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Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) - Vyvanse - Side Effects

By Charlotte

Vyvanse is a brand name for a medicine with lisdexafetamine dimesylate (contracted from L-lysine-dextroamphetamine) as an active agent. It is a central nervous system stimulant in a class of drugs known as sympathomimetic amines. Vyvanse affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that stimulate hyperactivity and impulse control. It is said to enhance the restoration of the balance of natural chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain.

Vyvanse is indicated for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in adults and in children who are at least 6 years old. It is part of a total treatment, involving psychological, social and other complementary treatments. Vyvanse may help to upgrade the faculty to pay attention and be focused.  This medicine is assigned to treat moderate to severe Binge Eating Disorder (BED) in adults as well. It contributes to decrease binge eating time. However, Vyvanse is not to be used for obesity or weight loss. Indeed, the effectiveness and safety of Vyvanse for obesity treatments in people and ADHD in children aged from three to five years old have not been established yet. Furthermore, other sympathomimetic drugs used for weight loss are well associated with serious cardiovascular side effects. Though not being a narcotic substance, Vyvanse is considered in a group of Schedule II controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Chemically, Vyvanse is a prodrug form of the commonly known psychostimulant d-amphetamine, well linked with the essential amino acid L-lysine. It was made in that form in such a way that the amphetamine is released and activated more progressively as the prodrug form is being hydrolyzed. The standard initial dose being 30 mg per day, is usually slowly increased (10 mg interval) during the therapy to reach the dose that responds to you best. The maximum dose allowed is 70 mg per day. This must be done per your doctor’s prescription.

Background of Vyvanse

In 2007, Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) was firstly approved as a hub medication indicated for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Binge Eating Disorder (BED). Indeed, in the early 21thcentury, assessments of the drug utilization data in pediatric patients (clinical trials) were carried out by the Office of Surveillance and Epidomiology (OSE). In accordance with Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA) and Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act (FDAAA), that review lead to the approval of Vyvanse for the treatment of ADHD in pediatric patients. Thus, as any other medication, it is recommended andcrucialfor consumers (ADHD/BED diagnosed patients) to be well aware of “what does Vyvanse may do (side effects)?”, “what does Vyvanse do/ how it works?”and “how long does vyvanse last in our system?”. The answers to these,coupled with Vyvanse reviews of current patients are strongly required in order to awake drug consumers’ mind and prevent any misunderstanding, contraindication, drug interaction and addiction.

 

Warning and Precaution

It is a prerequisite to take into account some warnings and precautions which may be decisive factors in the prescription and consumption of this drug. Indeed, irreversible Vyvanse side effects on heart and death may happen in a case of an improper use of the medication.

Precautions

These are important measures needed to be considered before taking Vyvanse in order to prevent any risk or health damage. These precautions include:

-       Counseling on medication guide

First and foremost, doctors or pharmacists should tell their patients, families, and caregivers about the benefits and risks related to treatment with lisdexamfetamine and should counsel them in its proper use. Doctors or pharmacistshave to instruct patients, their families to pay attention to Medication Guide and read it carefully. Besides, health professionals should assist patients and their families in understanding its contents and be given the chance to discuss that content to get answers to any questions they may have.

-       Allergies

In addition, you should not use Vyvanse if you are allergic to lisdexamfetamine or to other sympathomimetic drugs such as dextroamphtamine or amphetamine) or whether you have any other allergies. This medication may contain inactive ingredients able to cause allergic reactions or other problems. Thus, it is very important to tell your doctor or pharmacist about your allergies before taking this medication.

 -       Drugs interactions

It is not allowed to use Vyvanse if a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor has been used in the past 14 days because a harmful drug interaction may occur. Indeed, these drug interactions may affect the way the drug works or increase the risk of serious/ fatal vyvanse side effects. Hence, it is advisable to avoid using medications containing amphetamine or dextroamphetamine while using lisdexamfetamine. MAO inhibitors include methylene blue injection, linezolid, tranylcypromine, selegiline, phenelzine, rasagiline, and isocarboxazid.

-       Pregnancy and nursing mothers

During pregnancy, this medication should be used if and only if it is obviously required. It is advised to discuss the risks and benefits with your pharmacist or doctor. What does vyvanse do to an unborn baby is still unknown. However, pregnant women who are dependent on Vyvanse may give birth too soon, i.e. having premature infants with low birth weight. Withdrawal symptoms (dysphoria, including agitation, and significant lassitude) are also eventualities. Hence, it is required to inform your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before being prescribed this drug. Furthermore, this medication may pass into breast milk and have unexpected effects on a nursing infant. Therefore, breast-feeding (nursing) is not recommended while using this medicine.

 -       Low ability

Patients should be aware of the fact that taking amphetamines may affect their ability to engage in potentially hazardous activities such as operating machinery or vehicles.

Ultimately, it is required to emphasize on the fact that Vyvanse should not be used to treat ADHD in a child younger than 6 years old since the effects have not been studied below this age. This drug is not recommended to treat Binge Eating Disorder in people younger than 18 years old.

Warnings

These measures accompany precautions, but they are more delicate in a way that they express a correlation of your medical state with the medication required to be considered to avoid any fatality.

-       Serious Cardiovascular Events

Sudden death has been noticed associated with central nervous system (CNS) stimulant treatment at common doses in children and adolescents with structural cardiac anomalies or other serious heart problems.  Though some serious heart problems taken on their own may be responsible for sudden death, stimulant products should not be prescribed to children or adolescents with known serious structural cardiac anomalies, serious heart rhythm irregularities, cardiomyopathy or other serious cardiac problems susceptible to increase their vulnerability to the sympathomimetic effects of a stimulant drug.

Likewise, sudden deaths, myocardial infraction, and stroke have been reported in adults taking stimulant drugs at common doses for ADHD, though the role of stimulants in these adult cases is unknown.  Adults with structural cardiac problems should not be treated with stimulant drugs as well as children and adolescents.

-       Hypertension and other heart problems

Stimulant drugs are responsible for a slight increase in mean blood pressure (about 2-4 mmHg) and mean heart rate (about 3-6 bpm), and some individuals may exhibit larger increases.  Even though the average changes alone would not be expected to have short-term effects, patients should be checked for larger changes in heart rhythm and blood pressure.  Great care and attention are observed in treating patients whose ongoing medical conditions might be compromised by increases in heart rate or blood pressure.

-       Psychiatric Adverse Events

It is required to tell your doctor about your medical history, especially related to the following:

  • High blood pressure;
  • History of heart attack;
  • Congenital heart disease;
  • Coronary artery disease.

Besides, amphetamines have been reported to enhance phonic and motor tics and syndrome of Tourette. Thus, clinical assessments for Tourette’s syndrome and tics in children and their families should be prior to the use of stimulant medications. To ensure that this medicine is safe for you, it is strongly advisable to evaluate your family medical history or tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has ever had:

  • Mental illness, depression, bipolar illness,
  • Suicide attempt;
  •  psychosis, or circulation problems in your hands or feet;
  • Peripheral vascular disease;
  • Heart disease or sudden death;
  • Kidney disease.

-       Aggressive behavior or hostility

It has been indicated in clinical trials (vyvanse review) and post marketing experience of some drugs assigned to the treatment of ADHD. It is sometimes observed in children and adolescents with ADHD and even though there is no systematic evidence that stimulants may lead to an aggressive behavior or hostility, patients starting treatment for ADHD  should be watched and checked carefully for  the appearance of/or exacerbation of aggressive behavior or hostility.

How long does Vyvanse last? Vyvanse half-life

Whatever the medication is, it is fundamental for a drug consumer to know how long the medication he is using will stay in his system, especially for an amphetamine type of drug such as Vyvanse. “How long does Vyvanse last?” is a pertinent question whose answer will help prevent any drug test failure, drug interaction, overdose and subsequent adverse reactions.

Vyvanse half-life time is referred to as the time during which almost half of the quantity of vyvanse consumed has been eliminated from our system. Hence, Vyvanse half-life time has been calculated to be less than 1 hour; Vyvanse reviews and clinical trials suggest it to be 45 minutes. This means that 50% of a taken dose of Vyvanse will be out from your system in 45 minutes.

However it should be noted that lisdexamfetamine, the active ingredient of Vyvanse will last between 4.3 and 5.5 hours for a complete clearance. Moreover, it has to be mentioned that lisdexamfetamine is metabolized to dextroamphetamine and L-Lysine in our system. Dextroamhetamine has a much longer half-life time than lisdexamfetamine, ranging between 9 to 11 hours. Thus, it is assumed that most patients should fully eliminate Vyvanse and its metabolites in a maximum of 3 days.

The detection time of Vyvanse during a blood test is between 8-24 hours while Vyvanse will take about 3 days to be fully evacuated from the urine. During a hair test, Vyvanse can be detected for up to 1 month or even longer.

Nevertheless, “how long does Vyvanse last/ Vyvanse half-life?”is strongly related to factors which may influence Vyvanse half-life time despite the regular time reviewed - for Vyvanse clearance in our system is about 3 days. Indeed, some patients may need a longer time to eliminate the medication while others will excrete the drug faster. The factors responsible for this irregularity include: age, metabolic rate, hydratation, weight, liver/renal function.

Vyvanse Side Effects

“What does Vyvanse do or may do?” must be known by all patients before or while taking the medicine. Indeed, despite its required effects, lisdexamfetamine (active ingredient in Vyvanse) may cause unexpected adverse effects that need medical attention. Hence, it is undeniably crucial to know the side effects of Vyvanse, especially since it is a central nervous system stimulant which may generate serious adverse reactions on the brain and the heart. The patients’ awareness on the side effects of Vyvanse may prevent misunderstandings and unexpected worsening of the situation. Thus, it is strongly encouraged to stop the treatment and get an emergency medical help as soon as the first unexpected signs appear.

Major Vyvanse Side Effects

These are Vyvanse side effects most likely to occur. They require a quick medical attention when observed in patients. The side effects of Vyvanse may differ depending on whether the patient is being treated for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Binge Eating Disorder (BED). According to Vyvanse reviews and clinical trials, these adverse reactions can be expressed as follows:

  • Sleep problems (insomnia);
  • Dizziness ;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Uncontrolled vocal outbursts or tics;
  • Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin;
  • Fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse;
  • Hive-like swelling on the face, throat, lips, tongue, eyelids, sex organs, hands, legs, or feet;
  • Feeling sad or empty;
  • Fever;
  • Hives or welts, itching, or skin rash;
  • Irritability;
  • Loss of interest or pleasure;
  • Puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the tongue, eyes, face or  lips;
  • Discouragement ;
  • Agitation ;
  • Cough ;
  • Faintness ;
  • Chest discomfort or pain ;
  • Red skin lesions, often with a purple center;
  • Joint or muscle pain;
  • Difficulty with breathing;
  • Chills;
  • Overreactive reflexes;
  • Poor coordination;
  • Tightness in the chest;
  • Trembling or shaking;
  • Sore throat;
  • Trouble concentrating;
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness;
  • Acting or talking with excitement you cannot control;
  • Red, irritated eyes ;
  • Redness of the skin ;

 

  • Discouragement ;
  • Agitation ;
  • Cough ;
  • Faintness ;
  • Chest discomfort or pain ;
  • Red skin lesions, often with a purple center;
  • Joint or muscle pain;
  • Difficulty with breathing;
  • Chills;
  • Confusion;
  • Difficulty with swallowing;
  • Twitching, twisting, or uncontrolled repetitive movements of the arms, lips, face, tongue, or legs;
  • Shivering ;
  • Sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips;
  • Sweating.

 

-       Major side effects of Vyvanse reported in studies of adults with moderate to severe B.E.D are expressed as follows:

  • Dry mouth;
  • Increased heart rate;
  • Constipation;
  • Trouble sleeping;
  • Decreased appetite;
  • Feeling jittery;
  • Anxiety.

Minor Vyvanse Side Effects

Some side effects of Vyvanse may not need any medical attention. Indeed, these adverse reactions may disappear as your body gets used to the medication. Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to help you prevent or reduce these unexpected reactions. Consult a health care professional if the following side effects appear and persist:

  • Headache;
  • Vomiting ;
  • Nausea;
  • Upper abdominal or stomach pain;
  • Crying ;
  • Paranoia ;

 

  • Euphoria ;
  • Rapidly changing moods ;
  • Unusual drowsiness and sleepiness ;
  • Depersonalization ;
  • Overreact or quick to react emotionally;
  • Dysphoria.

 

It is possible that some Vyvanse side effects may not have been reported above.

It may happen that some patients get an overdose while taking lisdexamfetamine, sometimes because they have missed the first dose and want to catch up or simply because they have not followed the delay ( how long does Vyvanse last?) before taking the next dose.  It is advisable to get an emergency help promptly if you exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Muscle pain or stiffness ;
  • Abdominal or stomach cramps;
  • Dark-colored urine;
  • Spasms or muscle cramps;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Change in consciousness;
  • Confusion;
  • Restlessness;
  •  Physical attempt to hurt yourself;
  • Overactive reflexs;
  • Lightheadedness or faintness when getting up suddenly from a sitting  or lying position;
  • Fast breathing;
  • Loss of consciousness;
  • Violent actions.
  •  Seizures;
  • Nervousness;
  • Trembling of the hands or feet;
  • Panic states;
  • Pounding in the ears;
  • Feeling, seeing, or hearing things that are not occurring;
  • Shakiness in the legs, feet, arms or hand;
  • Sweating ;

Vyvanse Reviews

Vyvanse reviews of current or former patients are very important since they allow an assessment of the medication’s effectiveness and the main side effects of Vyvanse experienced by people. Indeed, it is a an evaluation of the responsiveness of the consumers to the drug, providing practical answers to common questioning such as “what are the common side effects of Vvyanse experienced by patients?”, “what does Vyanse do?”, “Is the medication effective?”,  and “how long does Vyvanse last in other people?”.

The followings are some practical cases of Vyvanse reviews:

Positive Vyvanse Reviews

A patient says that he has been taking Vyvanse on and off for over 2 years and he is actually taking 70 mg.  He has noticed that the medication really helps him to focus on multi-tasks at work. Moreover, the medication has helped him with his anxiety and made him able to tackle things that normally he will have tried to stay away from doing. However, he has lost appetite and 95 pounds since taking Vyvanse. Besides, the medication has strongly increased his libido. Ultimately, he claims that the medication has helped him more than it has hurt him.

Another Vyvanse patient agrees that Vyvanse has proven to be really effective in helping his ADHD.  He says the focus that he has got is great and allows him to “see” what must be done and he actually does it. Finally, he confirms that Vyvanse has brought great positive effects to his well-being.

Negative Vynanse Reviews

A patient on Vyvanse for over 10 years claims that he noticed horrible effects from this medication after 6 months, including antisocial behavior, over-analysis of everything and anything. He found that he was worse than he used to be on his own without medication. According to him, the medication cons heavily outcome the pros.

Likewise, a patient (ADHD) states that he started taking the drug 6-7 years ago for school studies. Later on, he planned to quit after graduation because it made him anti-social, increase tobacco usage, and want to play video games all night. He noticed that the medicine was really affecting his personal and social life, coupled with physical side effects (cold hands, sweat, and heart rate). However, he confirmed the fact that the medication helped him to lock down at the computer (focus) and make boring work less boring. Unfortunately, he became addicted to the drug and actually, he is not able to stop taking it.

A careful reading of the medication guide is strongly counseled as well. Vyvanse is an amphetamine type drug; an abuse ingestion of it may lead to an addiction or/and overdose reaction.   According toVyvanse reviews of current patients, the effectiveness in the treatment of ADHD and BED is undeniable. One of the questions which remain a challenge is “what does Vyvanse do to an unborn child?”

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