Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) is a pharmaceutical drug that is prescribed to older children and adults with ADD, ADHD or binge eating disorder. It is a fairly recent drug and was only approved by the FDA in 2008. Vyvanse, Adderall and Ritalin are all central nervous system stimulants and treat both ADD and ADHD. However, Vyvanse differs from Adderall and Ritalin in some ways. Vyvanse contains lisdexamfetamine, which means that side effects are not as pronounced and one dosage lasts the whole day. Ritalin and Adderall contain amphetamine salts, which can strengthen side effects and increase spikes and drops. This means that those taking Ritalin or Adderall have to take it multiple times a day to keep the effects going. The spikes and drops that come with these medications can interfere with life and leave consumers feeling uncomfortable with such sensations. Additionally, individuals can be prone to addiction from the “rush” that these stimulants provide. Vyvanse has a time-lapse formulation and is released sparingly throughout the day and thus “rushes” are less extreme but are none the less still addictive.
What are the side effects?
Vyvanse, Adderall and Ritalin all have similar side effects such as:
Weight loss or change in appetite
Stomach and digestive discomfort such as pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
Change in vision
Mood changes such as irritability, anxiety and hyperactivity
Vyvanse addiction can have serious side effects too that should be addressed immediately by a medical professional. These include:
Rapid heart rate
High blood pressure
Stunted growth in children
Worsened pre-existing mental health conditions such as Bipolar
Furthermore, Vyvanse can have interactions with other medications or vitamins that could be detrimental.
Why is it addictive?
Although Vyvanse is not considered a narcotic, it is considered to be a Schedule II controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Substances in this category are taken very seriously because they have a high potential for abuse which can lead to severe dependence and addiction. Vyvanse abuse or addiction occurs when individuals take this substance beyond its intended use. This can occur in a number of ways. Individuals can abuse Vyvanse by taking it without a prescription, taking it with other drugs to enhance or change the effects, taking more than prescribed, taking it longer than prescribed, and ingesting the drug inappropriately like snorting or injecting it. Although this drug is fairly new still, many people have become addicted or abuse Vyvanse for a number of reasons. Students and professionals take Vyvanse because they believe it will improve their performance. Some people take it for the weight loss side effects. Some accidently become addicted or dependent because they build a tolerance over time. And others take it to experience a high because Vyvanse provides a rush when taken. Additionally, those abusing or addicted to Vyvanse become hooked because of the increased energy and euphoria that come with the rush.
Effects of Vyvanse abuse/addiction:
Vyvanse addiction or abuse will most often have to negative consequences. These negative effects include lethargy, depression, hopelessness, rapid heart rate, sleep disturbance, gastrointestinal distress, malnutrition, psychosis, hostility and paranoia.
Signs of abuse/addiction of Vyvanse:
Lying to medical professionals to get a prescription
Using someone else’s prescription
Shopping around to different doctors to get multiple prescriptions
Buying Vyvanse illegally
Feeling withdrawal symptoms such as depression, agitation, and psychological distress.
Lack of sleep
Vyvanse recovery is similar to other substance abuse recovery. Some treatment centers specialize in Vyvanse detox and recovery. Vyvanse withdrawal can cause severe psychological and mental effects. Thus, those detoxing from Vyvanse need to be monitored and slowly weaned off. With the support of loved ones, a 12-step program and a treatment center, individuals can recover from Vyvanse addiction and abuse.