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Understanding Vyvanse, a Medication for ADHD

Written byDesiree Smith

At some point in our lives, we all find it challenging to stay focused or sit still, but for individuals with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), these challenges can be overwhelming and persistent. ADHD affects the lives of many individuals, and understanding the treatment options available is crucial. One such medication that has transformed many lives is Vyvanse.

What Is Vyvanse?

Vyvanse, also known by its scientific name Lisdexamfetamine, is a prescription medication used to manage ADHD symptoms in patients. The primary role of Vyvanse is to increase attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity in individuals with ADHD.

How Does It Work?

So, how does Vyvanse work? Well, our brain has neurotransmitters, chemicals that help our brain cells talk to each other. In people with ADHD, these neurotransmitters may not work as effectively. Vyvanse helps increase the levels of neurotransmitters called dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which help improve focus, attention, and impulse control.

How Long Does It Take To Work?

Generally, Vyvanse starts to work within 1 to 2 hours after taking the medication, and its effects can last up to 14 hours. Remember, each person's experience may vary based on factors such as their overall health, other medications they may be taking, and their body's individual response to medication.

Adverse Effects of Vyvanse

While Vyvanse can be very beneficial, like all medications, it may have side effects. These can include dry mouth, trouble sleeping, decreased appetite, and in some rare cases, an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. It's important to remember that not everyone experiences side effects, and for many, the benefits outweigh these potential issues.

Who Will Vyvanse Work For?

Vyvanse is typically prescribed for people diagnosed with ADHD who are at least 6 years old. However, it should not be taken by individuals who are allergic to lisdexamfetamine or other ingredients in Vyvanse, have a heart disease or hardening of the arteries, or have had a reaction to a similar medication in the past.

Alternatives to Vyvanse

If Vyvanse isn't the right fit for you, don't worry. There are other treatment options available. Other stimulant medications include Adderall, Concerta, and Ritalin. Non-stimulant medications such as Strattera or Intuniv may also be options. Behavioral therapy is another important part of treatment for ADHD. It's always best to discuss these options with your healthcare provider.

The Takeaway

Remember, managing ADHD involves finding the treatment plan that works best for you. This involves a combination of medication, therapy, and self-care practices. Stay tuned for more insights into the world of ADHD in our next blog post.


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: Author.

National Institute of Mental Health. (2020). Mental Health Information. Retrieved from

CADDRA: Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance (2020). ADHD medication comparison. Retrieved from

Vyvanse® (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) CII. (2020). Product Information. Retrieved from

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