Explore the healthcare providers who offer Vyvanse treatment & find the right one for you here
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What Is Vyvanse Used For?
Shire, the manufacturer of Vyvanse, states the following in terms of the uses, treatments, and symptoms for this medication:
“Vyvanse is a medication that contains dexamphetamine and acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system and affects the naturally occurring chemicals found in the brain which are related to hyperactivity and impulse control.”
Vyvanse is a prescription stimulant medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - ADHD - and is known to enhance the user’s attention span, increase their ability to concentrate on a specific task, and improve their organizational skills across the board.
It is classified as amphetamine, meaning that it is a stimulant that specifically impacts the central nervous system. Additionally, beyond treating the symptoms of ADD/ADHD, Vyvanse has also proven effective when it comes to getting other behavioral problems under control.
It can be used to treat narcolepsy, a sleeping disorder that causes intense daytime drowsiness, and is capable of keeping the user awake and alert during the day. That said, Vyvanse should never be used by non-narcoleptics as a way to stave off tiredness or to keep themselves from falling asleep, as this is a quick one-way ticket that can spiral into stimulant tolerance, dependency, and substance abuse.
Vyvanse is also an effective treatment for binge eating disorder (BED) and can reduce or help to reduce the number of days the user binge eats. As a treatment that offers potential solutions to three major problems affecting millions of people, you might be wondering how this medication’s benefits actually work. Ergo, you might be wondering if these benefits come with any potential drawbacks.
Learn the answer to both of these questions and more through this comprehensive in-depth explainer guide.
How Vyvanse Works
Vyvanse works by improving the chemical equilibrium of the brain, increasing the levels of dopamine (the neurotransmitter that regulates pleasure, reward, and motivation sensations in the brain) and norepinephrine (the neurotransmitter that increases heart rate and blood pressure) in your brain.
By stimulating the central nervous system in the way it does, Vyvanse improves the communication between the central nervous system and the brain, refining it in a more focused, concentrated, and alert direction. That’s why this heightened wakefulness, mindfulness, and alertness can be helpful in lessening the symptoms of both ADHD and narcolepsy. Moreover, because stimulants suppress appetite,
Unlike Adderall, a similar prescription amphetamine medication utilized to treat ADHD, Vyvanse’s effects only operate on an extended time release, 10-14 hours (a potential two hours greater than extended-release Adderall’s 12 hours). Because it takes longer to metabolize in your central nervous system than Adderall, Vyvanse is considered a less risky stimulant option than Adderall, though like any drug, risks, adverse side effects, and use disorders are certainly not outside the realm of possibility.
Can Vyvanse Make You Sleepy?
Stimulants are known for stimulating alertness and wakefulness, hence their namesake. So why would stimulants, in this case, Vyvanse, make you feel sleepier and more drowsy after taking them?
If you were prescribed Vyvanse to treat your ADHD, narcolepsy, or binge eating disorder, you might wonder why the drug would yield such a counterintuitive reaction. While your physician likely prescribed you the lowest possible dose to mitigate risks, it’s still possible that you could experience a Vyvanse “crash” as the drug’s effects begin to wear off throughout the day.
Beyond exacerbated tiredness, symptoms of a Vyvanse crash tend to also be characterized by heightened:
- Mood swings
- Stomach problems
- ADHD Symptoms
- Narcolepsy Symptoms
- BED Symptoms
This is the sort of instability and imbalance that Vyvanse is meant to prevent. If you’re suffering through these short-term side effects and find that your current dosage is doing more harm than good, we would strongly encourage you to reach out to a trusted medical professional. Moreover, if you’re experiencing any of the following long-term side effects which could potentially correlate with Vyvanse, you should definitely let your general practitioner know ASAP:
- Decreased appetite
- Hallucinations, delusions, and/or paranoia
- Chronic cardiovascular issues
- Nausea and stomach discomfort
- Suicidal thoughts and ideations
- Impotence and sexual dysfunction
- Addictive cravings/symptoms
Each one of these problems can present serious ramifications for the lives of people using Vyvanse, and they aren’t issues that should be neglected nor taken lightly. However, while impotence and erectile dysfunction are certainly potential risks, there isn’t much evidence to substantiate the idea of Vyvanse sperm count reduction, negative effects stemming from Vyvanse and menopause, or fertility issues that would stem from Vyvanse.
Stimulant tolerance is a particularly insidious side effect that can potentially arise from long-term Vyvanse use. As your body builds up a tolerance diminishing the effects of the drug, it may think that it needs higher dosages of the drug to reap its benefits, placing you at greater risk of suffering dependency and a number of the aforementioned long-term side effects.
What causes this tolerance, and what can be done to ameliorate it?
Vyvanse Tolerance: What Causes It?
Although Vyvanse presents less risk of building a tolerance than similar stimulant medications like Adderall and Ritalin, tolerance and subsequent dependency are still entirely possible risks.
One of the biggest predispositions toward risking tolerance and addiction is off-label misuse of Vyvanse. Vyvanse falls under the same class of central nervous system stimulants as methamphetamine; as prescription stimulants are far more accessible to the average person than crystal meth, it’s not unheard of for people to recreationally misuse these drugs when attempting to yield a euphoric “high”.
Vyvanse is known for being less potent than Adderall and Ritalin, and subsequently having less potential for abuse, though long-term misuse that builds a tolerance for the drug is not impossible. Signs of Vyvanse abuse can include everything ranging from:
- Volatile mood swings
- Dilated pupils
- Sweating and flushed skin
- Exacerbated anxiety
- Poor hand-eye coordination
- Restlessness, hyperactivity, and insomnia
- Reduced appetite and disordered eating
- Nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain
If you or someone you know is struggling with Vyvanse tolerance or dependence, we would strongly recommend that you seek the assistance of a trusted care provider, and let your general healthcare practitioner know. Additionally, we would strongly recommend seeking the assistance of a counselor who specializes in addiction therapy.
Where Can I Get Vyvanse Cheaper?
If you want to seek accessible, affordable relief, whether for ADHD, narcolepsy, eating disorders, or substance misuse disorders, you of course need to consult a medical professional. Companies like Sesame Care and Cerebral offer patients online consultations with medical professionals that can assess a patient's need for a Vyvanse prescription - because they also act as the pharmacy, patients can often get more affordable pricing through online providers.
These declarations come from the manufacturer of this medication and should not constitute medical advice. Please consult a doctor to see if this medication is right for you and how you should use it. Relief Seeker provides information about products and their manufacturers and does not offer any medical advice.