There are many ways to compare Adderall vs. Vyvanse, and two important factors to compare are dosage and what mental health disorders they’re prescribed for as well as common reasons for abuse, including weight loss.

Article at a Glance:  

  • Adderall and Vyvanse are commonly prescribed to treat ADHD.  
  • The recommended Adderall dosage is 2.5 to 60 mg per day, while the dosage for Vyvanse is 30 mg daily. 
  • Both Adderall and Vyvanse can suppress the appetite but should not be used for weight loss.  
  • Adderall and Vyvanse should not generally be used together because of the increased risk of side effects.  
  • Both Adderall and Vyvance use can lead to abuse, addiction, and physical dependence.  

Common Uses for Adderall and Vyvanse

Adderall is a combination drug that includes levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It’s part of a class of drugs known as stimulants. Vyvanse, which has the generic name lisdexamfetamine, is also a stimulant of the central nervous system. Both are commonly prescribed to treat ADHD.

Less frequently, Adderall may be prescribed to treat narcolepsy and, in some cases, Vyvanse may be used as a medication to treat binge eating disorders. However, Vyvanse is supposed to be used as part of a full treatment plan that includes psychological and social elements.

Both Adderall and Vyvanse can contribute to abuse and addiction, as well as physical dependence. The side effects are very similar as well and include anxiety, insomnia, and decreased appetite.

If you or someone you know struggles with an eating disorder, treatment is available. For immediate assistance or help in evaluating your options, you can contact the National Eating Disorder Association by visiting them online or by calling (800) 931-2237.

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There are many ways to compare Adderall and Vyvanse, and one important factor to compare is dosage.

Patients are usually prescribed to take Adderall once or twice a day. The recommended dosage can vary from 2.5 to 60 mg a day. Different prescribed doses are based on the age and individual needs of the patient.

Related Topic: Adderall Dosage Guide

The recommended beginning dose for treating ADHD in adults with Vyvanse is 30 mg. For pediatric patients, the starting dose is usually 20 to 30 mg taken once daily in the morning. The maximum dose of Vyvanse is 70 mg a day, and a doctor may increase the dose by 10 to 20 mg a day, at weekly intervals. For treating a binge eating disorder with Vyvanse, the recommended dose in adults is 50 to 70 mg a day.

Related Topic: Medications Used for Treating Binge Eating Disorder

Side Effects & Weight Loss Risks from Prolonged Adderall or Vyvanse Use

Using Adderall or Vyvanse for weight loss isn’t an approved use. It’s considered a possible side effect, although Vyvanse can be used to treat symptoms of binge eating disorder.

Amphetamines like Adderall can lead to weight loss. Vyvanse acts similarly to an amphetamine. These drugs release certain brain chemicals that can increase energy and suppress appetite. In some cases, they can also increase metabolism levels.

Both tend to have similar weight loss results, but with Adderall people may experience rebound hunger after the effects of the drug wear off. Regardless of whether you consider Adderall or Vyvanse for weight loss, they’re not healthy or sustainable options.

When the effects of either medicine wear off, so does the appetite suppression. Your body also quickly adjusts to the medicine’s effects, so you may no longer experience appetite suppression after a short period of taking them. This makes the weight loss effects both short-lived and unsustainable for most people. With either medication, your body usually adjusts to the effects, making them ineffective and impractical for a weight loss goal.

What’s more, when you’re withdrawing from amphetamines, the result is an increased appetite. If you use either of these drugs as a way to lose weight and you stop, you will have more problems controlling your appetite than you did before.

Are Adderall & Vyvanse Safe to Use Together?

Considering the similarities between the two, people may wonder if Adderall and Vyvanse can be taken together. The answer is usually no. When you combine the two stimulants together, it increases your risk of side effects.

For example, you may have extreme changes in mood, intense anxiety, or severe insomnia. Combining multiple stimulants as such can affect your central nervous system and create problems like elevated blood pressure, high body temperature, and cardiovascular problems.

Finally, when people are coming down off Adderall or Vyvanse, it can cause them to feel depressed or have sudden shifts in mood. If you take them together, this can be worse.

Related Topic: First Aid for Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors

Feelings of depression or anxiety can lead to suicidal thinking. If you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts or tendencies, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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Editor – Melissa Carmona
Melissa Carmona puts years of writing and editing experience to work helping people understand substance abuse, addiction and mental health disorders. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Conor Sheehy, PharmD, BCPS, CACP
Dr. Sheehy completed his BS in Molecular Biology at the University of Idaho and went on to complete his Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) at the University of Washington in Seattle. Read more

  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “Adderall.” April 2015. Accessed June 7, 2020.
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “Vyvanse.” January 2015. Accessed June 7, 2020.
Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.