Since they stopped giving me antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications and realized that I had ADD-ADHD and not depression and anxiety, I have been taking Adderall generic AKA amphetamine salts. Today, I start taking Vyvanse at the recommendation of my doc who says that some patients report a "smoother delivery." Also, I only have to take one pill a day instead of pills 3 times a day.
The generic name of Vyvanse is lisdexamfetamine dimesylate. I’m no chemist (but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night) but I’m guessing that dexamfetamine part means that this drug bears a lot of resemblance to the old Dexatrim weight-loss pills that worked before they were forced to change their ingredients.
I am typically very suspicious of a doctor who tries to move a patient from an effective generic medication to a brand-name one that is for treating the same thing. However, in this case, my doc said that I "could" try it if I wanted to because I often report "crashing" late in the evening, especially if I forget my afternoon dose of amphetamine salts.
According to the pharmacist, Vyvanse works by providing just the "most effective" of the amphetamine salts that are present in Adderall. That salt is bound to another chemical which makes it absorb more slowly into the body. Theoretically, this also makes Vyvanse harder to "abuse" because of the slow absorption.
Considering the only people who "abuse" Adderall and Ritalin in the first place are either students trying to study better or people trying to lose weight with Adderall, I’m not really sure that it matters how fast it absorbs so long as it still helps you concentrate (isn’t that the point). And since one of the "common side effects" listed on my drug information sheet says weight loss, I’m guessing the people looking to drop a few pounds the easy way won’t mind either.
Ironically, Vyvanse might actually be cheaper for me even though it is still a brand name ADD drug under patent while my Adderall is a generic ADHD drug.
My insurance plan doesn’t cover Adderall or its generic for adults (anyone over 26 years old). Apparently, some doctors will prescribe Adderall for their patients to lose weight, so instead of doing its job and monitoring abuse, the HMO just decided to not cover Adderall for anyone, including adults with ADD-ADHD who actually need it.
Vyvanse hasn’t hit the banned for fat reduction list, yet, so it is covered under the brand name co-pay, which ends up making it a bit cheaper.
Just for comparison purposes, my receipt from the Target Pharmacy lists the "Retail Value" of thirty 40 mg Vyvanse pills as $150.99. It doesn’t show up on the Costco Prescription Price Checker, so I don’t know what it runs there.
Does Vyvanse work?
Is Vyvanse better than Adderall?
I guess I’ll find out soon enough.
I’ll keep you posted.