Signs of Lisdexamfetamine Abuse
Lisdexamfetamine is the generic name of Vyvanse -a relatively new ADHD stimulant brand-name drug. Lisdexamfetamine is prescribed to treat binge eating disorder, as well as ADHD. It’s part of a class of drugs that are known as central nervous system stimulants, as well as amphetamines. Lisdexamfetamine was designed to have a lower potential for abuse than other prescription stimulants like Adderall, but abuse is still possible. Lisdexamfetamine is a Schedule II drug in the U.S. This means that, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, it has an established medical purpose as well as a high potential for abuse and severe psychological and physical dependence. Lisdexamfetamine is also less commonly sold under the brand name Elvanse.
Lisdexamfetamine creates amphetamine-like effects. For example, along with boosting energy and providing a stimulating effect overall, lisdexamfetamine also improves focus and can cause feelings of euphoria. One of the unique elements of lisdexamfetamine is that if someone tries to use it in ways other than how it is prescribed, it won’t have more potent effects. For example, people often abuse Adderall by crushing it and snorting it for a faster, more powerful high. If someone did that with lisdexamfetamine, it wouldn’t change the effects of the drug or make the onset happen more quickly. Despite the safeguards included to reduce the likelihood of abuse, lisdexamfetamine is still abused.
Any time someone is using a prescription drug like lisdexamfetamine outside of how it is prescribed, it’s considered to be abuse. Signs of lisdexamfetamine abuse can include:
- Taking higher doses than prescribed
- Taking it more frequently than instructed by a physician
- Using it without a prescription
While these signs of lisdexamfetamine abuse don’t necessarily mean that someone is addicted to the drug, abuse does increase the chances of an addiction developing.
When taken at recommended, therapeutic doses, there aren’t likely to be as many noticeable side effects of lisdexamfetamine. However, when taken in high amounts, there are side effects. Side effects of lisdexamfetamine that some people may find to be desirable include euphoria, increased energy and sociability, and appetite loss. Other side effects of lisdexamfetamine abuse can include tingling sensations throughout the body, increased heart rate and dilated pupils. Some people who abuse Vyvanse may experience a general sense of stimulation, and people who are abusing stimulants like lisdexamfetamine will often grind their teeth or clench their jaws. Many of the temporary side effects of lisdexamfetamine abuse are cognitive and can include:
- Inflated ego
- Increased focus and attention
- Increased motivation
- Increases in libidoTime distortion
- Racing thoughts
- Insomnia or wakefulness
Some of the less desirable side effects of lisdexamfetamine or Vyvanse can include dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and sweating. A rapid heart rate is also possible. Some of the severe side effects of this drug that require medical attention include chest pain, shortness of breath, out-of-control shaking, and numbness or blurred vision.
People who abuse lisdexamfetamine also often experience a crash as the effects wear off. This happens with other stimulant drugs as well, and it’s the result of depleted neurotransmitters. Some of the side effects of a lisdexamfetamine crash can include anxiety, cognitive fatigue, depression, and irritability. People will often have slowed thoughts and declines in motivation as they “come down” from brand name Vyvanse.
Addiction is possible with the recreational use of lisdexamfetamine. Someone who is using a therapeutic dose of the drug, as prescribed, isn’t likely to experience addiction. Lisdexamfetamine has a lower abuse potential than amphetamines because it has a slower onset time; however, patients should still be warned of the risk of abuse and addiction when they use it. Along with addiction, tolerance also develops very quickly when people abuse amphetamines. Tolerance means that a person will need higher doses to get the same effects. Some signs of lisdexamfetamine addiction can include:
- Taking higher doses of the drug for longer periods of time
- Unsuccessfully trying to stop using lisdexamfetamine or trying to lower the dose unsuccessfully
- Strong cravings
- Compulsive use of Vyvanse, even when there are negative side effects
- Problems at school or work related to the use of Vyvanse
- Vyvanse becomes the primary focus of one’s life, and other responsibilities suffer
- Social and relationship problems can occur
One long-term effect of lisdexamfetamine is dependence. When someone becomes dependent upon lisdexamfetamine and suddenly stops using it, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. Vyvanse can cause a heart attack or stroke, as well as sudden death. This is more likely to occur with higher doses. There are also psychological effects that can occur in the short term and the long term, such as anxiety, aggression, hallucinations, and mania. Long-term lisdexamfetamine effects or Vyvanse effects can eventually lead to malnutrition, paranoia, and stunted weight and height in children.
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.
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