As you know, I started taking Vyvanse a few days ago instead of my usual Adderall (generic) prescription for ADD/ADHD.
As an adult with ADD, I like to know exactly what I am putting in my body. I don’t just take the recommendation of a doctor or therapist who may, or may not, have the same beliefs and concerns as I do regarding things like medication and their affects on my body. Therefore, I have been reading up on Vyvanse, including all of the government sanctioned warnings, and the company’s legal disclaimers and comments.
Fortunately, complex analysis and reading detailed technical documents is what I do for a living, so I am able to wade through this mumbo-jumbo. Unfortunately, not everyone is able or willing to do this. To help out parents of kids with ADD, and adults who have ADHD themselves, I have put together a non-scientific, non-technical jargon filled, summary of what the various parts of medical information sheets and side effect warnings typically mean.
You can also check out my review of how Vyvanse works for adult ADD here.
See your Medication Guide or talk to your doctor or pharmacist about any warnings or drug interaction precautions.
Vyvanse Side Effect Summary – Understandable Version
The information presented here is NOT medical advice.
This summary is intended to be used in conjunction with a doctor’s advice. Discuss all information with your doctor prior to making any changes in your medications or care.
Vyvanse is derived from some of the same components as Adderall. As such, many of Vyvanse’s side-effects are similar to those of Adderall.
The most common side effects are dry mouth, trouble sleeping, decreased appetite and nausea.
For some people Vyvanse causes weight loss, although like Adderall weight loss, Vyvanse weight loss isn’t really caused by the drug; it is caused by the decreased appetite side effect.
Vyvanse can make it so you don’t feel hungry, and therefore do not eat as often, or as much as you would normally. Not eating so much is what makes you lose weight, not taking Vyvanse. In other words, if you eat just as much as you normally would while taking Vyvanse, you will not lose weight.
The other common side effects listed on the medical information sheet are dizziness, irritability, and upper belly pain. These side effects are probably actually telling you something else, rather than being straight side effects.
Belly pain is probably a symptom that your stomach doesn’t handle medication well. Chances are you are also one of the unlucky people whose stomach is upset by aspirin or Tylenol. If that is the case, your only choice is to put up with it, or try something else.
For many people, the upset stomach comes from too much acid. You can try taking your medication with more water than usual, or perhaps with some milk, or with food, unless your doctor or pharmacist says otherwise.
Don’t take your ADD-ADHD meds with orange juice. OJ speeds up the absorption of some medications including Vyvanse and Adderall.
Maybe You Don’t Have ADD ADHD
As always, consult with your doctor or other practitioner before making any decisions.
If your Vyvanse (or Adderall, or Ritalin) prescription makes you dizzy, lightheaded, buzzy, jumpy, agitated, or skittish, then perhaps your dosage is too high. Talk with your doctor, psychiatrist, or therapist about trying a lower dose.
If you are already taking a very lose dose, or even the minimum possible dose, there is another possibility you should consider. Maybe you don’t have ADD after all. Here is how to tell if you don’t have ADD ADHD.