- Vyvanse is a prescription medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- If the dose isn’t right, or if you forget to take your medication, you may experience an afternoon “crash” as the medication begins to wear off.
- Vyvanse should be taken at the same time every morning, with or without food.
Vyvanse is a prescription medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In early 2015, it also became the first drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of binge-eating disorder in adults. Vyvanse should not be used for weight loss or to treat obesity.
The active ingredient in Vyvanse is lisdexamfetamine. This medication is an amphetamine and central nervous system stimulant. Vyvanse is a federally controlled substance because of its potential for abuse and it can be habit forming. It is illegal and dangerous to share this medication with anyone else. Vyvanse has not been tested in children under the age of 6.
This medication is taken once a day and works by slowly increasing the level of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that increases attention and alertness. Dopamine is a natural substance that affects pleasure and helps you focus. Vyvanse can help improve your attention span, concentration, and impulse control. For most people, the effects can be felt a few days to a few weeks after your first dose.
Vyvanse should be taken at the same time every morning, with or without food. Taking it later in the day can cause insomnia.
When you first start taking Vyvanse, your doctor will prescribe the lowest possible dose. If the dose isn’t right, or if you forget to take your medication, you may experience an afternoon “crash” as the medication begins to wear off. This may cause you to feel irritable, anxious, or fatigued. You may also find you have trouble sleeping at night. You risk a much more severe crash if you take the drug inappropriately, at a higher dose than prescribed, or if you are taking someone else’s prescription.
If you regularly feel the afternoon crash, tell your doctor. Your dose can be slowly increased until your symptoms improve.
Over time you may develop a tolerance to your dose of Vyvanse and you may need an adjustment. That’s why it’s important to see your doctor regularly and report all side effects.
Amphetamines can produce a feeling of euphoria when taken in large doses. They can also help you feel more focused and alert. Unfortunately, that can lead to drug abuse. It’s important that you tell your doctor if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
High doses and prolonged use of amphetamines can lead to physical and psychological dependence. Symptoms of dependence include:
- increased respiration and heart rate
- rising blood pressure
- sweating or flushed skin
- dilated pupils
- loss of appetite
- lack of coordination or tremors
- abdominal pain
Even if you take Vyvanse exactly as prescribed, you may develop signs of withdrawal if you suddenly stop taking it. These signs may include:
- difficulty sleeping
Talk to your doctor if you want to stop taking Vyvanse. Slowly tapering off the medication may help you avoid or minimize symptoms of withdrawal. It’s helpful to remember that withdrawal is a temporary state. Symptoms usually fade after a few days, but can last several weeks if you’ve been taking Vyvanse for a long time.
You may be tempted to take more Vyvanse to alleviate withdrawal symptoms, but that will only prolong withdrawal. Instead, make some healthy lifestyle changes that can help you feel better. Fuel your body with a diet rich in vitamins and other nutrients. A little exercise every day can help you sleep better at night, as long as you don’t exercise right before bedtime. Make sure you have a wind-down period before going to bed and try to keep a regular sleep routine.
The potential side effects of Vyvanse are:
- decreased appetite
- dry mouth
- irritability or anxiety
- nausea or vomiting
- stomach pain
- diarrhea or constipation
- sleep problems
- circulation problems affecting fingers and toes
Vyvanse may not be safe for everyone. You should not take this medication if you are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors or if you’ve taken them within the past 14 days. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
This drug can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, and sudden death, especially if you have heart abnormalities or heart disease.
Vyvanse can cause new or worsening symptoms in people who have bipolar disorder, thought problems, or psychotic symptoms. These may include delusions, hallucinations, or mania. Inform your doctor if you have:
- a psychiatric illness or thought problems
- ever attempted suicide
- a family history of suicide
Vyvanse can slow growth in children, so your doctor will monitor your child’s development.
An overdose of Vyvanse can be fatal. Signs and symptoms of overdose include:
- panic, confusion, or hallucinations
- hypertension, hypotension, or arrhythmia
- abdominal cramps
- nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- convulsions or coma
If you’ve taken a high dose of Vyvanse, seek medical attention immediately.