Saturday, November 16, 2019

Prescription Stimulants: A Comparison

While there are many prescription pharmaceutical stimulants on the market today, their numbers pale in comparison to the variety that existed in the mid-20th Century.  Phenmetrazine (a favorite of the Beatles), biphetamine, meth + barbiturate combos, tenuate, phenylpropanolamine, Raphetamine & others were banned for various reasons--high abuse potential, heart or liver damage, etc, leaving behind a basic set of two types of Rx stims:  amphetamines & cocaine-like drugs such as methylphenidate (Ritalin).  There are also a class of "wakefulness promoters" like modafinil (Provigil) & armodafinil.

Of these, I've tried the following:  Adderall, Vyvanse, Dexedrine, Ritalin & Provigil.  There are many more on the 'want-to-try-one-day' list, such as Desoxyn & phendimetrazine (Bontril).  But I will attempt to describe the effects of those I have tried for anyone out there who's curious how they compare.

Adderall:  This is the bread-and-butter of the Rx stim world.  I find it to be the most fun & light-hearted amphetamine.  It contains both levo- and dextro-amphetamine, making it a racemic mixture that's a bit more jittery than plain dextro-amphetamine.  Some people like this while others find it unnerving.  I happen to be in the former category.  Adderall gives me an all-around better energy boost than plain dex & just feels more "fun".  Of course I keep my doses of all stims low because my heart races too much if I don't.  And who needs the extra anxiety?

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Adderall XR ad.  (Kid is clearly manic).  

Dexedrine:  I first took Dexedrine on the 4th of July in 2015.  It was a fun but intense day & night.  I find dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) to feel very "serious," reminiscent of a Nazi drug that just makes you want to put your head down & bang out assembly line work or something.  I wouldn't turn my nose up at it but it's not quite as recreational as Adderall for me.  Just has a more cold, utilitarian feel.

Dexedrine:  For "victims" of overeating.

Vyvanse:  Vyvanse is a pro-drug of dextroamphetamine, which means it has to be processed through the liver before it "becomes" dextroamphetamine.  Thus it can take a while before the actual effects kick in.  This isn't a bad thing I've found:  it has the desired stimulant effects & is a bit smoother feeling than plain Dex.  Very similar & longer-acting in my opinion.  I probably couldn't tell them apart in a blind test. 

Ritalin:  Ahh, Ritalin.  Baby's first stimulant.  Methylphenidate (Ritalin) belongs to a different class than the amphetamines & is actually more similar to cocaine in its method of action, which can be good or bad depending on your personal preference.  In my case, it just makes me too jittery & tense to be of much use.  Again, would I turn my nose up at it if offered some?  No.  But I prefer even Benzedrex to Ritalin because the cocaine-type drugs just aren't my thing.  Ditto for Concerta

Image result for vintage ritalin ad
'Brighten the Day' Ritalin Ad

Provigil:  Modafinil (Provigil) is yet another type of stimulant--ahh, wakefulness-promoting agent--that exists to treat things like narcolepsy & shift work sleep disorder.  I was prescribed it in college on the suspicion that I had narcolepsy.  While it prevented daytime napping, it did NOTHING to alleviate the fatigue I experience when the sun is up, which led to a miserable & tortuous state of wakefulness I wouldn't wish on anyone.  Plus it was really fucking expensive.  Give me real stims or give me sleep. 

Have you tried any Rx stimulants I haven't included here?  Share your experiences below!

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