Harley Mind Care

Harley Mind Care Logo

What to expect when trying new controlled drugs for ADHD – Medication Titration?

Medication Titration: Understanding the Process

1Medication titration for ADHD is a personalised process designed to identify the most effective medication and dosage for each individual. This process begins once a treatment plan has been agreed upon. When starting on new controlled drugs for ADHD, the medication titration process is crucial.
2The titration period is characterised by a series of regular, brief follow-ups with your Consultant Psychiatrist. These follow-ups allow for the monitoring and evaluation of the individual’s response to the treatment.
3Titration involves gradually adjusting the dosage of the medication to find the most effective dose with the fewest side effects. This process requires close monitoring and communication with your Consultant Psychiatrist.
4Given the unique nature of each individual’s response to medication, it’s challenging to predict the exact number of follow-ups required. Typically, this process involves between 3 to 5 follow-ups, but this can vary based on the individual’s response.
5It’s important to note that General Practitioners (GPs) often review the frequency and number of these follow-ups before accepting a Shared Care Proposal. If they find the titration process unsatisfactory, they have the right to decline to take over the care on the NHS.

Initial Dosage and Adjustment:

1It’s important to note that when medication is started, sometimes the dosage could be too low to have an effect. It is crucial to let the doctor know as soon as possible – perhaps after 3 or 4 days. This will allow for timely adjustments and ensure the effectiveness of the treatment.
2Many patients report feeling a sense of clarity and improved organisational skills once the medication reaches an optimal level.

Target Symptoms of ADHD Medications

ADHD medications aim to improve several core symptoms:

1InattentionYou may notice an increase in your ability to focus, concentrate, and complete tasks.
2Hyperactivity There might be a reduction in excessive movements and fidgeting.
3ImpulsivityYou could experience better control over your actions, emotions and a decrease in impulsive behaviours.

Potential Side Effects and What to Watch For

While ADHD medications can be highly effective, they can also cause side effects. It’s important to be aware of these and report them to your Consultant Psychiatrist

Common Side Effects

1Appetite loss
3Dry mouth

Less Common, but Serious Side Effects

1Increased heart rate or blood pressure
2Mood changes, including increased irritability, anger or nervousness
3Small increase risk of psychosis & or tics

Monitoring Emotional Changes

It’s important to monitor for any changes in mood or behaviour, especially during the initial titration period. Some patients may experience an increase in anger or irritability. Loved ones should be aware of this possibility and provide support and understanding during this time.

Tips for Managing Side Effects

1Appetite lossEat smaller, more frequent meals, and opt for nutrient-dense foods.
2InsomniaMaintain a consistent sleep routine, avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening, take your ADHD medication early in the morning so that it wears off by the evening and create a relaxing bedtime environment.
3Dry mouthDrink plenty of water, chew sugar-free gum, or use over-the-counter saliva substitutes.
4HeadachesEnsure proper hydration, take breaks from screens, and use over-the-counter pain relievers if needed (after consulting with your Consultant Psychiatrist).
5Stomach-achesTake medication with food and avoid spicy or greasy foods.

Requesting a New Prescription

1To ensure a seamless continuation of your treatment, please request any new prescription at least 7 days before your current medication supply runs out. This time frame allows your Doctor to thoroughly review your current treatment’s effectiveness, discuss any necessary adjustments or alternative options, and then issue and send the new prescription. This process ensures that the pharmacy has adequate time to dispense your medication, preventing any gaps in your treatment.

Communicating with Your Consultant Psychiatrist

Regular follow-up appointments are essential during the titration process. Keep a journal of your symptoms, side effects, and any changes in behaviour. Share this information with your healthcare provider to help them adjust your dosage effectively. 

Support from Loved Ones 

Inform your family and close friends about the potential for mood changes, such as increased irritability or anger. Their understanding and support can be invaluable during this period. Encourage them to be patient and provide a calm, supportive environment.

Final Thoughts

Starting new controlled drugs for ADHD can be a transformative experience, leading to significant improvements in attention, focus, and overall functioning. However, the titration process requires careful monitoring and communication with your Psychiatrist. By understanding potential side effects and seeking support from loved ones, you can navigate this period more smoothly and achieve the best possible outcome.

If you have any concerns, contact your Psychiatrist.

If you experience severe side effects or a rash, contact emergency services immediately and stop your medication. Your safety and well-being are the top priorities. Your Psychiatrist can explore other alternatives with you.