Vyvanse vs. Adderall comparison facts
Adderall and Vyvanse are amphetamines, which are stimulants that increase the level of important chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) in the brain. Amphetamines are used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Vyvanse is approved to treat these disorders as well as moderate-to-severe binge eating disorder.
The difference between the drugs is that Adderall contains amphetamine salts (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine), whereas Vyvanse contains lisdexamfetamine, which the body converts to dextroamphetamine before it is active.
The side effects of Adderall and Vyvanse are similar and include
- Decreased appetite, and others.
Both drugs may cause priapism, which is a penile erection lasting more than four hours that can damage the genital tissue.
Vyvanse and Adderall should not be taken with monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor drugs including phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and Zyvox. Use of amphetamines within 14 days of using MAO inhibitor drugs should be avoided. Patients receiving antihypertensive medications may experience loss of blood pressure control when using amphetamines.
What are Vyvanse and Adderall prescribed for?
Vyvanse is used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and moderate to severe binge eating disorder.
Adderall is used for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Adderall XR is only approved for treatment of ADHD.
Vyvanse vs. Adderall dosage
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 adults 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.
Adderall usually is taken once or twice a day. Doses should be separated by at least 4-6 hours. The recommended dose is 2.5 to 60 mg daily depending on the patient's age and the condition being treated. Adderall XR is taken once daily. The recommended dose is 5-40 mg daily administered in the morning. The entire contents of the Adderall XR capsules may be sprinkled into applesauce and consumed immediately. Amphetamines should be administered during waking hours and late evening doses should be avoided in order to avoid insomnia.
Side effects of Vyvanse and Adderall
Common side effects of Vyvanse include:
- upper abdominal pain,
- dry mouth,
- weight loss,
- trouble sleeping,
- decreased appetite, and
Other important side effects of Vyvanse include:
- blurred vision,
- growth retardation in children, and
- seizures in patients with a history of seizures.
Increased blood pressure, sudden death in patients with heart problems, strokes, and heart attacks have been associated with Vyvanse. Patients may experience new or worsening of psychiatric symptoms (for example, manic episodes, hearing voices, hallucinations) or worsening of aggressive behavior or hostility.
Side effects of amphetamines include excessive stimulation of the nervous system leading to:
- hallucinations, and
- convulsions (seizures).
Other important side effects include:
- Sudden death,
- heart attack,
- manic episodes,
- aggressive behavior or hostility,
- growth suppression (long-term use),
- dependence, and
- withdrawal symptoms
Priapism is a risk that comes with both Adderall and Vyvanse. The condition is defined as painful or painless penile erection lasting more than 4 hours, have been reported in pediatric and adult patients treated with stimulants. The erection usually resolves when the drug is stopped. Prompt medical attention is required in the event of suspected priapism.
Both Adderall and Vyvanse, like other amphetamines, may be abused. Amphetamines have been associated with tolerance, psychological dependence, and social disability. Stopping amphetamines suddenly may cause a withdrawal syndrome that includes extreme fatigue and mental depression. Therefore, their use should be discontinued by slowly reducing the dose.
Drug interactions with Vyvanse vs. Adderall
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.
As with Vyvanse, Adderall should not be taken with monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor drugs including phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and Zyvox; use of amphetamine within 14 days of using MAO inhibitor drugs should be avoided. Patients receiving antihypertensive medications may experience loss of blood pressure control with amphetamine. Antacids may increase the absorption of amphetamine salts and increase their effectiveness and side effects.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding safety for Vyvanse vs. Adderall
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.
As with Vyvanse, Adderall should not be used during pregnancy. Infants who are born to mothers dependent on amphetamines exhibit symptoms of withdrawal and have an increased risk of low birth weight.
Mothers taking amphetamines should refrain from nursing their infants because these drugs are excreted in human milk and can have undesirable effects on the child.
Vyvanse and Adderall are in the same family of drugs. Adderall is prescribed for the treatment of ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) and narcolepsy. Vyvanse is approved to treat ADHD and severe binge eating disorder. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and patient safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
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