Atomoxetine vs vyvanse

Similarities, differences, and how to choose

The Food and Drugs Administration have approved Strattera and Vyvanse to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adults.

Strattera (atomoxetine) and Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) have different mechanisms of action to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Strattera is a nonstimulant drug while Vyvanse is a stimulant. There are some differences in their side effects, dosages, risks, and drug interactions.

This article looks at the similarities and differences between Strattera and Vyvanse to help people make decisions about treatment for ADHD.

Share on PinterestA doctor may prescribe Strattera to treat ADHD.
Image credit: gloom 2010

Atomoxetine, the active ingredient in Strattera, is the best known nonstimulant medication to treat ADHD.

Strattera is technically an antidepressant drug, which doctors classify as a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). Doctors prescribe other SNRI medications to treat depression, but they only prescribe Strattera to treat ADHD.

Strattera works by changing the way a person’s brain uses norepinephrine, which is a neurotransmitter, or brain chemical. Norepinephrine affects a person’s ability to pay attention. Strattera acts on this system to help improve a person’s attention span.

Although nonstimulant medications, such as Strattera, are effective for treating ADHD, they do not work as well as stimulant drugs. They are, however, a better choice for people who do not tolerate stimulants well or have problems with anxiety, which stimulants can adversely affect.

Vyvanse is a stimulant medication belonging to the amphetamine subgroup. Like Strattera, Vyvanse also affects how the brain uses neurotransmitters.

Vyvanse and other amphetamines block the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter connected to mood, attention, and motivation.

Researchers believe low levels of dopamine and the symptoms of ADHD are linked. Therefore, Vyvanse can help improve the way the brain uses dopamine to assist with symptoms related to attention or motivation.

People also take Vyvanse for the treatment of binge eating disorder in adults.

Doctors classify Vyvanse and other stimulant medications for ADHD as Schedule II drugs, meaning they have a high potential for abuse.

Adults and children aged 6 years or older can take Strattera or Vyvanse to help manage the symptoms of ADHD.

Typically, a doctor will start a person on the lowest dose of medication and gradually increase the dosage as appropriate. Factors such as age and weight will influence the dose a person takes.

People can take both medications with or without food. Taking Vyvanse in the morning will help a person avoid insomnia at night.

Strattera and Vyvanse both come in capsule form. Vyvanse also comes in chewable tablets.


Strattera capsules come in the following doses:

  • 10 mg
  • 18 mg
  • 25 mg
  • 40 mg
  • 60 mg
  • 80 mg
  • 100 mg

The dosage varies depending on a person’s body weight and age.

Children who weigh less than 70 kilograms (kg) should start Strattera at a dose of 0.5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (mg/kg) and increase this to a target total daily dose of 1.2 mg/kg per day.

Children and adolescents should not take more than 1.4 mg/kg or 100 mg (whichever is less).

Children who weigh more than 70 kg and adults can start at a dose of 40 mg per day and increase this to a target dose of 80 mg per day. After 2–4 weeks, people can increase to 100 mg daily if they have not achieved an ideal response. This dose is the maximum daily dose.

People should swallow the capsules whole rather than breaking them apart.

Typically, people do not need to taper Strattera before discontinuing.


Share on PinterestVyvanse comes in the form of both capsules and chewable tablets.

Vyvanse capsules come in the following doses:

  • 10 mg
  • 20 mg
  • 30 mg
  • 40 mg
  • 50 mg
  • 60 mg
  • 70 mg

Vyvanse chewable tablets come in the following doses:

  • 10 mg
  • 20 mg
  • 30 mg
  • 40 mg
  • 50 mg
  • 60 mg

People aged 6 and over can start taking 30 mg of Vyvanse daily. A doctor may increase the dosage by 10 or 20 mg every week to achieve the desired response. The maximum daily dose is 70 mg daily. The recommended dose is 30–70 mg.

People who take Vyvanse for binge eating disorder also start on an initial dose of 30 mg. They can increase this by 20 mg a week up to a maximum of 70 mg. The recommended dose is 30–70 mg.

People can swallow Vyvanse capsules whole or open the capsule and mix the powder with yogurt, juice, or water.

Vyvanse chewable tablets contain a dosage that is equivalent to the capsule. A person should chew the tablet thoroughly before swallowing.

Strattera and Vyvanse appear to have similar side effect profiles. Although Strattera may also lead to side effects of sexual dysfunction.

Common side effects of Strattera include:

  • abdominal pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • weight loss
  • poor appetite
  • headache
  • sleepiness
  • dizziness
  • rash
  • heart racing
  • dry mouth
  • constipation
  • chills
  • numbness and tingling
  • insomnia
  • trouble urinating
  • erectile dysfunction or ejaculation disorder
  • increased sweating or hot flashes

Common side effects of Vyvanse include:

  • decreased appetite
  • difficulty sleeping
  • abdominal pain
  • irritability
  • vomiting
  • weight loss
  • nausea
  • dry mouth
  • dizziness
  • rash
  • heart racing
  • tremor
  • diarrhea
  • anxiety
  • agitation
  • increased sweating
  • shortness of breath

There are some risks a person should be aware of when considering Strattera or Vyvanse.

Since Vyvanse contains a stimulant, it carries a high risk of abuse and dependence.

Both Strattera and Vyvanse have the potential to cause sudden cardiac death and raise blood pressure or heart rate. People who have known underlying heart problems should avoid these medications.

Both Strattera and Vyvanse can induce psychotic symptoms, including hallucinations or mania in children and adolescents, even in those without a known history of psychotic disorder.

Additionally, Strattera has links to an increased risk of suicidal thoughts in children and adolescents. A doctor should monitor people who begin taking Strattera or Vyvanse for changes in behavior.

Strattera and Vyvanse may interfere with growth and weight in children, and therefore, a doctor should monitor the child’s growth.

Suicide prevention

If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:

  • Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
  • Listen to the person without judgment.
  • Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
  • Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
  • Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 988. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can use their preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988.

Click here for more links and local resources.

Strattera and Vyvanse may interact with certain medications. A person should always tell their doctor about all of the other medicines they take, including over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, supplements, and herbal remedies.

Strattera and Vyvanse may interact with other medications used for depression, including monoamine oxidase reuptake inhibitors (MAOIs), serotonergic drugs, and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs).

Some medications, including quinidine and ritonavir, can affect the metabolism of Strattera or Vyvanse, resulting in higher levels of the drug in the body.

Share on PinterestA doctor can explain the benefits, risks, and side effects of either drug.

Both medications are effective in improving the symptoms of ADHD.

Stimulants like Vyvanse are the most common drug for treating ADHD. However, nonstimulant medications such as Strattera may be a better option for some people, especially those who are not able to tolerate stimulants.

A person should talk to their doctor about the benefits, risks, and side effects of taking different ADHD medications. The doctor will develop an individualized treatment plan to fit what is best for that person.

Strattera and Vyvanse are medications that treat the symptoms of ADHD. Vyvanse contains amphetamine, which is a stimulant. Strattera does not contain a stimulant. Children over the age of 6, as well as adults, can take these medications.

The two medications have different mechanisms of action to treat ADHD. They also carry individual risks and side effects.

People should discuss with their doctor to determine the most appropriate treatment for ADHD symptoms.


Is it safe to take Strattera and Vyvanse together?


Strattera and Vyvanse do not have a direct drug interaction, but it is not common to take both together. However, there are some situations when someone might be taking both. Strattera has a delayed onset of action, and a person might take Vyvanse to help bridge or treat their ADHD symptoms while the Strattera takes effect. Once the Strattera has time to start working, the person would stop using Vyvanse and continue only taking the Strattera.

Dena Westphalen, PharmDAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.

Strattera vs. Vyvanse: Comparing Two ADHD Drugs

Strattera vs. Vyvanse: Comparing Two ADHD Drugs
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Medically reviewed by Alan Carter, Pharm. D. — By Kristeen Cherney — Updated on December 3, 2018


Strattera and Vyvanse are FDA-approved drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, these prescription medications are not the same. Strattera is a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). Vyvanse is a stimulant. These drugs work in distinct ways, and they carry separate risks of side effects.


Strattera is the brand name for the drug atomoxetine hydrochloride. Though many SNRIs are used to treat depression, Strattera is only used for ADHD. It works by changing the way your brain absorbs the chemical norepinephrine as well as how that chemical acts in your body. Norepinephrine affects your overall mood. By changing how it works in your body, Strattera may be able to:

  • decrease hyperactivity
  • improve attention span
  • reduce impulsive behaviors


Vyvanse is a brand name for the drug lisdexamfetamine dimesylate. It’s an amphetamine. Like Strattera, Vyvanse also alters brain chemicals. However, it targets dopamine as well as norepinephrine. It’s thought that this drug helps keep more dopamine in the brain and helps stimulate the release of norepinephrine. As a result, more of these chemicals are available to stimulate the brain, which helps increase attention and focus.

Because Vyvanse doesn’t become active until it’s in your digestive system, its potential for misuse may be less than that of other stimulants that act as soon as they’re in your body.

Both Strattera and Vyvanse can be used in people who are 6 years and older to treat ADHD. For either drug, your doctor will start you on the lowest dose, then increase your dosage as needed. Dosage for both drugs varies based on factors such as age and weight.

Either drug comes as an oral capsule and in the following strengths:

Both Strattera and Vyvanse can cause side effects. The side effects that both drugs can cause are:

  • abdominal pain
  • aggressive behavior
  • agitation
  • anxiety
  • constipation
  • decreased appetite
  • decreased sex drive
  • depression
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • excessive sweating
  • headaches
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased heart rate
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • nausea
  • restlessness
  • tiredness
  • tremor
  • vision changes, such as blurry vision, double vision, and pupil dilation (enlarged pupils)
  • vomiting
  • weight loss

Uniquely, Strattera may also cause erectile dysfunction and thoughts of suicide, especially in children and teens. Vyvanse may also cause difficulty breathing.

Many people can use Strattera or Vyvanse. However, some people have other conditions that could be affected if they use one of these drugs.

You may be at increased risk of side effects from Strattera if you have:

  • high blood pressure
  • liver disease
  • history of depression

The following conditions may also increase your risk of side effects from either drug:

  • drug or alcohol abuse
  • glaucoma
  • heart disease
  • hypertension
  • irregular heart rate
  • overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)
  • psychosis

Both drugs may cause serious cardiovascular events, including sudden death, in people with pre-existing heart abnormalities.

You and your doctor should consider possible drug interactions when you take any kind of medication. In some cases, a doctor might prescribe more than one drug for ADHD. Both Strattera and Vyvanse may interact with certain kinds of antidepressants, including monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and tricyclic antidepressants.

Some of these drugs may require dosage adjustments and some should not be used with Strattera. That’s why it’s important for you to tell your doctor about all drugs you use, including over-the-counter drugs, herbal remedies, vitamins, and supplements.

Stimulants such as Vyvanse are the most common form of ADHD treatment. They often work in the body quickly so that the medication may relieve symptoms faster. However, this doesn’t mean that stimulants are your only option. Strattera is one example of an ADHD medication that doesn’t fall under the common class of stimulant-type drugs.

Ultimately, you and your doctor can decide which of these two ADHD medications might work best for you. It’s important to remember that there is no cure for ADHD. However, you can get some symptom relief with consistent treatment.

Last medically reviewed on July 11, 2018

How we reviewed this article:

Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Stimulant therapy. (2016).
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. (2016). Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.
  • Medication guide: Strattera (atomoxetine) capsules. (2014). - page=19
  • Medication guide: Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) CII capsules and chewable tablets. (2017). - page=37
  • Strattera. (2017).
  • Strattera: Atomoxetine hydrochloride capsule. (2018).
  • Vyvanse: Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate capsule. (2018).

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Medically reviewed by Alan Carter, Pharm.D. — By Kristeen Cherney — Updated on December 3, 2018

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All About Vyvanse - Drink-Drink

Here are a few symptoms that may occur when using Vivanse incorrectly:

If you are concerned about the risk of addiction or misuse of Vivanse, talk to your doctor. They will check your risk before prescribing the drug. They will also monitor your risk at all times during your treatment with Vyvanse.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of misuse of Vivanse. They may reduce the dosage of Vivanse or evaluate the need to continue taking the drug.

You may have weight loss while you're taking Vyvanse. This was a common side effect in studies of the drug.

Some people experience loss or decrease in appetite when taking Vivanse. These side effects can also lead to weight loss.

If you are concerned about weight loss while taking Vivanse, talk to your doctor. They may suggest healthy ways to boost your appetite or control your weight.

Vivanse may cause weight loss as a side effect. But the drug is not approved for use in weight loss or the treatment of obesity. The use of such drugs for these purposes has caused serious heart problems.

Personality effects

You may notice effects on your personality while you are taking Vivanse. This has been a common side effect in studies of the drug, especially in children.*

Vyvanse may cause changes in your behavior or thoughts. For example, Vivanse may cause:

  • agitation
  • emotional breakdown, such as inability to control one's emotions
  • irritability
  • mood changes

Tell your doctor right away if you or your child notice any personality changes while taking Vivanse drug. Your doctor may advise you not to take this drug.

Allergic reaction

Some people may have an allergic reaction to Vivance. An allergic reaction has been reported after initial drug studies were conducted.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction may include:

  • skin rash
  • itching
  • redness (temporary warmth, redness, or increased skin color)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction may include swelling under the skin, usually on the eyelids, lips, hands, or feet. They may also include swelling of the tongue, mouth, or throat, which can cause breathing problems.

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Vyvanse. But if you think you need a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.

How is Vivanse taken?

Your doctor will explain how you should take Vivanse. They will also explain how much to take and how often. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions. The following are commonly used dosages, but Always take the dosage prescribed by your doctor.

Taking Vyvanse

Vyvanse is available in two forms that you take inside:

  • Capsules
  • Chewing tablets

VYVANSE has the following strong sides:

  • 10 Milloges (mg)
  • 30 mg
  • 40 mg
  • 50 mg
  • 60 mg

Vyvanse capsules also have a dosage of 70 mg.


In Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the doses of Vivanse for adults are the same as for children. For Binge Eating Disorder (BED), Vyvanse is only used in adults. It is not used in children with BED.

Vivanse does not have a recommended dosage by weight. Instead, your dose of Vyvanse depends on:

  • the condition you are using Vyvanse for
  • how well your condition is improving with Vyvanse
  • other medical conditions you have, such as kidney problems
  • other medicines you take

For ADHD and ADHD, you will take Vivanse once a day. It is best to take a dose of Vivanse in the morning. If you take it in the afternoon or evening, Vivanse may cause insomnia (trouble falling or staying asleep).

The maximum recommended dose of Vivanse is 70 mg per day.

To learn more about ADHD and BED, see "What is Vyvanse used for?" section below.

Questions about Vivanse's admission

Here are some common questions about Vivanse's admission.

  • What if I miss a dose of Vivanse? If you miss a dose of Vivanse in the morning, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. But be aware that taking Vivance in the afternoon or evening can cause sleep problems. For this reason, it may be better to skip the missed dose and just take your regular dose the next day. If you are not sure whether to take the missed dose or skip it, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Do I need to use Vyvanse for a long time? Possibly. Some people may use Vivanse for a long time. Your doctor will recommend the correct amount of time to take the drug.
  • Can Vyvanse be chewed, crushed or divided? Vyvanse is available as capsules and chewable tablets. You should do the following:
    • Chew Vyvanse chewable tablets completely before you swallow them. Don't crush or split them.
    • Swallow Vivanse capsules whole. Do not chew or crush them. If you have trouble swallowing the capsules whole, you can separate them. The powder inside the capsules can be mixed with water, juice or yogurt. However, be sure to take the mixture right away. Do not store it to eat or drink later.
  • Should I take Vivanse with food? ? You may take Vivanse with or without food.
  • How long does Vyvanse take to work? Vivanse begins to act within 1 hour after taking a dose. But you may need to take the drug for several weeks before you start to see improvement in your condition.
  • What are the signs that my dose of Vivanse is too high? Taking a high dose of Vyvanse can raise your risk for side effects. For details about side effects Vyvanse may cause, see the “What are Vyvanse’s side effects?” section above. Additionally, if your Vyvanse dose is too high, you may have symptoms of overdose. To learn more, see the “What should be done in case of overdose?” section below.

Questions to ask your doctor

You may have questions about Vivance and your treatment plan. It is important to discuss all your concerns with your doctor.

Here are some tips to help guide your discussion:

  • Before the meeting, write down questions such as:
    • How will Vyvanse affect my body, mood, or lifestyle?
  • Take someone with you to the meeting if it makes you feel more comfortable.
  • If you don't understand something about your condition or treatment, ask your doctor to explain it to you.

Remember that your doctor and other healthcare professionals are always available to help you. And they want you to get the best possible care. So don't be afraid to ask questions or offer feedback about your treatment.

What are the frequently asked questions about Vyvanse?

Find answers to some frequently asked questions about Vyvanse.

How does Vivanse work? What is its half-life and how long does it stay in your system?

Vivanse is a type of stimulant drug called amphetamine. It is not known exactly how Vyvanse treats attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and compulsive overeating (BED).

Vyvanse levels in your body usually peak about 3.5 hours after taking a Vyvanse capsule. It peaks approximately 4.4 hours after taking the chewable tablet. Peak levels of Vivanse may vary depending on whether you take the drug with food. For example, it may take longer for your body to reach maximum levels of Vivanse if you are taking Vivanse with food rather than without it.

Vivanse's effects usually last about 14 hours after a dose.

Vivanse's half-life describes how long it takes for half a dose of a drug to leave your body. The half-life of Vivanse is about 12 hours. So it takes about 12 hours for your body to get rid of half a dose of Vivanse.

It usually takes about five half-lives for a drug to completely leave the body. For Vivanse, this means the drug will stay in your body for about two and a half days after your last dose.

To learn more about how Vivanse can affect your body, read this article.

Does Vyvanse cause different side effects in women and men? What about children?

No, there are no side effects of Vivanse in men or women.*

The only side effects of Vivanse specific to women are associated with the use of Vivanse during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Using Vivanse while pregnant or breastfeeding may not be safe. To learn more about this, see "What to consider before taking Vivanse?" section below.

Vyvanse is used to treat ADHD in children 6 years of age and older. Most of the side effects of Vivanse in children are expected to be the same as in adults. (See "What are the side effects of Vivanse" above for more information.)

Some side effects of Vivance may be more common in children. This includes:

  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • personality effects such as emotional breakdown
  • stunted growth

If you have questions about the risk of certain side effects from Vivanse in you or your child, talk to your doctor.

Will I get withdrawal symptoms if I stop taking Vivanse?

Yes, you may experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking Vivanse. These symptoms are sometimes referred to as the "Vyvanse crash".

"Vyvanse crash" refers to feeling irritated or tired as the effects of Vyvanse wear off.

If you have an accident with Vivanse during treatment, talk to your doctor. They may either recommend a different treatment for your condition or adjust the dosage of the drug.

During your treatment with Vyvanse, your doctor may ask you to stop taking Vivance from time to time to give your body a break from the drug. This is sometimes referred to as "drug release".

For example, if you are taking a drug for ADHD, your doctor may tell you to stop taking Vivanse on weekends. This is because weekends usually require less focus and concentration than weekdays when you are at work or school.

If your doctor advises you to take breaks from Vivanse, talk to him about the best way to do this. They can recommend ways to manage potential Vivanse withdrawal symptoms during a drug-related holiday.

Is Vyvanse a controlled substance? And is it a stimulant or a drug?

Yes, Vyvanse is a controlled substance.

Controlled substances are drugs that can cause addiction or abuse.* With addiction, your body becomes addicted to the drug and needs it to feel the way it normally does. When used incorrectly, the medicine is not taken as prescribed and is continued to be used even if it causes harmful effects.

Vivanse is a type of stimulant drug called amphetamine. Vivanse is not a drug.

Drugs are opioid drugs. "Drug" can refer to illegal opioids such as heroin. This can also apply to prescription opioids such as oxycodone (Oxaydo, Roxicodone) and fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic).

Does Vyvanse treat depression or anxiety?

No, Vyvanse is not approved to treat depression or anxiety.

In fact, depression and anxiety are possible side effects of Vivanse. Thus, Vyvanse may not be the best treatment option for these conditions.

If you have questions about treatment options for depression or anxiety, talk to your doctor.

How does Vivanse compare to Focalin and Dexedrine?

Vyvanse, Focalin, and Dexedrine are prescription drugs used to treat ADHD in adults and children 6 years of age and older. Each is a type of stimulant drug called amphetamine.

Focalin is available in two forms:

  • immediate-release (short-acting) tablets called Focalin
  • extended-release (long-acting) capsules called Focalin XR

Dexedrine is available as long-acting (long-acting) capsules.

To learn more about the similarities and differences between Vivanse, Focalin and Dexedrine, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

What should I know about Vivance vs. Adderall?

Vyvanse and Adderall are not usually used together. But both drugs can be used alone to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Adderall comes in two varieties:

  • immediate-release (short-acting) tablets called Adderall
  • extended-release (long-acting) capsules called Adderall XR

If you want to learn about using Vyvanse or Adderall for your condition, talk to your doctor. Also, check out this detailed comparison for more information on these medications.

What should I consider before taking Vivanse?

It is important to consult your doctor when considering treatment with Vivanse. Tell them about other medical conditions you may have. Also tell them about all other medicines you are taking.

These considerations are described in more detail below.


Taking medicines, vaccines, foods, and other things with a certain medicine can affect how it works. These effects are called interactions.

Be sure to tell your doctor about all medicines you are taking, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, before taking Vivanse. Also describe any vitamins, herbs, or supplements you use. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you about any interactions these items may cause with Vivanse.

Interactions with drugs or supplements

Vyvanse may interact with several types of drugs. These drugs include:

  • Preparations of Monoaminoxidase inhibitor (IMAO)*, such as:
    • IMAO Antidepressants
    • Disease of blood diseases methylene blue (Provayblue)
      • Acts
  • paroxetine (Paxil)
  • fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • drugs that increase serotonin levels, such as:
    • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
    • Plant additive St. John's wort
  • drugs that increase or decrease the level of pH of urine, such as:
    • of the altitudinal disease of acetasolic disease
    containing sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
  • antidepressants:
    • bupropion (Wellbutrin XL, Aplesin)
    • tricyclic antidepressants
  • This list does not contain all types of drugs that may interact with Vivanse. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about these and any other interactions that may occur while using Vivanse.

    Other interactions

    Vivanse may interact with caffeine.

    Caffeine is a natural stimulant. It can be found in foods such as chocolate. It can be found in beverages such as coffee, tea, and sodas. Caffeine is also found in some over-the-counter cold medicines and weight loss supplements.

    Vyvanse is also a stimulant. Thus, taking it with caffeine may increase the risk of stimulant-related side effects from Vivanse. Examples of these side effects include:

    • restlessness
    • feeling nervous (tense, nervous, or unable to relax)
    • increased heart rate
    • insomnia (trouble falling or staying asleep)

    It may be best to avoid large amounts of caffeine while you are taking Vivanse. Your doctor can recommend a safe amount of caffeine for you to take with this drug.

    Boxed Warning

    Vyvanse has a warning about the risk of addiction and misuse. The boxed warning is a serious Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning.

    When you're addicted, your body needs a drug to make you feel like you used to. If used incorrectly, the medicine is not taken as prescribed.

    For more information, see What are the side effects of Vivanse? section above.

    Other warnings

    Vyvanse may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other health conditions. Talk to your doctor about your medical history before taking Vivanse. Factors to consider include those listed in the list below.

    • Heart problems. If you or anyone in your family has had heart problems, talk to your doctor about taking Vivanse. Examples include abnormal heart rhythms, coronary artery disease (CHD) and high blood pressure. Vyvanse can cause heart problems such as high blood pressure and heart palpitations. Your risk of these side effects is even higher if you already had heart problems before taking Vivanse.
    • Kidney problems. If you have kidney problems tell your doctor before you start taking Vivanse. Your doctor may need to adjust the dosage of Vivanse. They may also monitor you more closely for side effects of the drug.
    • Psychiatric disorders such as psychosis or bipolar disorder. If you or anyone in your family has a psychiatric disorder such as psychosis or bipolar disorder, talk to your doctor before taking Vivanse. This drug may increase your risk of developing mania (periods of extreme arousal and energy) or psychosis. Talk to your doctor about the risk of these side effects while you are taking Vivanse.
    • Problems with blood flow to fingers and toes. Vivanse can cause problems with blood flow to the fingers and toes, such as Raynaud's phenomenon. If you already have a medical condition that causes this problem, Vivanse may make it worse. Be sure to tell your doctor about any problems you or your family members may have with blood flow to your fingers and toes. They can decide if Vyvanse is right for you.
    • Allergic reaction. If you've had an allergic reaction to Vyvanse or any of its ingredients, you shouldn't take Vyvanse. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.
    • Use with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). You should not take Vivanse at the same time as an MAOI. MAOIs are a group of medicines used to treat depression. Taking Vivanse with an MAOI may raise your risk of dangerously high blood pressure. Taking both drugs together can also lead to serotonin syndrome. (This condition is caused by high levels of a chemical called serotonin in the body.) Your doctor will ask you to wait at least 2 weeks after you stop taking an MAOI before you start taking Vivanse.

    Vivanse and alcohol

    The manufacturer of Vivanse has not stated that you should not drink alcohol while taking Vivanse. But it may be best to avoid drinking alcohol while taking the drug.

    This is because Vivanse is a stimulant and alcohol is a depressant. Thus, Vivanse and alcohol may mask each other's effects. This means:

    • Drinking alcohol while taking Vivanse can make it difficult for you to know if Vivanse is working for your condition
    • Taking Vivanse while drinking can make it difficult to keep track of how much alcohol you drink.

    Be sure to tell your doctor if you have ever abused alcohol. If you have, you may be at higher risk of addiction and abuse of Vivanse.* (When you are addicted, your body needs the drug to make you feel normal rather than as prescribed.)

    If you have questions about drinking alcohol while taking Vivanse, talk to your doctor.

    Pregnancy and breastfeeding

    It may not be safe to use Vivanse while pregnant or breastfeeding. If you have questions about using Vivanse while pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor.

    What should I know about Vyvanse and Concerta and other alternatives?

    Vivanse and Concerta are stimulant drugs used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

    The active drug in Vivans is called lisdexamfetamine and the active drug in Concert is called methylphenidate.

    See this article for a side-by-side breakdown of Vyvanse and Concerta. Talk to your doctor about which drug is right for you.

    Read on for other alternatives.

    Vyvanse vs. Ritalin

    Vivanse and Ritalin are stimulants used to treat ADHD.

    Vyvanse contains the active drug lisdexamfetamine and Ritalin contains the active drug methylphenidate.

    If you want to know more about the similarities and uniqueness of Vyvanse and Ritalin, check out this comparison. Be sure to discuss with your doctor which drug is right for you.

    Vyvanse vs. Strattera

    Vyvanse and Strattera are drugs used to treat ADHD.

    Vyvanse contains the stimulant lisdexamfetamine as an active ingredient. Strattera contains the non-stimulating atomoxetine as an active ingredient.

    Talk to your doctor if you are interested in learning more about the similarities and differences between Vyvanse and Strattera. You can also read this detailed article which describes the comparison of these two drugs.

    Vyvanse vs. Mydayis

    Vyvanse and Mydayis are stimulant drugs used to treat ADHD.

    Vyvanse contains the stimulant lisdexamfetamine as an active ingredient. Mydayis contains four types of amphetamines as active ingredients.

    To learn more about Vyvanse and Mydayis, see this detailed breakdown. Ask your doctor about drug comparisons and which one is best for your condition.

    Can Vivanse be used for other purposes?

    Yes, Vyvanse can be misused and addictive.

    In fact, Vyvanse has a warning in the box for the risk of addiction and misuse, sometimes referred to as "abuse" or "addiction". (In addiction, your body needs the drug to make you feel normal. When used incorrectly, the drug is not taken as prescribed. Misuse can lead to addiction, in which the drug is taken even if it causes harmful effects.)

    The boxed warning is a severe FDA warning. For details on the Vyvanse boxed warning, see "What are the side effects of Vyvanse?" section above.

    Unlike other stimulants, the Vivanse effect is not immediate. For Vivanse to work, it must first be broken down in your body, which takes time.

    Perhaps Vivanse can be misused if someone is trying to increase its effect or become "high". But trying to enhance the effect of Vivanse on the body is not recommended. Some people may try snorting Vyvanse to induce a "high". But this is not an approved use of the drug.

    It is important to understand that improper use of Vyvanse can cause dangerous side effects. These include hostile or aggressive behavior and thoughts of harming oneself or others. In rare cases, misuse of Vivanse can cause life-threatening side effects to you or others.

    You should only take Vivanse as directed by your doctor. If you are concerned about the risk of misuse or dependence on Vyvanse, talk to your doctor.

    What is Vivanse used for?

    If you have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or an eating disorder, your doctor may prescribe Vivanse for you.

    Vivanse is a prescription medicine used to treat the following conditions:

    • ADHD in adults and children 6 years of age and older. With ADHD, you have hyperactive behavior. You also have a hard time sitting still or focusing on a task.
    • Moderate to severe binge eating disorder (BED) in adults. With BED, you eat a large amount of food in a short amount of time, even if you are not hungry. You also feel guilty or ashamed afterwards.

    Vivanse may cause weight loss as a side effect. But Vyvanse is not approved for weight loss or the treatment of obesity. The use of such drugs for these purposes has caused serious heart problems.

    Vivanse is a type of stimulant drug called amphetamine. It is not known exactly how Vyvanse treats ADHD and BED.

    How much does Vivanse cost?

    The cost of prescription drugs can vary depending on many factors. These factors include what your insurance plan covers and which pharmacy you use. For current prices for Vyvanse capsules (or other forms) in your area, please visit GoodRx. com.

    If you have questions about how to pay for a prescription, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. You can also visit the manufacturer's Vyvanse website to see if they have support options.

    What to do in case of an overdose?

    Do not take more Vivanse than prescribed by your doctor. Using more can lead to serious side effects.

    Overdose symptoms

    Overdose symptoms may include:

    • abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
    • confusion
    • rapid breathing
    • hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that are not really there)
    • heart problems such as high blood pressure, low blood pressure or irregular heartbeat
    • restlessness
    • tremor (trembling), cramps or twitches

    What to do if you take too much Vivanse?

    Call your doctor if you think you have taken too much Vivanse. You can also call 800-222-1222 to contact the American Association of Poison Control Centers or use their online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, call 911 (or your local emergency number) immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.

    What to ask your doctor

    If you have questions about using Vyvanse to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or binge eating disorder (BED), talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

    You can ask your doctor about other treatments for ADHD and BED. Below are a few articles that you might find helpful:

    • ADHD Treatment Options
    • 15 Helpful Tips to Fight Overeating

    Here are some questions you can ask your doctor about Vyvanse:

    • How is Vyvanse different from other ADHD and BED medications?
    • Will Vivanse interact with any medications I take?
    • Am I at high risk of addiction or misuse of Vivanse?

    You can also learn more about ADHD by subscribing to the Drink-Drink ADHD newsletter.

    Ask a pharmacist


    Q: My doctor said that Vyvanse may interact with drugs that change the pH level of my urine. How do these drugs affect Vivanse?

    Patient Anonymous


    A: Medications that change the pH (acidity) of the urine can either increase or decrease Vivanse blood levels.

    This can happen because your body gets rid of Vyvanse through your urine. Your urine pH can affect how much Vyvanse is removed from your system.

    Medications that increase urine pH may reduce the amount of Vivanse that is excreted from the body. This may increase the level of Vivanse in the blood. An increase in blood levels of Vivanse may increase the risk of side effects.

    For this reason, it is recommended to avoid taking substances or medicines that increase the pH of the urine, such as: excreted from the body. This may lower blood levels of Vivanse. Decreased blood levels of Vivanse may cause the drug to not work or not work as it should.

    Your doctor may increase your dosage of Vivanse if you need to take a drug that lowers the pH of your urine. Examples of substances that lower urine pH include:

    • ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
    • K-Phos

    over the counter. It's also important to tell them about any vitamins, herbs, or supplements you use. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you about any interactions these items may cause with Vyvanse, including whether they affect urine pH levels.

    Alex Brewer, PharmD, MBA Answers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.

    Registration data: Drink-Drink has made every effort to ensure that all information is accurate, complete and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and experience of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always check with your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or side effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given medicinal product does not mean that the drug or combination of drugs is safe, effective, or suitable for all patients or for all specific uses.

    Vyvance vs. Ritalin: Differences, Similarities, and What's Best for You - Drug Vs. Friend

    Home >> Drug Vs. Friend >> Vyvans vs. Ritalin: Differences, Similarities & What's Best for You

    Drug Vs. Friend

    Drug Overview and Key Differences | Conditions of treatment | Efficiency | Insurance coverage and cost comparison | Side effects | Drug Interactions | Warnings | FAQ

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects 6.1 million lives in the United States. Diagnosis of patients with ADHD consists of many steps. Patients may show symptoms such as an inability to listen when spoken to directly, an inability to organize themselves to complete tasks, or forgetfulness in daily activities. Patients with ADHD may require special accommodations in settings such as the classroom to successfully complete their work. Only a doctor can diagnose ADHD, but once a diagnosis is made, treatment options are available to help these patients achieve higher quality of functioning in daily activities.

    One of the most common treatments for ADHD is a class of drugs known as central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. Vyvans (lisdexamfetamine) and Ritalin (methylphenidate) are two drugs in this class. Other well known stimulants include Adderall/Adderall XR (amphetamine salts), Concerta (extended release methylphenidate), Daytrana (methylphenidate), and Focalin/Focalin XR (dexmethylphenidate). There are treatment options for ADHD without stimulation. These include Strattera (atomoxetine) and Intuniv ER (guanfacine).

    What are the main differences between Vivanse and Ritalin?

    Vyvanse (what is Vyvanse?) is a central nervous system stimulant used in the treatment of ADHD and binge eating. The exact mechanism by which Vyvanse treats these disorders is unknown. Vyvans is converted to its active metabolite, dextroamphetamine. Amphetamines stimulate the release of catecholamines, such as norepinephrine and dopamine, into the synapse of a neuron. We know that these neurotransmitters play a critical role in mood, affect, and focus.

    The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) considers Vyvans a Schedule II narcotic. This is due to its high potential for abuse and therefore there may be limits and rules for obtaining Vyvanse that vary by state. Vyvanse is an oral capsule available in doses of 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, and 70 mg. Vyvanse is also available as a chewable tablet with the same strength as a capsule.

    Ritalin (what is Ritalin?) Also a central nervous system stimulant used in the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. Its exact mechanism is also not fully understood. Ritalin is a milder CNS stimulant. Instead of triggering the release of catecholamines, it blocks the reuptake of these neurotransmitters at the synapse of the neuron. As a result, more free dopamine and norepinephrine remain in the synapse of the neuron.

    Ritalin is also classified as a Schedule II narcotic by the DEA because of the potential for abuse. It is available in immediate release tablets in 5, 10, and 20 mg doses. It is also available in the form of long-acting capsules in doses of 10, 20, 30, 40 and 60 mg.

    The main differences between Vivans and Ritalin
    Vyvanse Ritalin
    Class The stimulator of the central nervous system Stimulator of the central nervous system
    Brand / clan status only brand Acquains
    Lisdexamfetamine Methylphenidate
    What form(s) does the drug come in? Oral capsule and chewable tablet Immediate release oral tablets and long acting oral capsules
    What is the standard dosage? 70 mg once daily 10 mg tablet twice daily
    How long does a typical treatment last? Long-term (months to years) Long-term (months to years)
    Who usually takes this medicine? Children, teenagers and adults Children, teenagers and adults

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    Conditions treated with Vyvans and Ritalin

    Vyvans and Ritalin are used to treat ADHD. Vyvanse is approved for children 6 years of age and older, and Ritalin is approved for children 3 years of age and older. Both drugs can be used in adolescents and adults.

    Vyvans is indicated for the treatment of overeating. Overeating is characterized by excessive overeating in one sitting. It is not always associated with any disease. Athletes who consume large amounts of calories before a sporting event overeat but do not need treatment. Sometimes overeating is a symptom of an underlying mental health disorder, and Vyvanse has been approved for the treatment of overeating.

    Ritalin is approved for the treatment of narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness, usually due to a chronic sleep disorder. The stimulant effects of Ritalin are known to at least partially alleviate this drowsiness.

    Only your doctor can decide which treatment is best for you. For unknown reasons, some treatments may be less effective for some patients than others. Your healthcare provider will work with you to find the most effective treatment.

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    Vyvanse vs. Ritalin coverage and cost comparison

    Vyvanse is a prescription drug that is usually covered by commercial insurance. Coverage by Medicare plans may vary or may require special exceptions. The cash price for Vyvanse 70mg might be $471. The coupon from SingleCare can raise the price up to $322 at some pharmacies.

    Ritalin is a prescription drug that is usually covered by commercial insurance. Coverage by Medicare plans may vary or may require special exceptions. Ritalin usually sells for around $85, but with a coupon from SingleCare, patients can get generic Ritalin for as little as $15.

    Vyvanse Ritalin
    Usually covered? yes yes
    Usually covered by Medicare? Possible with Prior Authorization Possible with Prior Authorization
    Standard Dosage 30. 70mg capsules

    Other side effects associated with both Vyvans and Ritalin include decreased appetite, upper abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. These side effects can lead to significant weight loss and patients should be monitored for this effect.

    This is not an exhaustive list of side effects. Please check with your pharmacist or healthcare professional for a complete list of side effects.


    The combination of Vivanse or Ritalin with monoamine oxidase inhibitors is contraindicated. These combinations of these drugs should never be used in patients. MAOI antidepressants slow the metabolism of amphetamine by increasing the effect of amphetamine on the release of norepinephrine and other monoamines from nerve endings, causing headaches and other signs of a hypertensive crisis.

    The use of Vivanse or Ritalin with various serotonergic agents may increase the likelihood of serotonin syndrome. This syndrome can cause the patient to feel agitated, dizzy, and have a rapid heartbeat. Serotonergic agents include a variety of antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants and 5HT3 antagonists.

    Ritalin taken is known to counteract the hypotensive effects of common high blood pressure medications such as lisinopril, benazepril, losartan and irbesartan. Patients with high blood pressure should avoid taking Ritalin.

    The following list is not a complete list of drug interactions. For a complete list, it is best to consult your doctor or pharmacist.

    Vyvanse Ritalin
    Side effect Frequency Applicable? Frequency
    Insomnia Yes 39% Yes not determined

    Sudden death, stroke and cardiac arrest have been reported in patients taking CNS stimulants even at recommended doses. Sudden death has occurred in children and adolescents with cardiac abnormalities. For this reason, the use of Vivanse and Ritalin should be avoided in patients with a history of coronary artery disease or known cardiac abnormalities.

    CNS stimulants may exacerbate behavioral disturbances in patients with pre-existing psychiatric disorders. If CNS stimulants are needed, these patients should be closely monitored. Patients with bipolar disorder may experience mixed or manic episodes while taking CNS stimulants.

    Frequently asked questions about Vyvans and Ritalin

    What is Vyvans?

    Vyvanse is a prescription medicine used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and binge eating disorder. Vyvanse is a central nervous system stimulant and is a Schedule II controlled substance under the DEA. It is available as capsules or chewable tablets in strengths ranging from 10mg to 70mg.

    What is Ritalin?

    Ritalin is a prescription drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. Ritalin is a central nervous system stimulant and is a Schedule II controlled substance under the DEA. It is available as immediate release tablets in 5, 10, and 20 mg doses. It is also available as a long-acting oral capsule formulation of 10 to 60 mg.

    Are Vyvans and Ritalin the same thing?

    Although both Vyvans and Ritalin treat ADHD and are classified as CNS stimulants, they are not the same. Vyvanse increases the amount of catecholamines in the synapse of neurons, stimulating their release, while Ritalin blocks the reuptake of catecholamines, effectively leaving more free catecholamines in the synapse of neurons.

    Vyvans or Ritalin is better?

    Both Vyvans and Ritalin have proven effective in the treatment of ADHD. Studies show that Vyvanse may improve symptoms more, but Ritalin is more cost effective and results in fewer side effects.

    Can I use Vyvans or Ritalin while pregnant?

    Vyvans and Ritalin are FDA Pregnancy Category C. This means that adequate studies in humans to determine safety have not been conducted. Amphetamine use during pregnancy may lead to an increased risk of preterm birth and low birth weight. Newborns may experience withdrawal symptoms. These drugs should only be used when the benefits clearly outweigh the risks.

    Can I use Vyvans or Ritalin with alcohol?

    Drinking alcohol can increase the serum concentrations of amphetamines, so alcohol should be avoided while taking these drugs.

    Which drug is closest to Vivance?

    Vyvans is converted in the body to its active metabolite dexmethylphenidate. Dexmethylphenidate is the active ingredient in Focalin preparations.

    What is the newest cure for ADHD?

    Jornay is a new delayed release formulation of methylphenidate. It is unique in that you take it at night before bed, and with delayed release, the active drug is released in the intestines in the morning. It has been shown to cause less insomnia than older formulations of methylphenidate.

    Which ADHD medications are comparable to Vyvans?

    Lisdexamphetamine, the active ingredient in Vyvanse, is converted to dextroamphetamine in the body.

    Learn more