Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine)

Medically Reviewed By Heather Bruce, PharmD

This drug has a boxed warning, the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A boxed warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Vyvanse has a risk of misuse and dependence. (Misuse means taking a drug differently from how your doctor prescribed it. Dependence happens when your body needs the drug in order to function like usual.) Misuse of Vyvanse can lead to side effects that are serious and in some cases may be fatal.

Due to this risk, doctors typically won’t prescribe Vyvanse for people who have alcohol use disorder or drug dependence. People with these conditions may have a higher risk of misuse and dependence with Vyvanse.

Your doctor will discuss the risk of misuse and dependence with you before prescribing Vyvanse. They’ll continue to monitor your risk while you’re taking the drug.

To learn more, see the “ Vyvanse: Side effects” and “ Vyvanse: Withdrawal and dependence” sections below.

About Vyvanse

Vyvanse is a brand-name prescription drug. It’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat:

  • Binge eating disorder (BED). With BED, you have episodes of eating a large amount of food in a short period of time. This happens even when you aren’t hungry, and it leads to feelings of shame or guilt afterward. Doctors can prescribe Vyvanse for adults with moderate to severe BED.
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). With ADHD, you have hyperactive behaviors that disrupt daily life. Examples include trouble focusing on a task or sitting still for long periods of time. Doctors can prescribe Vyvanse for ADHD in adults and children ages 6 years and older.

This drug has a limitation of use. For details about this, these conditions, and how the drug treats them, see the “Vyvanse: Uses” section below.

Key points

The following table provides key facts about Vyvanse.

Active drug lisdexamfetamine
Drug class central nervous system (CNS) stimulant
Forms oral capsule and chewable tablet
Controlled substance schedule Schedule II*

* This means the drug has a high risk for misuse, but it still has approved medical uses. (Misuse means taking a drug differently from how your doctor prescribed it.) Drugs with a lower Schedule number have a greater risk for misuse than drugs with a higher Schedule number. For example, Schedule II drugs have a greater risk for misuse than Schedule III drugs.

Finding a healthcare professional

If you’re interested in taking this drug, search here to find a doctor who might prescribe it.

Vyvanse: Generic

Vyvanse contains the active drug lisdexamfetamine. It only comes as a brand-name medication. And it isn’t currently available as a generic drug.

A generic is an identical copy of the active drug found in a brand-name medication. Generics typically cost less than brand-name drugs.

Vyvanse: Side effects

As with most drugs, it’s possible to have side effects with Vyvanse. These can include some mild side effects, but also some serious ones.

To learn more about Vyvanse’s side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may also provide information about managing certain side effects of this drug.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Vyvanse, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild and serious side effects

Mild and serious side effects of Vyvanse are listed in the table below. This table does not include all of Vyvanse’s possible side effects.

Mild side effects* Serious side effects
• sexual side effects, such as erectile dysfunction (trouble getting or sustaining an erection) • circulation problems, including Raynaud’s phenomenon
• mild heart problems, such as heart palpitations or small increases in heart rate or blood pressure • serious heart problems, such as rare cases of stroke or heart attack
• digestive problems, such as loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, upper abdominal pain, and nausea • “Vyvanse crash” (feeling tired or irritable as the drug’s effects wear off)
• sleep problems, such as tiredness or insomnia • mental health conditions, such as mania and psychosis
headache • risk of misuse and dependence
dry mouth allergic reaction
• jitteriness  
mood changes  
dizziness  
weight loss  
• effects on personality and emotional breakdown†  

* This is not a complete list of Vyvanse’s mild side effects. To learn about other mild side effects of this drug, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Or you can view the drug’s prescribing information.
† For more information about this side effect, see “Vyvanse’s side effects explained” below.
Vyvanse has a boxed warning for this risk. This is the most serious warning from the FDA. To learn more, see “Vyvanse’s side effects explained” below.

Most times, mild side effects of a drug go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if any side effects become severe or don’t go away.

Serious side effects from Vyvanse aren’t common, but they are possible. If you have serious side effects, call your doctor right away. However, if you’re having a medical emergency or your symptoms feel life threatening, call 911 or a local emergency number.

Vyvanse’s side effects in children

Vyvanse is approved to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children ages 6 years and older.

Most of Vyvanse’s side effects in children are expected to be the same as they are in adults.

However, in clinical studies of Vyvanse, certain side effects were reported more commonly in children than in adults. Examples include:

Vyvanse can also cause delayed growth in children. For this reason, doctors will monitor the height and weight of children taking the drug. They’ll determine how these measurements compare with the usual growth rates for a child’s age. If their doctor finds that the child has a slower growth rate, they may have them stop taking Vyvanse.

If you have questions about how Vyvanse may affect your child, talk with their doctor or a pharmacist.

* For more information about this side effect, see “Vyvanse’s side effects explained” below.

Vyvanse’s side effects explained

Below, you can find detailed information about some of Vyvanse’s side effects. To learn more about other side effects of this medication, talk with your doctor.

Risk of misuse and dependence

Vyvanse has a boxed warning for the risk of misuse and dependence. (Misuse means taking a drug differently from how your doctor prescribed it. Dependence happens when your body needs the drug in order to function like usual.) This is a serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

This section includes details about the risk of misuse with Vyvanse. For details about Vyvanse’s risk of dependence, see the “Vyvanse: Withdrawal and dependence” section below.

Vyvanse could possibly be misused if someone tries snorting the drug to become “high” (euphoric). However, this isn’t recommended, nor is it an approved use of the drug. Misuse of Vyvanse can lead to side effects that are serious and in some cases may be fatal.

Misuse wasn’t reported as a side effect in clinical studies of Vyvanse. However, this is a known risk with stimulant drugs. And Vyvanse is a stimulant drug.

Possible symptoms of misuse with Vyvanse include:

Additional details about this risk

Due to this risk, doctors typically won’t prescribe Vyvanse for people who have alcohol use disorder or drug dependence. People with these conditions may have a higher risk of misuse with Vyvanse.

Also because of this risk, Vyvanse is a controlled substance. These are medications with specific regulations that doctors must follow when prescribing them.

Specifically, Vyvanse is a Schedule II controlled substance. This means the drug has a high risk for misuse, but it still has approved medical uses. Drugs with a lower Schedule number have a greater risk for misuse than drugs with a higher Schedule number. For example, Schedule II drugs have a greater risk for misuse than Schedule III drugs.

What to do

Your doctor will discuss the risk of misuse with you before prescribing Vyvanse. They’ll continue to monitor your risk while you’re taking the drug.

Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of misuse with Vyvanse. They may switch you to a different treatment for your condition. However, if you have suicidal behaviors or thoughts, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

If you’re concerned about misuse with Vyvanse, talk with your doctor.

Suicide prevention

If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:

  • Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
  • Listen to the person without judgment.
  • Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
  • Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
  • Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The National Suicide

Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours per day at 800-273-8255. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can use their preferred relay service or dial 711 then 800-273-8255.

Click here for more links and local resources.

Weight loss

Weight loss was a common side effect in clinical studies of Vyvanse. To learn more about how often this side effect occurred, see the drug’s prescribing information.

Keep in mind that some people have digestive problems with Vyvanse. These include loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. And these side effects could lead to weight loss.

Note: It isn’t known if Vyvanse is safe or effective in treating obesity. Although taking Vyvanse may lead to weight loss, it isn’t approved as a weight loss drug. Using stimulants, such as Vyvanse, for weight loss has caused serious heart problems for some people.

What to do

If you’re concerned about weight loss with Vyvanse, talk with your doctor. They can suggest ways to manage a body weight that’s healthy for you while you’re taking the drug.

Effect on personality and emotional breakdown

In clinical studies of Vyvanse, effects on personality were more common in children than in adults taking the drug. To learn more about how often this side effect occurred, see the drug’s prescribing information.

Specifically, Vyvanse may cause anger, irritability, and mood changes. In addition, the drug may cause emotional breakdowns (an inability to contain emotions).

What to do

If you or your child notices any effects on personality while taking Vyvanse, talk with a doctor right away. They may recommend a different treatment option instead of Vyvanse.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Vyvanse. A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible.

Allergic reaction wasn’t reported in clinical studies of Vyvanse. However, this side effect has been reported since the drug became available for use.

Possible symptoms of mild and serious allergic reactions are listed in the table below.

Mild allergic reaction symptoms Serious allergic reaction symptoms
flushing • swelling under your skin, possibly in your hands, feet, lips, or eyelids
rash • swelling in your throat or mouth
• itching trouble breathing

If you have an allergic reaction to Vyvanse, call your doctor right away. This is important to do because the reaction could become severe.

However, if you’re having a medical emergency or your symptoms feel life threatening, call 911 or a local emergency number.

Vyvanse: Alternatives

Doctors may prescribe drugs other than Vyvanse for your condition. Certain drugs may work better for you than others.

Vyvanse is used to treat conditions including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Here’s a summary of other drugs that doctors sometimes prescribe for ADHD.

Vyvanse vs. Adderall and other alternatives

To learn more about some alternatives of Vyvanse for ADHD, view the following articles:

Your doctor can tell you about other similar drugs, such as:

For more information about alternatives to Vyvanse, ask your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that could be prescribed for your condition.

Vyvanse: Dosage

Below, you’ll find dosages that are commonly recommended for Vyvanse. However, you should take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll recommend the dosage that’s best for your needs.

Most often, doctors start by prescribing the lowest dosage that’s recommended for Vyvanse. Then, they’ll change the dosage over time to an amount that’s right for the condition being treated. Doctors typically prescribe the smallest dosage that gives the desired outcome.

Vyvanse doesn’t have a recommended dosage by weight. For example, the dosage for someone weighing 150 pounds (lb) isn’t different from the dosage for someone weighing 200 lb. Instead, the dosage of Vyvanse that your doctor prescribes will depend on factors such as:

  • any health conditions you have
  • the condition you’re using Vyvanse to treat and the severity of the condition
  • other medications you take

Vyvanse’s forms and strengths

Vyvanse is available as follows.

  • Forms: oral capsule and chewable tablet
  • Strengths:
    • oral capsule: 10 milligrams (mg), 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 50 mg, 60 mg, and 70 mg
    • chewable tablet: 10 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 50 mg, and 60 mg

Vyvanse’s recommended dosages

Recommended dosages for Vyvanse in adults and children are described below.

Adult dosage

Vyvanse is approved to treat binge eating disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults.

Vyvanse’s recommended dosage for binge eating disorder in adults is as follows.

  • Starting dosage: 30 mg once per day
  • Maintenance dosage: 50 mg to 70 mg once per day
  • Maximum (highest) dosage: 70 mg once per day

Vyvanse’s recommended dosage for ADHD in adults is as follows.

  • Starting dosage: 30 mg once per day
  • Maintenance dosage: increased weekly from starting dosage until it gives the desired outcome
  • Maximum (highest) dosage: 70 mg once per day

Doctors may prescribe a different dosage of Vyvanse depending on certain factors, such as whether you have kidney problems. Your doctor can recommend the dosage that’s right for you.

Child dosage

Vyvanse is approved to treat ADHD in children ages 6 years and older.

Vyvanse’s recommended dosage for ADHD in children is as follows.

  • Starting dosage: 30 mg once per day
  • Maintenance dosage: increased weekly from starting dosage until it gives the desired outcome
  • Maximum (highest) dosage: 70 mg once per day

Doctors may prescribe a different Vyvanse dosage for a child depending on certain factors, such as whether the child has kidney problems. Your child’s doctor can recommend the dosage that’s right for them.

Dosage considerations

Below are some things to consider about Vyvanse’s dosage.

What are signs of a Vyvanse dosage that’s too high? If your Vyvanse dosage is too high, you may have a higher risk of side effects from the drug. For example, you may have worse insomnia or digestive problems than you’d have with a lower dosage of the drug. To learn more about possible side effects, see the “Vyvanse: Side effects” section above.

If you think your Vyvanse dosage is too high, talk with your doctor. They can recommend whether your dosage should be lowered.

Missing a dose. If you miss a dose of Vyvanse in the morning or at the start of your day, take it as soon as you remember.

However, keep in mind that taking Vyvanse in the afternoon, in the evening, or close to bedtime can cause insomnia. For this reason, it may be best to skip your missed dose and take it at your usual time the next day.

It’s important that you do not take any extra doses to make up for a missed dose. Doing so could increase your risk of side effects with Vyvanse.

View these medication reminder options to help avoid missing doses. You could also set an alarm, use a timer, or download a reminder app on your phone.

Length of treatment. Doctors typically prescribe Vyvanse as a long-term treatment. You’ll likely take it long term if you and your doctor feel it’s safe and effective for your condition.

However, your doctor may have you temporarily stop Vyvanse treatment from time to time. They’ll use these short breaks to help keep drug levels from building up in your body, which can help lower your risk of side effects.

Doctors can also use these temporary breaks to see if symptoms of your condition come back or worsen. If symptoms return or get worse, your doctor may have you restart Vyvanse. However, it’s best not to start and stop the drug on your own. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions for taking Vyvanse.

Vyvanse: How it works

Vyvanse is approved to treat binge eating disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). To learn more about these conditions, see the “Vyvanse: Uses” section below.

Vyvanse is a type of drug called a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. Vyvanse works by increasing the level of certain brain chemicals, including norepinephrine and dopamine. Higher levels of these chemicals are thought to:

  • reduce thoughts or behaviors related to binge eating and the number of binge eating episodes*
  • ease the symptoms of ADHD by improving alertness and attention

* Binge eating episodes occur when you eat a large amount of food in a short period of time, usually 2 hours or less. The amount of food you eat is much larger than what you would typically eat in the same amount of time.

How long does Vyvanse take to start working?

Vyvanse typically starts working within 1 hour of taking your dose. However, for binge eating disorder, it may take several weeks before symptoms of your condition ease.

Vyvanse levels typically peak in your body several hours after you take a dose. This is when Vyvanse reaches its highest levels in your blood.

How long it takes Vyvanse levels to peak can differ depending on whether or not you take the drug with food. Specifically, it can take longer for Vyvanse levels to peak if you take the drug with food rather than without it.

Peak chart

The usual peak times for each form of Vyvanse are provided in the peak chart below.

Vyvanse form Peak time
oral capsule about 3.5 hours
chewable tablet about 4.4 hours

How long does Vyvanse’s effect last?

Vyvanse’s effect usually lasts for about 14 hours after you take a dose.

What’s Vyvanse’s half-life, and how long does it stay in your system?

Vyvanse’s half-life is about 12 hours. (A drug’s half-life is the time it takes for half of a drug’s dose to leave your system.)

It typically takes about five half-lives for a drug to leave your system entirely. For Vyvanse, this means the drug stays in your system for about 2.5 days (60 hours).

Vyvanse: Questions you may have

Here are some common questions about Vyvanse and brief answers to them. If you’d like to know more about these topics, ask your doctor.

Does Vyvanse cause certain side effects in females vs. males?

In most cases, side effects of Vyvanse are expected to be the same in both females and males.*

However, Vyvanse’s sexual side effects may be different in females and males. For example, the drug may cause erectile dysfunction (ED) in males. (ED refers to trouble getting or sustaining an erection.) However, Vyvanse may cause low libido (sex drive) in both females and males.

To learn more about your risk of side effects with Vyvanse, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* Sex and gender exist on spectrums. In this article, use of the terms “male” and “female” refers to sex assigned at birth.

Is Vyvanse taken in 25-mg, 80-mg, 90-mg, 100-mg, or 120-mg doses?

The dosages listed above are not typically recommended for Vyvanse.

The usual starting dosage of Vyvanse is 30 milligrams (mg) per day, while the maximum recommended dosage is 70 mg per day. For details about how doctors may prescribe the drug, see the “Vyvanse: Dosage” section above.

Do doctors prescribe Vyvanse for anxiety or depression?

Doctors aren’t likely to prescribe Vyvanse to treat anxiety or depression. The drug isn’t currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for these uses.

In fact, Vyvanse may cause new or worsened mental health conditions as a side effect. For example, the drug could worsen anxiety or depression in people who already have these conditions. For this reason, doctors typically don’t prescribe Vyvanse to treat anxiety or depression.

If you’re interested in treatment options for anxiety or depression, talk with your doctor. They can recommend treatment options that may be best for you.

Will Vyvanse cause weight gain or hair loss?

Vyvanse isn’t likely to cause weight gain. This wasn’t reported as a side effect in clinical studies of the drug. In fact, weight loss, rather than weight gain, is common with Vyvanse. To learn more, see the “Vyvanse: Side effects” section above.

It’s possible that Vyvanse may cause hair loss. This side effect wasn’t reported in clinical studies. However, hair loss has been reported since the drug became available for use.

To learn more about weight gain and hair loss with Vyvanse, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Is it safe to take Vyvanse in the morning and Adderall in the afternoon?

Doctors typically won’t prescribe Vyvanse in the morning in combination with Adderall in the afternoon.

Both Vyvanse and Adderall are used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). And both drugs belong to a class of drugs called central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. Because these drugs belong to the same class, they work similarly in the body. And this means they cause similar side effects. Taking both Vyvanse and Adderall could increase your risk of side effects from each drug.

If you find that your Vyvanse dose wears off in the afternoon, talk with doctor. They may suggest a different dosage for you. Or they may switch you to a different treatment option instead of Vyvanse.

What is Vyvanse’s effect on metabolism?

It’s possible that Vyvanse could affect your body’s metabolism. (“Metabolism” describes the chemical processes that help your body function.)

Vyvanse belongs to a class of drugs called CNS stimulants. The drug works by stimulating (activating) the CNS. This increases the level of certain brain chemicals, including norepinephrine and dopamine.

These chemicals are also thought to play a role in digestion. By affecting these chemicals, Vyvanse could affect how your body metabolizes (breaks down) food.

This effect on metabolism could be one reason that taking Vyvanse commonly leads to weight loss. For more information about this side effect, see “Vyvanse’s side effects explained” in the “Vyvanse: Side effects” section above.

If you have questions about Vyvanse and metabolism, talk with your doctor.

Does Vyvanse cause brain damage?

Vyvanse isn’t likely to cause brain damage. This side effect wasn’t reported in clinical studies of the drug.

However, Vyvanse may cause certain other effects on the brain. These include mental health conditions such as mania and psychosis. Mania refers to moments of high excitement and energy, usually related to bipolar disorder. Psychosis refers to a loss of touch with reality.

If you’re concerned about the effects of Vyvanse on your brain, talk with your doctor. They can advise on your risk of these side effects.

Vyvanse: Uses

Prescription drugs, such as Vyvanse, are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat certain conditions.

Using Vyvanse for binge eating disorder (BED)

The FDA has approved Vyvanse to treat moderate to severe binge eating disorder (BED) in adults.

With BED, you have episodes of eating a large amount of food in a short period of time. This typically occurs in a period of 2 hours or less. The amount of food you eat is much larger than what you would typically eat in the same amount of time.

During these binge eating episodes, people have difficulty managing what is eaten or how much is eaten. This can happen even when they aren’t hungry. Binge eating episodes are often followed by feelings of shame or guilt about eating.

Using Vyvanse for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

The FDA has approved Vyvanse to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).* In the past, ADHD was known as attention deficit disorder (ADD).

For this use, doctors can prescribe Vyvanse for adults and children ages 6 years and older.

With ADHD, people have hyperactive behaviors that disrupt daily life. Examples include trouble focusing on a task or sitting still for long periods of time.

Other symptoms of ADHD include:

  • squirming or fidgeting
  • having angry outbursts
  • lacking attention to detail or becoming distracted easily
  • talking excessively or interrupting conversations

Vyvanse’s limitations of use

The manufacturer of Vyvanse has noted a limitation for its use. Limitations of use are situations in which doctors may not prescribe the drug.

It isn’t known if Vyvanse is safe or effective in treating obesity. Although taking Vyvanse may lead to weight loss, it isn’t approved as a weight loss drug. Using stimulants, such as Vyvanse, for weight loss has caused serious heart problems for some people.

Using Vyvanse in kids

Vyvanse is approved to treat ADHD in children ages 6 years and older.

For details about this condition, see “Using Vyvanse for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)” above.

Finding a healthcare professional for Vyvanse

If you’re interested in taking Vyvanse, you can find a doctor who might prescribe it by searching here. You can prepare for your appointment by visiting Healthgrades’ appointment guide for ADHD.

Vyvanse: Cost

Like other medications, prices for Vyvanse may vary. The drug’s price will depend on factors such as:

Cost considerations for Vyvanse

Here’s a list of things to consider when looking into the cost of Vyvanse.

  • Need for prior authorization. Before insurance coverage for Vyvanse is approved, your insurance company may require prior authorization. In this case, your doctor and insurance company will communicate about your prescription for Vyvanse. Then, the insurance company will decide if the drug will be covered. To find out if you need prior authorization for Vyvanse, contact your insurance company.
  • Possible cost assistance options. Financial assistance to help lower the cost of Vyvanse is available. A savings card for Vyvanse may help reduce its cost. To learn more and see if you’re eligible for support, visit the manufacturer’s website. Also, check out this article to learn about ways to save on prescription drugs.
  • Use of a mail-order pharmacy. Vyvanse may be dispensed through mail-order pharmacies. Getting your prescription through a mail-order pharmacy could lower its cost. It can also allow you to get the drug without leaving home. To find out more about this option, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance company.
  • Availability of a generic form. Vyvanse doesn’t come in a generic form. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Typically, generics cost less than brand-name drugs.

Vyvanse: Withdrawal and dependence

Vyvanse has a boxed warning for the risk of misuse and dependence. (Misuse means taking a drug differently from how your doctor prescribed it. Dependence happens when your body needs the drug in order to function like usual.) This is a serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

This section includes details about the risk of dependence with Vyvanse. For details about Vyvanse’s risk of misuse, see the “Vyvanse: Side effects” section above.

Dependence wasn’t reported as a side effect in clinical studies of Vyvanse. However, this is a known risk with stimulant drugs, including Vyvanse.

Due to this risk, doctors typically won’t prescribe Vyvanse for people who have alcohol use disorder or drug dependence. People with these conditions may have a higher risk of dependence with Vyvanse.

Vyvanse withdrawal symptoms

If you stop taking Vyvanse after your body has become dependent on it, you may have withdrawal symptoms. (Withdrawal symptoms are side effects that can happen after you stop taking a drug that your body is dependent on.) This is sometimes called a “Vyvanse crash.”

Examples of withdrawal symptoms that can happen with Vyvanse include:

Stopping Vyvanse safely

If you’re interested in stopping Vyvanse treatment, talk with your doctor first. If they feel it’s safe for you to stop treatment, your doctor may lower your dosage slowly over time. This will help lower the risk of withdrawal symptoms when Vyvanse is stopped.

Keep in mind that your doctor may temporarily stop your Vyvanse treatment from time to time. This may include stopping Vyvanse on weekends. They’ll use these short breaks to help keep drug levels from building up in your body, which can lower your risk of side effects.

Doctors can also use these temporary breaks to find out if symptoms of your condition come back or worsen. If your symptoms return or get worse, your doctor may have you restart Vyvanse. However, it’s best not to start and stop the drug on your own. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions for taking Vyvanse.

Vyvanse: Consuming alcohol during treatment

There aren’t any known interactions between alcohol and Vyvanse. However, doctors may suggest that you avoid drinking alcohol while you’re taking the drug.

This is because alcohol and Vyvanse work in opposite ways. Alcohol depresses (slows down) your central nervous system, while Vyvanse stimulates (activates) it. As a result, drinking alcohol while taking Vyvanse could make it hard to keep track of the amount of alcohol you’ve had. It can also make it hard to tell if Vyvanse is working for your condition.

If you have questions about consuming alcohol with Vyvanse, talk with your doctor.

Vyvanse: Interactions

Vyvanse may interact with other medications. It’s not known to interact with any supplements or foods.

Different interactions can cause different effects. Some interactions can interfere with a drug’s effectiveness. Others can increase a drug’s side effects or cause them to be severe.

If any of the interactions listed below might pertain to you, talk with your doctor. They can tell you what you need to do to avoid the interaction.

  • Vyvanse and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). The manufacturer of Vyvanse advises that this drug should not be taken with MAOIs. Be sure to discuss with your doctor before taking these drugs together. Examples of MAOIs include:
  • Vyvanse and other medications. Because Vyvanse may interact with certain other drugs, your doctor may recommend that you don’t take it with these drugs. Examples include:
    • antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, bupropion (Wellbutrin), escitalopram (Lexapro), sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac), and paroxetine (Paxil)
    • other stimulants, such as amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (Adderall and Adderall XR)
    • the altitude sickness drug acetazolamide
    • the heartburn drug sodium bicarbonate, which is another name for baking soda
  • Vyvanse and herbs and supplements. Vyvanse isn’t known to interact with any supplements. If you have questions about how certain herbs or supplements, such as caffeine, may affect Vyvanse, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Vyvanse and foods. Vyvanse isn’t known to interact with any foods or drinks. If you have questions about how certain foods or drinks, such as coffee, may affect Vyvanse, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Vyvanse: Taking while pregnant

It’s not known if Vyvanse is safe to take while pregnant. There haven’t been enough clinical studies of the drug in pregnancy to know for certain.

There have been reports of side effects in infants born to people who took drugs similar to Vyvanse while pregnant. These side effects include withdrawal symptoms, such as fatigue and agitation. Other possible side effects include low birth weight and premature birth.

If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor. They can advise on the risks of taking Vyvanse while pregnant.

Vyvanse’s pregnancy registry

If you take Vyvanse while pregnant, you’re encouraged to enroll in the National Pregnancy Registry for ADHD Medications. (These are drugs prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD].) This registry collects information about the effects of ADHD medications when used during pregnancy. To learn more, talk with your doctor. You can also call 866-961-2388 or visit the registry website.

Vyvanse and birth control needs

Doctors aren’t sure if it’s safe to take Vyvanse during pregnancy. Talk with your doctor about your birth control needs with Vyvanse if you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant. Your doctor can recommend if you should use birth control with this medication.

Vyvanse: Taking while breastfeeding

Doctors will likely recommend that you don’t take Vyvanse while you’re breastfeeding.

Vyvanse can pass into breast milk, which could cause side effects in a breastfed child. Examples of these side effects include serious heart problems and delayed growth.

If you’re breastfeeding or planning to do so, talk with your doctor. They can recommend healthy ways to feed your child while you’re taking Vyvanse.

Vyvanse: Overdose

Serious effects can occur if you use more than the recommended dosage of Vyvanse. Do not use more Vyvanse than your doctor recommends.

Symptoms of overdose

Symptoms that an overdose could cause include:

What to do in case of overdose

Call your doctor if you think you’ve taken too much of this drug. Also, you can call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. However, if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number. Or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Vyvanse: How to take

Your doctor will recommend how you should take Vyvanse. It’s important that you take the drug exactly as your doctor instructs.

Vyvanse comes as an oral capsule and chewable tablet. You’ll take the oral capsule by swallowing it or the tablet by chewing and swallowing it.

Questions about taking Vyvanse

Here’s a list of common questions related to taking Vyvanse.

  • When should I take Vyvanse? You’ll likely take Vyvanse once per day. View these medication reminder options to help avoid missing doses of Vyvanse. You could also set an alarm, use a timer, or download a reminder app on your phone.
  • Do I need to take Vyvanse with food? Not necessarily. Vyvanse can be taken with food or without it.
  • Can Vyvanse be chewed, split, or crushed? Vyvanse comes as capsules and chewable tablets. Vyvanse capsules should not be chewed or crushed. If possible, they should be swallowed whole. If you have trouble swallowing Vyvanse capsules whole, you can split them open. You’ll mix the powder inside the capsules with yogurt, water, or juice and take the mixture right away. Don’t store it for later use. Vyvanse chewable tablets should be chewed completely before swallowing. They shouldn’t be split or crushed.
  • Is there a best time of day to take Vyvanse? It’s best to take Vyvanse in the morning. Taking the drug in the afternoon, in the evening, or close to bedtime can cause insomnia.

Vyvanse: Precautions

This drug comes with several precautions.

FDA warning: Misuse and dependence

This drug has a boxed warning, the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A boxed warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Risk of misuse and dependence. Vyvanse has a risk of misuse and dependence. (Misuse means taking a drug differently from how your doctor prescribed it. Dependence happens when your body needs the drug in order to function like usual.) Misuse of Vyvanse can lead to side effects that are serious and in some cases may be fatal.

Due to this risk, doctors typically won’t prescribe Vyvanse for people who have alcohol use disorder or drug dependence. People with these conditions may have a higher risk of misuse and dependence with Vyvanse.

Your doctor will discuss the risk of misuse and dependence with you before prescribing Vyvanse. They’ll continue to monitor your risk while you’re taking the drug.

To learn more, see the “Vyvanse: Side effects” and “Vyvanse: Withdrawal and dependence” sections above.

Other precautions

Tell your doctor about your health history before starting treatment with Vyvanse. Your doctor may not recommend this medication if you have certain factors affecting your health or specific medical conditions.

These factors and conditions include those listed below.

  • Circulation problems. Tell your doctor if you or a family member has circulation problems. Vyvanse can cause circulation problems as a side effect, which could worsen your condition. Raynaud’s phenomenon is an example of a circulation problem that can happen with Vyvanse. Your doctor can advise whether Vyvanse is a safe treatment option for you.
  • Heart problems. Before starting Vyvanse, tell your doctor if you or a family member has heart problems. Examples include abnormal heart rhythm, coronary artery disease (CAD), and high blood pressure. The drug may cause certain heart problems, including high blood pressure and increased heart rate. You may have a higher risk of these side effects if you already have heart problems before taking Vyvanse. Your doctor will recommend whether it’s safe to take Vyvanse.
  • Mental health conditions, including psychosis or bipolar disorder. Tell your doctor if you or a family member has a mental health condition. Examples include psychosis and bipolar disorder. Vyvanse can increase the risk of psychosis (loss of touch with reality). It can also increase the risk of mania (moments of high excitement and energy, usually related to bipolar disorder). The risk may be higher in people who already have these conditions. Your doctor can talk with you about the risk of these side effects while you’re taking Vyvanse.
  • Kidney problems. If you have kidney problems, such as kidney failure, talk with your doctor before taking Vyvanse. Your kidneys help your body get rid of Vyvanse. If your kidneys don’t work well, Vyvanse may build up in your body. And this could increase your risk of side effects. Your doctor may adjust your dosage if you have kidney problems. They may also watch you closely for side effects from the drug.
  • Allergic reaction. Your doctor will likely not prescribe Vyvanse if you’ve had an allergic reaction to it or any of its ingredients. To find out about other treatment options, talk with your doctor.
  • Pregnancy. It is not known if Vyvanse is safe to use during pregnancy. If you’d like to learn more information about taking Vyvanse while pregnant, view the “Vyvanse: Taking while pregnant” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. It may not be safe to breastfeed while taking Vyvanse. If you’d like to learn more information about taking Vyvanse while breastfeeding, view the “Vyvanse: Taking while breastfeeding” section above.

To learn more about effects of Vyvanse that could be harmful, see the “Vyvanse: Side effects” section above.

Vyvanse: Expiration, storage, and disposal

Here’s some information about Vyvanse’s expiration date, as well as how to store and dispose of the drug.

  • Expiration. Your pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on Vyvanse’s bottle. This date is usually 1 year from the date the medication was dispensed to you. Expiration dates help ensure that a medication is effective during a period of time. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises that you avoid using expired drugs. If you have an unused medication and it’s past the drug’s expiration date, talk with your pharmacist. They can let you know whether you might still be able to use the medication.
  • Storage. Many factors determine how long a medication remains good to use. These factors include how and where you store the drug. Vyvanse capsules and chewable tablets should be stored at a room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C). You can temporarily store them at a temperature between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 15°C), such as while traveling. Avoid storing Vyvanse in areas where it could get damp or wet, such as bathrooms. The medication should be kept away from light in a tightly sealed container.
  • Disposal. It’s important to safely dispose of Vyvanse if you no longer need to take it and have unused medication. Doing so helps prevent others, including children and pets, from accidentally taking the drug. It also helps avoid causing harm to the environment. Ask your pharmacist for information about disposing of Vyvanse. Also, check out this page for several tips on safe medication disposal.

Vyvanse: Questions for your doctor

If you have questions about Vyvanse, talk with your doctor. They can help advise you on whether Vyvanse could be a good treatment option for you.

Here’s a list of questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • Will Vyvanse cure my condition?
  • Do I have a high risk of misuse or dependence with Vyvanse?
  • Does my dosage of Vyvanse affect my risk of side effects?

Your doctor may also tell you about other treatment options for your condition. You may find this article helpful in learning about alternative drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). And check out our selection of videos on ADHD.

Disclaimer: Healthgrades has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

Medical Reviewer: Heather Bruce, PharmD
Last Review Date: 2022 May 12
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.