Switching From Adderall to Vyvanse, When, How, Why, What to Expect

Posted February 26, 2020 by Michael Chamberlain - See Editorial Guidelines

Switching from one drug to another always comes with several questions. This article will give you a clear guide on all that one might need and want to know when switching from Adderall to Vyvanse.

But first, here’s some quick advice on switching from Adderall to Vyvanse, then we’ll get more into the details.

Should I switch from Adderall to Vyvanse? This switch is recommended if you’re expecting a long-lasting treatment for ADHD. Vyvanse works longer through slow metabolization and can be used for binge eating disorders too. Patients above six years, and those who don’t use antidepressants – namely monoamine oxidase inhibitors can make this switch.

From Adderall to VyvanseNow we know the quick answer, let’s look in a little more detail at this to give you more in-depth information.

To start, here’s some background information – both Vyvanse and Adderall are medications for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Both medications are stimulants called amphetamines.

Both of these medications work by raising the level of chemicals in the brain. They target the chemicals in the brain called dopamine and norepinephrine.

It’s said that around 80% of the patients with ADHD realize a significant difference in their symptoms after they take stimulants like Adderall and Vyvanse.

Adderall is the most common medication prescribed for ADHD, but with the recent introduction of Vyvanse, switching from Adderall to Vyvanse may be recommended by your doctor. So below is a list of headings covering information you may have to know about this switch.

“80% of the patients with ADHD realize a great difference in their
symptoms after they take stimulants like Adderall and Vyvanse.”

How Should One Switch From Adderall to Vyvanse

The molecular weight of one Vyvanse molecule, which is about 263.378 g/mol, is close to twice as that of one Adderall molecule, which is about 135.21 g/mol.

As such, Adderall has more weightage of Amphetamine, which breaks into one Amphetamine molecule. This is how Adderall gives more significant “focusing effects” that are both instant and short.

So, when switching to Vyvanse from Adderall, it will take about twice the weight of Vyvanse to get the same effect or the same level of Amphetamines.

However, depending on the state and the condition of ADHD, your doctor may prescribe the ideal dosage when switching.

The maximum dosage for Vyvanse is 70mg, which is about 30mg of Adderall. On the other hand, the maximum dosage prescribed for Adderall is 60mg for adults.

In cases where even this maximum dosage doesn’t provide relief of symptoms, then some other medications will have to be matched with your ADHD condition. However, the above explanation is only an indication of how the dosage will differ when one has to switch, and the maximum dosage one may be prescribed.

Of course, you’ll have to consult your doctor on how the dosage will need to differ when switching.

When Is It Recommended to Switch From Adderall to Vyvanse?

A switch from Adderall is recommended depending on how long and how effective Adderall is on your system.

In most cases, a switch to Vyvanse from Adderall is prescribed when Adderall cannot provide maximum symptom control throughout the day. Adderall may last for a less-period of time, for about 8-10 hours, and patients may need extra or additional short-acting amphetamines to control the symptoms.

Vyvanse works by breaking down into the bloodstream until it remains inactive. This also means that the slow breakdown into the bloodstream will keep the drug active in the system for longer, helping to control the symptoms for a more extended period.

Sometimes doctors can recommend a switch to Vyvanse when you’re diagnosed with binge eating disorder, for which Adderall cannot be used. This is because Adderall is prescribed only for ADHD, whereas Vyvanse can be used for both ADHD and binge eating disorders.

Why Should One Switch From Adderall to Vyvanse

A switch from Adderall to Vyvanse can be recommended for a few reasons, but more specifically, it’s recommended for the drug to last longer in the system. Vyvanse lasts longer because it stays inactive until the body breaks it down from the bloodstream.

Adderall has pure amphetamines, which helps in metabolizing it immediately, so it works instantly but for a short period. Vyvanse, on the other hand, metabolizes slowly spreading out at a lower intensity but for a longer period.

Who Should Switch From Adderall to Vyvanse?

Patients who need a lasting ADHD medication, people with ADHD and binge eating disorder, and even people who find the need to take a short-acting stimulant to extend the effect of Adderall XR can switch to Vyvanse from Adderall. All patients above six years of age can make this switch for the above reasons.

Who Shouldn’t Switch From Adderall to Vyvanse?

There are reasons NOT to switch to Vyvanse. The body converts Vyvanse into dextroamphetamine, so people who use antidepressants, namely monoamine oxidase inhibitors, should not take Vyvanse.

Taking Vyvanse along with these medications can cause a severe rise in blood pressure, even up to dangerous levels. However, these monoamine oxidase inhibitors are also not recommended to be taken with Adderall.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors include:

  • phenelzine
  • isocarboxazid
  • tranylcypromine
  • selegiline

From Adderall to Vyvanse

And if a person decides to stop taking these drugs to switch to Vyvanse, then it’s recommended to do so 14 days before starting Vyvanse. Children under the age of six years are not recommended for this switch. For more accurate details regarding your diagnosis, you should consult your doctor on this point.

Differences Between Adderall and Vyvanse

There are three main differences between Adderall and Vyvanse, namely:

  • Vyvanse works longer than Adderall
  • Adderall can only be used for ADHD, Vyvanse can be used for both Binge eating disorder and ADHD
  • Vyvanse metabolizes slowly, allowing it to work longer. Adderall is metabolized quickly and is absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract.

What to Expect From the Switch

Vyvanse will be less intense physically, but patients may still experience jitters as a side effects.

During the first few weeks through any switch, patients may feel more hyped, which will eventually fade away without you realizing. Vyvanse helps to focus better while calming oneself for a longer period without affecting any traits of one’s personality or creativity.

For some, until the body gets used to the switch, its normal to feel dizzy, sick, and zombie-like, which will be a smoother transition after getting used to it. However, when one forgets to take Vyvanse, it’s normal to expect that one may feel tired and faint throughout the day.

To Conclude

We hope this has been useful in understanding more about the switch from Adderall to Vyvanse. There are several advantages, but it largely depends on your condition,  which is why you should consult your doctor about making the switch.

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