Vyvanse-lisdexamfetamineWhat is Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine)?

Vyvanse is a brand name prescription drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adults, and binge eating disorder in adults.


How does Vyvanse work?

Vyvanse is a stimulant that affects the parts of the brain and central nervous system that control hyperactivity and impulses.


When did the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approve Vyvanse?

In 2007, Vyvanse was approved as a once-a-day medication for the treatment of ADHD for adults. In 2013, it was approved for use among children ages 6 to 17 for the treatment of ADHD. The medication was approved for the treatment of binge eating disorder in adults in 2015.


Is there a generic version of Vyvanse available?

Currently there is no generic version of Vyvanse available for purchase in the United States. 


What is the difference between Vyvanse and Ritalin?

Both drugs are stimulants used to treat ADHD. The major difference is that Vyvanse is a once-a-day drug which is typically taken in the morning and has long-lasting effects, whereas Ritalin comes in both short-acting and long-acting form.

Both drugs are classified as controlled substances, meaning they have the potential to be abused. Because of the way the Vyvanse breaks down in the body, it may have a slightly less risk of being abused than Ritalin. However, if you have a history of substance use problems, you should talk to your doctor before taking either medication.


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Can children take Vyvanse?

Children over the age of 6 may be prescribed Vyvanse for ADHD. They should take the medication only once per day and in the exact amount prescribed by their doctor. It’s also important to tell your child’s doctor about other medication complications or past substance use history.


How do you initiate Vyvanse therapy?

Talk to your doctor about whether you are a good fit for the medication. Typically instructions are to take the drug once in the morning and in the exact amount prescribed by your doctor. There are seven different dosage strengths for which the medication may be prescribed. The medication can be swallowed whole and taken with or without food.


Are there potential interaction issues for people taking Vyvanse and any other drugs?

 Do not take Vyvanse if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past two weeks, as a dangerous interaction effect could occur. There are also hundreds of drugs which are known to interact with Vyvanse in major, moderate, or mild ways, so let your doctor know what other medications you are taking before you begin Vyvanse therapy.


What is the typical dose that would be prescribed to someone taking Vyvanse?

The initial dose is typically 30 mg every morning for treatment of ADHD or binge eating disorder. The recommended dosage typically can be anywhere from 30 mg to 70 mg per day for ADHD and 50 mg to 70 mg per day for binge eating disorder.


How long does it usually take for Vyvanse to work?

Vyvanse was shown to start working within 1.5 hours after taking the medication in a clinical trial of children ages 6 to 12 with ADHD. In a study of adults diagnosed with ADHD, the drug was shown to start working within 2 hours.


What do I do if I miss a dose of Vyvanse?

You can take the dose when you remember, but taking the medication in the evening may cause sleep disturbances. Never take extra doses of the medication to make up for missed doses.


What are Vyvanse’s side effects?

 These are the most common side effects reported by people who take Vyvanse:

  • loss of appetite
  • dry mouth
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • insomnia
  • stomach pain
  • nausea or vomiting
  • weight loss.

Long-term use of the medication can also slow the growth of children, so it’s important to report slow growth or lack of weight gain to your child’s doctor. If you experience side effects, talk to your doctor. You can also report them to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or online.


Are there any psychiatric side effects that come from taking Vyvanse?

People who take Vyvanse may experience anxiety and irritability.


Is it safe for a woman who is trying to become pregnant, is pregnant or nursing to take Vyvanse?

If taken while pregnant, Vyvanse can cause low birth weight, premature birth, and withdrawal symptoms in infants. The drug can also be transferred via breast milk. Therefore, if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are nursing talk to your doctor before you take Vyvanse.


Can symptoms occur if Vyvanse is discontinued?

The medication typically stays in your system for approximately 3 days after you discontinue use, so withdrawal symptoms may occur within one week of halting use. People may experience anxiety, trouble concentrating, mild depression, fatigue, irritability, headaches, lack of motivation, mood swings, and sleepiness.


If taken in overdose, is Vyvanse toxic?

An overdose of Vyvanse could be fatal, so seek immediately help or call the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222 if you overdose. Overdose symptoms might include rapid breathing, hallucinations, irregular heartbeats, aggressiveness, restlessness, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, fainting, muscle pain or twitches, panic, flu symptoms, dark urine, seizures, or coma.


Is Vyvanse habit-forming?

Vyvanse is a federally controlled substance and a drug of abuse and can be habit-forming. Because it is long-lasting, however, Vyvanse may be less habit-forming than other medications for ADHD. Make sure that you keep track of the medication and never take more than prescribed. It is illegal to give or sell the medication to others. Talk to your doctor if you have a past history of substance dependence before you begin Vyvanse therapy.


How much does Vyvanse cost?

A 30-day supply of 30 mg Vyvanse tablets costs approximately $270.


Are there any disadvantages to Vyvanse?

Some patients do not respond to Vyvanse as strongly as they do to other ADHD medications, such as Adderall. Also, there is currently no generic version of Vyvanse available, which makes it more expensive.


DISCLAIMER: The information herein should NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other health care provider. This article mentions drugs that were FDA-approved and available at the time of publication and may not include all possible drug interactions or all FDA warnings or alerts. The author of this page explicitly does not endorse this drug or any specific treatment method. If you have health questions or concerns about interactions, please check with your physician or go to the FDA site for a comprehensive list of warnings.



  1. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/drugs/drugsafety/ucm089823.pdf


Last Updated: Nov 25, 2018