Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.


  • The recommended starting dose of Vyvanse for treating ADHD in adults is 30 mg and for pediatric patients ages (6-12) it is 20 to 30 mg once daily in the morning. Doses may be increased by 10-20 mg/day at weekly intervals. The maximum dose is 70 mg daily.
  • The recommended dose for treating binge eating in adult is 50 to 70 mg daily. The starting dose is 30 mg/day and the dose is gradually increased by 20 mg at weekly intervals to reach the recommended daily dose.


  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOIs) antidepressants such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), selegiline (Eldepryl) and procarbazine (Matulane), slow the elimination of amphetamines in the body. This increases the concentration of amphetamines and their effect. This can cause serious elevations in blood pressure (hypertensive crisis) with headaches, other signs of hypertensive crisis, and even fatal reactions. Vyvanse should not be administered until 14 days after MAOIs have been discontinued in order to allow the effects of the MAOIs to dissipate.
  • Amphetamines increase the effect of norepinephrine. Combining both drugs may lead to serious cardiovascular toxicity.


  • There are no adequate studies of Vyvanse in pregnant women. Amphetamines may cause premature delivery, low birth weight, and withdrawal symptoms in infants born to mothers who are dependent on amphetamines.
  • Amphetamines are excreted in breast milk. Mothers taking amphetamines should not breastfeed.

PREPARATIONS: Capsules: 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, and 70 mg

STORAGE: Vyvanse should be stored at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F), and protected from light.

How does Vyvanse work?

Lisdexamfetamine is an oral drug used for increasing attention and decreasing impulsiveness and hyperactivity in patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Lisdexamfetamine is a prodrug; after administration it is converted to dextroamphetamine (Adderall) in the intestines and/or liver. The dextroamphetamine, an amphetamine and stimulant for the brain, is responsible for the effect of lisdexamfetamine in ADHD. The mechanism of action of dextroamphetamine in ADHD is unknown, but scientists believe that they may stimulate the nervous system by increasing the release or reducing the inactivation of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. Norepinephrine and dopamine are chemicals (neurotransmitters) that nerves use for communicating with each other. The net effect of amphetamines is an increase in the effects of dopamine and norepinephrine. The FDA approved lisdexamfetamine in February 2007.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/12/2016

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