Medication for ADHD in College

Parent Q&A

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  • My daughter has been diagnosed since 3rd grade with ADHD inattentive type. She was using Daytrana Patch till about 1.5 years ago. It seemed to stop being effective for her and she was finding herself sort of immobile and unable to do things or have a sense that she was not doing things. So, her doctor prescribed Vyvance and it seemed to work a little and for a short time then really caused insomnia and then long crashes like 20+ hours. So, Now she has Adderall XR and it doesn't seem as crazy as Vyvance but we're seeing a difference in manufacturers of the generics. Some don't seem to last very long. Has anyone else ever come across this? 

    Also, We need a new provider because her current one has become very flaky and keeps canceling appts. We can't have this as her work schedule is important and can't keep expecting an appt and then having it canceled. 


    I'm sorry the medication adjustments are such a pain as your daughter grows or becomes used to them.  It's frustrating that all the publications say you should find a wonderful psychiatrist who will help you try all the different medications and dosages to find the perfect thing, and in reality it seems like they never have the time or inclination for that. 

    I can't add much, but I'll say that my provider (who has ADHD himself and works exclusively with ADHD patients) feels strongly that Walgreens has the best Adderall generic and RiteAid has the worst.  (I think that's regular Adderall, not XR; I don't know if you can draw conclusions.)  My provider is Roger Freed in Mill Valley, and I know he does some work with college students over the phone.  He can be scatter-brained about details but he never cancels appointments and he has a super-easy scheduling system.  He does make you deal with all the insurance stuff yourself, which hasn't been cheap for me.

  • ADHD meds while student is traveling abroad

    (3 replies)

     Hello all, my 21-year-old daughter is planning on traveling in South America and Asia in the next few months. She takes ADHD medication and gets a  monthly prescription to be filled, three slips at a time.  Have anyone dealt with how one fills these monthly prescriptions while abroad? Any information would be much appreciated! Thank you. 

    I would call her doctor and ask if she can get all of the medication she needs in advance so she can travel with it. The other option would be for you to pick it up and mail it to her. Unfortunately they are stricter with ADHD meds so they may be unable to do more than one prescription at a time. Her doctor would be where I would start as I don’t know if you can get prescriptions filled overseas. Good luck

    Go to the pharmacy, tell them to call the insurance co., and to get authorization for multiple refills all at once for her to take with her. Also get extra written Rxs to pack along, in case they get lost or stolen, so she can refill wherever she is.

    Very hard to fill prescriptions abroad!! Find out if your insurance has a way for you to do medication via mail in for 3 months at a time. Ours did so my daughter could have enough meds for a semester abroad. The difficulty tho with ADHD meds  are they are very valuable & ppl may steal them to sell. Also ADHD kid ma be more likely to misplace. So you & she will need a back up plan! Like a doctor lined up ahead of time that could have her records or who she could bring records too AND a safe place to hide her meds?

    good luck. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews


College freshman has started taking Adderall

Nov 2011

My son, ''Steve'' is a freshman in college and has started to take Adderall because he says it ''focuses'' him when he does his homework. Steve thinks he may have ADD because this medicaiton is so helpful to him, but I have not noticed any ADD symtoms when he was living at home. Also, Steve is a straight A student going to a very selective college and I don't believe he could preform at that high level of funtioning if he was ADD. I am concerned because I have heard that Adderall can be addictive and also because he is getting these medications from other students. Steve says lots of students at college use Adderall, but I am still very concerned. Any advice would be appreciated. Worried Mom

My son is quite a bit younger than yours (14) and on Adderal since he was 11 or 12. It made a huge difference in his life. I was against it for years, but I now regret not giving it to him sooner. With the kids I see (a few of his friends and that I work with)there hasn't been addiction - most kids I know on it do not want to take it on weekends or holidays or anytime they don't have to. But I know with adults it is quite different. When the doctor was talking to me about it and I really wasn't sure, he did say that anyone would do better with it - so that your son is doing better with it doesn't mean he has ADD - you or I would focus better with it too. If I were in your shoes, I would definitely encourage him to get his own prescription, because the dosages very HUGELY and are not only dependent on weight and how long someone has been on it, etc. I know some kids who are on many times the dose of other kids. Good luck! hoping it works out for your family

Dear Worried Mom, You should be worried, especially since your son is getting this medication from other students. Consider getting him tested for ADD, and explain to him that taking medication from other students can be deadly. Goodness knows where the medication really came from!! My 13 year old daughter has ADD and she is very bright. ADD affects the ability to focus and to organize, not intelligence. My two cents worth is that he should stop the Adderal immediately until he has been properly tested and diagnosed with ADD. Then, his doctor can prescribe appropriate medication.