November 30, 2023

Vyvanse: Addiction Risk, Side Effects, & FAQs

A man sitting on the beach wondering if he has a Vyvanse addiction

Vyvanse is considered a safe medication when used as directed by a physician, but misuse or abuse of the medication is associated with the risk of dependence and addiction. For this reason, the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) designates Vyvanse a Schedule II drug.

What Is Vyvanse Used For?

Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) is prescribed for managing ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) in both children and adults. The drug also has FDA approval for treating binge eating disorder in adults. Vyvanse, classified as a stimulant medication, enhances brain activity, leading to improved attention and focus in individuals with ADHD. That said, it can also induce euphoria, boost energy levels, and curb appetite. This makes Vyvanse prone to misuse for recreational, academic, or weight loss purposes. Additionally, the use of stimulants like Vyvanse can trigger a range of physical effects.

Is Vyvanse Addictive?

It is possible to become addicted to Vyvanse. Misusing the medication can result in complications and elevate the risk of the following:

  • Tolerance: This refers to the phenomenon where individuals develop a reduced response to the effects of Vyvanse over time, necessitating increased doses to achieve the desired outcomes. Tolerance can contribute to the escalation of Vyvanse intake, potentially leading to more severe consequences.
  • Physical dependence: Prolonged Vyvanse abuse can lead to the development of physical dependence. In this state, the body adapts to the continuous presence of Vyvanse, and its absence may trigger Vyvanse withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation. Physical dependence indicates that the body relies on Vyvanse for normal functioning.
  • Addiction: Vyvanse abuse carries the risk of addiction (substance use disorder), a progressive and chronic condition characterized by a compulsive need to use the drug despite experiencing adverse effects. Addiction can have profound implications on various aspects of a person’s life, impacting relationships, work, and overall well-being.

It is imperative to recognize the potential risks associated with Vyvanse abuse and seek professional help if there are concerns about dependency or addiction. Early intervention and appropriate treatment can significantly improve the chances of recovery and mitigate the potential consequences of misuse.

A woman in deep thought about the side effects and withdrawal symptoms of Vyvanse addiction

Vyvanse Side Effects

Vyvanse, despite its therapeutic benefits, can manifest various adverse side effects, impacting those being treated for ADHD and binge eating disorders.

Common adverse reactions associated with Vyvanse use for ADHD (in adults, children, and adolescents) and binge eating disorder (in adults) include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Dry mouth
  • Anorexia
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Anxiety
  • Appetite and weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Abdominal pain

Beyond these reactions, Vyvanse poses serious cardiovascular risks, contributing to elevated heart rate and blood pressure. Individuals with pre-existing heart conditions may experience severe reactions, including stroke, heart attack, or sudden death. Adverse psychiatric effects are also possible, with Vyvanse potentially inducing psychotic or manic symptoms in individuals without a history of such issues and exacerbating symptoms in those with pre-existing psychosis. The warning label for Vyvanse further highlights potential side effects, including:

Vyvanse FAQs

Is Vyvanse a controlled substance?

Yes, Vyvanse is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance due to its potential for abuse and dependence.

What is the difference between Vyvanse and Adderall?

While both Vyvanse and Adderall are stimulant medications used to treat ADHD, Vyvanse contains lisdexamfetamine, a prodrug that is converted into dextroamphetamine in the body, whereas Adderall is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine salts.

Can you overdose on Vyvanse?

Yes, an overdose of Vyvanse can occur, leading to potentially serious symptoms such as restlessness, tremors, rapid breathing, hallucinations, panic, aggressiveness, and even seizures. Seeking immediate medical attention is crucial if an overdose is suspected.

Is Vyvanse a narcotic?

No, Vyvanse is not classified as a narcotic (opioid). It is a central nervous system stimulant that affects neurotransmitters in the brain, primarily used for the treatment of ADHD and binge eating disorder.

An image of the Gratitude Lodge facility, where addiction treatment is available

Get Treatment for Vyvanse Addiction at Gratitude Lodge

If you are ready to commit to recovery from Vyvanse addiction, we can help you from detox to discharge and beyond at Gratitude Lodge in Newport Beach and Long Beach, CA.

Supervised medical detoxification is the safest, most comfortable approach to detoxing from prescription stimulants like Vyvanse. After a tapered reduction in dosage and a week or so of medical monitoring, you can move into ongoing inpatient treatment.

Our residential rehab program provides an immersive and supportive environment in which you can tackle the psychological component of stimulant use disorder. Expect a customized blend of treatments that include individual and group counseling, family therapy, psychotherapy, holistic treatments, and MAT (medication-assisted treatment). You will leave our rehab center equipped with relapse prevention and management techniques, as well as access to ongoing therapy if required. Call 888-861-1658 when you are committed to recovering from stimulant addiction.

Want to learn more?

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Joe Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
Jenni Bussi

Jenni Busse MS, LPCC

Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

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