About a month ago I wrote about my suspicions regarding the generic brands of Adderall. It was, and is, my contention that something is profoundly different about the new (generic) pink Adderall, compared to the brand name orange variety (at 20 mg).
This weekend I met a pharmacy grad student out at the bars. When I posed my theory to her, the girl instantly transitioned from ditsy barfly mode into “defend my career field” mode, and was uncomfortably aggressive in her defense of the pharmaceutical industry in general. She seemed to take my inquiry as an attack on her as an individual. I tried to explain that I wasn’t a scientologist and had no financial interest in derailing her profession. But it was too late, she’d already been unleashed on this weird diatribe against “ignorant ass-heads who bash pharmacists because they’ve got nothing better to do.” Okay. She was particularly defensive of penicillin, which said to me she was too cocked to cognitively separate her internal thoughts from the substance of the conversation in which she was being invited to participate.
Anyway, I came away from this conversation more convinced than ever that something really shady is going on; either (a) the pink generic Adderall makers are cutting corners or (b) the orange brand name Adderall makers are not shooting straight when it comes to sharing their chemical recipe with their pink competitors. Obviously I can’t trust doctors or pharmacists or drunk chicks at bars to give me a straight answer. It is such a helpless, powerless feeling. I’ve decided its time to go back on the orange stuff for a month to find out if the difference is real or if it’s only in my head.
Of course there’s a very real possibly of the placebo effect, which I know in the past has influenced my perceptions of Adderall’s usefulness. To control for this I need some sort of way to monitor which color pill I take and when. I’m familiar with statistics and how to conduct a scientific study, and ideally I’d have to have both the pink pills and the orange ones on-hand; and I’ll need to take them without knowing which color pill I’m taking. Tentatively I’m planning to go light on my medication this month so that I’ll still have some pink pills left when I get my prescription refilled. Then I’ll go back to taking my regular dosage. Each swallow a pill I’ll take a picture of it (without actually looking at it) and I’ll date the photo. Then I’ll write extensive notes about how the medication affects me feel each day, and I’ll try to guess which color pill is inside of me.
At the end of the month I’ll look at all my photos and notes to compare how I felt on the pink pills with how I felt on the orange ones. If my hypothesis is correct then the orange pills, compared to the pink ones, will make me:
- more focused
- less jittery
- less hungry
- more dehydrated
All in all, I like how the generic pink pills don’t dehydrate me and suppress my appetite as conspicuously as do the older, organge ones. Then again, without the ability to focus without feeling ultra-jittery I sometimes wonder if its worth it to take the new Adderall at all.
Obviously a viable alternative theory to my assertion that the two brands are innately different is that my tolerance has shot up over the years, so the drug simply isn’t as effective now as it was when I first began taking it. But if that was the case I don’t understand why the pink generic Adderall would make me MORE anxious and jittery than the traditional orange pills did; wouldn’t I build up a tolerance to that as well.
Or perhaps the orange brand changed its chemical composition right around the time I switched to the pink, so maybe the orange used to be better but now sucks as bad as the pink ones do. Who the hell knows! But I’m as determined as ever to get to the bottom of this since no psychologist in this world (let alone any pharmacist) seems willing or able to provide a straightforward answer.
If anyone has any ideas–scientific or otherwise–regarding my little novice study please let me know. I’m especially interested in suggestions for how I might objectively measure the effects (levels of dehydration, concentration, anxiety, appetite, etc.). Just to be clear, I’m not planning on taking a larger dose of medication, so please don’t worry about me overdosing or whatever. Actually, I’ll be “underdosing” for the next few weeks in order to save up my pinks for the September/October comparison.
Finally if you know anyone who has taken either of these two brands (or BOTH) please direct them to my site so they too can provide some input. The official names of the two types are as follows:
- PINK/Generic = “Dex/Amphetamine Salt”
- ORANGE/Brand Name = “Adderall”