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Is Vyvanse Addictive?

The end result of Vyvanse abuse can be an addiction to the drug, which is why it is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. This means that though it has a valid medicinal use, it also comes with a high potential for abuse, which can lead to addiction to the drug.[2]

Struggling with Stimulant Addiction? Get Help Now

Vyvanse is a prescription stimulant drug. As such, it has the potential to be abused, both by legitimate users and by those who don’t have a prescription.[1]

Understanding Vyvanse 

This chart breaks down the core facts on Vyvanse:[1,2]

FDA ApprovalApproved for medical use in 2007
Primary UsesPrescribed to treat ADHD in both children and adults Also prescribed to treat moderate to severe binge eating disorder in adults
Addiction PotentialPotential for abuse and addiction
DosageAvailable in capsule form, ranging from 10 mg to 70 mg capsules, with chosen dosage based on doctors; recommendation and patient’s response to the drug 
Slang NamesNot usually referred to specifically with any well-known slang terms but may be referred to by slang names used for stimulant drugs in general in some locales
Controlled Substance StatusClassified as a Schedule II controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act
Common Side EffectsDecreased appetiteInsomniaDry mouthIncreased heart rateAnxietyNausea

How Addictive Is Vyvanse?

Vyvanse is potentially addictive, especially when abused, but it is designed to be less addictive than other stimulant medications or street drugs. 

The active ingredient in Vyvanse is lisdexamfetamine, which is a prodrug. This means that it needs to be metabolized by the body in order to activate in the system, which translates into a more gradual increase compared to immediate-release stimulant drugs.[3]

How Does Vyvanse Impact the Mind & Body?

Vyvanse has a significant impact on both the body and mind, which is why it is often effective in treating ADHD as well as binge eating disorder—disorders that are both mental and physical in nature. 

The drug stimulates the central nervous system stem, impacting how neurotransmitters behave. For each individual, this can have different effects or a different degree of effects. 

In general, this can mentally mean increased levels of concentration, a reduction in hyperactivity and impulsivity, and an improved mood. Physically, the drug suppresses appetite, makes it harder to sleep, and increases heart rate, blood pressure, and physical energy. 

Potential Risk Factors of Vyvanse

It is normal for people who are new to using Vyvanse to experience a range of side effects that can include dry mouth, insomnia, dizziness, nausea, or anxiety. In most cases, this passes after a time as the body adjusts, but in some cases, the side effects can be more serious. For example, it is possible for users to experience more extreme and even life-threatening health issues, such as heart attack, stroke, seizures, or sudden death.[4]

Additionally, there is the risk of overdose that comes with abuse of any stimulant drug. This is a threat with the abuse of Vyvanse.

Signs of Vyvanse Addiction

There are a number of signs that can indicate that someone is living with an addiction to Vyvanse. 

Physical signs of Vyvanse addiction may include tolerance to the drug or requiring higher and higher doses, withdrawal symptoms when without the medication, and changes in physical appearance like extreme weight loss, an inability to sleep, and heart issues.[5] 

Mental signs of addiction to Vyvanse can include intense anxiety, paranoia, mood swings, changes in cognitive function, and cravings for the drug. 

Changes in behavior may also indicate signs of Vyvanse addiction, including neglect of responsibilities at home or school, attempts to get multiple prescriptions for stimulant drugs from multiple doctors, withdrawal from people who do not use drugs, and continued use of Vyvanse despite negative consequences. 

Stopping Use of Vyvanse

Stopping the use of Vyvanse can trigger intense withdrawal symptoms that are both physical and mental in nature. 

Physical withdrawal symptoms can include headaches, sleep problems, an increase in appetite, and intense fatigue.

Mental and emotional symptoms can include depression, anxiety, irritability, mood swings, and problems with concentration and attention.

Additionally, the person may crave getting more Vyvanse and engage in drug-seeking behaviors in an effort to put a stop to the withdrawal symptoms of Vyvanse

Getting Help for Vyvanse Addiction

When Vyvanse addiction is the problem, a comprehensive treatment program is the solution. Psychological addiction to the drug can make it difficult to impossible to stop using it at home. It is recommended to seek help from professionals who can help you to craft a unique and personalized treatment program 

Reaching out to an addiction treatment program that can offer medical treatment as needed, as well as behavioral therapy and emotional support, can be key to helping people stop Vyvanse abuse and transition into a life of recovery. 

FAQs About Vyvanse 

These are some of the questions we hear most about Vyvanse:

How long does Vyvanse stay in your system?

Depending on metabolism and other factors, the specific timelines may vary from person to person. However, in general, the therapeutic effects of an immediate-release Vyvanse dose will hit within an hour, peak for up to three hours, and stay in the system for up to six hours.[6]
For extended-release doses of Vyvanse, effects usually peak within four to seven hours and stay in the system for up to 12 hours.[6]

Can Vyvanse cause anxiety?

Yes, Vyvanse can cause anxiety in users, both as a potential side effect and as a withdrawal symptom.[1]

Is Vyvanse a controlled substance?

Yes, Vyvanse is a controlled substance and classified as a Schedule II substance by the DEA.[2]

Is it dangerous to snort Vyvanse?

Yes, it is dangerous to snort any drug that is meant to be swallowed and digested into the bloodstream.

Does Vyvanse cause hair loss?

There have been cases of hair loss, or alopecia, reported after the use of lisdexamfetamine, but it is not a commonly reported side effect and is generally reversed by stopping the use of the drug.[7]

How much does Vyvanse cost?

Vyvanse can cost anywhere from $0 to $380 for a 30-day supply. Various factors can impact what you pay, such as insurance coverage, plan type, support programs and more.

Updated April 29, 2024
  1. Highlights of prescribing information - Vyvanse. National Institutes of Health. Revised August, 2021. Accessed February 16, 2024.
  2. Vyvanse TM (Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate). U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Published 2007. Accessed February 16, 2024.
  3. Lisdexamfetamine. Howland RH. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services. 2008;46(8):19-22.
  4. Lisdexamfetamine. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Published February 2020. Accessed February 16, 2024.
  5. Assessment of amphetamine withdrawal symptoms of lisdexamfetamine dimesylate treatment for adults with binge eating disorder. Robertson B, Wu J, Fant RV, Schnoll SH, McElroy SL. The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders. 2020;22(2).
  6. Potential adverse effects of amphetamine treatment on brain and behavior: a review. Berman SM, Kuczenski R, McCracken JT, London ED. Molecular Psychiatry. 2008;14(2):123-142.
  7. Alopecia following initiation of lisdexamfetamine in a pediatric patient. Brahm NC, Hamilton DR. The Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2009;11(6):365.
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