Understanding the Differences Between Adderall and Vyvanse

When comparing Adderall vs. Vyvanse, there are both similarities and differences between the two. The following provides an overview to compare Adderall vs. Vyvanse, as well as differences in the Adderall vs. Vyvanse dosage.

Adderall vs. Vyvanse | Can Adderall and Vyvanse be Taken Together?

First, what is Adderall?

Adderall is a combination drug that includes amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, and it’s part of a class of drugs that are known as stimulants. Adderall is used as a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. When someone has ADHD and takes Adderall the objective is to help them pay attention, be focused on activities and have a greater level of behavioral control.

Less frequently Adderall may be prescribed to treat narcolepsy.

Adderall stimulates the central nervous system and changes the chemicals in the brain. If someone takes it, particularly if they don’t have ADHD or they take large doses, they may experience a high with it. This can make them feel euphoric or like they have increased levels of self-confidence. Adderall also causes insomnia, and one of the biggest side effects is appetite loss.

For these reasons, there is the potential for abuse with Adderall, particularly in younger people and college students who may want to stay awake for long periods studying, or who want to lose weight.

Vyvanse, which has the generic name lisdexamfetamine, is also a stimulant of the central nervous system and it is used to treat ADHD as well. Vyvanse is used in some cases to treat binge eating disorders. Vyvanse is supposed to be used as part of a full treatment plan that includes psychological and social elements.

When comparing Adderall vs. Vyvanse, both can contribute to abuse and addiction, as well as physical dependence. The side effects of both are very similar to one another as well and include anxiety, insomnia and decreased appetite.

There are many ways to compare Adderall vs. Vyvanse, and the following are specific details about the Adderall vs. Vyvanse dosage:

  • With Adderall, people are usually prescribed to take it once or twice a day, and the recommended dosage can vary from 2.5 to 60 mg a day. Differences are based on the age and individual needs of the patient. There is also time-release or Adderall XR that is taken once a day in the morning.
  • With Vyvanse, the recommended beginning dose for treating ADHD in adults is 30 mg. For pediatric patients, the starting dose is usually 20 to 30 mg taken once, in the morning.
  • The maximum dose of Vyvanse is 70 mg a day, and a doctor may increase the dose of Vyvanse by 10 to 20 mg a day, at weekly intervals.
  • For treating binge eating disorder with Vyvanse, the recommended dose in adults is 50 to 70 mg a day.
The idea of Adderall or Vyvanse for weight loss isn’t one that’s approved, in particular with Adderall. Rather, it’s considered a side effect, although Vyvanse can be used to treat symptoms of binge eating disorder.

Amphetamines can lead to weight loss, and Adderall is an amphetamine, while Vyvanse is similar in its action to an amphetamine. These drugs release certain brain chemicals that can increase energy and suppress appetite. In some cases, these drugs can also increase metabolism.

So what about Adderall vs. Vyvanse for weight loss? Both tend to have similar results, but with Adderall people may experience rebound hunger after the effects of the drug wear off.

Regardless of whether you consider Adderall vs. Vyvanse for weight loss, they’re not the best options.

First, when the effects of either medicine wear off, so does the appetite suppression. Also, your body quickly adjusts to the effects of both, and you may not experience appetite suppression after a period of taking them. This makes the weight loss effects of both Adderall and Vyvanse short-lived and unsustainable for most people. Basically with Adderall or Vyvanse, when you take it sometimes even for a brief period, your body adjusts to the effects.

When you’re withdrawing from amphetamines, the result is an increased appetite, so if you use either of these drugs as a way to lose weight and you stop, you’re going to have more problems controlling your appetite than you did before.

People might have various reasons for wondering, “can Adderall and Vyvanse be taken together,” but the answer is usually no.

When you take Adderall and Vyvanse together, it increases your risk of side effects, because both have similar side effects.

For example, if you take Adderall and Vyvanse together, you may have extreme changes in mood, intense anxiety, or severe insomnia. Both Adderall and Vyvanse are also stimulants, so when you combine multiple stimulants, it 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 shifts in mood, and if you take Adderall and Vyvanse together, this can be worse.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a 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 provider.