Vyvanse Overdose, Dangers, Effects, Symptoms, Recovery & Addiction Treatments
What Is Vyvanse?
Vyvanse is a prescription drug, primarily used to treat symptoms of ADHD. The generic name of Vyvanse is lisdexamfetamine. It is a central nervous system stimulant. Vyvanse is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance in the U.S. because it can cause physical and psychological dependence, according to the United States federal government. Using this drug for more prolonged periods can change your brain chemistry, and make Vyvanse detox more challenging.
Some people may begin to see an improvement in their ADHD symptoms after a few days of taking Vyvanse. But it can take up to several weeks to experience the full effects of the medication.
Can You Overdose on Vyvanse?
Vyvanse is a prescription stimulant medication used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and binge eating disorder (BED). While it can be an effective treatment for these conditions, it also has the potential to be abused, which can lead to overdose.
Symptoms of Vyvanse overdose include irregular heartbeat, rapid breathing, panic, confusion, vomiting, and hallucinations. An overdose requires immediate medical attention. Overdoses can be fatal, with convulsions and coma typically preceding death. Death may be more likely if the person ingests other drugs with Vyvanse.
Vyvanse Overdose Symptoms
Typical signs of Vyvanse overdose:
Other side effects of Vyvanse overdose include:
- Rapid breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
An overdose can also lead to irritability and aggressiveness along with paranoia, or unusual thoughts or behavior.
Serious Side Effects
Serious side effects of a Vyvanse overdose include:
- Blurred vision
- Muscle cramps
- Overactive reflexes
- Pounding in your ears
- Loss of consciousness
- Heart attack
How Is a Vyvanse Overdose Treated?
There is limited research for effective Vyvanse overdose treatments but emergency room treatments will focus on treating the overdose similar to the way they would treat an amphetamine overdose.
- Benzodiazepine administration:
- To lower the risk of seizure.
- Stomach pumping:
- May be conducted to prevent more absorption of the drug, if the overdose occurred recently.
- Supportive care:
- Receiving intravenous (IV) fluids.
- Heart and lung monitoring.
- Medication to reduce the chance of hypertensive emergencies, such as:
- Other antihypertensive medication.
- Cold bath:
- May be necessary where hyperthermia presents itself during an overdose.
Vyvanse is a powerful medication, and while it is therapeutic for many, it also possesses a real potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction. A person places themselves at high risk for addiction development when they abuse Vyvanse.
People who become addicted to Vyvanse demonstrate a loss of control over how much or how often they take it. They also typically crave the drug and continue to use it despite negative consequences of using, which may include:
- Employment problems
- Legal difficulties
- Family conflict
As with any drug, using higher and higher doses of Vyvanse increases the risk of an overdose. The reasons for this have to do with tolerance that develops after regular use, which leads a person to take larger doses to feel the high they felt when first using. Those high doses alone can create an increased risk for overdose.
Then, if repeated use continues, a person may develop significant physiological dependence, which is characterized (among other signs) by withdrawal symptoms when they stop using. When unpleasant withdrawal symptoms surface—depression and extreme fatigue, for instance—the person takes the drug again to “feel normal” and places themselves at a greater risk for adverse effects, particularly if they take an extra-large dose in hope of eliminating their symptoms that are making them feel so miserable.
The danger of overdose is also greater after a time of abstinence because their body’s tolerance for Vyvanse began to return to its pre-use levels. So when the person resumes using the drug at the same amount they did when their tolerance was high, the body can no longer handle it like it used to, and overdose often results.
Many people also engage in polysubstance abuse, abusing other drugs along with Vyvanse. Any time a person does this, their risk of overdose rises substantially due to the combined effects of the drugs taken together. Though there is little information on the specific combination of Vyvanse and other drugs, people often use other drugs with stimulants to enhance their high, and any polysubstance abuse increases the risk of experiencing adverse side effects.
Emergency-room visits for stimulant overdoses, such as overdoses caused by Adderall, Vyvanse, Strattera, and Concerta, also involved another drug in about 63% of the cases. In 45% of these multi-drug–use cases, the drugs were also other prescription drugs. The most common prescription drugs taken along with stimulants include anti-anxiety medications and narcotic painkillers. Overall, 19% of people reported using alcohol along with stimulants. In 21% of the visits, street drugs were involved, with marijuana noted as the most common street drug used.
What to Do If You Overdose on Vyvanse?
An overdose is a serious situation with potentially deadly consequences. If you or a loved one experiences signs or symptoms of a Vyvanse overdose, seek emergency medical treatment immediately—do not assume that the symptoms will go away and call 911. Accidental overdoses are often a sign that a person has a serious problem with Vyvanse addiction, so after the medical crisis has passed, getting assessed for a substance use disorder is wise.
Preventing Vyvanse Overdose
A good way to prevent an overdose is to take it only when a doctor prescribes it for you and exactly as prescribed, never double up on doses or take more than the prescribed dose. Alcohol and street drugs are dangerous when mixed with Vyvanse and significantly increase the risk of an overdose. Also, a person should only take Vyvanse and other prescription drugs together when under a doctor’s supervision.
If you or your loved one exhibit the symptoms of Vyvanse addiction, seek a treatment consultation now to confirm a diagnosis and perhaps spare yourself a Vyvanse overdose. We Level Up treatment centers can help treat a Vyvanse addiction with inpatient treatment in which you have 24/7 supervision.
A treatment professional can help you determine your need for inpatient treatment, which depends on many factors, such as the presence of polysubstance abuse, underlying health issues, co-occurring psychiatric disorders, and the severity of your addiction to Vyvanse.
Both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs provide addiction assessment and supportive counseling, and some provide medical supervision. They help a person safely withdraw from Vyvanse while managing the aspects of physical dependence and then provide ongoing therapy that offers coping skills to support the person in avoiding relapse into abuse and addiction.
Many different therapeutic approaches exist for treating addiction. The most common ones include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy(CBT) for addiction.
- Motivational interviewing(MI).
- The Matrix Model.
- Contingency management.
Generally, group therapy is the most common format in treatment programs, but certain programs weigh individual counseling more heavily than others.
Regardless of the specifics of the approach, therapy to treat Vyvanse addiction often focuses on providing and strengthening coping skills, relapse prevention, and family dynamics, as well as encouraging patients to attend a 12-step program (e.g., Narcotics Anonymous).
To manage ADHD and binge eating disorder, Vyvanse is available in 10mg to 70mg doses. It is recommended that this drug be taken once a day in a measure prescribed by a health professional.
Because there’s a high risk of abusing and depending on this medication, Vyvanse is a Schedule II federally classified drug. While this drug can help to enhance focus and concentration—a person that relies on Vyvanse for daily functioning, to the point of forming a habit, will find that they may display the following symptoms:
- An unusually high level of energy
- Dilated pupils
- Profuse sweating without any likely cause
- Rebound or crash effect when the medication wears off
- Poor sleeping habits at night
- A lack of coordination
- Body shakes
- Skin redness
- Abdominal pains
- An unusually inflated sense of self
- A noticeable change in personality
- Mood swings
These symptoms can be apparent in people who frequently misuse this drug. Vyvanse can also be misused by snorting it or injecting it into the body. Vyvanse can be misused even in people for whom it has been prescribed if it is taken more than the amount specified.
Vyvanse Addiction Treatment
Addiction can be incredibly hard to live through, not just for the person directly affected but also for friends and family members who might watch a loved one deal with it. There are different options to manage this condition and increase the chances of a return to normal life.
Addiction Treatment Centers
Addiction treatment centers are a popular measure to help people overcome the seeking and using of drugs. In some instances, treatment centers may be gender- (such as female only) or age-specific (teenage only), to provide these groups with the level of care they need.
Certain drugs are useful for managing the withdrawal symptoms of Vyvanse addiction. These include medications that can stabilize neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, or serotonin. These drugs can help to provide relief from withdrawal effects and may help to prevent a relapse.
Therapy is another sought-after treatment option for managing substance use disorders. Through methods like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for addiction, patients can learn more positive attitudes and behavior patterns concerning drug use. This treatment method may also teach healthier ways to cope with daily life, and challenges that may encourage drug use as an escape.
Reclaim Your Life From Vyvanse Overdose and Addiction
Symptoms of Vyvanse overdose include irregular heartbeat, rapid breathing, panic, confusion, vomiting, and hallucinations. An overdose requires immediate medical attention. We Level Up rehab treatment & detox center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from addiction with professional and safe Vyvanse detox. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition by giving you relevant information. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.
 Goodman D. W. (2010). Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (Vyvanse), a prodrug stimulant for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. P & T: a peer-reviewed journal for formulary management, 35(5), 273–287.