24 March 2009

Taking Vyvanse for ADHD

Vyvanse (brand name) is a stimulant drug called lisdexamfetamine. It affects brain chemicals that are linked to hyperactivity and impulse control. It can be used as part of a treatment plan for ADHD.

Here are some recommendations and precautions:

Like many other ADHD medications, do not start Vyvanse if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), or selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam) within the past 3 weeks. The MAO chemicals must be completely cleared out the body before starting Vyvanse. Otherwise, very serious side effects might occur.

All children and adolescents need to have an EKG and/or ECG (heart ultrasound) before taking Vyvanse. Possible unknown heart defects need to be ruled out to qualify the patient for taking Vyvanse and a few other ADHD medications. Some stimulants have caused sudden death youngsters who had unknown heart problems.

Take Vyvanse in the morning because it may cause sleep problems (insomnia) if taken later in the day.

The capsule should be swallowed whole or opened and sprinkled into a glass of water. After the medicine has dissolved, drink the whole glass right away. Never take with vitamin C supplements or vitamin C rich juices or drinks because this vitamin interferes with the aborption of Vyvanse.

This medication might cause you to have unusual results on certain medical tests. Tell the doctor who ordered the test that you are on Vyvanse.


Side effect warnings:

Long-term use of Vyvanse as well as other ADHD medications can slow a child's growth. Some doctors might recommend not taking the medication on weekends, school holidays and during summer vacation. Tell the doctor right away if height or weight gain has slowed or stopped.

This medication is associated with premature birth, low birth weight, and/or withdrawal symptoms in a newborn baby if the mother takes Vyvanse during her pregnancy. Vyvanse can also pass into breast milk and harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding a baby.

Vyvanse can impair your thinking and reactions. Be careful if you drive, operate machinery or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Some patients report a skin rash. Call the doctor the same day if this occurs.
You might experience sleep problems (insomnia) or a dry mouth or an unpleasant taste in your mouth. Drink something or chew some gum.


Do not use Vyvanse if you:

  • are allergic to lisdexamfetamine (hives, difficulty breathing, swelling face, tongue or lips)
  • have hardened arteries (arteriosclerosis)
  • have heart disease or other heart problems/issues
  • suffer from moderate to severe high blood pressure (hypertension,
  • have an overactive thyroid
  • have glaucoma
  • have severe anxiety or agitation
  • have a history of drug or alcohol addiction
  • are or might be pregnant
  • are breast feeding a baby
  • under the age of 6 years


Your doctor might have to adjust dosages or do tests first, so please tell your doctor if there is a personal or family history of:


An overdose of or bad reaction to Vyvanse can be fatal. Keep this medication out of the reach of children and keep track of how many pills are in the container. Seek emergency help immediately.

Overdose/reaction symptoms are:
  • restlessness
  • tremors, shaking
  • muscle twitches, tics
  • rapid breathing, shortness of breath
  • confusion, anxiety
  • hallucinations, unusual behavior
  • panic, anxiety
  • aggressiveness, strange behavior
  • nausea, vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • stomach pains, chest pains
  • unexplained muscle pain or tenderness
  • muscle weakness
  • irregular or pounding heartbeat
  • light-headedness, feeling faint
  • seizures, convulsions
  • fever or flu symptoms
  • dark colored urine
  • coma
  • depression and tiredness
  • severe headache
  • blurred vision
  • buzzing or ringing in ears


Before taking Vyvanse, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • ammonium chloride,
  • ascorbic acid (vitamin C),
  • K-Phos;
  • blood pressure medications;
  • a diuretic (water pill);
  • cold or allergy medicines (antihistamines);
  • chlorpromazine (Thorazine);
  • ethosuximide (Zarontin);
  • lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid);
  • methenamine (Hiprex, Mandelamine, Urex);
  • phenytoin (Dilantin),
  • phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton);
  • pain medication such as meperidine (Demerol) or propoxyphene (Darvon, Darvocet)
  • an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil), amoxapine (Asendin), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), imipramine (Tofranil), or nortriptyline (Pamelor).

Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, supplements and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

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