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Vyvanse: Many Advantages as ADHD Therapy?

Vyvanse Pills

Vyvanse is a new treatment for ADHD that is very promising.  Importantly, it has several advantages that distinguish it from the many competing treatments.  At Health and Life, we are skeptical by nature, but there are advantages to Vyvanse that make it stand out.

In our analysis, Vyvanse tends to provide consistent and effective treatment for ADHD, possibly outperforming the competition.  On almost every way to analyze the effectiveness of an ADHD medication, it seems to have advantages.  Here’s why we think so.

There are many advantages of Vyvanse with few disadvantages.

Advantages:

It is long release.  It has drug release characteristics that are very helpful to people with ADHD and outperform competing formulations on multiple dimensions.  There are studies which show it works well for at least a year.  It is hard to abuse.  It typically has some effect for 14 hours.  It is made only of d-amphetamine.  And it is pretty effective.

The disadvantages:

Because it is just d-amphetamine, some may not respond as strongly to it as to Adderall.  It is expensive as there is no generic.

Let’s go through each point.

Long release:

Vyvanse is a long release form of d-amphetamine.

Clinicians tend to report superior results from long release medications over short.  These experiences are supported by data which show that long release treatments tend to perform superior to instant release in ADHD.  A pill that lasts 10-12 hours or longer with smooth release and consistent drug behavior tends to provide better stability than multiple instant release pills over that same time frame.

It’s a lot easier to do as well which improves adherence and makes life easier for the person taking the medication.

Drug release:

The drug release of Vyvanse seems to have significant advantages over existing therapies, particularly certain forms of competing amphetamine extended release forms.  People who take Vyvanse have very even and consistent drug release with little variability.  If you take it, you’ll soon know how it works and be able to expect it to do so.  For someone who has ADHD, this certainty can mean that they will, possibly for the first time in their life, have consistent performance.

The reason for its superior performance is likely due to the design of its drug release.

Vyvanse is made of an inactive form of d-amphetamine linked to lysine and has to be digested by the body to take effect.

The conversion of inactive Vyvanse to its active form kicks in quickly after being taken and is typically finished within an hour of taking.  Because 90% of the conversion tends to take place in the blood, this means that it is highly unlikely that the acidity of your stomach will affect the drug release.  This is not the case with many other competing treatments.

Vyvanse reaches peak levels at about 3 and a half hours after taking and, at around 9 and a half hours, is about half gone from your body.  It is still present at some degree of action in general for 12-14 hours, although the level may be low enough that someone taking it might not realize that is the case.

Fasting has a modest effect on its release.

Some aspects of Vyvanse’s release pattern are 3.5 times less variable than mixed amphetamine salts extended release.

Vyvanse tends to work consistently, with predictable release patterns that are not as strongly affected by diet or daily variation as some of its competitors.  For someone with ADHD, this can mean a significant quality of life advantage.

Long term data of efficacy:

Studies show that people taking Vyvanse for up to a year still have greater than 60% improvement from baseline in ADHD symptoms.  This long term data supports use of Vyvanse for years.

Lower abuse potential:

Because Vyvanse is digested in the blood, injecting it into your blood does not seem to provide the high that might be attained by other treatments.  Additionally, snorting it is also unlikely to provide as much a high.

Because Vyvanse is long release, it additionally has less potential for abuse as abuse of stimulants tends to prefer instant release forms.

Long effect:

About half of Vyvanse is left in your body after ~9 ½ hours.  This means that it has some effect for a long time.  This extended release pattern outperforms competitors who do not last as long.

D-amphetamine:

Vyvanse is made of d-amphetamine.  This form of amphetamine may be less likely to cause anxiety side effects or feelings of “weirdness” compared to Adderall, which has the l-type in addition to the d-type.  On the other hand, it may also not provide as much of a “kick” or generate the same degree of motivation as Adderall does.

Expensive:

Vyvanse is not generic so a prescription for it can cost more than the generic Adderall XR.

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22 comments

  1. Mi son is being diagnose with adhd he is currently 6 year old and his being taken for more that 2 years concerta 18 mg, them a neurologist pediatrician talk about this new adhd medication Vyvanse 20mg our family pediatrician for the copayment issues gaved him aderall 15mh XR, that work almost the same like concerta, take away his appetite, he look almost the entired they sad, too calm, too much, taking away his personality. We decided to switch to Vyvance, he is funcioning good at school and when he come back home is my boy again, he look entusiastic at his soccer practice and he has better interaction with other kids in his Karate classes. The copayment are more but for us is a small priced for had our son back.
    Thanks
    Miranda’s Family

  2. You can print a 50% discount coupon off of vyvanse.com. The discount is every month for an entire year!

  3. Valentina rodriguez

    This new medication is incredible!
    I can sustain a rush of energy, concentration,alertness,and focus for up to 12 hours on my vyvanse 40 mg.

    It gives me the motivation to complete tasks and study and finish my work. I have been getting straight A’s ever since.

    I am never hungry or tired or depressed when on vyvanse. BEST DRUG EVER MADE

    the advantages GREATLY outweigh the very small disadvantages.

    I feel incredibly confident, powerful, and worry free when im on it.

  4. Could not find the coupon you mentioned. Please send me any more information you might have on this 50% coupon. Thank you! Celeste Savage

  5. how is vyvanse broken down? is it by the liver or in the kidneys? is vyvanse dangerous to people have hepatitus C? i have not been able to find this info. in any of the vyvanse searches. please contact me asap. thanx

  6. I’m 17 and have been taking Vyvanse for 10 months. I am EXTREMELY ADHD. I didn’t get Dx with ADD/ADHD until 11th grade which I had learned to cope with thoughout my High School, Middle School years. I could take test and get A’s cause I know the information, my problem was i didnt do the work, i couldnt stay on task with anything and i have short term memory cause my brain is always going, which to me isnt a disadvantage at al except for in school. l I believe having ADD/ADHD is what makes me personality and is an advantage in some cases like i can multi- task and can do task that are ment to be done quick better then others . but im getting off topic now!!!! Vyvanse is a great medication, I can finish long tasks and stay on track, I can read without having to read it 1,000 times before i comprehend what is being said, when i have a conversation with someone im listening, not looking at them and ranting in my head haha. Which is something that i couldnt do even if i tried my hardest. ADD isnt a problem for me, i would say its everyone elese problem cause they are the ones that have to repeat themselves for me to hear what i missed an that get on peoples nerves more then mine. OKAY THE THINGS I DONT LIKE ABOUT VYVANSE! Before I started taking the medicine i weighted 140 and I’m 5’3 I wasn’t fat, i have a really curvy body and I am a soccer freak, so its a mixture of my lady lumps and muscle. now Im at 120 and dont reconize myself, before i ate very healthy in small meals liike 8 times a day, Now i cant keep up cause my appitite isnt their. another thing is that it has ups and down, i get irritated easily when it starts to wear off and sometimes it doesnt work at all. But thasts its. other then that it great,

  7. Thanks for the comments. It is helpful and appreciated. I start taking it tomorrow so I am curious how it will work for me. 

  8. My 6 year old son was recently prescribed Vyvanse 20mg; Question is— is it to much for a 6 year old?

    I’ve read the pro’s and con’s and am so afraid to start giving him his med’s. Just recently- while putting him to bed- he said to me “I’m sorry mommy for being a bad boy”- this broke my heart. I will give it a try starting tomorrow- I don’t want to deprive him of doing better in school and giving him back his self-esteem—but I’m just a concerned mommy.

  9. Hi I am 24 years old and started taking Vyvanse 20mg about 8 months ago. During the first two weeks I had never been more sane in my life, ie focused, able to read, do what Im supposed to, stay on tract, etc.. It worked great. However, it started to not work. My doctors have been increasing the dose and now 8 months later I am on 70mg. It takes me forever to get up and once I take my Vyvanse it takes about 2 hrs to kickin. Ok now here is where my questions are. It is no longer working the way it did. Whatever I start to do its like I get stuck doing that one thing for hours and not complete anything else. This has been happening for months and I can no longer bear it. If I start reading, Ill be reading for 3 hours and much of the time be reading sentences over and over again trying to “get it perfect” or if I shower, it can take 4 or 5 hours to get ready. What is happening, what are these adverse effects? Please help if you can. Thank you

    • Dude, stop taking it! Your doctors actions of increasing the dosage have made you hyper-focused on tasks. Just stop taking it, give yourself some time off, then start over with 20 being mindful of EXACTLY how the dose makes you feel. I have had quite the experience with ADHD myself. If you hae any questions, hit me up at j.walker.thacker@gmail.com

  10. Thanks to everyone for sharing. I am 44 and working on a Master’s Degree and have been taking Adderall for ADD. It works well and is consistent but my doctor and I have been considering trying Vyvanse as the 2 issues I’m having are some added anxiety and trouble sleeping. If anyone has any input about the difference in these to meds before I switch next week…I would really appreciate it!

    P.S. Sammy – Try Adderall 20mg. 3 times a day. Start at 7:00 am, 2nd dose at 1:30pm and last dose at 6:30pm. You will most definitely stay on task. I quit taking the last dose simply because of not being able to sleep. My only reason for the switch is the extra anxiety which is supposed to be an advantage with Vyvanse (less anxiety) otherwise it has worked great! Good luck!

  11. I myself have been taking Adderall 20mgs. I’m very happy with the results and have some advice for those going through “issues” with their meds. I take 20mgs first thing in the morning. It only takes 30 minutes to really get going and last about 4-6 hours. Depending on what I have to do and how long my day is depends on how much I take for my second dose. The 20mg are easy to break inhalf, Most the time I take 10mg in the afternoon just to stay focus and coast through the rest of the day, still very focus. I aked my Dr for something to take the edge off at night and help me come off the adderall and RELAX. It’s very hard to RELAX when taking Adderall. I have 3 kids, a full time job and a severe case of ADD. After talking with my Dr he suggested I try one 5mg of xanex and night. It made a huge difference. I’m able to relax, Unwind and sleep. It may not be the case for all of you but I like to have control of my doses of Adderall and take less in the afternoon so I can sleep, eat and relax at night.

  12. sammy I have the same problem too!!! very OCD like symptoms, I take 4 hours to get ready..

  13. I was just reading some of the results of Vyvanse. I used ti be on cylert 37.5 mg 3 times a day in 2005 they took it off the market. For the last fer years I’ve been on adderal30 mg 2xday. Now I’m on Ritlan 20mg, 50Mg a day, it is just not working! I’m not only add, but have narcolepsy also. Does anyone have any advise?

  14. I just started taking the Vyvance in place of the Adderall (non XR) as I had started developing some anxiety symptoms that were a concern; also, when the med wore off I crashed with terrible depressive symptoms. So far the Vyvance has worked great: very smooth effect both in activation and wearing off, with none of the anxiety. Sammy, you may have to switch back and forth, i.e. take vyvance for awhile, then when/if it seems not to work as well, switch back to the adderall. I know a number of folks who need to do this. It’s sort of like pain meds: narcotics of one time work great, then you start to build a tolerance, so you switch to another kind, then back, etc. 
    It’s sort of a pain but at least there are a number of meds out there that you can rotate between. I’d rather be able to do that than have nothing at all! good luck with it and report back how you are doing.

    Scott

  15. My son is 18 senior in high school was diagnosed with ADHD/ADD over the summer. His school work last year was a complete flunk. The worry wore me out not knowing what was going on with him thinking it was all teenage stuff and he was flunking school. We were given Adderall RX and it worked well but we couldnt afford to keep him on it so he was given Adderall to take twice a day and at first it seemed like it was making a difference but like many of you the anxiety hit and he became moody late in the day. He was taking 40mg. We were given Vyvanse to try same 40mg. He now comes home from school talks about how GREAT school is, his grades are really good and he does his home work without me asking him. He is on track by himself without ANY input from me. I am very grateful.

  16. I’m middle aged and have had ADD my entire life. Struggled through school and work and still ended up mildly successful (thanks to the above average IQ). Finally went to the doctor and received official diagnosis…now on Vyvanse for the last 2 weeks. It has been the happiest continuous two weeks of my life. It feels like all that time, I’d been living with half my brain turned off.

  17. my son just got switch yesterday from adderal to vyvanse i hope he does well on it please send me any in put on this . im kidda glad that he not taking the adderal it help but only for have the amont of time then he would crash and he wouldnt be focus on his other activity in school so im hopping it will ave abetter afect on him andhe wont be so axtious be impatientlike when after the aderall wares off

  18. I have been on Vyvanse for about 2 years. Had to increase dose and now at 130mg. a day. Before this I was on Ritalin 20mg. 3 times a day. I needed a once a day solution due to my inablility to keep up with meds,etc…however, now I know that I was going through early menopause and my brain was not “cooking” at that time and not due to adhd meds. Anyway, this past few months I have had moments of depression(on Lexapro for several yrs. ) and outright anger. My brother who is a pharmacist sent me a pic of the black box warning that said “severe side effects: hostility,etc” I am paraphrasing; anyone have these type of challenges?

  19. Hi. I’m 27 and before Vyvanse I was taking Ritalin for about 2 years.

    I don’t know if I’m really ADHD since I finished my engeneering graduation and master without the medication. Also learned english, french and had a normal life before starting to use the meds.

    However, now I simply feel that I can do more. If before it was hard to study 8 hours straight, with Ritalin it became easy to study 14. The problem is that I started overdosing Ritalin, rapidly getting around 150mg daily (one per hour).

    It surely helped me get a job that pays well (even if compared to north american parameters). But dependence and increased tolerance is easy to notice.

    Despite the 150mg Ritalin dose, I’m no junkie. I avoid drinking, never stopped working out and follow the so many other health advices that my wife, who’s a doctor, repeats as a mantra.

     But somehow I started to fell powerless without my Ritalin. So I switched to Vyvanse some days ago.

    I don’t have the same desire to study, nor it gets so interesting. But I can say it’s worth a try and it really does not causes the same impulsive behaviour to take another pill. Dependence does not seem an issue in this case.

  20. I am a sophmore in highschool. I was diagnosed with adhd when i was in the 5th grade but my grades were okay so we didnt bother with meds. Recently (8th and 9th) my grades dropped severly. At first we tried stratara ( not sure of the correct spelling) but its very different from this. It had 0 affect on my adhd. It only made me anxious moody and tired. I just started vynase and i have to say it is amazing. I get all of my work done and no longer fall asleep in class. So far the only side affect ive noticed is teeth grinding and the clenching of my jaw. I also recently switched school making me quiet and to myself but while on this im happ and have no problem with people. I now refer to this as a miricle drug.

  21. I just finished Junior year at a top-ranked public university in North Carolina with a 3.75 GPA. I was diagnosed with ADD the summer after my Freshman year of college and proscribed 30mg of Adderall daily. The motivation that I experienced during the first few months of taking the medication was incredible and my grades remained stellar. But, my body began to build up a tolerance to the Adderall and I began to self-proscribe a higher dosage. The higher dosages worked great, I would take 30mg at 7am, 30mg at 11am, and 30mg at 2pm on days when I had to study and go to my part-time job. After about 3 months of this regimen I began experiencing terrible side effects. My heart fluttered periodically, I felt nervous and awkward in social situations, and the worst side effect of all, I experiencing extreme anxiety at night and after meals, to the point to where I would cry uncontrollably for reasons I could not explain. Sleep deprivation and a poor diet exacerbated these symptoms. After telling my physician about my negative experiences he switched me over to Vyvanse. Vyvanse has changed my life for the better, I could not be more happy about it. Everything that I do now, study, socialize, work, feels like it is coming from my own willpower instead of coming from a drug-induced high. Honestly, when I took Adderall, I felt like a druggie (constantly trying to stage-off a crash by taking more mg’s). This article coincides perfectly with my experience. Parents please, take my advice, don’t experiment with Adderall in the treatment of your child’s ADD/ADHD, the effects of it are comparable to cocaine’s; that should be enough evidence to dissuade any truly concerned parent. 

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