More threads by Knoxy


Hi there.. Ive been diagnosed with bi-polar and well i have a question about my meds. First off, i have been on many different types of ssri's. And Benzos such as ativan and clonazapam. But currently iam on dexedrine. 30mg/day. Ive been reading through numerious threads and i cant seem to find a link between dexedrine and bi-polar anywhere? As far as i know its only for Adhd. Which i was asked about adhd before i was put on the medication, but i never took a test to determine if i had adhd. And the dexedrine are horrible. Ive lost 100lbs in the 2 years ive been on it. And my doctor keeps me on it. My question is basically is there a connection between dexedrine and bi-polar. Or Am I on the wrong medication alltogether?

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Are you certain about the diagnosis?

Sometimes, certain features of ADHD and bipolar disorder and even certain other disorders may overlap: e.g., impulsivity, moodiness, restlessness, etc. It may be that bipolar disorder was at one time the working diagnosis but not the one the doctor currently believes is the primary problem. Another possibility is that your doctor sees you as having both bipolar disorder and ADHD but you are not currently exhibiting active symptoms of bipolar and therefore he is only treating the ADHD at the present time.


Hi. Thanks for the reply

First off. Iam pretty certain about the diagnosis. I went to at least 4 doctors in toronto, all of which put me on ssri's for being depressed. But there diagnosis was always bi-polar. They wanted me to try lithium, which i did. But the ssri's were clearly helping more.

After a couple of years i wanted to try and find a local doctor, i was no longer working in Toronto wanted something closer. He had me on Celexa for about a year, and everything was great. Well... ups and downs. But the ups outweighted the downs this time. Then after that year, he asked me if i would be comfortable with taking ritalin for adhd. I did question him on adhd. And he said it was a possibilty. So i agreed. But after a month i wasent feeling so well anymore. Noticed that i was starting to lose a little weight, get pretty restless at times ( for which i was givin a daily dose of 8mg ativan) Which is a whole other topic together with what i went through with those. So i aproached my doc and he put me on dexedrine. Saying that it was better for what i was going through. But as soon as that fall came i was back to being depressed. And pretty much have been for the past 2 years.

And I totally agree with your comment also. That has been the same thought process going through my head for a while now. The thing i dont understand is that the bi-polar has always been the primary problem. As well as insomnia. and i show so few signs of adhd that i feel the medication is doing more harm than good. I feel over medicated. (My current daily meds are 30 mg dexedrine, 6mg clonazapam, and 150mg trazodone at bedtime) Although i have been cutting back to only 20mg of dexedrine trying to ween myself off.

If you dont mind me asking.. How would you recommend i go about quiting the dexedrine alltogether? I have talked to my doctor, but he recommends i stay on it. Normally i would listen, but after the loss of 100lbs and them making me feel like this. I feel things can only get worse...

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
150 mg trazodone at bedtime
Trazodone is actually an antidepressant (SSRI) - I don't know if you're aware of that. It is usually prescribed to help with insomnia because it makes people drowsy but it is a "serotonin booster" nonetheless.

How would you recommend i go about quiting the dexedrine alltogether? I have talked to my doctor, but he recommends i stay on it. Normally i would listen, but after the loss of 100lbs and them making me feel like this.
I assume your doctor has reasons for his recommendation. Is s/he aware of the weight loss? What was his/her reaction to that?

If it bothers you, you could try to find another physician for a second opinion - or ask your current doctor to assist you in obtaining a second opinion perhaps. I'm not a physician and I certainly would not presume to contradict your doctor's decision based on forum posts.



And thanks again.

Now i was aware of trazodones effects, but have always been told that it isnt a ssri, and just a seritonin antagonist. So yes. booster none the less.

Now my doctor does know about the weightloss.. i have to go there monthly for a refill of the scripts, and he takes my weight everytime. So i can only assume he has put 2 and 2 together on the weight issue, and i know my mom has brought it to his attention with a reaction of "Well the drug is working, its just a crutch while your brain heals" while its amphetamines doing the damage in the first place.

As for the advice, Iam going to see a new doc in the newyear. I really think that is my best and only choice, and iam definitly not the first person to switch doctors because of his decisions. Which i personally do contradict based on the fact that the first time i was prescribed dexedrine he didnt even know it existed. It was myself that had heard about the medication and asked him about it. But i do respect that you cant contadict his decision.

Iam sorry for bothing you about this, its just that this medication has made my life a living hell and iam looking for anyway out.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
No, no. I did not mean to imply that it was a bother. Just that it would be unethical of me to contradict the advice of your physician, first, because he is a physician and I am not, and, second, because he knows you and your medical history from face-to-face interviews and we don't.

I also don't mean to imply that you shouldn't be an active participant in your treatment -- collaborative medicine or collaborative therapy as it's sometimes called. it's your life and your body and your brain and you absolutely have a perfect right both to seek information and opinions and to question his recommendations.

My apologies if I gave you a false impression. You are free to discuss anything about your treatment here.


Oh I think its me that should be apologizing, There was no false impression.. I was just quite upset about my whole situation, I think i worded it wrong. I agree that it is my life and body and I do collect information on the internet and books, and ask for opinions.. not advice. And I didnt mean for a contradiction to my doctors advice, but more the opinion from another doctor.

I honestly see it exactly how you do in your first paragraph. I would never follow "advice" from anyone who didnt know my whole story and background. Just opinions that i may raise in my next appointment. Especially when it comes to medicine. And questioning his recommendations.

I think my biggest worrie is the fact that dexedrine is amphetamines.. and i have no idea if they will leave me with permanent brain damage. And the fact that everyone that is close to me questions my doctors ethics because there the ones watching it all happen to me, and say that it hurts them to watch all this happen to me, and they miss the old me. It questions all of us if my medication is really nesessary.. I only went to the doctors because i couldnt sleep, right away i was given SSRI's and ever since, through ever diagnosis, ive been medicated. The only answer i can come up with is ya sure i probably was depressed.. but due to lack of sleep.. everyone seems miserable from lack of sleep... But does that call for a chemical smile? Personally i dont think so (in my situation).

Actually I did take your "advice" and am going to another physician at the end of January. I must thank you for that. I think that it is most definitly the next step i need to take.

Thank you very much for talking to me about this. It does make me feel much better.

And I wish you and your family a Happy Holidays!

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
I wish you the same. Knoxy. I'm pleased to hear that you are seeking that second opinion -- either it will relieve your doubts about your current treatment or it will confirm your doubts and confirm that there is another and better approach. Good luck.


Actually I did take your "advice" and am going to another physician at the end of January


Your questions and concerns are valid ones and your decision to get another opinion is prudent. There may be valid reasons for your physician's approach based on his/her knowledge of your medical history. However if you feel uncomfortable with your treatment, it is in your best interest to discuss your concerns with your physician or to ask for a second opinion.

Second opinions in medicine are common and your physician should not take offense at your seeking further opinions. Physicians are accustomed to working in a collegial atmosphere where opinions from colleagues are often sought.

The practice of medicine is science combined with art, and even though physicians follow the same basic scientific principles, there may be different approaches in therapy based on the physician's experience.

We as patients, seek the opinions of physicians as our consultants, then participate in deciding on the treatment option that makes the best sense to us.

Please keep us posted on your progress and what conclusion you come to.

Replying is not possible. This forum is only available as an archive.