What is Vyvanse?
Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) is a prescription medication that is used to treat the symptoms of ADHD in patients from the age of six years and upwards. Manufactured by Shire US, this medication is classified as an amphetamine. The current patent on this medication will only expire in June 2023, which means that until then, no generic versions of Vyvanse will be available in the US.
Vyvanse acts as a stimulant to the central nervous system and carries with it a strong potential for abuse and should therefore not be prescribed to teens or adults who have a history of substance abuse. People taking Vyvanse should keep track of their medications at all times and keep them out of the reach of children or abusers. Vyvanse should not be taken in the evening hours because it may cause insomnia; patients should take Vyvanse exactly as prescribed—never more or less than directed. Patients who stop taking Vyvanse may need to be weaned off the medication slowly in order to avoid unpleasant withdrawal symptoms or disorder relapses.
Vyvanse is used primarily to treat the symptoms associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder—or ADHD—in children, teens and adults who are over the age of six. This treatment may be used in combination with other medications and therapy, whether it is psychological, educational or social in nature. Patients with certain conditions or previous allergies to Lisdexamfetamine Dimesylate should not use Vyvanse due to the increased risk for severe allergic reactions or serious side effects. Children with heart conditions or congenital heart defects should not take Vyvanse since sudden death has been reported when the medication is used with these conditions.
Currently, no off-label uses for this drug have been reported.
How does it Work?
People who are diagnosed with ADHD often have difficulty in following instructions and paying attention for any period of time. This behavior can have negative consequences on school work as well as relationships. Clinical trials have shown that this medication is able to help children and adolescents pay better attention to school work as well as help improve their overall behavior.
The lisdexamfetamine is converted to dextroamphetamine in the body which helps to produce a calming effect in the patient. This helps them to concentrate and perform daily tasks a lot easier than if they were not using Vyvanse. As a result, ADHD patients who use this medication are able to lead more normal and structured lives.
Vyvanse and Heart Conditions
Patients who have any heart conditions should notify their doctor before using this drug. This is because sudden death has been reported in children who have used drugs similar to Vyvanse. It is important for parents to notify their child’s doctor if the child experiences tightness in the chest, breathing difficulties, fainting, shortness of breath or any form of chest pain while using this medication.
Strokes, sudden death and heart attacks have also been reported in adult patients who have used regular doses of medications similar to Vyvanse. It is important for cardiac patients to discuss the use of this drug with their doctor prior to using it in order to determine whether it will affect pre-existing conditions.
Tips and Precautions for Using Vyvanse
- Patients who suffer from high blood pressure, depression, bipolar disorder (or any other form of psychotic condition), Tourette syndrome, kidney or liver conditions, glaucoma (or other vision-related conditions), thyroid conditions, epilepsy or seizures, any form of food, dye or preservative allergies or any heart conditions should not use this medication before discussing it with their doctor.
- If a patient has suffered a recent heart attack, they should also inform their doctor before using Vyvanse.
- If the patient has a prior history of drug or alcohol abuse, they need to inform their doctor before using this medication because of the fact that it is a controlled substance and may become addictive.
While Vyvanse has helped thousands of children and adults to live better lives, it is important for those who use this drug to be carefully monitored, especially if they suffer from pre-existing conditions. It is important for the patient to advise their doctor immediately if they experience any side effects or allergic reactions while using this medication. Patients should always follow the advice of their doctor when using Vyvanse.