Vyvanse and lexapro — these two drugs are some of the most widely used to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

Both are SSRI’s (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), which essentially means they both increase levels of serotonin in your brain.

This is also a common mechanism of action for many other anti-depressants.
Vyvanse vs Lexapro, which drug is better?

Do you need to take only one of them or can you take both? Do they have any side effects?

What do you need to know before choosing the right ADHD medication for you? Keep reading and understand everything about vyvanse vs lexapro.

What is Vyvanse?

Vyvanse is a prescription medication that is commonly used to treat both children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It belongs to a group of drugs called amphetamine salts.

Vyvanse is used as part of a treatment plan for ADHD, along with psychological counseling, other behavioural therapies, or academic adjustment.

Vyvanse is also used to treat moderate to severe binge eating disorder in adults. Vyvanse is a federally controlled substance (C-II) because it can be abused or lead to dependence.

Keep Vyvanse in a safe place, to prevent misuse and abuse.

Vyvanse is a stimulant medication that belongs to a class of drugs called amphetamines. It works by increasing the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which helps improve attention and decrease hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour in patients with ADHD.

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The recommended dose for Vyvanse is 30 milligrams once daily, taken with or without food. If you are taking Vyvanse for binge eating disorder, the recommended dose is 70 milligrams once daily in the morning, taken with food.


Lexapro is an antidepressant medication used to treat depression and anxiety disorders. The medication is also sometimes used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

The drug is part of a group of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Lexapro is made by one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, called Forest Laboratories.

Lexapro was approved by the FDA in 2002. It is estimated that about 8 million Americans use antidepressants. Lexapro is the second most prescribed antidepressant medication in the country after Prozac and is one of the best-selling drugs in the world.

Lexapro is taken once a day.

It can be prescribed to people of all ages. Lexapro is not a stimulant like many other antidepressants, which means it does not make you feel energized or activate your central nervous system. Instead, it works by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain.

Serotonin is a mood-regulating hormone that is produced in the brain, and low levels of serotonin are linked to depression.

What Are The Side Effects of Lexapro?

Some side effects of Lexapro include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dry mouth, drowsiness, restlessness, sexual problems, including impotence in men and reduced sexual desire in women, insomnia, headache, diarrhea, dizziness, sweating, tremors and unusual thoughts or dreams.

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Some people on Lexapro become restless and have difficulty sleeping. They may have difficulty concentrating, become irritable and have an increased risk of engaging in impulsive behaviour, like spending sprees, risky sexual encounters or gambling too much money.

How does Vyvanse Work?

The exact mechanism of action of Vyvanse is unknown, but it is believed to work by increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which is also a common mechanism of action for many other anti-depressants.

Vyvanse is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults and children (aged 6 and above) as well as moderate to severe binge eating disorder (BED) in adults.

Studies show that Vyvanse is more effective than other drugs used to treat ADHD and that it may be as effective as Adderall with fewer adverse effects.

However, the effect of Vyvanse is not as long-lasting as Adderall. Vyvanse works as a dopamine transporter inhibitor. It also works by blocking the reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin.

Pros of Vyvanse

  • It is effective in treating ADHD and BED in adults.
  • It is well-tolerated and has very few side effects especially when compared to other ADHD medications.
  • Its long-term effects are not known.
  • It is a relatively cheaper option when compared to other ADHD medications.

Cons of Vyvanse

  • It is not a short-term drug; it may be necessary to continue taking it for a long time.
  • It is not intended for use in children under 6-years-old.
  • Many people taking Vyvanse report experiencing a dramatic change in mood.
  • It is more expensive than other drugs used to treat ADHD.
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Bottom line

Vyvanse is an excellent option for many people with ADHD, especially those who have a hard time tolerating other medications.

However, it is important to note that Vyvanse may not be as effective for everyone. Some people may require different dosage amounts or different medications entirely.

It is important to discuss all available treatment options with a doctor before beginning any new medication.

If you are currently taking Vyvanse, you should make sure to speak with your doctor about possible side effects. It is also important to follow the instructions on how to take the drug.

Vyvanse should be taken once per day, with or without food. It is important to take Vyvanse exactly as prescribed.

David Warren

David Warren is a pharmaceutical specialist that dispenses prescription medication on a daily basis. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from the University of Tennessee in 1991. With over 50 publications on medication-related and pharmacy topics, David has been able to share his experiences and knowledge with others. David with lots of experience and knowledge in medications that are utilized to treat a wide range of medical conditions. Before David dispenses a medication to a patient, he will go over the side effects, dosage recommendation and contraindications.