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adderall for fatigue

Posts: 135
Joined: Dec 2010


I was wondering if any of your drs have prescribed adderall for fatigue, off label. There was a study by the mayo clinic from 2010 which showed in made a difference for people with stage 3 or 4 disease.
Here is the link:

SharonVegas's picture
Posts: 189
Joined: Feb 2012

Interesting article. Have not heard of it being perscribed for fatigue. My doc mentioned he could perscribe Riddlin for me if I wanted that "feel good" feeling. I thought he was joking, maybe he was not?

ellamenno's picture
Posts: 145
Joined: Aug 2010

Ritalin does help with fatigue and alertness. I think it would be particularly helpful with "the cancer blues" as it can also promote a feeling of well-being. I would not recommend it for those experiencing a lack of appetite though as it can suppress the appetite a little.

Posts: 135
Joined: Dec 2010

Lol. I think both ritalin and adderall are similar. Some people have said it has really made a difference. My mom's been really tired, sluggish. Wondering if this would help.

Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

They are similar with slight differences inn their actions on the dopamine system. Adderall is essentially amphetamine (speed)and Ritalin is methylphenidate. In add trials they come out similar though add may have less tolerance and is harder to abuse. My initial response is one of shock that people prescribe stimulants for what is tiredness but in truth for people with seriously compromised quality of life fromfatigue that can't be treated by stopping the cause I guess I see the justification. I don't think it is used in that way here in the uk but then psychiatric drugs are used much more freely in the states than here.

Interested to hear anyone's experience.


wolfen's picture
Posts: 1325
Joined: Apr 2009

Steve, I had to chuckle at your comment about psychiatric drugs in the states. Doctors here want to give you a pill for a hangnail. I know that at least forty years ago, the drug of choice for ADHD children was Ritalin. IMO, it was an easy way out for some of the teachers who couldn't deal with exceptionally bright children. It is my understanding, however, that Ritalin affects adults differently than children. When JBG was about seven, a classmate of her was put on Ritalin. I ran into his mother about fifteen years later and she told me he had been on Ritalin for many years and, in reality, it did not change his demeanor. About that same time, my son's school insisted he be put on some type of calming medication, so we gave him a vitamin and told the school it was Ritalin. He immediately became the "best" child in the class. Sure, he was hyper, but highly intelligent. After all, he was a seven year old little boy.

I, of course, have no medical background and have not reasearched Ritalin in a long, long time, and this was the non-effect of it on one child. I understand that it acts just the opposite in adults. So you would know much more that I from a professional standpoint.



Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2012

My son fell off a 5th story building and after many years of recuperation was stuck in depression and not wanting to do anything. A doc prescribed Adderall. He is kind of "hooked" now, but it does make his life more active and happier. I do not know if it has any long time negative side effects. I hate to see him so dependent on it (if he does not get it he turns into a bear) but overall I think it is worth it. his quality of life has improved significantly. I agree that they give drugs way too freely in the U.S., but when the quality of life, long term, is very low, why not try something to improve it. Just my opinion.

Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2010

I experience problems with memory, multi-tasking and concentration. I had not experienced such issues prior to cancer/chemo. I found myself struggling at work. I don't seem to interpret detailed written materials or hear conversations well when too many words are used.

My physician prescribed Adderall to help concentrate and stay focused. I only take it when I need to analysis data and can't seem to focus. It does keep me alert and staying on task to complete a project.

It does not help with memory, still make lists and take detailed notes to remember what is being requested.

stkitt's picture
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2012

Hey there, I am a newbie but this is one question I can answer. My severe fatigue started in December of 2011 and my Psychiatist felt it was my depression so together we agreed Adderall may help me get off the couch. It did help but not as well as I had hoped for and the reason for that was I had colon cancer. A case of blame the "depression" rather than look for a cause that may be physical.

I was dx on 8/10/2012, surgery on August 16th for Stage IIIC colon cancer. I am continuing taking 27 mg extended release Adderall to help with my fatigue now as I am receiving chemo. My PCP and Psychiatrist both agree that it is safe for me to use this medication and it is prescribed to use as needed.

I find it has helped as I am off the couch and have more interest in doing things when I feel well.

Hope that helps a few of you in looking at using this med. There is no high or kick with this dose of Adderall for me - I was up to 54mg for awhile and that was just to strong.

Take care,

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Joined: Feb 2017

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Posts: 23
Joined: Jan 2017

When I had my primary cancer in my colon my pallative care dr prescribed Ritalin to help me with energy at work. it actually said take before you go to work on the bottle. 3yrs later after I had liver nets and a re section, I asked my oncologist for a script of Ritalin and he emphaticalllly said no, that's not good after this type of surgery. So I'm not sure if havong the operation on my liver was the decid factor or not.

Posts: 41
Joined: Feb 2017

I am surprised (even though I probably shouldn't be) that I am not the only one that struggles with concentration.  My first round of chemo made it so I no longer can read a book.  I used to carry a book with me at all times and would always have my nose shoved in it.  For the past three years I have not been able to get more than a few pages into a book before I got distracted and never returned.  I do audio books as a counter measure.  But I really do miss that feeling of being completely absorbed into a book. 

I am so easily distracted any more.  I don't do things to completion.  It is a fight some days at work. 

Are there others with more info on what they did to fight this?

Posts: 23
Joined: Feb 2017


It is funny you you should ask, today is my fourth day on Xeloda and four days since my infusion of Oxaliplatin and have experienced a lot of brain fog.  Today in particular i came into work and we had a record review and could not focus and freaked out a little, because I could not find my two records.  I really struggled with getting it together. 

A friend of mine who went through colon cancer and bladder cancer along with radiation and chemo swears by beets, not a beet extract or juice formula, just plain old beets and says it cleared his mind and he was able to function much better through the brain fog.  I haven't tried it yet but i will let you know. Brian

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