Get Help Today. (800) 516-4357

Vyvanse Withdrawal: Timelines & Symptoms to Know

More research needs to be done on Vyvanse to fully understand its dependence and addiction risk. However, it does have a mechanism that could logically lead to dependence, and it’s known to cause withdrawal symptoms. It’s also a stimulant, which is known to have some similarities regarding how it causes dependence and the withdrawal symptoms it causes.

Struggling with Stimulant Addiction? Get Help Now

How Vyvanse Withdrawal Happens

Research on the drug is limited. Vyvanse is a brand name for the drug lisdexamfetamine. It’s known that some people use this stimulant recreationally, but less is known about its potential for dependence or precisely how it works.[1] However, it does appear to cause dependence at least sometimes.

Drug dependence is very broadly the answer to why withdrawal occurs. The body adapts to some changes a drug causes in a person’s system and begins to treat that as its “normal” state, adjusting to the presence of the drug and then overcorrecting when a person doesn’t take the drug. This causes withdrawal symptoms as the body then needs to slowly adjust back to its drug-abstinent state.

Dependence can occur even if a person only uses a drug as prescribed. It is related to addiction but isn’t the same thing. This means a person who misses a dose of their medication may go through withdrawal if they’ve been taking it for a long time, although a person who intentionally abuses the medication will generally experience a worse withdrawal process in a drug’s absence. 

Specifics of the Mechanism

It’s been suggested Vyvanse might cause dependence via dopaminergic pathways.[1] Basically, the drug causes increased levels of dopamine in a user. Dopamine is a neurochemical responsible for many different things, one of which is the feeling that a particular behavior is rewarding. 

Withdrawal Symptoms You Can Expect

Not much has been written on Vyvanse withdrawal specifically, but the drug is a stimulant. Withdrawal from stimulants is typically associated with the following symptoms:[2]

  • Depressed mood
  • Low energy
  • Irritability
  • Exhaustion
  • Insomnia

Less common symptoms include the following:

  • Agitation
  • Increased appetite
  • Muscle aches
  • Cravings for stimulants
  • Auditory and visual hallucinations, which should be treated as a medical emergency
  • Suicidal ideation, which should be treated as a medical emergency

After a binge on stimulants, it isn’t uncommon for a person to sleep much longer than normal, sometimes as long as one to two days.[2] Despite being common, a person sleeping this long should be periodically checked to make sure they’re truly only sleeping and not experiencing any kind of medical emergency. 

Risk Factors of Vyvanse Withdrawal

Some symptoms can occur in a person going through Vyvanse withdrawal that is of serious medical concern. Notably serious complications can include psychosis, suicidal ideation, depression, and anxiety. Some patients can experience abnormal vital signs, such as an unusual heart rate, or high levels of panic or agitation, which may make them a danger to themself or others.[3] 

Withdrawal tends to trigger intense cravings for drugs. A person is not only at risk of relapsing during this time but is also at risk of overdosing due to overindulging in drug abuse. Their tolerance for the drug may have been lowered more than they might expect due to their period of drug abstinence.[4] 

For this reason, it is typically recommended for a person to withdraw from prescription or illegal stimulants only after talking to a doctor about the best way to do so. 

How Long Can You Expect Withdrawal Symptoms?

The following chart gives a broad estimate as to how long withdrawal from Vyvanse might last, but it should be noted this is based on information about stimulant withdrawal in general. This information might become more refined as the drug is more thoroughly studied:[2]

Time Since Last UseSymptoms
Within 24 hoursDepressed mood, low energy, and irritability
Within 24 hours (moderate to severe withdrawal)Agitation and irritability, increased appetite, muscle aches, suicidal ideation, stimulant cravings, and auditory and/or visual hallucinations
3-5 daysSymptoms begin to fade
1-2 monthsProtracted withdrawal, characterized by fatigue, angst, unbalanced emotions, unpredictable or disturbed sleep patterns, and strong cravings for stimulant drugs

Detoxing Off Vyvanse

Any intention to detox from Vyvanse should begin with a conversation with a medical professional. Answer their questions honestly, especially about the amount of the drug you’ve been using and for how long. They can help you assess how severe your withdrawal symptoms are likely to be and what you can expect.

For people who have only been taking their medication as prescribed, your doctor will be able to develop a plan with you to help you avoid severe withdrawal symptoms altogether. If you’ve been misusing the drug, you may instead need to seek treatment at a medical detox facility, where you will stay for a few nights in the care of treatment professionals who can help you withdraw from the drug safely and effectively. 

Stopping Vyvanse Cold Turkey

The “cold-turkey” approach to quitting a drug one is dependent on is rarely, if ever, recommended. It causes the most severe withdrawal of any detox method and carries essentially no benefits.[3] In fact, it makes it more likely that a person will experience dangerous withdrawal symptoms and/or relapse into heavy drug use.[4] 

At the very least, talk to a doctor about quitting Vyvanse before doing so. That way you can get fully informed about your options and what’s likely to occur if you choose a particular path.

Medical Detox for Vyvanse Withdrawal at Boca Recovery Center

If you’d like to medically detox under the empathetic care of professionals, we hope you’ll consider our team at the Boca Recovery Center. Our experts can help to keep you safe and comfortable as you go through the difficult first steps of recovering from drug dependence. 

We also offer further services once you detox. The core work of recovery takes place in addiction treatment. In our program, you can get help to regain control over your drug use and develop the skills you need to live a full, autonomous life in recovery. Reach out today to learn more. 

Updated March 21, 2024
  1. Potential for dependence on lisdexamfetamine - In vivo and in vitro aspects. Yun J, Lee KW, Eom JH, et al. Biomolecules & Therapeutics. 2017;25(6):659-664.
  2. Stimulant use disorder treatment. Bureau of Substance Abuse Services. Accessed February 16, 2024.
  3. Withdrawal management. World Health Organization. Published 2019. Accessed February 16, 2024.
Take The Next Step Now
Call Us Now Check Insurance