Vyvanse, known generically as lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, is a central nervous stimulant. It is used to treat both the inattentive and hyperactive types of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to the National Library of Medicine website DailyMed. Vyvanse is an amphetamine available by prescription only and helps with ADHD by increasing attention and focus, and decreasing hyperactivity. Although Vyvanse can be beneficial, it also has potential side effects.
Common Side Effects
Common side effects of Vyvanse include diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, dry mouth, constipation, sweating, dizziness, mild irritability, headache, restlessness and difficulty sleeping. Notify a physician if these side effects persist or become severe, notes Drugs.com.
Serious Side Effects
Serious side effects to Vyvanse require immediate medical attention. Included in those effects are signs of an allergic reaction such as rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing and swelling of the mouth, lips, tongue or face; blurrred vision; chest pain; rapid or irregular pulse; fever; hallucinations; mood changes; seizures; severe headaches; severe irritability; agitation or nervousness; restlessness; shortness of breath; shaking; and uncontrolled speech or muscle movements, called tics. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), slowing of growth in children is also a serious side effect that should be reported.
Vyvanse can cause sudden death—in patients that have heart problems or defects—stroke and heart attack in adults, and increased blood pressure and heart rate, according to the NIH. Vyvanse and other central nervous system stimulants should not be used in children, adolescents or adults with pre-existing heart defects or other heart problems, or those with a family history of certain arrhythmias and sudden death.
Vyvanse and other stimulant drugs can cause psychosis or mania. These symptoms are serious and include seeing or hearing things that are not real, rapid speech, worsening of behavior or new negative behavior, frenzied and abnormally excited behavior, suspiciousness, believing things that are not true, and aggressive or hostile behavior. Contact a doctor immediately if any of these symptoms arise.
Drug Abuse and Addiction
Vyvanse, like other amphetamines, has a very high potential for abuse. It is a controlled substance. Amphetamines can cause psychological dependence, physical dependence and social disability. Suddenly stopping Vyvanse after taking high doses can result in severe depression and fatigue. Chronic abuse of amphetamines can cause signs such as skin sores, severe difficulty sleeping, irritability, personality changes, hyperactivity and psychosis, according the the NIH. Misuse of amphetamines can cause serious heart problems and sudden death.