Vyvanse: Usage, Dosage, Side Effects & Interaction

Vyvanse is a drug that helps patients control ADHD symptoms. This pill may cause drowsiness and other complications, so pay attention to the dosage.

Vyvanse is used to treat the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, more commonly known as ADHD, in children and adults. Vyvanse uses a nervous system stimulant to alter the substances in the brain, making it easier to focus. This drug cannot cure ADHD, but it can help users control the symptoms more effectively so they do not interrupt their lives or ability to function on a daily basis. You will need to adjust your dosage and use of this drug as necessary, so work closely with a doctor to determine the best use of vyvanse for you.

Indications and Usage

Vyvanse is the brand name for the drug lisdexamfetamine. This capsule will be taken orally once a day, typically first thing in the morning. You should not take vyvanse with food to ensure that it absorbs properly into your system. Taking vyvanse after you have eaten may cause drowsiness, or may result in the patient falling asleep. In some cases, you will be instructed to open the capsule and dissolve the contents in a glass of water to consume your dose. This is typically used for children who are too young to swallow pills. Do not combine the doses of more than one pill and do not dissolve doses before they are to be consumed.

Unless doctors inform you otherwise, you should continue to use your normal diet while on vyvanse. In some cases, you may need to restrict your use of stimulants like caffeine and sugar. Some food dyes have also been known to contribute to the symptoms of ADHD. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless you are close to the point where you would take the next dose. You should never double up doses to make up for those you have missed or to increase the effectiveness of the drug.

Vyvanse Dosage

Vyvanse capsules come in capsules ranging in size from 20-70 mg. These capsules are often different colors to help you differentiate between the doses. Read the information on your pills carefully to ensure that you are taking the right amount of the medication. In most cases, patients will be given pills in the size they need, so they can simply take one pill per day. The minimum effective dose of vyvanse is 10 mg per day.

Doses larger than 70 mg per day have not been studied, so the safety of larger doses cannot be guaranteed. Children under 6 should not take vyvanse as it may interrupt their natural growth and development. Children between the ages of 6-12 should not take more than 30 mg per day in most cases. Work with your doctor to determine if a larger dose of vyvanse would be accepted by the child's system. Children should not be given vyvanse unless they have shown multiple symptoms of ADHD for over six months.

Vyvanse Side Effects

The most common side effects of vyvanse include decreased appetite, found in 39 percent of patients, insomnia in 27 percent, dry mouth in up to 26 percent, stomach or abdominal pain in 12 percent, headaches in up to 12 percent and irritability in up to 10 percent of patients. In most cases these symptoms were not severe enough to disrupt the patient's everyday life. Inform your doctor regarding any side affects you appear to be exhibiting to ensure that your reaction does not require medical care or an adjustment to your medication.

Other common side effects of vyvanse, occurring in up to 9 percent of users, include sleepiness, uncontrollable shaking, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever and sweating. These symptoms may be more common in children than adults taking the drug. In many cases these symptoms are not severe and will go away as the body becomes used to the medication. If these side effects persist or are severe, contact your doctor for advice on how to proceed. It is likely that a change in your prescription is necessary to eliminate your side effects.

If you begin to develop tics, chest pain, pounding heartbeat, hallucinating, aggression, irritability, mood swings, shortness of breath, weakness, numbness in the arms or legs, or itching and rash you may be developing a negative reaction to vyvanse. Contact emergency medical services if you feel as though you might lose consciousness or if your heart is beating at a level that is unsafe. Otherwise, contact your doctor for advice on how to proceed.

If you begin to develop panic, confusion, fast breathing, fever, extreme shaking, muscle weakness, stomach cramps, seizures or extreme fatigue you may be suffering from an overdose of vyvanse. If you notice the patient has collapsed or has stopped breathing, contact emergency medical services or poison control immediately to get help. Have any information regarding their dosage or how much of the drug they have recently consumed that you might be aware of ready when you make this call to help the doctor give you the most accurate information possible.

Children are more susceptible to serious reactions to vyvanse, especially if they are known to have heart defects or other cardiovascular issues. You may need to have their condition checked for these issues before starting your prescription, especially if heart problems run in your genetic line. Vyvanse may also slow the natural growth patterns in children. Talk with your doctor about this risk and what you can do to help ensure that your child continues to develop at a normal rate.


Several drugs, including ammonium chloride, absorbic acid, chlorpromazine, Zarotonin, guanfacine, lithium, phytoin, blood pressure medication, diuretics, cold or allergy medications or mederidine have been shown to interact negatively with vyvanse, interrupting its ability to control ADHD symptoms effectively. In some cases, these medications increase the risk of heart complications or drowsiness that are known to occur while on vyvanse. Inform your doctor about any medications you are taking before you start using vyvanse to avoid a potentially negative reaction.

Until you are sure of how vyvanse will affect your attention span, you should not drive or do anything that will require your full attention. Give yourself a few days to get used to your medication before you begin to return to your regular activities. You should avoid taking vitamin C supplements or drinking fruit juices that contain a lot of vitamin C while you are using vyvanse as it impairs your body's ability to absorb the medication effectively.



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