Vyvanse Side Effects: Recognizing Vyvanse Addiction Signs

As a well-known prescription medication, it is important to understand Vyvanse side effects and possible risks when taking it. Vyvanse is commonly used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While it is not approved for weight loss and obesity, it is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating moderate to severe binge eating disorders in adults.

Vyvanse use can also lead to abuse and addiction. In fact, a 2015 study states that around 17% of college students misuse prescription stimulant drugs for ADHD including Vyvanse.

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Like Adderall, Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) is primarily prescribed to alleviate the symptoms of ADHD. It works by affecting certain chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.

However, misuse of this medication, such as taking it without a prescription, can lead to serious side effects and even addiction. In fact, Vyvanse contains a boxed warning label regarding its high risk of dependence and misuse.

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Increased Tolerance

Over time and with continued use, people can build a tolerance to Vyvanse, requiring higher dosage to achieve the desired effects.

Neglecting Responsibilities

Vyvanse addiction can lead to neglecting important life responsibilities, such as work, school, or relationships.

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Withdrawal Symptoms

Experiencing uncomfortable symptoms when not taking Vyvanse can be a sign of addiction. These symptoms may include fatigue, depression, and irritability.

Social Isolation

Those addicted to Vyvanse may withdraw from social activities and choose to spend their time focusing on obtaining and using the drug.

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Financial Issues

Financial troubles, such as borrowing money or engaging in illegal activities to fund their addiction, can be a clear sign.

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Cravings and Failed Attempts To Quit

People struggling with Vyvanse addiction may have made repeated attempts to quit using the drug, but are often unsuccessful. This lack of control is a strong indicator of addiction.

Dangers of Vyvanse Addiction

Vyvanse addiction typically progresses through several stages. Initially, individuals may use it as prescribed. However, tolerance can develop over time, leading to increased usage without a doctor’s guidance. Prolonged use and addiction can also lead to various health problems, including heart issues, sleep disturbances, and mental health disorders.

While anyone taking Vyvanse can potentially develop an addiction, certain factors can increase the risk. This includes a personal or family history of substance abuse, co-occurring mental health conditions, and a pattern of drug misuse.

How long does it take for Vyvanse to kick in?

It typically takes about 30-60 minutes for Vyvanse to start working, and it can last for up to 12 to 14 hours. The exact amount of time it takes for Vyvanse to kick in can vary from person to person. It may take longer for Vyvanse to start working if you have eaten a large meal or if you are taking other medications.

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How Side Effects May Contribute to Addiction

The side effects of Vyvanse can sometimes inadvertently contribute to addiction. The increased energy and alertness that come with the medication can be appealing to some individuals, leading them to misuse it.

As a central nervous system stimulant, Vyvanse can have several side effects. Not everyone experiences the same side effects, but it’s crucial to be aware of its potential side effects and the risk of addiction.

Short-Term Effects of Vyvanse

These side effects are typically mild and go away on their own within a few days or weeks. The most common side effects of Vyvanse include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleeping problems
  • Dry mouth
  • Nervousness or restlessness
  • Nausea
  • Excessive sweating
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Changes in sex drive

Some people can also experience less common side effects such as blurred vision, anxiety, mood changes, digestive problems like constipation or diarrhea, tremors, and allergic reactions.

Does Vyvanse cause weight loss?

Yes, Vyvanse can cause weight loss. This is a common side effect of stimulant medications, which work by increasing levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. These chemicals can suppress appetite and increase metabolism.

Long-Term Effects of Vyvanse

Cardiovascular Reactions

Prolonged use of CNS drugs can cause heart issues leading to heart attack, stroke, or sudden death due to increased blood pressure and heart rate.

Mental Health Problems

Individuals may be at risk for mental health concerns like anxiety, depression, and psychosis. Those with pre-existing psychotic or bipolar disorder can also experience episodes.

Growth Suppression

For young patients, weight loss and slowing of growth have been associated with CNS stimulants like Vyvanse.

Blood Circulation Disorder

Peripheral vascular disorder, including Raynaud’s Phenomenon have been associated with stimulants like Vyvanse.

Serotonin Syndrome

When Vyvanse is used with other drugs like monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), which affect neurotransmitters, this syndrome may occur.


Vyvanse is habit-forming and because of prolonged use and tolerance, people may become addicted to the drug.

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Can You Overdose On Vyvanse?

Yes, it is possible to overdose on Vyvanse. It is designed to release its active ingredient gradually throughout the day when taken as prescribed. However, when consumed in excess, the body faces an overwhelming influx of lisdexamfetamine, which can lead to several harmful effects.

Certain factors can also increase the risk of overdose, including:

  • Taking more Vyvanse than prescribed
  • Taking Vyvanse with other drugs, such as alcohol or other medications
  • Having a history of drug abuse or addiction
  • Having a medical condition, such as heart disease or high blood pressure

Vyvanse Overdose Symptoms

addiction can cause unpleasant thoughts or feelings of anxiety

Extreme Restlessness

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icon showing the effects of addiction on the body include Increased heart rate

Rapid Heartbeat

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Elevated Blood Pressure

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Nausea and Vomiting

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Tremors and Seizures

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Abdominal Cramps

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Confusion and Agitation

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Chest Pain

How long does Vyvanse last in the body?

Dextroamphetamine, which is the active chemical of Vyvanse, has a half-life of approximately 10 to 12 hours. This means that it takes about that amount of time for half of the drug to be eliminated from the body.

In general, it takes about 5 to 6 half-lives for a drug to be eliminated in the body. This means Vyvanse can stay in the body for around 2-3 days. However, several factors (age, metabolism, kidney and liver function) can influence how long the drug stays in the system.

Early intervention is crucial in addressing Vyvanse addiction. Recognizing the signs and symptoms and seeking medical assistance is essential in mitigating the risks associated with addiction. Treatment for Vyvanse addiction may be in the form of inpatient or outpatient rehab, which includes a combination of detoxification, therapy, counseling, or medication-assisted treatment.

If you or your loved one is struggling with Vyvanse addiction and its side effects, encourage them to seek professional help.

The Hope House is a residential addiction treatment center situated in the serene community of Scottsdale, Arizona. We offer a luxury rehab program that provides more treatment options and focuses more on a comfortable recovery. Reach out to our compassionate and qualified addiction specialists today to achieve the guidance and support you need.

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