Vyvanse (A complete guide)

vyvanse

Vyvanse, or Lisdexamfetamine, is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in people over the age of five as well as for moderate to severe binge eating disorder in adults.

Vyvanse is a central nervous system stimulant. 

What is vyvanse used for? 

Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) is prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as a part of a complete treatment plan, including psychological, social, and other treatments.

This medication enhances the person’s ability to concentrate, stay focused, and stop fidgeting.

Lisdexamfetamine can also be used to treat binge disorder (BED). It is prescribed to help scale back the amount of binge eating days.

This medication is a central nervous system stimulant.

It is thought to work by restoring the balance of certain natural chemicals (neurotransmitters) within the brain.

This medication is not recommended to be used for weight loss purposes due to the danger of serious side effects.

Vyvanse (A complete guide)

How should Vyvanse be taken?

Read the Medication Guide provided by your doctor before you begin taking lisdexamfetamine and every time you get a refill.

If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily in the morning.

Do not take this medication in the afternoon or evening because it can cause trouble sleeping.

The dosage is prescribed based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

Your doctor may adjust your dose to seek out the dose that is right for you.

Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.

If you are taking a chewable tablet, chew the tablet thoroughly then swallow.

If you are taking capsules, swallow the capsule whole.

However, if you have trouble swallowing the capsule, you can open the capsule and pour all of its contents (powder) into a glass of water or fruit juice or mix it in yogurt.

Use a spoon to pull apart any powder that’s stuck together. Stir well until the contents dissolve completely.

Drink or eat the mixture directly. Do not prepare a supply beforehand.

It is normal to see a thin film or coating on the inside of your glass or container after you drink or eat all of the drug.   

If you suddenly stop using this medication, you will have withdrawal symptoms (such as severe tiredness, sleep problems, mental/mood changes like depression).

To prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly.

Withdrawal is more likely if you have been using lisdexamfetamine for an extended period of time or in high doses.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist directly if you are having withdrawal symptoms.

Though it helps in the treatment of ADHD and binge eating disorder, this medication may sometimes cause addiction.

This risk could also be higher if you already have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol).

Do not increase your dose, take it more often, or use it for more extended time than prescribed.

Properly stop the medication when you are directed to do so.

When this medication is taken for an extended period of time, it might stop working as effectively.

Talk together with your doctor if this medication stops working well.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.

Vyvanse (A complete guide)

What are the side effects of Vyvanse?

Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dry mouth, headache, dizziness, trouble sleeping, sweating, weight loss, irritability, and restlessness may occur.

If any of those effects persist or worsen, talk to your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medicine because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the danger of side effects.

Many of the people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

This medication may raise your heartrate. Check your pulse regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high.

Tell your doctor right away if you experience any serious side effects, including: blurred vision, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, mental/mood/behavior changes (such as agitation, aggression, mood swings, depression, hallucinations, abnormal thoughts/behavior, suicidal thoughts/attempts), uncontrolled movements, muscle twitching/shaking, signs of blood flow problems within the fingers or toes (such as coldness, numbness, pain, or complexion changes), unusual wounds on the fingers or toes, outbursts of words/sounds, change in sexual ability/interest, swelling ankles/feet, extreme tiredness, rapid/unexplained weight loss, frequent/prolonged erections (in males).

Seek emergency medical help immediately if you experience any very serious side effects, i.e: shortness of breath, chest/jaw/left arm pain, weakness on one side of the body, sudden vision changes.

This medication may increase serotonin and infrequently cause an extremely serious condition called serotonin syndrome.

The danger increases if you’re also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, so tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you’re taking (see Drug Interactions Section).

Seek medical attention immediately if you develop any number of the subsequent symptoms: fast heartbeat, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe dizziness, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitching muscles, unexplained fever, unusual agitation/restlessness.

A very serious allergy to this drug is rare.

However, get medical help directly if you notice any symptom of a significant allergic reaction, including: rash, swelling, or severe dizziness.

This is not an entire list of possible side effects.

If you notice other effects that are not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Vyvanse (A complete guide)

What are some things I should know before taking Vyvanse?

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other sympathomimetic drugs (such as amphetamine or dextroamphetamine); or if you have any other allergies to medications.

This product may contain inactive ingredients, which may cause allergies or other problems.

Ask your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: blood circulation problems (such as Raynaud’s disease), certain mental/mood conditions (such as severe agitation, psychosis), personal/family history of mental/mood disorders (such as manic depression , depression, psychotic disorder, suicidal thoughts), heart problems (including irregular heartbeat, arteria coronaria disease, previous attack , coronary failure , cardiomyopathy, problems with heart structure like valve problems), case history of heart problems (such as overtime , irregular heartbeat), history of stroke, fast heart rate , overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), a particular eye problem , renal disorder , personal or case history of a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction of drugs/alcohol), personal/family history of uncontrolled muscle movements.

This drug may cause you to become dizzy. Alcohol can cause you to be more dizzy, so do not take Vyvanse with these drugs.

Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you know how Vyvanse affects you. Limit alcoholic beverages. 

Before having any kind of surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the medications you are taking (including prescribed drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

What interactions does Vyvanse have with other drugs? 

Interactions between Vyvanse and other drugs may change how your medications work or increase your risk for adverse effects.

This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. 

It is helpful to make a list of all the medications you are taking including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products and share it with your doctor.

Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medication without your doctor’s approval.

Taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) with this medication may cause a significant (and possibly fatal) drug interaction.

Avoid taking MAOIs during treatment with this medication. Most MAOIs should also not be taken for 2 weeks before treatment with this medication.

Ask your doctor when to start or stop taking this medication.

Some products have ingredients that can increase your heart rate.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist what medications you are taking, and ask how to use them safely (especially cough-and-cold products or diet aids).

Vyvanse is very similar to amphetamine or dextroamphetamine.

Do not use medications containing amphetamine or dextroamphetamine while using Vyvanse.

This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including blood and urine steroid levels), possibly causing false test results.

Confirm that laboratory personnel know you are taking this drug.

In this article, we discussed what Vyvanse is used for, how it works to treat ADHD, and some common side effects. 

Vyvanse (A complete guide)

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Vyvanse: 

Is vyvanse stronger than adderall?

Vyvanse and Adderall both work to improve symptoms of ADHD and one might work better for one person compared to another. 

What are the most common side effects of Vyvanse?

Some common side effects of Vyvanse are poor appetite, weight loss, dry mouth, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, vision changes, feeling irritable, hyper, or jittery, and dizziness.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a treatable medical disorder characterized by symptoms of hyperactivity, inattention, and/or impulsivity that are experienced repeatedly in a way that is severe enough to interfere with functioning in school and in social situations.

Only a trained healthcare provider can diagnose ADHD. 

What is adult ADHD?

Some people may say “adult ADHD,” but the right term is “ADHD in adults” or “adults with ADHD.”

ADHD symptoms may appear differently in adulthood.

For instance , symptoms of hyperactivity in children like climbing or running excessively may appear as a sense of restlessness in adults. 

How is ADHD diagnosed in adults?

Your medical history is going to be taken into consideration during a thorough medical evaluation.

The patient must meet the criteria of ADD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

What causes ADHD in adults?

The exact explanation for ADHD is unknown, but researchers believe it is linked to an imbalance in chemical messengers that affect the brain.

Does ADHD go away in adulthood?

ADHD is often a lifelong condition, but symptoms may appear differently as you age.

As an example , symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity in children may appear as if trouble staying seated and blurting out answers in class .

In an adult, symptoms of hyperactivity may subside, but difficulties with restlessness, poor planning, and impulsivity may persist.

Is there a cure for ADHD?

Medications do not cure ADHD. Rather, they help patients with ADHD control the hyperactive/impulsive and inattentive symptoms of ADHD.

Medicine might not be right for everybody and should be used as a part of a complete treatment plan for ADHD which will include counseling and other therapies

How do I know if I have ADHD and not something else?

If you are concerned that you have ADHD, make an appointment to discuss this with your doctor.

Want to learn more about Vyvanse? Try these recommended readings!

VYVANSE (Lisdexamfetamine): Treats Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Moderate To Severe Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

This book by James Lee Anderson describes what Vyvanse is used for, how to take it properly, and common side effects. 

Medications for ADD and ADHD – A guide to stimulants and non-stimulant pharmaceutical options for adults and children with ADD or ADHD

This is an easy-to-read guide on all the available treatments for ADD or ADHD.

It also goes into detail on behavioral and lifestyle changes you can make to help with your symptoms. 

References

Vyvanse. WebMD. 2020 

Vyvanse. Drugs.com. January 4th, 2019

Aura Des los Santos

Aura Des los Santos is a Clinical Psychologist with two masters degree in Education. One focused in Higher Educacion and the other in the research of Psychology of Education. Her experience is focused on working depression, anxiety and personal development. She frequently writes articles in the area of psychology, education, travel and general culture.