyone who uses Paxil and Vyvanse (or Adderall XR) together? If so, how do you explain all the people that have used this combination for years and years and have not had the problems you refer to? What is different in those who do not run into these toxic issues? In other words, what is the scientific reasons that some (maybe even many, or maybe even most) people use Paxil with AMPs but don’t have the build up leading to toxicity based on the your reasoning for why it happens in the first place?

    Also, how do you recommend people switch from Paxil to something else? Cut down on Paxil while introducing new anti-depressant at the same time? or what?


    Chad Garber

    • Chad,
      Good questions… notice I was careful to say ‘not everyone’ – but the problems do arise far too often, more often than not. Look for: Increased agitation, anger, speeded thinking, coming out the top of the Therapeutic Window, difficulty sleeping and appetite changes. I’ve seen some who simply don’t have the problem – so clearly affirm you might be one of those. On the other hand I’ve see far too many with psychosis and hospitalization due to that interaction, corrected when off. If you don’t have a prob, you don’t.

      I say ‘easy’ on switch because more often than not it is… if your doc superimposes another SSRI on top of the discontinued Paxil or Prozac – one that’s clean on 2D6. The science is in all the links on my YouTube vids – – and just search here at CorePsych to see the links to the package inserts and books.

      Dosage is a mitigating factor. Some control that interaction problem by lowering either med… and the worst problems occur with both meds at higher doses.

      Yes, your doc should know: best to slowly reduce Paxil whilst starting a clean-on-2D6 antidepressant. If you change it let me know how it works – I’m always learning and appreciate feedback. There are exceptions to every rule: that’s why I don’t make that one a firm rule on this particular subject.

      My firm ADHD Med rules:
      1. Know and measure DOE.
      2. Note metabolic differences.
      3. Protein breakfast imperative.
      4. Sufficient sleep.
      5. Know and monitor your personal Therapeutic Window.
      6. Use side effects to instruct changes.
      7. When in doubt measure: genetic pathways, biomedical challenges.
      8. Remember: brain function is often different than clinical appearances.


      • Chad Garber says:

        Thanks Dr. Parker. I agree with all those things you listed.

        So a couple questions:
        1. In those who do not run in to the problem with Paxil and Adderall (or Vyvanse), do you know what the scientific reasons are? In other words, why don’t the AMPs get blocked and build up in some people in light of 2D6, etc.?
        2. Some of these things you mention: “Increased agitation, anger, speeded thinking, coming out the top of the Therapeutic Window, difficulty sleeping and appetite changes” seem to me to be kind of vague, don’t they? I have never had increased agitation (other than because of my kids, lol) or only when the AMPs were at the bottom of the therapeutic window. I do have difficulty sleeping but from my understand a lot of people with ADD (ADHD) un-medicated or medicated do as well. My theory is that when the meds wear off while going to sleep, the ADHD symptoms come back (restlessness, thoughts all over the place, not feeling calm) and ever more so than without being on meds because the meds are wearing off and often that can lead to worse symptoms of ADHD (temporally) because the body has to readjust. Interestingly, there were times I missed a dosage of my Adderall earlier in the afternoon and took it right before I went to bed and every time, I slept better than ever. That is why I have that theory. But going back to the list….speed thinking? That’s my life, all the time, on or off meds. So that’s kind of vague to me. Also I don’t know what coming out the top of a therapeutic window would feel like? Really good or really bad? So anyway, my point is those are kind of vague and my OCD wants to know for sure if I have or haven’t experienced being toxic before.
        3. How long can I ever rest assured that I am one of those people who do not have this problem? I am afraid I am a walking time bomb waiting to go off. Is 15 years long enough to set my mind at ease (if I indeed confirm that I haven’t experienced this problem in the past)?
        4. Are there scientific tests that can be done to show either way?
        5. Why are the only drug interactions listed in the official Vyvanse information sheet: “Acidifying and Alkalizing Agents: Agents that alter urinary pH can alter blood levels of amphetamine. Acidifying agents decrease amphetamine blood levels, while alkalizing agents increase amphetamine blood levels. Adjust Vyvanse dosage accordingly. (2.4, 7.1)” and nothing about Paxil or Prozac? Just some questions I have. To be honest, I freaked out a couple of days in response to this information so excuse the length of my questions.

        • Chad,
          Key point that you are accurately raising: there are more variables than only 2D6 – as I mentioned before. The reason I write about these issues is because I’ve seen them and, in the past, created them. Yes, they can be subtle, and yes, they do require about 4-7 days to clear out so that one can actually recognize/understand those side effects. They are often subtle, but far too often remarkably obvious.

          I’ll be sending another post out this weekend on more biomedical variables – the beginning of a series of additional measures that can spell out significant differences including other variables like copper metabolism. Measurements do matter.

          Again a reassurance as before: if you don’t have the obvious symptoms, just consider looking for the subtle ones. One of the subtle paradoxical ones is the fact that stimulants can help with sleep. Yes, there are more tests, stay tuned I will be regularly writing about them. Neurotransmitter excess can occur for many reasons. This 2D6 genetic polymorphism and drug interaction one is one of several. Alkalizing has to do with gastric absorption – acid prevents, alkalizing facilitates… different issue, but relevant. Prozac and Paxil not involved with that variable to my knowledge.

          Remember I’m focusing on problem prevention, and problem correction. If you don’t have a problem after all this time, and you’re happy with your mix, I am only sounding a serious cautionary note, not a mandatory-change note. More on those specific tests you’re interested in coming soon.

          Two books you will like that cover a great deal about testing and your other questions:
          Nutrient Power– Walsh:

          Why Isn’t My Brain Working? – Karrazian

          Stay tuned, – and thanks for asking,

  19. Jennifer in TX says:

    Dr Parker,

    I enjoy learning from site and I have one of your books. I’m a 40 y/o woman who is a new grad RN starting my first nursing position. I am currently being treated by a psychiatrist for inattentive ADHD and depression/anxiety. I’m on prozac 40 mg daily and 5mg of Adderall BID. My problem is that even that small amount of adderall ramps my anxiety up at times to an unmanageable level. I have long felt that the Prozac and the adderall are not “playing well in the sandbox” together or that the prozac is no longer controlling my anxiety as well as in the past. During my last visit, I asked my Dr to consider a different SSRI but her solution was to add PRN Xanax for times of increased anxiety. I refuse to take Xanax when working, for a host of reasons. I’m in the dilemma of being a new nurse with ADHD on a busy hospital floor where the stimulant gives much needed focus but also increases my anxiety too much. I’m passionate about patient care and want to be a safe & effective nurse. Do you think a different SSRI would be more beneficial with the stimulant?

    • Jenn in TX:
      I do significantly disagree w your doc and will be posting another article on this interaction. My best guess: Xanax won’t be necessary after changing the SSRI. If it is, then you’re wearing a metabolic problem that creates accumulation anyway. Could be 2D6, could be immunity issues. See this playlist for your medical consideration: ADHD Meds Problems – Mind and Gut: – and – On Learning from the PM drop:

  20. K in Dallas says:

    Hi Dr. Parker. My son is 11 and has a dx of PDD-NOS. He presents as severe ADHD – swinging from zoned out/foggy to periods of hyperactivity (almost manic). He’s been on Prozac for a few years, because there has been some research about Prozac reducing perseverations in kids on the spectrum, and it helped tremendously with that.

    We had tried stimulant meds 4 years ago (Vyvanse) to try to help with focus and impulsivity, and it was a train wreck. He was really anxious, teary, and it didn’t help at all. So we stopped.

    Then this spring, his attention/focus was such a struggle for him, we went back to the Psychiatrist and she recommended we try Vyvanse again. She was thinking that since he was older, and also on a mood rx, that it might help this time, and it was a GREAT med for him. His impulsivity went way down, he was less teary/emotional, he was much more engaged in the world around him, and he was much more able to focus and participate in school.

    Now he’s been on it for a few months, and it seems to have stopped working. He’s more irritable, has periods of almost manic behavior, he’s much more impulsive again, and it seems to not be helping his attention/focus at all – when he does his summer workbooks each morning. Hmmm.

    So I started Googling, and came across your site and this info, and I’m wondering if his issues are from the drug interaction/buildup from Prozac/Vyvanse.

    As background, I have a history of depression and the med that’s worked best for me is Wellbutrin. Right now I’m on a low dose. I was dx years ago with ADHD-Inattentive type, so I took Adderall XR for years, but am not on it now.

    I would love to know your suggestions. I’ve contacted the doctor to discuss and am just waiting for their opinion/suggestions. My son had a hard evening last night with my in-laws where his “engine” was just really running high and they had a hard time managing him – like he wasn’t in control of himself – and that’s very old behavior that’s recently come back. The Vyvanse was SUCH a huge help – I’m disappointed it’s not working now the way it did before. I’d love to get this figured out before school starts back in late August.


    • K,
      First: Any PDD-NOS child/person, in my medical opinion, should receive testing for biomedical contributions. See this pdf for suggestions and links: – See also this video series to further amplify on the need for bringing immunity into the discussion: I’m opinionated not because I’ve read an esteemed author and agree, but am opinionated because of the many times in my life I overlooked these issues based on my own innocence and the years we had no technology to measure imbalances.

      In future years such testing will become standard of care. Now because of the pervasive innocence and denial regarding these advances in neurobiology many still await confirmation from academicians who refuse to look at those measures – bias rules. Your question drives directly to the point of why I spend time communicating with others at CorePsych.

      Second: To the point of your comment/question. The possibility that an interaction occurs between Prozac and Vyvanse is over 90%. Prozac may reduce perseverations, but so can other SSRIs. Until you see his neurobiology, the data your team will continue to speculate. Not a problem – just inefficient. My mission is to increase medical awareness on these important matters and help my colleagues become first become aware of basic biomedical issues like drug interactions, then move, as I have, to measurements and precise intervention strategies. The strong possibility that your son would improve simply discontinuing Prozac and replacing with another SSRI is over 80% in my experience.

      We can provide those tests for you long distance if you wish to contact Desiree at – as the pdf indicates: all FDA approved, just not in common practice. – Whoever you consult: data matters.

  21. Ann says:

    If you are taking Vyvanse, and need to take an SSRI for depression/anxiety, which ones would you recommend? (obviously not Paxil or Prozac)
    For example, what about Zoloft, Luvox, Celexa, and Lexapro? Will any one of these work fine with Vyvanse or would you recommend one over another?

    • Ann,
      All of those are relatively clean.

      • joe says:

        I been taking 60mgs of IR Adderall for 2yrs now, plus 20mgs of Prozac. I ask my doctor about the combo and he simply put it ‘how do you feel” I told never better I run 6 day’s a week my BPa is strangely low for a person consuming 60mgs of Adderall everyday. My Doc said its due to my running vigorous 6 day’s a week, Which he is a little against me running at that pace (10 minute mile)in the Florida heat to boot. He just told me try to run after 4 to 5hrs from your first dose.. But I feel like superman, 1 hour after my morning dose. My resting pulse is 48 beats a minute along with a BP OF 108/56 right when I wake up. After 1 hour of taking a 30mg in the morning, my BP goes to 115/62, pulse 65 max..So in terms of Adderall effecting your heart its not accurate. If you have a history of heart and B problems, Hereditary that’s different.. I’m 50yrs old also and if was not for ADDERALL I WOULD BE DEAD OR IN PRISON NO QUESTIONS ABOUT IT..People who dog Adderall are hurting people with a real ADD Problem.. My mother had me on Ritalin at 7 yrs. old. If I stayed on it I would of been a CEO OF A COMPANY. When I focus I’m literally a Genius. I’m not bragging just letting people know that the drug for someone like me is a Miracle. I went from being a bellman in hotels to a successful stock broker. Its funny my father was reading in the wall street journal one day a article about stock brokers. IT said: Kids WHO HAVE ADD Become excellent Stock brokers. This article was after I got my series seven license which by the way I could never pass in a million years if was not for Adderall, not because it makes you smarter but I could sit down and focus and study for once in my life. I just wish it started when I was in my 20s rather than 48yrs of age…

        • Joe,
          Glad that combo is working for you. Do watch for agitation and irritation. If you don’t take it on the weekends you are intuitively solving the problem of accumulation of AMP. Your success is what we see in spite of inane media negatives who don’t interview folks like you, but interview and report on problems that do occur with uninformed medication strategies – far too common and underappreciated.

          • joe says:

            Thank you Dr.Parker for the quick response.. Also myself and family are concerned on your findings concerning the Prozac Adderall combo that I have been taking for 2yrs now. I’m 50yrs old now but I really don’t see me coming off Adderall.. I think for someone like me it would be CA strophic at this point in my life. My question is: Will this great effect continue 10yrs from now as long as I continue to follow my psychiatrist directions? Or will the combo of Prozac and Adderall catch up with me eventually and start to down slide and god knows what else? Like you were saying its not Lethal but there is a good chance I could go sour. AS in Paranoia, afraid to talk to people etc? Actually my only complaint up to now is I feel a bit paranoid when I’m out, not like my life is threatened but more like I feel people are staring at me for some reason. My wife has notice this in last few months. I do not want to tell my Doctor for the reason he might take me off Adderall.. I will admit if I did not know that my pills will be there when I wake up in the morning I would go into a deep depression. A bit scary. I do not abuse the drug at all. My doctor told me right out if he finds out your abusing Adderall he will drop as a patient. There signs in his office when you go into the waiting room.. He has dropped people on account on abusing Adderall.

          • Joe,
            Again, can’t be sure, but the culprit in this combo, with hundreds of folks observed over about 17 years: the Prozac can make you paranoid because it blows a person out the top on the drug interaction, and looks like too much Adderall but the Prozac is most often the problem. Why not ask to change to Effexor XR and keep the Adderall – My wager: all will be well.

          • joe says:

            Dr Parker, I will be going to my doctor soon. I have been with him 15yrs so basically if I want to try something new so I can see the results he has no problem swapping one antidepressant to another.. Do you feel that discontinuing Prozac and trying Lexapro would be a good switch? Or is there another SSRI OR ANY other would favor? I’m currently on 60mgs of IR Adderall and 20mgs of Prozac.. Lately I have been a bit more paranoid out and about for the last 3-4 months.

          • Joe,
            Discuss w your doc: Prozac has almost no discontinuation… have seen only one case w it, so they could switch to Lexapro 10 if they are ok w it. Should not have a dip, if you do, give it a few days to settle, and do 20. Anticipate that it might take 7-10 to get more symptom free past the Prozac.

  22. pablo says:

    I take 20mg paxil and have every day for 11 years now. I feel fine with no depression anxiety or anything for past 10 years. I’ve tried to get off it many times even though I don’t have any side effects from it that I’m aware of. Even cutting a quarter off a pill every other day after 2 weeks I still get dizzy, brain zapping feeling, sadness which I never have ordinarily.

    I have had add since a child and still lack attention. So I am taking 30mg vyvanse only 2 days a week as a trial. Does your theory still apply if vyvanse is used only 2 days. Does it still build up issues you were reffering to. So far I have mixed opinions on it. It helps my focus quite a bit. But when it wears off I become slightly anxious sleepless and uptite.

    • Pablo,
      Sorry to sound defensive, it’s not a theory, it works that way! 😉

      Your best bet: talk to your doc and absolutely get another antidepressant. Try Venlafaxine ER 75mg? w his approval. It will have the same discontinuation symptoms but won’t make you feel stoned if you add Vyvanse – as no drug interaction. See this video on serotonin and dopamine to help get it:

      Then watch this video playlist to answer your questions about taking meds together:
      It is likely that you need both meds,

      • pablo says:

        Thank you for your insight. Also for donating your time and thought into all of the great info you provide.

        I did watch the videos you linked in the comments. It seems that my paxil can make ADD worse. Or vyvanse could make depression anxiety worse.

        Could it be as simple as I successfully get off the paxil and my attention span increases and I have no need for vyvanse either.

        I am somewhat hesitant to change depressants due to having no depression anxiety what so ever any more. Plus I don’t know if I will have withdrawals from paxil while starting the other depression med. I Honestly I have been on paxil 20mg so long I don’t know what it feels like to not be on it. My life, work, family, is great. But… I have always felt a sort of cheesecloth drapped over me and hindering my focus on external stimuli. Could this be the paxil? I will say that caffeine helps me alot. If that tells you anything at all.

        ” If your only tool is a hammer. Everything looks like a nail”

        • pablo says:

          I will add that for me I have always had ADD Even in grade school. It eventually led to the anxiety and depression. Whether it was the paxil or time itself I’m healed of all but the cheesecloth feeling.

          My math wasn’t right either. I started paxil,at age 16. I am now 31. 20mg every day religiously. 15 years its been. Wow.

          Anyways this will be my last comment/question so thank you in advance.

          • P,
            Well this note seals the deal, – your history makes a serious difference, and makes my suggestion about the meds close to exact. Now you have to see if metabolic challenges create probs when you do the meds as I suggested w your doc.

        • Pablo,
          The more details without clear back and forth in the office or in consult, the closer I get to pure speculation. I’m sticking to my guns… add a clean [2D6] antidepressant with your docs orders on top of the paxil, taper the paxil while on the other med, after off the paxil, then go w the vyvanse and you should be good to go. Paxil is down-regulating for sure based on your symptoms. Yes to both observations in that first sentence.
          Your clarity on Vyvanse is all I have to go on, and that is not sufficient to say anything.

      • joe says:

        Dr.Parker, I saw my psychiatrist and he ask me why do want to switch antidepressants if your doing fine on the Prozac, Adderall combo that you been taking for the last 2yrs? I did not go into the medical underline issue of Why’ but he said to me like he always does “quit reading what’s on the internet” you will drive yourself nuts..I told him to go to the website “Core psych” and go to ADHD Insights: Prozac, Paxil and amphetamines. He obliged and I was on my way. The good thing is if I want to try Lexapro or just something different my Doctor has problem with that. He considerers my age (50) and the dose of Adderall I’m taking,60mgs a day of IR. He keeps me on that max, dose because of my history of Ekgs, my Bp cholesterols all in Tip Top. I run 6 day’s a week is another reason. He has actually said to me in his 30yrs of practice, not many people on 60mgs of Adderall everyday have a Bp of 110/63 and pulse at 62 beats a minute (In the morning my pulse is 48 beats a min.) in the height of the drug effectiveness. He told me you have “Runner’s Heart” I told him my father’s, father is still alive at 99yrs old and my mother’s father is alive at 97yrs old. My great grandpa died at 102yrs old on my father’s side.There is no one in my entire family with heart or BP problems..Hereditary play’s a big part in the cardio system according to my family physician and heart specialists.

        • Joe,
          Completely understand your doc, have heard his response many times, but stay with the literature and my own personal experience. BP is not the marker on toxic, cognitive abundance and emotional volatility are ubiquitous, commonplace – but often subtle. You have to look for it, and when you do, it teaches how to ask about that Top of the Therapeutic Window.

          Sounds like your heart is cooking well. The next issue: how’s your head, your cognitive and emotional state? 😉

  23. Tina says:

    Hello Dr. Charles Parker,
    I cannot tell you how excited I was to watch your video! It gives me so much hope. My doctor prescribed me 40 mg of prozac, 2 to 3 mg of Ativan for depression and anxiety. He then added dextrostat for add. I had never felt less depressed and more focused then when I first started the dextrostat. I was finally going to be myself. About a week into the dextrostat I noticed it did not seem to be working, as a matter of fact, I felt the opposite. So my dose was upped to 1/2 mg a day from 1/4. Again, it helped for a couple of days and on it went. I was devastated. I knew that whatever the dextrostat was doing was what my body needed. It was like turning on a lightbulb. I as more focused, felt feelings again, motivation etc… I feel like your diagnosis of the interactions could be the answer for me. I am going to ask my doctor if I can switch back to the Celexa I was previously on and take that with dextrostat or vyvanse.
    Thank you so much,
    Tina McCall

    • Tina,
      It’s very likely Celexa will correct the problem, it’s clean on 2D6. Then if you can take Vyvanse that is the very best because you don’t have to mess w compliance and dosing thru the day every darn day!

      Great! Do keep me posted, and a long distance high five to your doc if they can work w you.

  24. Lissy says:

    Dr.Parker, you are truly a life saver.

    I live in Paraguay, and I was thinking of suicide because I couldn’t deal with this anymore. I’ve been on fluoxetine 20mg forever, I’ve been dealing with depression since I was 16, I’m 41 now, my first diagnose was Atypical Depression (hypersomnia, over-eating, low energy,rejection-sensitivity), then ADD and depression so I had fluoxetine and metilfenidate 20mg xr once a day(worked for a couple of hours the horrible comedowns, I would become extremely irritable, moody, I would cry for no reason..), then fluoxetine and modafinil 200mg once a day, again worked for a couple of hours and then the comedowns, fatigue, even fever..

    The thing is, in Paraguay the only meds for ADD/ADHD are metilfenidate and modafinil. We don’t have anything else. I’ve lived in NY for a while and Adderall was far better than any of the other meds.. but came back here and there’s just to meds like that.. (Adderall, Vyvanse, nothing)

    So looking for something like that, I realized that we had Fenproporex (Perphoxene) available here, so I asked my doc to try that. I started with 30mg then 60mg once a day, along with my usual 20mg of fluoxetine. The first months I felt great, I could get things done, great focus, some insomnia though.. then I started feeling ALL the things you mention in this article: I felt irritable and nasty, became even more depressed and dmy doc diagnosed me with bipolar illness!!

    So I stopped the fenproporex and continued with fluoxetine, plus lithium and alprazolam. The results? Sleeping all day, still horribly depressed, even quit my job (I’m a lawyer).. I have a son and I need to get a job back.. don’t know what to do..

    I’ve been researching and other nootropic meds available here are pemoline, citicoline, acetyl-L-carnitine, GABOB, GABA, citicoline, memantive and piracetam…

    I would love to move back to NY and get the right meds but it’s hard to get a green card (LOL!) So what are my options? Should I quit these meds and start again with fenproporex and escitalopram instead of fluoxetine?

    Thanks a lot in advance and sorry for my english!

    • Lissy,
      As a lawyer w an understanding of these matters there are two avenues:
      1. The big picture: Call the international team at Shire and become involved, they may have a job for you!
      2. Do get rid of the Prozac as it interacts w just about everything relevant to psych and medicine thru both 2D6 and 3A4, including female hormones and birth control coming up thru 3A4. Yes, the switch to escitalopram would be far better. I took a few min to look up the fenproporex and just as you suspected it is metabolized through both 2D6 and 3A4 – so Prozac blocks it even more completely:

      You could also evaluate dopamine [DA] precursors and other possible impediments to efficient DA activity in your PFC thru urine. We could tailor make those recommendations thru CorePsych if you sent her an email thru If you have any other metabolic issues we could do a Brief Chat also outlined on that same page to consider further review.

      Hope this helps! Your Engilsh is absolutely not a problem!

  25. Bennett Richard Temple says:

    So ive been reading on here and I saw that you said that prozac can lengthen the time it takes to metabolize amphetamines. Is this why I have to keep upping my doses of vyvanse to have similar effects? Does it cause the brain to down regulate to dopamine? If so I was thinking about stopping the vyvanse for a month or two to kind of help my body reset and also I would switch back to lexapro because the combo of lexapro and vyvanse seemed to be much more effective. Any thoughts would be great!

    • Bennett,
      Your body isn’t undergoing a “reset” – it is, quite simply detoxing from AMP. When you accumulate AMP you go out the top of the Therapeutic Window, you get worse and look more ADHD. Executive Function diminishes and you can emotionally deteriorate as well w depression, sleep, irritation, and look bipolar. Lexapro is one of my top choices for an appropriate alternative antidepressant that’s clean on 2D6. See this video series to get the dose and Window right:

      That simple change should solve your probs for years,

      • Bennett Richard Temple says:

        Thank you for the quick reply! I was just wondering if taking a break would help lowering the tolerance in a sense or would just switching to lexapro be enough of a change? The main benefit from vyvanse is the increase in motivation which oddly enough I would get from lower doses like 30mg where if I took 70mg it would actually do the opposite and cause me to be extremely unmotivated and just kind of zombie like

        • Bennett,
          Usually a person is clear in 1-2 days unless toxic. Far better to dial it in correctly in the first place, then leave it. If that Therapeutic Window moves around it simply indicates that the underlying metabolic problems remain active and contributory to treatment failure. Yes, zombie is too much.

          • Bennett Richard Temple says:

            Thank you for the replies! Much appreciated, and ive read that grapefruit juice can interact with amphetamines. Is this because it also affects 2D6?

          • No Bennett, it the acid juice that interferes w passage thru the gastric mucosa. Same w orange juice. Not a prob for Vyvanse which is cleft from it’s prodrug form in red blood cells of all things.

  26. Sepand says:

    Dear Dr.Parker,

    I have read your book and it was really a revelation. Thank you so much for everything you are putting out to this world!

    I have a question about my ADHD. I am a picky eater, underweight and weigh only 116 pounds at the age of 24 with a height of 5’7. I always had ADHD but I also suffer from depression. I am also called the biggest procrastinator in the world by my friends and family. About 3 years ago, I was at the peak of my depression where I was sleeping 16 hours a day. The doctor had me on 100 mg of Zoloft after trying me on Prozac (which I later found was way too much for me), 300 mg of Wellbutrin and 36 mg of Concerta. I felt bad on them so I went off all medications and allowed myself to heal naturally with time. I felt better without the medications as well.

    In the beginning of this year however, I have been much better on depression and was sleeping about 10 hours a day. I thought it may be because of inattentive ADHD and after reading your book, I decided to talk to my doctor about getting Vyvanse because I was absolutely certain that I had Thinking ADHD. He prescribed me 30mg and it was too much because I started having heart palpitations shortly along with being extremely overwhelmed and overfocused. My sleeping improved and I was sleeping 7 hours a day though. However my social skills decreased dramatically and I was anxious in meeting anyone. I also felt like I was feeling depressed again.

    The doctor decided to reduce it to 20mg and I still felt it was too much for me as I was overwhelmed so I titrated it to 10mg and while it gives me focus, I still felt depressed and my sleeping increased to 10 hours a day. So he added Zoloft 25mg with it and it made me sleep even longer where I was sleeping like 14 hours a day and felt tired through out the day. He stopped that after a month and now he added Wellbutrin SR 150 mg along with my 10mg of Vyvanse.

    This has been the best combo so far (even though I feel like my working memory hasn’t been the best since I started Wellbutrin) but even with that, I feel overwhelmed when I take Vyvanse but unfocused when I don’t take it at all and only have the Wellbutrin working at the background.

    My doctor says that I have an avoidant personality, told me to stop Vyvanse and do therapy and even though I have been doing therapy for 3 months, it really isn’t fully helping me be effective as I could be in terms of focus, organization and productivity. I can never keep to a schedule! On the other hand, it’s got me back my social confidence and my dating skills skyrocketed to the roof by being just on Wellbutrin SR and I feel less depressed. I am very confused on what I should do right now and wanted to see how you would deal with a situation like this.

    • Sepand,

      1. The First Rule of psych meds for ADHD: no cookie cutter solutions – so I have no pat answers.
      2. The very close Second Rule: When you’re chasing your tail in the woods and stim meds never work predictably, and you have the overall significant negative reaction to even low dose stimulants, both MPH and AMP, you absolutely should look more deeply into metabolic causality. Your body is messing with your meds.

      I don’t know about your gut, your skin, your respiratory system, but those are the next questions with gut always first, the easiest, most obvious marker. See these Two playlists at Mind and Gut, and ADHD Milk and Wheat Immunity. They are # 3 & 4 on the list from the top when you go to ‘Playlists.’ Those videos explain details I can’t cover in this comment.

      And BTW, picky eaters always have metabolic problems… the only logical step according to Galileo in ~ 1600:

      Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.

      If you wish to consult we can tell you much more if you schedule a detailed hour at

      Best to you and yours for a relaxing Holiday!

  27. Michael says:

    My 10yo son has been treated for ADHD for years with various stimulants. Although his symptoms improved remarkably when he took Vyvanse, it had to be discontinued because it gave him headaches. Adderall and Ritalin did not helped him but, his teachers say that he is attentive,… on Concerta. However, I have yet to observe any improvement in his distractiblility/hyperactivity on weekends, etc.. when on Concerta. Can you recommend another alternative medication that will help reduce his symptoms. Thank you for your help

    • Michael,
      Some have success w Adderall XR even when Vyvanse proves a challenge. Always look for metabolic imbalances with headaches and a big drop in the PM when the Vyvanse, or any stim, wears off.

  28. Mike says:

    Hi Dr. Charles Parker,

    Thank you so much for the wealth of information that you are bringing to us patients about this confusing world of stimulant medication, both online and in your book (which I bought this past summer).

    I burn through Vyvanse at an alarming rate! 50mg doesn’t reach full effect for two hours, then it only lasts for two hours,if that!(Two hours of symptom coverage). To maintain coverage,I need to dose with 25mg (after the initial 50mg) every TWO HOURS! And that doesn’t always work.
    During the comedown I get horrible migraines almost everytime if I’m not careful with hydration,sleep and blood sugar levels.

    I’m currently taking escitalopram (10mg at night) as well.
    Do you think that changing to Prozac might slow up the metabolizing of the Vyvanse a bit or would you advise completely staying away from it?

    My doctor in the past had me on an extremely high dose of amphetamine products: 250mg of Vyvanse plus an additional 90mg of Adderall (3x30mg spread over the day). I still burn through it but the headaches are worse.

    My doctor doesn’t know what to do. Now he is just following my suggestions.
    I’m trying Modafinil right now (400mg)but it doesn’t do much.

    What do you think I should do at this point?

    • Mike,
      To add Prozac at this point will likely continue the symptom chase rather than seek the underlying causality – a far more important adventure. Yes, some would recommend your suggestion for the obvious reason that it does inhibit metabolism and cause accumulation, but your metabolic rate [a key indicator of underlying problems] is already far out of sorts, so why add problems to an already corrupted metabolic system?

      Yours is a clear, frequently found challenge, and deserves several data inquiries:
      1. You could look at CYP 450 2D6 polymorphisms to see if your is an uncommon ultra-rapid metabolizer genetically. Genova Labs, Genomind, for example.
      2. More to the point, less costly, and far more informative would be immune testing w Cyrex, specifically Array 3 to start for all the subsets of gluten challenge – see the several recent posts here on Cyrex, and the video training on my YouTube Playlist page that addresses this testing:
      3. Before that you may wish to consider this playlist to understand your further self exploration:

      Hope this helps,

      PS: If I can help call Desiree at Services here: We consult on these matters anywhere.

      • Mike says:

        Hi Dr. Charles Parker,

        Wow! Thank you for the quick reply! And thank you so much for your suggestions! Now I have some direction.
        I’ve been playing around with Vyvanse, Adderall xr, Dexedrine Spansules and Concerta for about three years. All I seem to get is side effects.
        Vyvanse by far has been the most consistent but still, it only seems to work for a couple of hours, then I start to feel lousy.
        My symptoms (without any stimulants) is basically fatigue and boredom. Absolutely no stimulation from anything, except maybe Megan Fox (LOL!).Trouble following conversations and constantly daydreaming, mostly about my symptoms.This is with 10mg of escitalopram as well. I know a lot of the fatigue is from the SSRI.
        When I take a low dose of Vyvanse, say 30mg in the AM (with a high protein breakfast,of course), I start to feel really lazy, worse than without the stimulant. Then after a few hours, I will start to feel irritable and headachey.
        If I bring the dose higher, say around 70mg, then I will feel some motivation and energy from it after about 1.5 hrs. I am also in a pretty decent mood.(I’ve had depression for so long that I don’t know if this decent mood is “feeling normal” or if this is the “high”).This effect will last for about 1.5hrs, then I start dropping off quite rapidly, feeling really irritable, don’t want to talk to anyone and feeling headachey.
        At this point I have to eat a decent meal, drink a bunch of water, and take another smaller Vyvanse (say 30mg) and take it mellow or a wicked migraine will pounce! Sometimes I will get one even when I do everything above.
        Anyway, thanks again for your suggestions!I think it is great that you are spending the time to help us people that feel like treatment failures. You have a good heart!


        • Thanks Mike,
          Sounds like you’re right on it!
          Best for the Holidays!

          • Mike says:

            Hi Dr. Charles Parker

            So I visited my ADHD specialist today here in Vancouver, B.C.
            He asked “so how are you doing? ..better or worse?”
            I said that I’m having the same problem with Modafinil as I had with Vyvanse; worked for the first few days then became less and less effective. I’m at the max dose of 400mg and it works a little bit for a few hours then I’m back to feeling fatigued and bored.
            I brought your book along and suggested that I may have a sensitivity of some kind, either gluten, milk or something else and that it may be messing with my metabolism and that I should get an IgG test done.
            He flipped through the book a bit, handed it back to me and said “No, no I don’t buy it. There is no gluten sensitivity issue.”
            I thought “Huh?”. He is usually quite open minded. I think you have to be open minded when you run into a road block and don’t know what to do.
            At that point I said “well, okay.” (I didn’t want to irritate him. After all, it was 4:15 PM on a Friday and I could tell he wasn’t in the best mood.)
            I then suggested that maybe we raise the Modafinil if it is safe to do so since I was already at 400mg.
            He took out his reference book and checked; “800mg a day for narcolepsy…ok. He then looked at me suspiciously and said firmly, “I’m not prescribing this for you to get HIGH! I’m prescribing it for you to FUNCTION!”
            Another “huh?”. “Of course not!” I said. “I want to function! How can I expect to do that if I’m getting high?”
            “Just checking” he said.
            I was shocked that he would think that I’m getting high since he has been my doctor for several years and he knows that I take this illness seriously. I’ve never abused it in the past and don’t intend to. He knows that I have spent countless hours on the internet researching this illness.
            I think he just had a bad day. Or maybe he has ADHD himself and HIS Vyvanse was wearing off!(LOL!)
            In the end, I check my prescription before walking up to the counter at the pharmacy.”Vyvanse and Intuniv”. What?! We talked about taking Intuniv IF the Modafinil increase fails to work! He also forgot to write down the Cipralex!(Lexapro in US)
            It’s not the first time that he has made a mistake on my prescription, but that’s okay. After all, he is human too.

            Anyway Dr.Parker, this was an “interesting” appointment I thought I would share with you (lol!)If you have time, let me know your thoughts.


          • Mike,
            His remarks clearly mark him as uninformed, opinionated based on group-think, and wrong on the gluten. On the Modaf: I agree w him in principle, he simply doesn’t know what to do with the Roving Therapeutic Window process – explained in this Tutorial on ADHD Med Dosing:

            He needs help on issues of metabolism, immunity and dosing strategies. No need to be shocked, he sounds like a slightly irritated guy w his back to the wall who hates being wrong and wants to get it right – an unhappy sample of stasis in the slowly evolving standard of care for ADHD.

            The larger question: how do we bring frustrated and well meaning docs into the next plateau of informed Executive Function Diagnosis and Treatment? For some quotes on that evolution that bear consideration: See this ADHD Quotes post.

  29. Carla says:

    In the past I have been treated for anxiety with Zoloft Paxil lexapro Wellbutrin Xanax and now I am on Prozac. My doc says I am depressed and don’t know it, and that I have OCD and anxiety disorder. I have made a 3 page list on the symptoms that make everyday simple tasks seem like mountains. My 6 year old daughter has adhd and has been tested. How do I go about getting tested as an adult. I have struggled for years convinced the doctors may not be taking the correct route and I feel like I’m out of control of my own mental health. I want to fix the things that cause the anxiety attacks not just mask them with a smile.

    • Carla,
      As you know from reading this post Prozac is the very least favorite of antidepressants for those troubled by ADHD. Why? Because many experienced, peer reviewed authors have repeatedly recognized prefrontal cortical slowing is aggravated by Prozac far more than any other antidepressant – because it’s stored in brain fat – it accumulates to create ADHD even if you don’t have it. If you do, go figure.

      Get on the phone wherever you are and get a medical evaluation. Look at my ADHD Med Rules book, see the videos in this ADHD Tutorial playlist, or take tests anywhere on the Internet. Anxiety and OCD are the most frequently overlooked subsets of ADHD.
      PS: Looks from your email you might be a hair dresser… the group most responsible for changing the world through informed conversations!;-)

  30. Tara says:

    What about mixing adderal, welbutrin and xanax. I was initially diagnosed with GAD and then ADD. Are there any interactions between these medications that I should be concerned with? I seem to be in a bit of a cognitive shut down. I was very creative and a problem solver……now I just can’t do any of that.

  31. […] It’s time for a profound shift to critical thinking. Evidence matters. […]

  32. Chad says:

    I was diagnosed w/ adhd at young age but as I got older the symptoms were not bad enough for medication. I also suffer from severe anxiety/stress that can turn into full-blown panic attacks, for this I have been taking Xanax (1-2mg as needed only) for several years. To the point, I have lately been having severe problems focusing, concentrating, following through with things I need to get done, etc… it’s been almost three years since I have had these adhd/add issues now that I am an adult so my Dr. is convinced I am depressed and started me on a daily dose of 20mg Paxil. I have never taken SSRI’s before and the side effects started a few days after starting the Paxil and now I really do feel depressed. I am tired all of the time and my focusing and attention span are even worse than before. This Dr is new to me and I do not have health insurance so she was one of the only Dr’s in my area that accepts cash/self-pay patients so I may be stuck with her and she comes off as if it is “her way or the highway”. My next apt with her is wed 10.30.13 so I am trying to come up with a game plan. I feel my initial symptoms are synonymous with Adult ADHD/ADD and I am not depressed, plus my anxiety is well controlled with my current Xanax med. I feel she is going to try to give me another SSRI or anti-depressant when what I really need is an Adderall Rx. What would be the best way to approach her with these issues as not to tell her point blank that I think her diagnosis is wrong but…? Any advice will help & sorry for the long post. Thanks

  33. Arpad says:

    Dr. My daughter is 15 has ADHD/ADD and has been on Adderall RX 35 mg for several years. She began to have a lot of anxiety and her Dr. added Paroxetine 10mg for her daily. She is very petite for her age skin and bones.
    Recently she does not care about the way she looks when she goes to school. She used to dress up and ware some make-up she says her friends see a change in her. I am so worried the mom and I are divorced and the mom wants her on these meds I don’t. My daughter is not doing well at school and is depressed. In her own words she says she is “Out of it” and is struggling. Is there date to show these two drugs should not be used together?
    Thank you very much.

  34. […] time for a profound shift to critical thinking. Evidence matters. The brain is real, the way humans react to reality is real, and the current mercurial ADHD […]

  35. Sean010 says:

    Hello , Thank you so much for looking into my case in advance.
    Are there any issues ( as small as they can be) with combing Paxil (10mg) at night, and Amphetamine in the AM (10 mg). My doctor wants to me to increase Paxil to 20 mg after a week.
    here is some history!
    I have had anxieties mostly from taking exams, and also have had trouble focusing on studying specially in public areas. So for the anxiety last year i was put on Zoloft last year, that i couldn’t finish taking for more than 10 days, They say all the SSRI takes 4 weeks for it work. So I stopped. 6 months after ( now) the problem of both anxiety and difficulty in focusing still persist. I just feel that i have been very emotional person easily distracted by any sound or voice. So Just last 10 days i was put on Paxil for the anxiety part and Amphetamine 10mg for focusing. The doctor wanted me to start Paxil 1st week with 10 mg , then increase to 20. So i did the 1st week with 10 mg, it was already so powerful that messes with everything, the 1st week i experimented to see weather i should take at night or in the AM. Taking it in the AM was the worst choice so i started to take at bedtime last night was my 1st trial. Still was so hard to get out of bed feeling very drowsy, but once I tool the amphetamine i became more stabilized , awake and functioning. So my question is do u see any short or long term health problems with this combination? or do you suggest a better combination to treat both anxiety and focusing. Many thanks for your time and support.

  36. Patricia Evans says:

    We live in NJ and are in Horizon HMO , do you have any recommendations for a Dr. for my daughter. She is 11 and her pediatrician is only treating for her Pink Tie appearance. He has never asked her about the effective time of her medication. I asked her about her bowel movements this week but he never asks anything other that checking blood pressure and weight. Olivia seems to have ODD with the Adhd but I do think part of her ODD is from the medication. She was on Vyvanse and Intuniv for over 2 years. It helped tremendously to get her on track but it is not as effective lately but he doesn’t even ask . When she went to the DR. this week that is when he talked to her and decided she was depressed and took her off the intuniv and put her on the prozac . That is what blew a big whistle because I don’t see her as depressed at all. As I have stated she told him also that she’s not depressed.My daughter says the medication works from 8:15(when she gets on the bus) till 3:45 when she comes home. Obviously it’s time to change Dr.s.

    • Patricia,
      An 8 hr DOE is the best you can get from Concerta, but without comorbid diagnoses it’s too short for Vyvanse. With Vyvanse we look, most often for a 10-12 Hr DOE.
      When comorbid diagnosis becomes a possibility it’s likely you do need a second opinion – the Prozac thing is very, very common as Lilly has done a great job of selling peds on the safety of the drug while avoiding the implications of 2D6. ODD can be related, by the way, to one of the 4 kinds of serotonin touchiness issues, one of them anger, that can be treated w SSRI meds if they are clean on 2D6.

    • Do give Desiree a call and set up a brief chat w me to help w next steps.

  37. Patricia Evans says:

    I talked to my daughter, she insists that she is NOT depressed and that she simply is tired. I believe she may have issues with digestive problems and that the intuniv she was on was causing the build ip of the vyvanse because it was okay for a while but recently she can’t tolerate milk and other things she eats. Her Dr. has never tested for any of these issues but I have listened to all your videos and I suspect they are the root cause of her anxiety and feeling exhausted.

    • Patricia,
      Remain selective about IgG testing. I absolutely don’t use Lab Corps as they are helpful, but less precise and predictable, and if not covered are 10X the price of other groups like Great Plains.

  38. Patricia Evans says:

    My daughter(age 11) was just diagnosed with depression after taking vyvanse and intuniv together for several years. The doctor just prescribed prozac.. I have major concerns..

    • Patricia,
      Often not a prob in the first few days, but will become a prob down the line. Please tactfully suggest that you simply don’t want to use Prozac, that you’ve read of interactions on the Package insert with 2D6 and you simply want a different med, like Zoloft which is clean on 2D6 and approved for that age range.

  39. Linda Beth Smith says:

    Is Celexa a good combination with Vyvance. I take 60 mg of Vyvance and 60 of Celexa. I’m wondering about the combination.
    Linda Beth Smith

  40. Mike Rizzo says:

    I started out taking 90mg of Vyvanse for my ADHD and my Dr. thought I was depressed so he started me on 20mg of Prozac. I have been on Vyvanse 90mg for close to 2 and a half years and added the prozac probably about a year ago. I still feel depressed and I feel like its never going to get better. I feel lost and helpless. What should I suggest to my Dr. about these two medications?

    • Mike,

      Clearly the meds will inhibit full recover as there is clearly a drug interaction, often so subtle it’s misses but clearly creating significant cognitive and often affective challenges…. This video explains and references documented there for your doc. Best alternative Effexor XR or Venlafaxine ER depending on your doc’s recommendation.

      Prozac, Paxil and AMP Video:
      Specifics about that Problematic CYP2D6 Pathway:

      And watch for the Vyvanse to appear overdoses when the pathway is cleared – too much may rush in to that cleared pathway.

  41. Joanna says:

    This is very interesting. I am being treated for depression and ADHD. My psychiatrist just put me on Prozac 20 mg and Vyvanse, 50mg. I took the Prozac for about 3 days prior to initiating the Vyvanse. When I took the Vyvanse, my heart pounded harder and raced faster than I have ever experienced. This prompted me to check my BP. It was 150/105 and my pulse was 120. I checked it a few more times that day concerned I was having some type of reaction and the BP got as high as 154/114 and pulse got as high as 140. This lasted most of the day. Is this likely due to the drug interaction? I have taken Concerta 36 mg in the past with only slight increases in BP and pulse. I am considering taking half the dose of Vynanse and giving it another shot but probably will wait and ask my doctor first. Thanks for any feedback you have regarding this. You have some great info. here.

    • Joanna,
      Modifying the dosage only prolongs the agony – been there done that. My recommendation, for your doc’s consideration, be mindful and switch antidepressants to one clean on 2D6.

  42. what about the other ssri’s?

    • Lucianne,
      Cymbalta is fine at lower doses, – as I indicated Effexor and Pristiq are first choices in my practice if the side effect profile permits, and work very well long term with AMPs.

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