Vyvanse, also known as Dexmethylphenidate, is a drug that is used to treat the symptoms of ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Adults and teens with this condition have trouble focusing on tasks at hand, have impulsive behavior, and are easily distracted.

Vyvanse is a rather rare medication because it falls under the category of stimulant drugs. While there are many medications for ADHD that fall into the non-stimulant category, very few fall into the stimulant category. Vyvanse is one such drug.

Dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride is the salt form of Vyvanse; it’s a combination of two other chemicals (dextromethamphetamine and phenidc).

Vyvanse has been shown to be effective in treating the symptoms of ADHD in patients between 6 and 17 years old who are not responsive to conventional treatments such as behavior modification therapy and educational interventions.

What Are the Symptoms of ADHD?

Symptoms of ADHD that are seen in both children and adults are:

  • Impulsivity: Impulsivity is a tendency to act on the spur of the moment, without considering the consequences of your actions. Impulsivity often shows up in one’s work, relationships, and health habits. For example, a person with ADHD may interrupt others while they are speaking, make rash decisions, drive too fast, and exhibit poor self-care (e.g., poor diet, lack of sleep, etc.).
  • Hyperactivity: Hyperactivity is excessive restlessness or difficulty remaining seated when expected to do so. Children with ADHD are often very active, both inside and outside of the classroom. Although many are also talkative and disorderly, the diagnosis of hyperactivity does not require those behaviors.
  • Distractibility: Distractibility is the difficulty in sustaining attention on one task and is a hallmark symptom of ADHD. For example, it is common for children with ADHD to be easily distracted while reading, paying attention in class, or in other situations when they are expected to remain focused on one thing.
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How Vyvanse Works

Details of how exactly Vyvanse works are not known. While there are many theories, the exact mechanisms of how Vyvanse treats symptoms of ADHD in humans is not yet known.

One of the theories suggests that Vyvanse works by increasing the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine in one’s brain, thus improving the patient’s ability to focus and paying attention on tasks.

Another theory suggests that Vyvanse increases blood flow to the brain which makes it easier for the brain to transmit signals.

Lastly, it is also theorized that Vyvanse increases the amount of serotonin in the patient’s brain, thus making them calmer and less impulsive.

Vyvanse Dosage for Adults and Teens


  • The dosage of Vyvanse will depend on the age of the patient. The recommended dosage for adults is 50 mg of Vyvanse.
  • Most teens and children aged 6 to 12 should take a dosage of 30 mg of Vyvanse.
  • The dosage of Vyvanse for children aged 5 years and under should be 15 mg of Vyvanse.
  • The dosage of Vyvanse for children aged 4 years or younger should be 10 mg of Vyvanse.
  • The dosage of Vyvanse for toddlers aged 2 to 4 years should be 5 mg of Vyvanse.
  • The dose of Vyvanse for toddlers aged 1 year or younger should be 2.5 mg of Vyvanse.

Side Effects of Vyvanse

There is a long list of side effects associated with Vyvanse as well as vyvanse withdrawal side effects. These include:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Tingling sensation
  • Hallucinations
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Vyvanse can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke in patients who already have a heart condition. It is therefore not recommended for patients who have a history of heart disease.

Final Words

Vyvanse is a stimulant drug that is used to treat the symptoms of ADHD. It is very rare because there are very few stimulants for this condition. Vyvanse is a very powerful drug and comes with a long list of side effects.

It is important to note that Vyvanse is a very powerful drug that has a high risk of abuse and dependence. If you are using Vyvanse for long-term treatment, it is very important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.


David Warren
Author

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.