What Is Vyvanse And How Long Does Vyvanse Stay In Your System
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What Is Vyvanse And How Long Does Vyvanse Stay In Your System
For some conditions, it can take a little time to figure out the right medication to deal with your symptoms and to give you the best symptom control possible. One of those disorders is ADHD, where finding the right medication can be a serious challenge depending on the person, their age, and how they respond to specific medications.
Fortunately, as more research is done, there are more options for medications that can help with ADHD and similar conditions. Vyvanse is one of those medications.
But, just like any medication, it’s important to understand how long Vyvanse stays in your system, how this drug works, and what kinds of risks and side effects come with taking the medication.
So, let’s talk about Vyvanse, what it does, whether you can get addicted to this medication like other ADHD medications, and more.
What Is Vyvanse?
The first thing you need to know is what Vyvanse is and how this medication works. Vyvanse’s generic name is Lisdexamfetamine.
First of all, Vyvanse isn’t just used to treat ADHD. It can also be used in some cases to help with the symptoms of binge eating disorder (BED). Like many ADHD medication, Vyvanse is a stimulant, which means that it works by helping give you more energy. Specifically, Vyvanse works with the existing neurotransmitters in your brain, bringing them more into balance so that the brain functions more like someone who doesn’t have ADHD.
Like most ADHD medications, there can be some risks and side effects associated with taking Vyvanse, and different people will tolerate the drug better or worse than others.
Additionally, because Vyvanse can be used to improve school or work performance, or just to make people feel good, it can be misused. Stimulants are generally at risk of causing an addiction, and people may misuse these drugs either because of an addiction or because they perceive themselves to perform better and able to do more while taking a stimulant.
Remember, coffee and all sources of caffeine are also stimulants. Which is important both because it shows how common it is to use stimulants in our society, and also because taking more than one stimulant, like taking Vyvanse and then having a cup of coffee, can increase the severity of your side effects.
What Is The Difference Between Vyvanse And Adderall?
Both Vyvanse and Adderall are used to treat ADHD, and they can be fairly similar both in effects and side effects. Both stimulants are also in the drug class amphetamines.
However, for all the similarities, there are some differences between Vyvanse and Adderall, and those differences can be important for patients since many people will do better on one of these drugs than the other.
One of the key differences is how long these medications last. Adderall is relatively fast-acting, and many people have to take more than one dose a day. Time-release versions are available, but they’re still shorter-lived than Vyvanse.
While Adderall typically lasts 6-8 hours, up to 12 with time release, Vyvanse lasts about 14 hours on average.
That’s a big difference because it means that the stimulant will be active for more of your waking hours when you’re on Vyvanse, in a single dose. At the same time, for some people that might mean dealing with worse insomnia or other side effects that make Adderall a better option in some cases.
Vyvanse and Adderall are also made from different chemicals. While they are similar in effect and type, there are some differences that help make the drugs different when metabolized and can make one option more effective than the other for different people.
The last big difference and this one is important from a cost perspective, is that Vyvanse is a much newer drug and generic versions aren’t available right now. Until the patent on the drug expires, you need to get name-brand Vyvanse if you want to take it.
That means that Vyvanse is almost always more expensive than Adderall, which is an older drug and there are generic alternatives available that can make Adderall even cheaper.
From a prescribing perspective, insurance companies may sometimes require that your doctor try Adderall or some of the other ADHD medications that are available in generic form before trying Vyvanse. That can sometimes make it harder to get Vyvanse as a medication, but also gives patients the opportunity to see if a different, more affordable, drug is effective for them.
How Long Does Vyvanse Stay In Your System?
With all medications, it’s critical to understand how long the medication stays in your system and how that can affect dosing, potential withdrawal, and other risks associated with the medication.
The good news is that stimulants don’t tend to build up in your body. They have an effective time, but once the dose has run out, assuming you haven’t taken more of the medication in the meantime, you shouldn’t have to worry about getting too much medication on accident.
Right now, Vyvanse is effective for up to about 14 hours, slightly more or less for some patients. There may be other formulas in the future that change that effective time, either making it shorter or slightly longer, but just the one active time is available right now.
Like all amphetamine drugs, Vyvanse can be detected in drug tests for up to a few days after your last dose, and in hair follicle tests for up to 3 months after your next dose. Generally, it will show up as a generic amphetamine rather than specifically Vyvanse. It’s important to know that if you do ever have to take a drug test because you’ll need to provide your prescription information to keep your test to getting flagged for possible amphetamine abuse.
Meth is another amphetamine, so many workplaces and doctors take an amphetamine-positive test very seriously if they don’t already know that you are taking a stimulant for ADHD.
Side Effects And Risks Of Vyvanse
All medications come with some risks, and that includes new medications like Vyvanse.
Now, before we get into the specific side effects and risks of taking Vyvanse you should remember that most people have only mild side effects associated with Vyvanse and that the benefits of the drug are generally considered to outweigh the minor risks and side effects that come with the drug.
Some people may not notice any side effects at all, or may notice only very mild or tolerable side effects. Lastly, like all medications, side effects can get better and worse over time, so it’s important to keep an eye on your side effects and keep your doctor informed of any changes in how you react to the medication.
Common side effects of Vyvanse include:
- Insomnia or difficulty going to sleep
- Decreased appetite
- Dry mouth
- Stomach pain or cramps
- Increased heart rate
- Weight loss
- Increased sweating
- (uncommon) vomiting, diarrhea, nausea
In rare cases, Vyvanse can also cause serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition caused by too much serotonin in the body. Your risk is increased if you are taking Vyvanse with other mental health medications like antidepressants. It may also be increased with some pain medications or supplements, so always talk with your doctor about your other medications and before adding a new medication or supplement.
What Are The Risks Of Taking Vyvanse?
Vyvanse also has some other risks, in addition to serotonin syndrome, that should be considered before you start taking the medication.
For instance, Vyvanse may cause heart problems or high blood pressure, especially in people who have a history of heart conditions. In extreme cases, problems can include heart attacks or sudden strokes.
Vyvanse is also a drug that can be misused, or which can create a chemical or psychological dependence on the drug in users. That’s important both to monitor yourself and because you may be approached by people who know you take Vyvanse asking you to sell your medication to them.
If you are concerned you might be developing a dependence on Vyvanse while taking the drug as prescribed, it’s important to talk about your concerns with your prescribing doctor to find out if your symptoms are normal and if there are any alternatives you can use instead of Vyvanse.
Can Vyvanse Be Addictive?
Yes. Amphetamines are a class of drugs that can be addictive, and Vyvanse is no exception. Fortunately, addiction is much rarer when the drug is taken with appropriate doctor supervision, and when you only take the medication as prescribed.