Vyvanse belongs to the amphetamine class of drugs. It’s primarily prescribed to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and binge eating disorder.
When taken at high doses, or when used over a prolonged period of time, a person may build up a tolerance to Vyvanse. This can eventually lead to the development of a substance use disorder (addiction).
How Vyvanse Tolerance Develops
Vyvanse, also known as lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, is a Schedule II controlled substance. It is a central nervous system stimulant that affects neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine and serotonin.
Vyvanse is also known as a prodrug, which means it must first undergo an enzymatic conversion before it can be used in its active form. This mechanism makes it harder to abuse Vyvanse.
When misused, however, a person may develop an amphetamine tolerance. While reversible, tolerance can lead to serious side effects including Vyvanse addiction and overdose death if not treated accordingly.
Taking Higher Doses Of Vyvanse
One of the main culprits of Vyvanse tolerance is when people take higher doses of the drug than they’re supposed to.
Higher doses of Vyvanse will eventually make the body acclimated to the effects of the drug, and will likely result in ADHD symptoms starting again due to the lowered potency.
While it is difficult to get high off Vyvanse, some people attempt to do so by crushing the pill for snorting or dissolving the capsule in water for intravenous injection.
People who attempt to recreationally use Vyvanse may find it difficult to achieve a euphoric high. Ingesting the drug in this way, however, will almost certainly result in a higher tolerance to the medication.
Taking Vyvanse Over Long Periods Of Time
When Vyvanse is taken over a long period, the body may become increasingly acclimated to the neurochemical effects of the drug which eventually leads to tolerance.
Other factors that may lead to tolerance include ingestion of supplements such as vitamin C from orange juice, as well as a person’s age, weight, and body fat composition.
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Side Effects Of Vyvanse Tolerance
Below are some of the most common side effects associated with Vyvanse tolerance.
Common side effects may include:
- increased heart rate and other heart problems
- reduced blood flow
- increased blood pressure
- mood swings
- increased impulsivity
- chest pain
- dry mouth
- weight loss
- increased appetite
Many of these adverse effects will persist or get worse if a person abruptly removes themselves from Vyvanse and starts to experience acute withdrawal symptoms.
These symptoms may also be made worse by drug interactions if a person is abusing other pharmaceuticals and substances such as alcohol along with Vyvanse.
Managing Vyvanse Tolerance Through Tapering
Drug tapering is a process of slowly stopping a medication by reducing the dosage of the drug over time.
In the case of Vyvanse tolerance, tapering may be accompanied by medically monitored detox and medication assisted treatment (MAT) to help the body get rid of the drug.
How Vyvanse Tolerance Contributes To Addiction
When a person has a high tolerance to Vyvanse, they may eventually become physically dependent on the drug or start mixing Vyvanse with other substances to heighten its effects.
Other substances may include ADHD medications such as Adderall XR, Concerta, or Ritalin, or illicit drugs such as methamphetamine and cocaine, among others.
Misusing any prescription medication in this way may eventually result in physical dependence and addiction, which may be treated in a drug rehab program.
Treatment Programs For Amphetamine Abuse
Abusing prescription stimulants is dangerous and may lead to health consequences. The treatment services listed below may help you or your loved ones overcome prescription drug addiction.
Treatment options for amphetamine addiction may include:
- medical detox
- psychiatry services
- individual and group counseling
- dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders
- outpatient treatment
- short-term or long-term inpatient care
These evidence-based services will help people understand their addictions and learn coping mechanisms to achieve long-term sobriety.
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Call our helpline today for more information on Vyvanse tolerance and stimulant medication addiction.
Our team can help you find a healthcare provider that fits your specific needs or provide you with a referral for medical advice.
Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Dextroamphetamine
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — Prescription Stimulants DrugFacts
- National Institute of Health (NIH) — Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOI)
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate)