Vyvanse is a medication used to treat attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD. According to the FDA, Vyvanse is a controlled substance approved for children 6 to 12 years old, designed to reduce symptoms including hyperactivity, impulsiveness, poor concentration and restlessness.
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Side Effects of Vyvanse
A stimulant, Vyvanse works by stimulating dopamine receptors in the brain. Side effects from stimulating dopamine may include increased heart rate, irritability and insomnia. Insomnia is particularly a problem for children taking Vyvanse -- sleep is essential for a healthy, growing child, and sleep deprivation can exacerbate symptoms of ADHD.
Combating Insomnia in Children
Insomnia is a serious side effect of Vyvanse, particularly among children. Doctors try to avoid prescribing sleeping pills to children, opting instead for a natural cure to insomnia. One such remedy commonly used is melatonin. According to the U.S. National Institute of Medicine, melatonin is safe for use by children with insomnia, when overseen by a physician.
Melatonin is a hormone that occurs naturally within the body; it also is produced in synthetic form. Synthetic melatonin is available over the counter, most often in pill form. Melatonin is safe in low doses, and has been found to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, as well as increase the time a person is able to spend asleep.
Melatonin and Vyvanse Interactions
Information provided by the FDA does not indicate that there is any known risk to using melatonin for sleep in children prescribed Vyvanse for ADHD. Too much melatonin may make a child groggy the next morning; therefore, the dose should be given exactly as indicated by the child’s doctor. In addition, because of melatonin's calming properties, the U.S. National Institute of Medicine indicates that melatonin may reduce irritability and restlessness on its own, an additional benefit when treating children with ADHD. Do not give your child supplements, medicines or remedies, especially in combination, without talking to the pediatrician.