Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) is a prescription brand-name medication. It’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This condition makes it hard to focus on tasks and control your attention. To treat ADHD, Vyvanse can be taken by adults as well as children ages 6 years and older.

Vyvanse is also prescribed to treat moderate to severe binge eating disorder in adults. This condition involves periods of excessive overeating.

Here are some fast facts on Vyvanse:*

  • Active ingredient: lisdexamfetamine
  • Drug class: central nervous system stimulant
  • Drug forms:
    • oral capsule
    • oral chewable tablet

Like other drugs, Vyvanse can cause side effects. Read on to learn about potential common, mild, and serious side effects. For a general overview of Vyvanse, including details about its uses, see this article.

* Vyvanse is not approved to be used for weight loss or to treat obesity.

Vyvanse can cause certain side effects, some of which are more common than others. These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days or weeks. But if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

These are just a few of the more common side effects reported by people who took Vyvanse in clinical studies. These side effects can vary depending on which condition the drug is being used to treat.

More common side effects in people taking Vyvanse for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) include:

More common side effects in adults taking Vyvanse for binge eating disorder include:

Mild side effects can occur with Vyvanse use. This list doesn’t include all possible mild side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Vyvanse’s medication guide.

Mild side effects that have been reported with Vyvanse include:

These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days or weeks. But if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks side effects of the medication. If you develop a side effect while taking Vyvanse and want to tell the FDA about it, visit MedWatch.

* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect specifics” below.

Vyvanse may cause serious side effects. The list below may not include all possible serious side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Vyvanse’s medication guide.

If you develop serious side effects while taking Vyvanse, call your doctor right away. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

Serious side effects that have been reported and their symptoms include:

* Vyvanse has a boxed warning for this side effect. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
† For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect specifics” below.
‡ For more information about this side effect, see “Side effects of Vyvanse in children vs. adults” below.

Side effects of Vyvanse are usually the same in both females* and males.* There aren’t any side effects that are known to occur only in either sex.

Vyvanse can have harmful effects if taken during pregnancy, however. For more information, see the “Precautions for Vyvanse” section below.

Your doctor can answer any questions you have about your risk for side effects from Vyvanse.

* Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the terms “female” and “male” in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.

If you’re prescribed Vyvanse and you have side effects, you may be wondering how long Vyvanse side effects last.

Most side effects caused by Vyvanse go away within a few days or weeks of taking the drug. Rarely, Vyvanse can cause side effects that last longer or that cause long-term problems. These effects can include:

If you have questions about long-term side effects from Vyvanse, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* See “Serious side effects of Vyvanse” above for symptoms of this side effect.
† See “Side effects of Vyvanse in children vs. adults” below for details.

Vyvanse is approved to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults and in children ages 6 years and older. Children may be more likely to experience certain side effects than adults, including:

In addition, children ages 6 to 12 years old reported emotional changes or mood changes in clinical studies of Vyvanse. These changes may have included uncontrollable crying or laughing at inappropriate times. This side effect wasn’t reported in adults taking the drug, or in adolescents ages 13 to 17 years old.

Also, Vyvanse can rarely cause slowed growth in children. Your child’s doctor will closely monitor your child’s height and weight and compare it to average growth rates for your child’s age. The doctor may temporarily or permanently have your child stop taking Vyvanse if your child shows signs of slowed growth.

If you have questions about Vyvanse’s side effects in children, talk with your child’s doctor or with a pharmacist.

Vyvanse may cause several side effects. Here are some frequently asked questions about the drug’s side effects and their answers.

Do Vyvanse’s side effects vary based on the strength I’m taking?

Yes, some side effects can vary based on which strength of Vyvanse you’re taking.

For example, higher doses in children ages 6 to 12 years old caused more weight loss in clinical studies. These doses included 70 milligrams (mg), 50 mg, and 30 mg. (In studies, a 60-mg dose wasn’t studied.)

But most side effects didn’t vary depending on which strength people took in studies.

Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about what to expect when taking Vyvanse.

Is anger a side effect of Vyvanse?

Anger wasn’t reported as a side effect by people taking Vyvanse in clinical studies. Irritability was a commonly reported side effect, though. Sometimes irritability can lead to anger.

Also, it’s important to note that anger was a rare withdrawal side effect in children ages 6 to 12 years old. Withdrawal refers to effects that occur after stopping a drug that your body has become dependent on. Vyvanse has a boxed warning about dependence. For more information, see “Side effect specifics” below.

Learn more about some of the side effects that Vyvanse may cause.

Mental health side effects

Rarely, Vyvanse can cause side effects that affect mental health. These can include:

  • worsening of existing psychosis (loss of touch with reality)
  • an episode of mania (high energy or excitement) in people with bipolar disorder
  • new psychosis or mania in people who don’t have a history of these conditions

Symptoms of these side effects can include:

  • delusions (believing things that aren’t true)
  • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t really there)
  • impulsive behaviors (doing things without thinking about them first, which can be dangerous)
  • paranoia
  • racing thoughts
  • insomnia (trouble sleeping)

In rare cases, depression can also be a side effect of Vyvanse treatment. This occurred in adults in clinical studies. Depression has also been reported as a side effect since Vyvanse was approved. Symptoms of depression may include:

  • changes in appetite
  • sleeping too much or too little
  • agitation and restlessness
  • feelings of worthlessness or guilt

What you can do

Before you begin treatment with Vyvanse, you and your doctor will discuss your risk factors for mental health side effects.

It’s very important that you tell your doctor about any past depression, bipolar disorder, or suicidal thoughts or actions you’ve experienced. Also tell them about any history of these conditions in your family. This helps your doctor determine whether Vyvanse is safe for you to take.

If you have any symptoms of mental health side effects, contact your doctor right away. They may have you stop taking Vyvanse and may recommend a different treatment.

Headache

Headaches are a possible side effect of Vyvanse. This is a common side effect of stimulant drugs such as Vyvanse.

What you can do

If your doctor advises that this is safe for you, taking over-the-counter medications can help relieve headaches. These medications may include Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen).

For headaches that are severe or bothersome, talk with your doctor. They may recommend other treatments.

Sleep problems

Taking Vyvanse can cause insomnia. This refers to trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. This was a common side effect reported by people taking Vyvanse in clinical studies.

What you can do

You’ll typically take Vyvanse in the morning to lower the risk of sleep problems. Taking your dose in the afternoon could cause trouble falling asleep. Make sure to take Vyvanse as prescribed by your doctor.

If you take Vyvanse in the morning and you’re having trouble sleeping, talk with your doctor. They may recommend a treatment to help you sleep better, such as taking a medication to help you sleep. Or they may have you stop taking Vyvanse and switch to a different drug.

Risk of misuse and dependence

Vyvanse has a boxed warning about risk of misuse and dependence. This is a serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Taking Vyvanse can cause physical and psychological dependence. With physical dependence, the body becomes used to the drug and needs it in order to function as you usually do. With psychological dependence, you feel that you’re unable to stop using a drug.

Misusing Vyvanse makes it more likely that you’ll become dependent. Misuse (sometimes called abuse) means taking a drug in a way other than how your doctor prescribes. This includes taking a medication for non-medical purposes.

Misuse of Vyvanse can cause serious side effects. These include cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) problems such as a heart attack. Rarely, Vyvanse misuse can cause death.

What you can do

Before prescribing Vyvanse, you and your doctor will discuss your risk for misuse and dependence. They’ll monitor you for symptoms of misuse and dependence while you’re taking Vyvanse. These include:

  • aggressive or hostile behavior
  • coordination problems
  • dilated pupils (the black part of your eye being larger than usual)
  • excessive sweating
  • hyperactivity or restlessness
  • thoughts of harming yourself or others

You could consider asking someone (such as a family member or friend) to help watch for serious side effects of Vyvanse. This would include the above signs misuse and dependence, as well as other side effects listed above in the “Serious side effects” section. Your doctor can help with this, if you want.

Due to Vyvanse’s risk of dependence, it’s important that you do not stop taking the drug unless your doctor specifically tells you to. Suddenly stopping Vyvanse could cause withdrawal symptoms. These can include fatigue (low energy) and depression.

If you and your doctor agree you should stop taking Vyvanse, your doctor will help you safely stop treatment.

If you have any thoughts about harming yourself or others while taking Vyvanse or after stopping the drug, make sure to contact your doctor right away. If you feel like it’s an emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, Vyvanse can cause an allergic reaction in some people.

Symptoms can be mild or serious and can include:

  • skin rash
  • itching
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)
  • swelling under your skin, typically in your lips, eyelids, feet, or hands
  • swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe

What you can do

For mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, call your doctor right away. They may recommend ways to ease your symptoms and determine whether you should keep taking Vyvanse. But if your symptoms are serious and you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

Before beginning treatment with Vyvanse, there are important precautions to consider.

Boxed warning: Risk of misuse and dependence

This drug has a boxed warning about risk of misuse and dependence. This is a serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For details, see the “Side effect specifics” section above.

Other precautions

Be sure to talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Vyvanse. This drug may not be the right treatment for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. The conditions and factors to consider include:

Heart problems, including high blood pressure. If you have a serious heart condition, you should not take Vyvanse. These conditions include a heart defect, irregular heartbeat, or coronary artery disease.

Vyvanse can cause serious cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) side effects that can be fatal in rare cases. These side effects include heart attack, stroke, and cardiac arrest (when the heart stops beating).

If you have a heart problem, you’re at higher risk for these serious side effects. Before treatment, your doctor will check your heart health to see if Vyvanse is safe for you to take.

High blood pressure. Vyvanse can raise your blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor will monitor your treatment to see if it’s safe for you to take Vyvanse.

Mental health condition. Vyvanse can cause symptoms of existing mental health conditions to get worse. These conditions include psychosis and mania. If you have a mental health condition, or if your family has as history of psychosis or mania, Vyvanse may not be safe for you to take. Be sure to talk about your complete personal and family mental health history before you start taking Vyvanse.

Circulation (blood flow) problems in your fingers and toes. Taking Vyvanse can cause circulation problems, including Raynaud’s disease. If you already have circulation problems, Vyvanse could worsen your symptoms. Your doctor can help determine whether Vyvanse is safe for you to take.

Kidney problems. If you have problems with your kidneys, your body may not get rid of Vyvanse as well as usual. This can cause the drug to build up in your body, which can increase your risk of side effects. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dosage of Vyvanse than usual for you.

Allergic reaction. You shouldn’t take Vyvanse if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to Vyvanse or any of its ingredients. Talk with your doctor about which other treatments are better choices for you.

Alcohol use with Vyvanse

You should avoid drinking alcohol while you’re taking Vyvanse. This is because Vyvanse can mask the effects of alcohol in your body, which can make it hard for to know how much you’ve had to drink.

People who have misused or become dependent on alcohol are also at higher risk for misusing or becoming dependent on Vyvanse. Make sure your doctor is aware of any history you have of misuse or dependence.

Alcohol can also make certain Vyvanse side effects worse. These include nausea, diarrhea, and dizziness.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about whether it’s safe for you to drink while taking Vyvanse.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding while taking Vyvanse

It’s not known whether it’s safe to use Vyvanse while pregnant. But Vyvanse may increase the risk of problems if taken during pregnancy. If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor before you start taking Vyvanse.

It’s not recommended to breastfeed while taking Vyvanse. Vyvanse can cause serious side effects in a breastfed child. Talk with your doctor about safe options for feeding your child if you’re taking Vyvanse.

Vyvanse has a boxed warning about risk of misuse and dependence. This is a serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Misuse means taking a drug in a way other than how your doctor prescribes.

Because of this risk, Vyvanse is a controlled substance. This means the drug is regulated by the government because it can cause misuse, dependence, or withdrawal.

For details about Vyvanse misuse, see the “Side effects specifics” section above.

Side effects from Vyvanse are typically mild. Most go away with time and don’t require medical attention. Serious side effects are also possible, and you should talk with your doctor if you have any symptoms of a serious side effect.

If you’d like to learn more about Vyvanse, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can help answer any questions you have about side effects from taking the drug.

Besides talking with your doctor, you can do some research on your own. These articles might help:

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.