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Vyvanse vs Adderall XR – Benefits, Problems

Vyvanse Pills

Vyvanse vs Adderall XR:

Vyvanse is a new treatment for ADHD and this article compares it to Adderall.

If you want to learn the 10 most important things you should know about Vyvanse, see here.

Are you confused by all your medication options?  (Ritalin, Adderall, Focalin, Vyvanse, Intuniv, Metadate, Pemoline – and that’s just getting started!)  Figure things out – a Full List of ADHD Medications tells you what you need to know.

Now…

First, it’s important to realize that Vyvanseis Shire’s replacement for their old blockbuster drug, Adderall XR, which is losing its patent.

If you’re being suggested to take Vyvanse, it’s not necessarily because it’s a better medication.

Shire wants to turn it into a billion dollar drug, and has unleashed a marketing campaign of that magnitude, aimed at consumers and doctors.

On the other hand, Vyvanse does have some advantages over Adderall.  It also has a few disadvantages.

Comparing Vyvanse vs Adderall is made slightly harder because both drugs are amphetamines.  If you take either, you’re getting pretty much the same thing.

That said, there are some important differences.

1)Vyvanse is 100% d-amphetamine, while Adderall XR is a mix of 4 different d and l-amphetamines.

This mix in Adderall may make it more effective, stronger.  But it might cause more anxiety or physical side effects.  See later for discussion of the differences between the amphetamine types.

The next big difference is that:

2)Vyvanse is released via digestion, while Adderall is released by bead technology.

The digestion release may make Vyvanse smoother, last longer, and have less variability.  What you eat might not effect it so much, while Adderall XR may be more effected by, say, having a cup of orange juice.

This release also means that snorting or injecting Vyvanse provides less of a high.  As many have pointed out, however, Vyvanse can provide a high just by being taken at higher doses.

Advantages of Vyvanse

We have a full article discussing the Advantages of Vyvanse.

Vyvanse has been shown to have effect for a very long time, up to 14 hours in some studies.  While realistically that duration of effect may not happen, it works fairly well for fairly long.

This is likely because its release mechanism is typically smooth, meaning less variability.

Finally, Vyvanse is pure d-amphetamine, which may mean less of certain side effects compared to the l and d-amphetamine of Adderall.

Disadvantages of Vyvanse

Vyvanse is basically nothing more than extended release Dexedrine.  And while it seems to have fewer side effects relating to anxiety and release, it may cause more side effects like reduced appetite.

Because Vyvanse is so new, it may be significantly more expensive than other options or not covered by insurance, especially since both Dexedrine and Adderall are available in generic form.  We also simply do not know as much about it as we do about the older drugs.

Finally, some users feel that it’s not as strong as Adderall, and that it stops working earlier than advertised.

l versus d amphetamine

Remember that Vyvanse is pure d-amphetamine, while Adderall is a mix of d- and l-forms.

The d form may be more effective at reducing impulsiveness and overactivity. Thel form, on the other hand, may increase concentration better, but it may also cause more anxiety.  It is also per molecule less effective than the d form, but such a distinction is perhaps irrelevant.

The d form may effect more dopamine, as opposed to both noradrenaline and dopamine in the l form.  This theory, however, is not established.  Noradrenaline is involved in anxiety responses, which may explain why Adderall XR seems to be worse for anxiety.

Adult ADHD:

ADHD is a lot different in adults than in children.  Hyperactivity, for instance, is not necessarily there or in the same form as in kids.

If you are over 18 and worried that you might have ADHD, check out an ADHD Test Made for Adults.

Learn what the 4 Secrets To Success with ADHD are – it could really help you understand what’s going on in your life.

Related Articles:

  1. Long Term Effects of Adderall
  2. Ritalin vs Adderall – Which is Better?
  3. Is There a Physical Test for ADHD?
  4. Intuniv for ADHD: Efficacy, Side Effects

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This post was written by on Monday, July 6, 2009. This author has written 223 posts on this blog and has 5625491 total posts views.


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254 comments

  1. I was prescribed Ritalin when I was 18 and flipped between every cheap option without insurance until my doc got me patient assistance thru shire cares for Vyvanse. I was lazy and couldn’t focus in high school, I had a 2.999 when I graduated and had missed over 190 days, an entire year of high school. Now I’m turning 20 in a month and I’ve been going to college for chemical engineering/biochem dual major, I have a 3.8 and work 30 hours a week. And I haven’t ever done so well socially, academically, or mentally. It has really helped me move forward and focus on the bettering of myself

  2. I have sufferd from a.d.h.d sence I was nine yrs of age. listening to your storys brings back alot of my own issues, and untreated a.d.h.d untill the age of 27.I was on adderal from 27 till the age of 34, and now I am on vyvanse.It is my first day on the new drug but I can say now what a difrece in delivery and the level of conchessnes awairness and the abuility to look at a problem disect it rearange it and solve it in FULL completion is a gift. I can not begin to exspress my gratitude greatfulness and regaind faith in lurning better ways to harness my gift not disabuility thank you so much!!!

  3. I feel you 150% adhd to me isn’t a disorder but a gift, of being able to process more info faster then the average joe, more and more people have adhd because its the first steps to the new version or  next evolutionary step of the human spiecies! who knew lol :)

  4. @MatthewF
    Thanks for your perspective. I notice that I do process info faster than others do. I also read very fast. And think very fast. And walk very fast. And talk very fast. But I have never thought of this disorder as a gift before. My negatives are still outweighing the positives. I may switch from Adderall to Vyvanse. If it doesn’t help, I can always switch back, right? Thank you.
    @ Terron
    I totally agree with you on the kid thing. I was diagnosed as a child, but never treated. And I did not start unravelling until 6th & 7th grade. My teachers used to embarrass me in front of the class. They would say things like “once again, Angela had more important things to do than her homework..” or “Why don’t you just apply yourself? Are you just too lazy?” I had 2 different teachers who would inform the class as to how powerful my brain is, “She has tremendous brain power- she just chooses not to use it” my mom would get so frustrated with me, and finally just say that I was worthless. “I’ve wastedd my whole life on you and now you’re not gonna amount to anything. You’re just a nothing, a waste of my time…”Obviously, this made things worse. And the vicious cycle continues. I’m 36 now and have sought treatment for myself. I look at my daughters and wonder “which one of them will have this, too?” I know that since I do, their chances are increased. I also know that I will support them, and never make them feel like nothing. I will never LET them feel like nothing.
    Take care…

  5. I have been on Adderal for the last 2 1/2 years, I have been able to focus and work like never before. I was contacted by my Dr. yesterday and she stated that there is a Adderall shortage and then she suggested Ridilin in high doses…plus it is cheaper thru Wal-Mart. Does anyone know the difference or even a drug that does have similar effects to control my ADHD?

  6. Im sure I have ADD. Im sure vyvanse or adderall would help a lot. Unfortunately my mom told my doctor I smoke pot. When I called and asked for information for tests for this kind of stuff, he told me to go to rehab.

    Idk what to do.

  7. I am 47 and just started vyvanse 40mg. I really don’t feel anything different. I know there’s a shortage of Adderall. But when it comes back in supply. I think that might be better for me. Or maybe 40mg isn’t enough. I don’t know for sure. I never thought I had ADD, but i’ve realized I get nothing done. I start everything and finish nothing. Tired of not getting nothing done.

  8. I have been on ADHD meds since mid-May of this year.  Other than having had taken Wellbutrin and other antidepressants I had not been on ADHD meds.  I am in my 40s and have managed to get my AA degree when I was younger and have always worked full time; I worked 40-50 hours per week while taking 18 credits and having a full life – friends, family and boyfriend.  My GP started me on Adderall at 5mg – twice a day, then one week later I told her the 5mg was not phasing me so we went to 10mg – 2Xs per day.  By August I needed 20mg 3Xs a day because I was just crashing and falling asleep by the time I got home from work and I needed to have a life after work.   In between I tried the timed-released but when it kicked in during the afternoon I got severe heart palpitations like my heart was pumping over 100 beats a minute and I was totally wiped out and afraid.  I tried it two more days and it did the same thing and I called the doctor and had her put me back on my regular Adderall. But then my body is very sensitive and always seems to have the complete opposite side-effects to meds than the rest of the population.  The October shortage hit and I had to travel 20 miles to my doctor’s and another 20 miles to the pharmacy that had the meds – after calling countless pharmacys (i.e. like 5 CVSs,  Walgreens – they’re networked, 3 Walmarts, Publix, etc).  November was the same.  Having ADHD is hard enough , let alone feeling like a hostage.  Adderall from the beginning drys me out – I told my doctor,  ”there is not enough water on this Earth – you can’t drink enough to keep up with the dryness”. Seriously, you have to keep gum or mints or something on you at all times and drink a bottle of water every 20-30 minutes.  Although I must say the Adderall did nothing to my sex drive which has always been high.  Also, from the time I started taking Adderall I had menstruation issues.  The “one” I had was very short and barely there and since then I have totally stopped – since June and it is now almost December.  No, I am not in menopause – I had my TSH, LH and Estradiol checked and had been on schedule, etc.  I told my GP I did not like that – it was unnatural and could not be the best for my body.  So, between the shortage hassles, having to increase the Adderall again – which I thought was 30mg 3Xs per day would be getting too high and the crazy dryness we decided to try Vyvanse.  It’s more expensive – my generic Adderall co-pay was $10; Vyvanse with the card my GP gave me and my insurance – my co-pay is $40.  BUT…..Day one, I can tell the dosage is not enough but what a difference!  No highs or lows – you cannot tell when the timed-release kicks in and it mildly wears down – almost unnoticeable.  Not that I wasn’t great at multi-tasking and prioritizing but I needed lots of notes and the sticky notes and tags were everywhere.  And of course, I’m the “show me” state – I could never be a waitress or receptionist; I have the shortest short-term memory.   I am much more focused, it stopped the anxiety that I had before the meds and also with the Adderall once your body acclimates to it – no more biting and picking at my nails to the nubs…and the severely excessive dryness is gone which has been wonderful for my entire digestive system.  They also think I have Narcolepsy from being tested at the sleep center twice.  Go figure ADHD and Narcolepsy.  I had excessive tiredness and would go into REM in my 5-10 minute daytime (after getting home from work) naps, etc.  I increased my coffee intake – but I could drink two cups of strong coffee before bed and fall asleep.  I thought I was low on iron and increased that, then I doubled my vitamins, stopped eating lunches a long time ago because when I did I would either be so tired and trying to stay awake it would either make me sick to my stomach or I would be crying from being so tired.  No standard behaviors you would think of like falling asleep while talking to someone or driving (cataplexy) but things like hypnogogic where you are coming out of REM from your 5 minute nap and be talking to someone that you’re excited about having a dream while still in your dream.  It is the weirdest feeling – being that aware of being in between dreaming and awake.  Before the Adderall, I could remember a dream during the night in a blue moon – almost never.  The sleep doctor put me on Ambien which I was so excited I could finally fall asleep but after a couple weeks I started to notice that the severely upset stomach I was getting could only be the result of the Ambien. Everywhere I went, I immediately was on the prowl for a trash can or bathroom in case I vomited; it really bummed me.  So after months of arguing with the “Pulmonary” specialist – my GP put me on Lunesta – thank God and my GP!  She also put me on .5mg Xanax for the anxiety.  After 5 months I asked to have my Lunesta increased from 2 to 3.  I’ve been making sure I stop any snacks 2 hours before bedtime and I’ve added 1/2 of the .5mg Xanax before bed – and man-o-man….I sleep like nobody’s business.  I also added powered Magnesium to my regimen to 250-300mg and vitamin D 2,000 per day plus I drink one cup of cranberry juice every morning. This has all but fixed my short term memory loss – it feels like it is almost back to what it was 2 years ago.   I was really, really scared I was getting MS or some sort of early dementia.  I hate putting out all the money on these meds but I sure like the way it is turning me around… I’d say, “try it for a while – if you don’t like it go back to Adderall or Ritalin or try something else” because we are all worth it!!!

  9. @Cheryl – After reading your posting I am a little concerned…. You may be a bit overmedicated OR there is something else going on. Your post is tangential and very long. It may be helpful to see a psychiatrist to get a clear diagnosis. GPs are great, but sometimes it is best to see a specialist (i.e. a psychiatrist) to treat psychiatric symptoms.

  10. Let me start by saying WOW!! I can relate to all the above comments in one way or the other with one exception and of Stacie. You did not specify what kind of impulse disorder he was diagnosed with at such a very young age.  It seems to me that there must have been some real issues for either diagnosis to be made at that age.  Please do not be offended but it was very irresponsible to allow him to take any drug, much less a potentially dangerous and addictive drug that someone gave you without first seeing a doctor.  The fact that he overdosed suggest one of two things: it was an incorrect dose or he was taking more than he should to escape the problems at home by getting high.  If he has an impulse disorder he is predisposed for being at a high risk for addiction.  And therefore should have been followed closely by a psychiatrist.  I hope that he is now.

    I was looking for some opinions on Adderall and Vynase from someone has taken both.  But I do not think that I found any here.  I was diagnosed two years ago by my psychiatrist.  He prescribed me Concerta and it worked very well. I made honors both semesters last year.  I did not take it over the summer since I was not working or going to school and very seldom had days that required any level of concentration. When I returned to school in the fall I started taking it about a week before school started to give my body time to acclimate to a therapeutic dose and it never happened. When it first kicked in I was to wired to settle down and do anything and then it just made so miserable that I did not want to do anything but was very anxious. So my psychiatrist first suggested Vynase but after discussing the fact I did not have insurance he suggested Adderall XR.  I was very hesitant to take it because I am a recovering addict and my drug of choice was speed.  As it turns out it has worked great for me.  I am able to settle right down and focus on what I need to do with minimal side effects. My only complaint is that in exactly eight hours I come down very hard.  I am very tired as if I have not slept in days.  And that is not enough time to get everything done that needs to be done.  I am so tired it is a struggle to do anything.  After researching the difference between both drugs i wondering what other peoples experiences were that had taken both.  I found no answers.  I do not normally post anything but felt compelled to this time for some reason.  

    Like some of you have said it was not until junior high that I started to have problems in school.  I thought I was just lazy as well as everyone else. Now I realize it was my inability to focus and concentrate.  I was very bored because I did process the everything faster. I talk really fast because if I do not I will not remember what it is I wanted to point out.  And because my mind is going so fast I go from subject to subject losing the person who is listening.  I cannot say that the medication has helped with that aspect but the people who know me know what I am doing. So if anyone out there has any advice or personal opinions about the two drugs it would be great to hear them.

    @Cheryl – I agree with Laila but I will go a step further than that. And you probably will not like it. You sound like an addict to me with a GP who will write you a script for just about anything and it does not appear to know the signs of addiction.  Your post is very long, all over the place, and lacks focus which sounds like someone who is wired out of their mind. All this rambling you do about sleep contradicts you contradict yourself.  You say you cannot stay awake during the day but you need Lunesta  and Xanax to sleep. These dreams you are describing are the same dreams that people addict to speed have from lack of sleep. I know this not only from my own personal experience but it is documented as well.  Short- term memory loss is also a symptom of amphetamine addiction. The fact that you called so many pharmacies and are willing to drive how ever far you need to drive is the same thing a speed freak would do. From your post you have named several symptoms of addiction, I am not trying to pick on you but giving you the benefit of the doubt that you do not realize that you may be in denial.  My psychiatrist would not even consider an ADD diagnosis until I had been seeing him for 8 months once a month.  I was seeing for anxiety and depression. And because I told him about my prior history is why I had to see him every month until he knew that he could trust me. I was taking Xanax (still do) and he did not want me to call in before I was due for a refill because “my dog ate my drugs.” He even did a drug test to make sure I was not using. I have taken Lunesta in the past but a responsible doctor is not going to prescribe you both. I did not write this to pick on you but only hope that at some point you stop and think about I am saying to you. If you really want to resolve your issues go to someone that is not willing to write a script for all the drugs you are taking because if its that bad you need to be followed closely by a psychiatrist.

    @Sam – sweetie if you really want help you need to prioritize. Quit smoking pot. I would love smoke too. But I cannot if I want help with my issues.  

  11. @Laila and @ krisd
    Thanks for your concern but I would be more focused on those that have addictions.  My long post was due to the fact that I was tired, this was my first time on this site and I only saw the “short” posts.  I had no problem going off the Adderall for over a week before I saw my GP for the Lunesta.  I didn’t take my scrip to get it filled until 3 days later – I’m not an addict.  I had not taken the Vyvanse that day nor the day before.  I have an extremely demanding job that requires me to constantly multi-task all day, every day.  I’ve seen two psychiatrists and three psychologists – once a week for months and a year or so with the psychologists depending on my current issues.  I don’t have ADD; I have ADHD and mine is very hyper.  My sleep tests indicate no “slow wave” sleep, very poor sleep architecture and probable UARS.  My GP is scheduling an appointment for me to see an ENT with the possibility of a third sleep test.  I’ve been using this GP for over eight years and the one before for twelve; I trust their honesty, experience, education and integrity.  I have no problem dismissing an MD that I feel is incompetent or not a good listener or not willing to work with me.  Thus, the quick dismissal of the “young, male Pulmonary doctor.  Both of my GPs know I have an exceptionally high tolerance for pain and that I don’t like to take pills – I’m a pill phobic and certainly not an addict.  I mentioned the REM issue and Narcolepsy because that is overlooked when testing for ADHD and I wasn’t taking any medications “five” years ago when I started pursuing why I was so tired.   I am an extremely sensitive, empathetic and altruistic person.  If I would elect to travel 50 miles a day instead of moving into my other home that is only 3 miles from my job for an additional two years so my daughter could remain at her high school and graduate and continue her friendships then I decided I could do the ridiculous drive for myself for once a month.  I am open to try a new medication especially since the chaos over the Adderall is a result from deceitful people and I refuse to feel like I’m being held hostage because of  ”addicts”.  My post was to warn others, especially “females”, to get all the tests required, work with your doctors and then to medicate as necessary.   Also, be persistent when you know something is not right or normal; it should not have taken four extra years to determine the reasons for my EDS.  If you have health insurance or not – insist on a sleep test and ask every question possible before and afterwards.  Some others who had posted earlier as to whether to treat ADD or ADHD with meds should be concerned but from my experience and the results of research – our brains require these types of meds until something comes out that is better.  There is higher incidence of dementia, MS and Parkinsons – especially for females genetically and/or environmentally predisposed and those with low levels of Vitamin D.  The Vyvanse is smoother on the system and not dehydrating like the Adderall.  Ladies – please note my earlier posting concerning amenorrhea because it only took two weeks to be off the Adderall for it to return.  

  12. i like how they put on here how to get high off them and what wont get you high. Im sure parents would love reading this. But 3 does make me feel pretty good;)

  13. I take a 40mg dosage of vyvanse and I think it has a smoother effect rather than the short-medium range lasting my 25mg dosage of Adderall did. My grades have improved from average “B” range to high “A” range. For the people saying that kids shouldn’t take medicine until middle school I disagree because of personal experiences I had with my ADHD before my first dosage of Focalin. I remember always making barely passing grades because I could not pay attention or concentrate and this would lead to me constantly getting in trouble.  That was up until 6th and now being in 9th having the ability to function normally feels great. The vyvanse works best for me but the only downside is that I don’t have an appetite for 8 hours. Focalin was my second favorite except it would make me too focused I wasn’t able to interact in a positive way. Adderall was okay except for the feeling afterwards if you had eaten something that will change the side affects. Vyvanse is also nice because it isn’t very well know so I don’t get constantly badgered with people trying to buy it from me.

  14. @ Cheryl – I am just concerned for you. I do not think you are an addict or anything like that. I just think you are trying to find the right “fit” for you with your medication combinations. 

    However, I would like to clarify a few things - 

    1. In the DSM-IV TR (which is the psychiatrists “Bible”; it lists all the diagnoses and criteria an individual must meet in order to receive a diagnosis) there is no diagnosis of ADD (attention deficit disorder) there is only ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder), Within this diagnosis there are subsets: Predominantly Innattentive Type and Predominantly Hyperactive Type

    2. An “addict” can go a few days without medication or their drug of choice – It all depends on the severity of the addiction (i.e. substance abuse or dependence).  Just because someone doesn’t get their prescription filled for a few days or doesn’t use their drug of choice for a few days doesn’t mean the individual does not have a problem.

    I say all this to just point out that there is reason to look into the medication combination you are on and perhaps get a little more psychoeducation on the conditions you have mentioned and medications you are on may be helpful. I think it is great you are so successful and are very high achieving. Good luck in everything you do.

  15. I take adderal for narcolepsy but hate the up and down of it from when i take it ton whenof it wears off take itto again and it wears off again. i want to try vyvanse to hopefully havei a longeri lasting effectiveness. ANY THOUGHTS ON THIS?

  16. @Laila & Cheryl
     
    I apologize Cheryl for coming off as being insensitive & harsh.  That was not my intention at all.  I am not judging you. I have no place to judge.  But Laila did a better job at expressing the concerns.  People who abuse legal drugs such as pills & alcohol have a harder time recognizing they are dependent.  Most people do not realize or deny they are “addicts” to themselves or others until its too late. And amphetamines of any kind are highly addictive.  Xanax is physically addicting. Your develop tolerance to it and require higher doses and eventually you will literally need it everyday or you will feel horrible. I am prescribed a very high dose but I do not take my prescribed full dosage. But I do have to take 2mg by every night and if I do not take it everyday I am physically miserable.  I am prescribed 2mg 3x day but only take those doses when it is absolutely have to & then I take the lowest dose.  Just be careful, try not to take it everyday if you can help it.  I have been trying to wean myself off for sometime now . Whenever I get to 1mg a day it never fails something happens.  I am sorry for being so abrupt but I only said what I did out of concern & not judgement.  Sometimes we need people to be blunt, even when they are not seeking your advice. But Laila has a very good point.  
    I switched to vyvnase yesterday.  It was actually cheaper than the generic Adderall XR.  It is much smoother but I didn’t sleep but 2 hours last night.  I am hoping this will level out in next week.  It has decreased my appetite (which is a plus for me). I gained weight on the Adderall.  I would have liked to have slept longer but I woke up on my own and I do not want to dose later in the morning since it does seem to last longer. I cannot say yet how effective it is on my concentration or focusing since I have nothing that requires my attention at the present time.  Only reason I started taking it is so I can get it adjusted before I return to school. So far no complaints except not being able to sleep.  I did not think it would be that much different than the Adderall.  Lets see how I am in a week.

    Cheryl, again I apologize. Just please keep in mind how dangerous these drugs can be & how very addicting they are.  Its been all over the news. I do believe they can be beneficial and therapeutic but you have to be aware that anyone is susceptible to addiction without even being aware of it.     
        

  17. I have to say adhd is definetly very real. I was in the gifted program in elementary and then by about 5th grade my grades tanked. school bored me and it was horrible to sit in a chair all day!. My parents basically just said it was brattiness. I failed school and got horrible grades until i just dropped out. A year later I went and took my GED. Never studied or anything and passed it with flying colors. Joined the military and they found it after I was in about a year. Put me on ritalin which was a godsend as far as behavior and concentration went. I hated the side effects it made me so sick and I lost weight constantly if i took my prescribed dose and had massive aniety from the roller coaster effect of the meds wearing off and taking the next dose etc.. If i took only half my dose it gave me a horrible headache. Tried adderral and it had the horrible anxiety still so then i tried concerta. Even at the strongest dose allowed concerta did NOTHING for me. Went back to ritalin because I had no insurance and just recently I started vyvanse. This med really is MY miracle. I dont have the horrible side effects and I feel Great!! It definetly is the best thing that I have found. There is discount cards for it and some insurances are paying for it. (my copay is 27 dollars for a 90 day supply, 13 with the discount card) It is a little pricier but id rather spend a little more money and feel like a normal person than take any of the other ones i took in the past!

  18. @jordan – try the Vyvanse for the Narcolepsy – I had mine increased to 50mg but I think I could go a bit higher.  If you need to, you can always supplement with a low dose of Adderall when you wake up and/or around 3p to suit your schedule or hit the caffeine.  I do take mine early – around 5:30a which allows plenty of time for it to wear down before bedtime.  @sam – stop using the weed and find another doctor who will treat you for ADD/ADHD.  They know a lot of undiagnosed people use weed, coke or alcohol to self medicate.   Besides that, you will get way more out of achieving your goals and dreams than what the partying now will ever do.  Also, enlist the services of a psychologist as needed for behavioral or talk therapy.  They can teach you relaxation techniques, biofeedback and/or self hypnosis.  The latest research indicates it is all about the SSRIs so they are now targeting those. @krisd – don’t sweat it – we’re cool.   BTW, I was a Psych major and did major research in a level 400 class for causes of brain injuries in neonates using an ethological approach that covered single celled amoebas to pup and adult mammals (i.e. rats, monkeys, cats, dogs).  This was before the research was published for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome so I think I’m fairly astute in this area.  We all have variances of whatever they want to “label” our symptoms – just continue to discuss symptoms with your physician/psychiatrist to work out a treatment plan for you and don’t be afraid to try something different, something new.  Also, once diagnosed make sure you check out every available resource in school or college for assistance with your disability; they provide lots of assistance if you have your documentation and know who to contact.  Since I also have congenital GI issues, I have increased my focus on natural approaches by increasing my aerobic levels, weight training and yoga along with my dietary intake. I’ve dropped caffeines, sugars, etc from my diet also and increased my water consumption.  There are foods, herbs and supplements that can be taken to increase dopamine, melatonin, or decrease cortisol, etc. Also, be aware of your sleeping environment, amount of daylight/lights, room temperature, noise control, etc.   Everything can be tweaked and re-tweaked according to your daily needs.   Actually, for the last two weeks I’ve only been taking the Vyvanse and every couple of days I take the Lunesta.   So – keep working, keep progressing, keep informed.  It is hard for peers, adults, parents, physicians to refute someone who is on their game.  I hope everyone has a nice, safe holiday with family and friends.

  19. Hello Cheryl, thanks for your comment. Where can I find the natural products to increase dopamine and lower cortisol? Can you tell me about the products? Also, Do you have narcolepsy as I do? I need to find something that will help me stay awake and motivated. I’ve struggled a long time and will get to try Vyvanse next week, and I hope it works for me. Thanks, Darlene

  20. How does taking Adderall/Vyvanse effect drug testing for employment. My son is worried that he will not get the job d/t taking Adderall. I have been reading the blogs on ADD/ADHD and I do see my son. He is funny/smart/excellent-different sense of humor. He wants to be a police officer, but i worry his ADD/ADHD will cause him to fail. Need your feedback. Thank you

  21. @Darlene – start a good regimen of aerobics, walk, run, dance, whatever but do it regular then fast intervals for 20 minutes a day.  Start lifting weights.  Add more vegs and fruits into your diet – the brighter darker ones and those you thinormally wouldn’t try..  I start mornings off with a homemade shake: banana, five strawberries, blueberries, nutmeg, teaspoon of  cinammon, greek yogurt, agave.  Buy natural spices such as thyme, parsley, oregano, correndar, ginger root, etc.  I would research natural and supplements   @Christine – I would  make sure I have the
     proper documentation from a Psychologist and MD and that should cover his bases and allow for additional support since it is a disability that can be worked with.

  22. I was finally DX late in life (46) with ADHD and my Doctor tried me on every med out there for it, finally when we got to the Vyvanse it was like night and day. I can focus, concentrate…I can read a book, watch a whole sitcom or movie, I can sit still and wait my turn, listen to people and not interrupt, I start and finish one project at a time, more organized..etc….it’s improved my life greatly and I only wish I could have had help when I was younger. I know I would have done great in school if only I could have been treated back then. I know all drugs work differently for every one, but for me Vyvanse is the only one that did the trick…plus the only side affect I had was in the beginning and that was a small reduction in appetite, now even that is not a problem. I always thought ADHD was just a DX that the drug companies and doctors came up with to sell a new drug, now I know first hand it really is a dissorder and is treatable, tho I still tend to think it is over DX’d in many cases.

  23. what will you feel if you take ridilin and you dont really have adhd !

  24. can you get high on vyvanse which is better or is adderall better?

  25. I’m wondering if someone can help me, so far this page has been great. My son is in 6th grade and for the last 6 months has been showing symptoms of ADHD, or more of the ADD symptoms. I have started him in counciling and tomarrow we are seeing his pedetrician for Rx/Dx on this, My concern is with the meds. He is such a good boy who is in the mist of struggles…All the symptoms…trouble at school, at home and I believe with his friends too. Are these drugs scary?? i dont want him to change too much, is he still going to beable to play sports and ride his dirtbike and everything 121/2 year old boys love to do? Is there any of these drugs that are recommended over others for kids his age??
    Thanks for your time!

  26. I’m a 27 year old college student that was diagnosed with Adhd, Bipolar type1, and Panic Disorder in my early teens. I was never treated for the Adhd since the main focus was getting my other two disorders under control. I started taking Adderall 15mgs over a year ago and I have had continuous negative side effects. It made my anxiety worse, chronic insomnia, irritable, and had frequent bowel movements. On the positive side, it suppressed my appetite, gave me energy, and I could focus for the first time in my life. I always did poor in school and now I have a 3.8 gpa. I switched around a bit to methylin, ridilin, and stratera but always went back to the adderall because they did’nt work as well. A month ago, due to the Adderall shortage I was put on Vyvanse 30mgs. I noticed immediately that I wasn’t as anxious, and the insomnia got better. The Vyvanse lasts longer and I never have the crash feeling when it wears off. I am happier on the Vyvanse and am glad I was switched to it.

  27. I took a shit on ADHD when I got Vyvanse.

  28. @Brooke, I am 21 years old and was just diagnosed with ADHD PI. Adderall saved my career and relationship. I haven’t experienced other ADHD medications, but Adderall is not scary in any way and is a godsend.. The thoughts in my brain were scattered and bouncing around everywhere. When I take adderall, those thoughts fall into a cohesive chain. Instead of being distracted by random thoughts and noises, I can concentrate on a task and follow through with it. It has also improved my love life. I stopped interrupting my boyfriend and pay better attention to his stories. I wish that my parents were as caring and open minded as you. My primary school years would have been way better if I had treatment then. Now I’m making straight A’s in college and am no longer being screamed at by my boss at work.

  29. I read it fast and lost my focus. What’s the point of putting a list of examples when you can hardly stand to read it

  30. I’m 39 and just started taking Vyvance last month. I will keep up on this blog. As of right now, I’m not tired, can focus better, (does keep you up) and finally after 20 years did a brand new resume. I haven’t been able to focus in years! Until next time.

  31. Switching from generic Adderall (AM/DX) to Vyvanse tomorrow, and certainly hoping for the best. The Adderall seemed to only have a slight effect for a few days and then all of a sudden has little to no effect, but rather only negative side effects. From what I’ve heard Vyvanse is much more stable and has less of the crash/anxiety effects. I hope this is all true and i really hope this medication finally works for me and can give me a nice, stable solution finally because im at the end of my rope with trying all these different meds (as im sure many of you have been as well lol) and just want to have successful treatment once and for all. Any feed back would be great! Ill report the effects and my findings tomorrow!

  32. Dear Sir:
    I am writing this letter to obtain information about the drug VYVANCE.

    In 1995 I was involved in an accident and received a TBI. In 2010 I tool some tests and Dr. suggested I take Vyvance to help me concentrate. After the 1st day of taking vyvance (40mg) I felt great and was able to concentrate much much better. I even received an “A” on my schoolwork.
    In November 2011 I had a heart attack and my blood pressure is always very high. My Doctor told me that “maybe” its because I me taking vyvance.

    I have several questions to ask you please. They are:

    ➢ Does Vyvance cause high blood pressure?

    ➢ Is Vyvance given to people who suffered from a TBI or is it just for people that have ADHC?

    ➢ Are there any sign effects for folks my age (58) who take it for a long period of time?

    ➢ How long can I take it? My post TBI problems will not go away so I will have to take Vyvance the rest of my life. Is that going to be a problem????

    ➢ Does Vyvance stop working if you take to long? Currently, Vyvance seems does not help me focus or concentrate like it did before.

    ➢ What effect will have on me if my Doctor increases my vyvance from 40mg to 50mg or 60mg or 70mg or 80mg? Will it start working again?

    ➢ My Doctor says that there is only thesis about Vyvance long-term effect on people and there is no scientific data to support the long term of taking Vyvance . Is that true? By me taking Vyvance the rest of my life…will that hurt me?

  33. well my dad and I are adhd he’s more hyper and im more impulsive so we clash lol but we both take Vyvanse and it helps because in school I’ve always felt stupid and started to believe it too and school was always so hard for me….i would only pass with a D and I was struggling just to get that but I finally went to a counselor and they diaonous me with adhd and I’ve been taking Vyvanse and it helps me so much I don’t feel stupid anymore even my vocabulary is better I am so happy I have more confidence in myself and I feel normal and my dad man it helps him out my mom loves when he takes it because he stops talking so much and gets everything done lol

  34. M. White, ARNP

    I am a nurse practitioner who prescribes both of these drugs, and have personally taken both of these meds as an adult for ADD. The only benefit I can see from the Adderall XR is that it is cheaper. To me, Adderall XR did make me feel more anxious on a daily basis, while Vyvanse only caused some anxiety for the first few days. Additionally, Adderall XR seems to interfere with sleep more. With the Vyvanse, I may not get “sleepy;” however, when I would actually lay down to sleep, I could fall asleep without any trouble or need of sleep aid.

  35. In May 2011, my 8 y.o. son was diagnosed with adhd and aspergers. He is VERY bright, and he has always been VERY active. His first script was for Adderall. After being on the meds for 2 wks, he began hallucinating, had trouble sleeping because of nightmares, lost his appetite, it was horrible. After that, I didn’t want him taking anything else, but I felt guilty because I felt like he was being held captive by his thoughts (if that even makes sense). I decided to give it another go, but this time with Strattera. No luck on that one either. His psychiatrist wanted him to try Concerta. No change with 16mg except for loss of appetite. The same with 27mg. He’s currently taking 36mg Concerta, but his teacher says that he still has a hard time focusing. By the end of the day, when I’m trying to sit down to do homework, he can barely hold the pencil without starting an all-out battle with the eraser :) He also sees a counselor who has recommended putting him on a Gluten-Free diet. We just visited the pediatrician, his weight and height are still in a good range and his blood pressure was normal, but she suggested that we ask the psychiatrist about having him try Vyvanse. Has anyone
    tried to change their diet along with the medication?

  36. I’ve taken Vyvanse for 3 years now. It’s VERY different from Adderal in how it affects me. Vyvanse makes me extremely happy for about 2 or 3 hours after I take it. The dopamine release is ridiculous. Over the past few years, I’ve grown dependent upon those few hours for all of the happiness I feel in life. The rest of the day I’m depressed. Its like a mix between Ritalin, and ecstasy. Seriously, be careful. I’m not saying you shouldn’t take it, just realize that everything about it is very important to take into account. It will change your life completely. Its one of the most important decisions you can make. More important than spending 100,000 dollars at once. Why? Because it will affect EVERYTHING IN YOUR LIFE, PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. 

  37. My son is 6, and the doctor has put him on adderal. I dont see any changes what so ever, as a matter of fact he asks a million more questions than ever, still is not listening, and never stops talking. he was diagnose with adhd. We started him on the meds in the summer because he will start in the first grade this year. i am looking for something to make him sit in his chair, and do work. I dont want him to fail the first grade, and be held behind because of this. Other than adderal, what else does everyone think would be a better drug.

  38. I have to agree about the difference in Vyvance and Adderall XR. The adderrall XR can tend to make me feel
    “off” like more tense or something, but the vyvance does not give me any side affects. The only problem I am having with Vyvance (like all meds I take) is that it is not lasting as long as it used to and I have to take a second dose of either Vyvance or adderall XR in the afternoon if I want to be able to concentrate and get things done. I am up to 70 mg of Vyvanse in the A.m. and by 1:00 it has started to wear off, so I will either take a 60 mg vyvanse or a 30 mg. Adderall XR to get me thru. It has always worn off before my bedtime so I don’t have to worry with that much, as far as it affecting wether I sleep or not…usually my sleep is disrupted by my Bipolar 1 and not the ADHD Meds.
    The thing that is a pain is that my insurance will only pay for 30 caps of Vyvanse a month, so I can’t do a twice a day type thing, unless I use Adderall XR then they will also pay for 30 days worth of them. It’s really ridiculous to have to mess with meds this way when the Vyvance works the best and no tension from it like Adderall XR has. I might discuss again with my Doc about getting prescribed 100 mg Vyvance capsules and then splitting them
    in two doses, tho that still seams like it will not work well enough.
    Anyone else metabolize the meds too fast and have a similar problem? If so did you find a solution?

    Thanks, I think this is the best place I have found to get good info from others experiences on the meds.

    • I take one 70mg vyvanse in a.m and like u said by noon it has worn off and I get a little sluggish,tierd. I would like to take another dose after lunch but my doc told me 70mg was the max dose but I seen u mentioned taking 100mg dose. Do they make a 100mg capsule?

    • Hi Adam, I have been on Vyvanse for about 2 years after being on Adderall for many years. When I got to the point where it started wearing off in the afternoon when I needed to fully concentrate at work, I told my doc and he put me on a low dose of dexadrine (I think that was the name of it) but it really helped,
      He said I could take it in the morning when I first got up since Vyvanse takes an hour or two to kick in. I needed the Dexadrine to get me out the door in the mornings, then I took it in the late afternoon also, But I just took one 70 mg of the Vyvanse daily, I’m pretty sure they don’t make it any stronger as you mentioned 100mg.

      But I like Vyvanse better than Adderall because it don’t give me that weird feeling like I don’t want to talk to anyone. I don’t have any side effects on Vyvanse, I can’t even tell I’ve taken anything which that is what I like about it and I’m in a good mood all day long!

  39. I was dx at age 37. He started me on Concerta which worked well for the first year and half. I quit taking when I was on summer break. I started taking it again aprox. 3 weeks before school started. But this time by body did not react to it the same. The 1st couple hrs after dosing I was too wired to concentrate on anything, when the wire wore off I was just very tense & miserable.

    My dr. suggested Vyvanse, which I had never heard of but we after discussing cost (bc I do not have ins.) we settled on Adderall XR. I was a little concerned about taking it bc of the horror stories you hear. And I am a recovering meth addict.

    The Adderall XR worked for exactly 8 hrs and I would crash hard. I couldn’t hold my eyes open. My dr said my body was depleted off dopamine. I researched (here) what the difference between the 2 drugs and how people reacted to them. So I told him I wanted to try the Vyvanse. He started me on 60mg. It is wonderful. He said that it would help w/ my depression as well. It has been great! The only side effect I have is trouble sleeping. After dx me w/ Adjustment Disorder, he increased my dose to 70mg.

    I am feeling better all the way around. It turns out that the generic Adderall XR is not much cheaper than the Vyvanse & I qualify for Shires drug assistance program.

    What I have learned, is that everyone reacts different to the drugs. Have ever tried taking a little vacation off the drugs. I do not take mine everyday. Sometimes I may not take it for a week. It just depends on what I have going on. If I have a day that doesn’t require my undivided attention I won’t dose that day. If I am off for a week, I can tell a difference when I dose again. I am a little more sensitive. Granted on the Adderall it made no difference.

    I really don’t think that higher doses is going to help. It sounds like you tolerance is getting higher… maybe a dopamine issue. It is my understanding that meth increases dopamine until your body is depleted or unable to produce anymore and it takes a long time for the body to heal itself. I don’t know how much more dopamine release is increased by meth and prescribed amphetamine. Of course, people who are doing meth are doing it to get high & using much higher doses. I know that I have heard of drs requiring their patients to go on “drug vacations”. But I would ask him about it.

    Good luck. Let me know how things work out for you.

  40. Hi Dave,
    The Vyvanse has increased my blood pressure but not greatly. But I also have asthma and when I combine both medicines it does increase my bp. I know that when i am not using either my bp is good but I have gone on bp meds anyway.

  41. THIS IS FOR SAM!!! It shouldl not matter if you smoke pot or not, you need to tellthe doctor that you are SELFMEDICATING…..I have been self medicating since about the age of 12. How old are you if you don
    ‘t mind me asking?
    I did not get diagnosed until 31(they thought I had it earlier but instead of medication…I MY parents thought it was something that I could help. As a result, my grades in school were horrible, adn that is when most of my problems started.) PLEASE TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR AND EXPLAIN THAT YOU HAVE BEEN SELF MEDICATIONG. I personally do not believe you need rehav but I do not know the whole story.
    MEDICATION WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!!

  42. I think  there are more than a couple people on this Forum who might be a tad over-medicated judging by the length and non-linear thought process.  I am a BIG Adderall fan, but I strictly adhere to the directions on the bottle–if I don’t, I write posts like the ones I just described above.  

  43. @jw.deb
    LMAO.

    I only take mine as prescribed, REALLY!!!
    I enjoy following this thread…
    and posting too! :)

  44. I have tried both Adderall and Vyvanse only once, and had drastically different experiences.  On Adderall I felt no increase in concentration or focus.  Quite conversely, I found myself jittery, easily aggravated, and hyperactive.  Vyvanse could not have been more different.  I was able to hyper-focus on tasks for hours at a time.  I was extremely energetic, without any accompanying jitters or restlessness.  My mood was also elevated while on Vyvanse.  Adderall on the other hand gave me horrible anxiety.  Do to my extremely limited experience with both, my conclusion is far from scientific, but for my money I would go Vyvanse.  

    On an unrelated note, fuck you Stacie Cupe.  I hate to be so blunt, but your entire post contained exactly one period.  It was a complete jumble of nonsensical, unconnected ramblings without a discernible point.  Your comment displays a complete disregard not only for other participating members of this comment thread, but also of the English language, and dare I say the very faculty of rational thought.  The next time you feel the need to share, I would suggest opening a word document, and depositing your erratic stream of conciseness there.  The same number of people will find it interesting and informative.  I pity your daughter.  

  45. @Tina I have been having the same experiences with Vyvanse.  I was diagnosed in May this year and my Dr started me on Vyvanse 20mg and I have been increased to 30mg since.  It works for me initially but does wear off quite early in the day.  It is hard to tell exactly when it wears off but I notice I get a sense of depression and I am easily agitated.  I also get fidgety like biting on my mouth, which has always been a bad habit but it happens more now than ever.  I haven’t talked to my Dr yet but have an appointment this week.  I find it strange that my Dr prescribed the drug on my first visit…anyone else find that weird?

  46. I have tried several different adhd and add medication. I am currently a junior and since I was in pre-k I was homeschool up through 8th grade,  freshman year I strayed at my local public homeschool and I noticed plumit in my grades. I originally thought it was just me and I was ” stupid”  I was failing test after test and class after class, well towards the end I was scraping by with a “D” in biology the day of the end of course exam I found my brothers Ritalin from years before and took  2, that was the 1st test all year I had past( the hardest too). that was my 1st experience. I as aafraid to tell anyone. 10th grade came around and I was srapping by with “C’s”. I finished with a 2.65 weighted. tthinking 4 year college was just  a dream at that ppoint I went Inot this sschool year lloading myself wits honors classes. about 10 weeks In my buddy gave me a 10mg adderall that day I finished what would have ben 3hours of homework and procrastination In one 50 min period of class that was my second experiance. I ttalked to my moms and she had me put on a nonstimulant called Intunive . On that drug I broke away became vvery short all I wwanted was to be secluded, my grades were on an up hill clime, but my ability to socialize was gjoing In jest the oposite direction. after two weeks of that and almost quitting a sport I grew up with, skipping meals, and avoiding the people Ioved I was taken off that was my 3rd experience. directly aafter my doc put me on vyvans tjigs drug has done wonders, Im back to bking social, my family has the kid that they had lost for two wweeks, and If that doesnt  do It for you my grades have gone yet again from “C’s, D’s and F’s” to almost a straight A sstudent. I thank God for this little pill. It has foreve changed my life. that was my last experiance, hhowever I do get jittery if I don’t have something  to do like sschool or ffocusing on something, and I do have a lose In apetite. I do suggest chewing gum It hhelps keep me fRom clicking my pen or tapping my foot all through class. 

  47. So I’ve only read a few posts, but have been very taken by what I’ve read thus far.

    I was also considered ‘gifted’ according to Wexler IQ. My spatial learning was through the rough but completely in control of my own decision making. Despite the less I ‘feel’ the concentration aspect (assc with adderal), I have not lost anything to it. I do feel less like a horse wearing blinders, racing about a track.

    The posts are long and I know why (we all have much to say). I felt very touched on the comments regarding the abilities ADHD have. The true difficulty is being to harness this potential. Unchecked symptoms of ADHD leave only the rare one of us to achieve the way we want in the social structures of our present times. Emotional comprehension and understanding (almost telekinetically), are not yet advancing the human species holistically. But if you notice, Western advancement on the global sphere, is not linearly-based scientific thinking (which advanced the human species some 100 yrs back – present). Prior to this time, emotional ‘clairvoyance’, certainly did pose major advancements. We all must conclude individuals like Alexander the Great most certainly possess such qualities.

    We must live in the present world, however. My thoughts are now streamlined, and I can perceive now, with both right and left hemispheric thinking patterns. This is exceptionally uncommon. I would argue, that my linear thinking IQ has shot up, to be more in line with action oriented IQ.

    There is much more to say, to conclude and to suggest, of course. But I will refrain from mentioning more. My father is schooled in Psycho-Analytics, and he supports my interest in pursuing medicine. He always thought such, even when I chose the Arts initially for university. I never understood why he did always support such a direction for me (I have two siblings) – but he saw what then, that now I am able to see.

    My future hopes include saving others stricken with ADHD, and representing a beacon of hope to those who have sequestered their own intended achievements, for the sake of ‘inabilities’. Life is ironic. We must not lose our inner-voices that do direct us in life. It is difficult because more than not, those closest to us suggest alternative directions because we show ‘inability’, but it’s the the hyper-real we do sense, that we do see. The little things, which can be a grade scale – seem so insignificant relative to what our goals, our desires, our visions are. They are not insignificant, but I prefer letting the others handle the “little-things”. I will take on the big causes and make the big changes. So should all of us.

  48. New to medication, wondering if benadryl will take away the red nose. Titrated up to 10mg morning and 10mg noon, Instant release and been having side effects since the very first 5mg dose I took. I am very sensitive and have a high histamine response to anything that gives energy, like food, sugar, alcohol, just on an average day, so on Adderall it is amplified. Not really sure if this is all worth it. Sure I am more focused , a better typist and boy am I knocking everyone dead with my work ethic. But I am lashing out on my boyfriend who will surely leave me if I continue, how do I know if he is not simply annoying? Because he is and I don’t have the guilt and low self esteem on Adderall (it’s not all roses, trust me, and I would never be addicted or abuse this crap). Seeing my therapist tomorrow to see what’s going on.

    Good luck everyone, ADHD sucks.

    Diagnosed at 33

    Gosh, does there always have to be a trade off :(

  49. I am 93 yrs old. Problem is chronic daytime fatigue. Trying 20mg VYVANSE 20mg. aderall produced disabling
    Side effects. Reactions to many if not almost ALL drugs are quite varied and seemingly unpredictable in old – age
    people. Any others who have experienced or observed “old” old people reacting to VYVANSE or similar meds?

  50. This article is full of incorrect statements. (for reference my background is an MD and PhD)
    1. The mix does not make it more effective or stronger. the mix makes vyvanse and adderall doses not equal mg per mg (i.e. 20 mg adderall will not equal 30mg vyvanse in terms of therapeutic effect. Effectiveness and strength when speaking of pharmacotherapy is a complex issue, the differences of L and D amphetamine function is why the differences are noted and also why dosage is different.

    2.Vyvanse is not released by digestion and adderall bead technology is rather more complicated than it is made to sound. First vyvance and digestion, first if vyvanse was released via digestion what you eat would affect it, so there are two contradictory and wrong statements there. Vyvanse is absorbed very quickly by the GI tract in the prodrug (original form), once absorbed from the GI tract into the cardiovascular system the red blood cells hydrolyze the prodrug into active d-amphetamine.
    Where as adderall is absorbed in the GI track and the pH greatly affects its activity/absorption.
    The “bead technology” relies on pH differences to tell the beads when to release the meds. So not what is consumed considerably affects adderalls effectiveness due to release and subsequent absorption effects. This is why people with ADHD and GERD who take drugs such as prilosec are given vyanse instead of adderall. A specificclinical study was done with placebo control and both drugs with and with out priolosec and the effectiveness of adderall with prilosec was greatly affect where as it made no difference on vyvanse effectiveness and plasma serum levels of drug.

    The reason people get a rapid high from snorting adderall is it is already in active drug form, versus vyvanse which must be activated by red blood cells. Snorting gets the drug into the blood stream just like oral except it can be a little quicker.
    The “smoothness” of vyvanse is due to the nature of its enzymatic activation which gradually ramps up plasma serum levels of the drug where as adderall once absorbed is a more sudden increase.
    Similarly the smoother decline is due to the slow decline as some prodrug is being activated steadily through the day until all pro drug is excreted or converted. This is also why vyvanse has a longer duration and acts similar to an extended release instead of the immediate release stimulants.

    The differences mentioned about L and D amphetamine are sort of out of proper context.

    It is true studies have shown D and L amphetamine to differ slightly in their functional activity. D works great for reducing impulsiveness and overactivity; much more efficiently than a comparable dose of L amphetamine. Further low doses of D amphetamine and low-medium doses of L amphetamine improve sustained attention. What this means is low doses of D amphetamine work very well to increase attention, very close to control levels. Higher doses however lose effectiveness and very high doses can actually reduce or have no effect on attention.

    Where as L amphetamine is effective at low and medium doses and at high doses is slightly above baseline attention but marginally. Overall though a low dose of D amphetamine is more effective at increasing sustained attention than any dose of L amphetamine.

    Therefore L amphetamine is not necessarily better at increasing attention, but can continue to do so at higher doses before becoming ineffective. Also due to certain properties L amphetamine can increase anxiety. L amphetamine is also noted in studies to affect non-ADHD individuals significantly where as D amphetamine only significantly affects ADHD individuals. This is another reason why some argue that adderall is better, simply because some individuals who do not have ADHD do not get the same “effects” from vyvanse. This may be part of the reason behind why vyvanse is less abused than adderall.

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