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Common & Rare Side Effects of Vyvanse to Know

As with any medication, taking Vyvanse comes with some risks of side effects. In most cases, the more common side effects of this stimulant medication are minimal and usually pass as the body adjusts to the medication. They usually occur right after starting the medication or when the dose is increased. 

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There are also some more serious and rare side effects that can happen. If any of these occur, get medical help immediately and discontinue use until you can speak with your doctor. 

Breaking Down the Side Effects of Vyvanse

Vyvanse is highly effective for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and binge eating disorder (BED), but it may come with some side effects for some users.[1]  

Some possible side effects may be physical, sexual, mental, or behavioral. Here’s how they break down:[2] 

CategorySide Effects
Physical Decreased appetite and weight loss
Dry mouth
Increased heart rate
Abdominal pain
Mood swings
Potential for substance abuse and addiction
SexualDecreased libido
Erectile dysfunction
Difficulty achieving orgasm

It’s important to note that not everyone experiences side effects when taking Vyvanse, and if they do, the severity of those side effects will vary widely. Higher doses may be more likely to trigger side effects. Most side effects will diminish as the body adjusts to the medication. 

If side effects do not dissipate over time or they are not manageable with lifestyle changes and adjustments, call your doctor. If side effects are severe, get emergency medical help immediately. 

Physical Side Effects

Some common physical side effects occur when people first introduce Vyvanse to their systems or when they increase their dose. For example, it may be normal to feel some amount of decrease in appetite, dry mouth, nausea, dizziness, or stomach pain. It would also not be uncommon to find it difficult to sleep the first few nights after taking the medication, to experience increased heart rate when the medication is at its peak, or to have a headache. 

More serious physical effects are less commonly experienced. They may include the following:[2] 

  • High blood pressure
  • Excessive sweating
  • Intense fatigue 
  • Blurred vision
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Urinary tract infections 
  • Seizures

To minimize these issues, stay hydrated and eat healthy foods (less sugar and caffeine). If any of the more serious side effects occur, contact emergency medical care right away. 

Psychological Side Effects

Psychological side effects are common when first introducing Vyvanse to the body. They can include anxiety, irritability, mood swings, and agitation for most people, but this should pass. 

More serious psychological effects can occur as well, including a worsening of bipolar disorder symptoms if that is an issue and new psychotic symptoms, such aural or visual hallucinations.[3] Paranoia, depression, and suicidal thoughts may occur as well. 

If the more common psychological side effects become burdensome or do not diminish with time, or if any of the more serious psychological effects occur, contact your doctor for guidance immediately. 

Behavioral Side Effects

Even though Vyvanse was designed to help people who struggle with ADHD, a condition that has hyperactivity in the name, it is a stimulant drug, and it is possible for people taking the drug to experience greater hyperactivity than before. Similarly, feelings of restlessness and impulsivity have been reported by some users. 

At the more extreme end of the spectrum, people may experience aggression, obsessive behaviors, and social withdrawal as they attempt to grapple with these ups and downs.[4]

Sexual Side Effects

Many medications that manage mood can have an impact on sexual function, sexual health, and sexual satisfaction in both men and women.[1] As with other side effects, they may pass with time or they may worsen with continued use. If the problems become serious or chronic, discuss the issue with your doctor immediately. 

Sexual Side Effects in Women

Women may find that taking Vyvanse impacts their interest in sex and their ability to achieve orgasm. Some women may find that their libido has decreased to the point where sex is not of interest to them while others are frustrated with the changes.[1]

Sexual Side Effects in Men

In men, some users of Vyvanse may experience a loss of libido. They may also struggle with difficulty getting an erection or delayed ejaculation.[5] Like women, some men do not find this issue to be problematic, while others find the problem frustrating.

What Are the Short-Term vs. Long-Term Effects of Vyvanse?

In most cases, the effects of Vyvanse use are short term, lasting only as long as the drug is at peak effect in the body and potentially for as long as it takes to process the drug out of the system. 

The following is a table comparing the top three most commonly reported effects of taking Vyvanse:[2] 

Short Term EffectsLong Term Effects
Focus & AttentionImmediate improvement in focus and attention to tasksSustained enhancement of attention span and productivity
AppetiteDecreased appetite, leading to potential weight lossPossible long-term changes in eating patterns and weight
Mood & BehaviorInitial mood elevation and increased motivationRisk of mood swings, dependency, or emotional instability

Short-Term Effects of Vyvanse

People primarily take Vyvanse to help them manage their impulsivity. Cutting down on their impulsive patterns makes it easier for them to stay focused and maintain attention on a single task if they are taking the medication for ADHD management. 

If they are taking the drug to manage BED, it can help them to stop binge eating. Appetite suppressant is another effect of Vyvanse, which is of value for those whose impulse behaviors happen with food. 

Mood and behavior will be impacted differently in different people. For some, they experience a mood lift followed by a burst of energy and better mood. For others, the result is agitation or irritability. 

Long-Term Effects of Vyvanse 

Over time, use of Vyvanse can lead to sustained improvements in the ability to focus, organize, and remain organized. Similarly, with ongoing use of the substance, the appetite suppressant nature of the drug can result in weight loss and persistent loss of appetite. 

Long-term use of the drug increases the risk of developing mood swings or certain mental health issues. Any time a stimulant like Vyvanse is used outside the bounds of a prescription, it is considered abuse. Any abuse of the drug increases the likelihood for dependence and addiction

Updated March 21, 2024
  1. Highlights of prescribing information - Vyvanse. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Published 2017. Accessed February 27, 2024.
  2. Lisdexamfetamine: U.S. National Library of Medicine. Published February 2020. Accessed February 27, 2024.
  3. Vyvanse. National Institutes of Health.
  4. 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.
  5. Influence of lisdexamfetamine dimesylate on early ejaculation - results from a double-blind randomized clinical trial. Haghighi M, Doostizadeh M, Jahangard L, et al. Healthcare. 2021;9(7):859.
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