Combining Diet and Medication
You might be wondering whether there are certain foods you should avoid combining with stimulant drugs, whether you are going to lose a lot of weight, or whether you should time your meals or medication to ensure optimal effectiveness of stimulant drugs.
Foods That Interfere with Stimulant Drugs
To date, the only food you should avoid if you're taking stimulant drugs is grapefruit juice, which interferes with the way the body absorbs and breaks down amphetamines. If you take your medication in the morning before breakfast and drink grapefruit juice or eat a piece of grapefruit, you won't get the full benefit of the medication.
Stimulants and Weight Loss
While amphetamines increase your metabolism and may cause temporary weight loss when you begin taking them, most adults with ADHD who take stimulant drugs under a doctor's supervision do not shed significant pounds. In fact, most ADHD adults who lose weight after starting stimulant medications tend to put it back on within a few months.
If you're already underweight and concerned about losing more by taking stimulants, ask your physician to prescribe one that has less effect on weight. In general, methylphenidates cause less weight loss than amphetamines. Taking excessive amounts of stimulants could result in dramatic weight loss as well as serious consequences like depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
Timing Your Meals
One easy way to ensure you get the most from your medications is to time your meals according to the medication's instructions. Long-acting stimulants, including Adderall XR, Focalin XR, and Ritalin LA, are best taken on an empty stomach since high-fat foods could interfere with their absorption and prolong the amount of time they take to kick in. However, Concerta and Daytrana, two long-acting methylphenidate preparations, do not appear to have dietary-related absorption problems.