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Mixing Vyvanse and Alcohol: Is It Safe?

Introduction

Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) is a brand-name drug that’s prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and binge eating disorder. Vyvanse is also a controlled substance. It can be misused or cause dependence or addiction. If your doctor prescribes it for you, they will closely monitor your use.

Controlled substances such as Vyvanse must be used with caution. Read on to learn if you can safely drink alcohol while taking Vyvanse.

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Risks

Risks of Vyvanse with alcohol

The manufacturer of Vyvanse does not offer any warnings that drinking alcohol is dangerous while taking Vyvanse. Also, no studies have been done on whether using alcohol with Vyvanse is dangerous. That means there are no specific warnings from the medical literature, either. However, there are other reasons to hesitate before using these two substances together.

Heart risks

Stimulants, alcohol, and the ER
In 2011, about 30 percent of emergency room visits involving nonmedical stimulant use also involved alcohol.

Vyvanse is in the same class of drugs as amphetamine. One study shows that the combination of amphetamine and alcohol raises blood pressure and heart activity. This in turn raises the risk of heart problems. Heart problems are a risk of Vyvanse use anyway, so this increased risk should be a concern for anyone thinking of taking Vyvanse with alcohol.

Risk of alcohol poisoning

Another concern is that Vyvanse is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. When combined with alcohol, CNS stimulants can hide the effects of being drunk. This means you may drink more than you should without feeling the effects of the alcohol. This raises your risk of alcohol poisoning and injuries from alcohol use, such as falls.

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Other warnings

Other warnings for Vyvanse

Besides the possible risks of using Vyvanse with alcohol, Vyvanse comes with other risks and side effects.

Risk of misuse

Certain people are more at risk of problems from Vyvanse than others. If you have ever misused or been dependent on alcohol, other prescription medications, or street drugs, you may be at higher risk of misuse problems with Vyvanse. Be sure to tell your doctor before using Vyvanse if you have a history of these problems. Your doctor likely will not prescribe this drug.

Side effects

Vyvanse can cause certain side effects. Some of the more common side effects can include:

  • anxiety
  • trouble sleeping
  • decreased appetite
  • dry mouth
  • irritability

The more serious side effects of Vyvanse can include:

  • new or worsening problems with behavior or thought
  • bipolar illness that’s new or gets worse
  • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t real)
  • delusions (believing things that aren’t true)
  • paranoia (extreme suspicion)
  • increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • problems with blood flow in your fingers or toes
  • sudden stroke, heart attack, or death
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Takeaway

Talk with your doctor

If your doctor has prescribed Vyvanse, it’s important to consider other medications or substances you use, such as alcohol. In some cases, using alcohol with Vyvanse is a risky combination. Talk to your doctor before using these substances together. Questions you may want to ask your doctor include:

  • Is it safe for me to drink alcohol while taking Vyvanse?
  • Do any of the medications I’m using contain alcohol?
  • Is there a different drug for ADHD or binge eating that might be safer for me?

Remember, alcohol isn’t just found in beer, wine, and liquor. It’s also an ingredient in many cough syrups, cold medications, and mouthwashes. If your doctor tells you to avoid alcohol use while taking Vyvanse, be sure to read all labels of other products you take. Look for the words alcohol or ethanol, which is another name for alcohol. Above all, always take Vyvanse exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

See a side-by-side comparison of Vyvanse and Adderall »

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