Can Vyvanse Help Anxiety? Here’s What Vyvanse Can Do

Posted August 2, 2023 by Prescription Hope - See Editorial Guidelines(Last Updated On: August 2, 2023)

If you’re prescribed Vyvanse medication already or considering asking your doctor about Vyvanse, then you might be asking, can Vyvanse help anxiety?

In this article, we’re going over the details for you. We’ll start with a quick answer first, then go into further detail…

Anxiety is a potential side effect of Vyvanse, so taking it to treat anxiety could exacerbate it. However, because everyone reacts differently to medications, some may find relief for anxiety through Vyvanse as it cuts down stress and improves attention span helping to better manage one’s anxiety.

That’s the brief answer. But, there is more to understand about this, so let’s dive into this topic a little further.

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Can Vyvanse help anxiety?

Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) is a prodrug composed of the amino acid L-lysine coupled with dextroamphetamine.

It is used for ADHD in adults and children, and BED (binge Eating Disorder) in adults. 

Vyvanse is a different brand of amphetamine salt from Adderall. However, it largely performs the same as Adderall. It also means that Vyvanse carries the same side effects as Adderall, including anxiety.

Get more information about this in our article outlining Adderall vs Vyvanse.

can vyvanse help anxiety
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ADHD, anxiety, and Vyvanse

Normally Vyvanse works by balancing the chemicals in the brain, increasing the levels of norepinephrine.

Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that improves the ability to concentrate and increases dopamine levels, which is responsible for giving feelings of pleasure.

All these center on increasing the ability to focus. Extending attention span and controlling impulsiveness and hyperactivity.

The chemical alteration in the brain caused by Vyvanse is intended to reduce the common symptoms associated with ADHD, which doesn’t focus exclusively on anxiety.

The truth is that anxiety disorder and ADHD are two completely different conditions. Surprisingly for more than half of adults with ADHD, anxiety disorders come as a package. 

Some with ADHD may eventually develop an anxiety disorder as a by-product of the stress and challenges that come with ADHD.

Such as persistent thoughts, overwhelming feelings, and frequent problems in school, work, and at home. People with ADHD are more likely to struggle with anxiety than other people.

However, Vyvanse has no clinical significance or studies showing it improves anxiety. For someone diagnosed with both ADHD and anxiety disorders, medications will be necessary to treat both conditions. 

Or, the doctor will analyze the state of both these conditions to see which affects you the most.

Sometimes your treatment for ADHD can help your ability to manage anxiety. If so, then only Vyvanse or other similar ADHD stimulants may be prescribed.

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Anxiety Is a side effect of Vyvanse

As surprising as it may sound, it is common to experience increased anxiety after taking Vyvanse.

This is because anxiety is a common side effect of Vyvanse, alongside other side effects such as:

  • Appetite reduction
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Sleep issues
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss.

Upregulation of excitatory neurotransmitters

Scientifically speaking, this increased anxiety occurs because of an upregulation of excitatory neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine.

Too much dopamine and norepinephrine (a chemical similar to adrenaline and outlined earlier) can over-excite the brain, resulting in emotions like high energy, inattention, nervousness, agitation, excitability, or euphoria. 

While this can benefit a person with ADHD having low levels of dopamine, for a person with normal levels of dopamine and norepinephrine the Vyvanse dose can potentially worsen the feeling of anxiety.

In simple terms, Vyvanse and other ADHD medications speed up the brain and alter how nerve cells send messages to one another. This dysregulation can cause mood disturbances, including anxiety. And for people with no ADHD diagnosis, the anxiety levels could be even higher.

The levels of anxiety a person experiences can also increase with higher doses for both people with and without ADHD diagnosis.

If you have started Vyvanse recently, the anxiety (resulting as a side effect of Vyvanse) may eventually fade as your brain gets accustomed and adjusted to the neurochemical effects exerted by Vyvanse.

In contrast, if the anxiety is too high after taking Vyvanse, then you may have to speak to your doctor, who will then reduce your dosage until your body gets used to these side effects.

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It’s important to understand and acknowledge that the side effects of any medication, including Vyvanse, may differ from one person to another.

It means that the common side effects of medications, their respective severities, and the possibility of you experiencing certain side effects will be unique to you.

It also depends on your lifestyle, diet, and other health conditions you may be facing. 

As a result, it is believed that Vyvanse, which has a composition of lisdexamfetamine, and dextroamphetamine conjugated to the amino acid lysine, can aggravate anxiety in some while radically alleviating the condition in others.

Vyvanse is often prescribed for managing anxiety, resistant depression, and insomnia, especially for those with no ADHD diagnosis.

Vyvanse does this by cutting down the stress that causes anxiety and by improving attention and mental energy to handle anxiety symptoms more easily.

However, remember that Vyvanse is not a cure for anxiety, and whether or not it can help a person handling anxiety can only be accurately diagnosed by a doctor.

If you are prescribed Vyvanse or other similar stimulants for managing anxiety, it is important to stick to the prescribed dosage.

Exceeding dosage requirements can lead to overdose and abuse, which can worsen anxiety and other side effects of the medication.

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Reducing the effects of anxiety from Vyvanse

Your doctor won’t know the levels of anxiety Vyvanse can cause as a side effect until you take the medication for some time.

Can Vyvanse help anxiety if your anxiety seems to be worsening?

Your doctor may feel your anxiety is getting worse. Or the side effect is shown to overpower the effectiveness of controlling ADHD.

If this is the case, then they may refer to other non-stimulant medications like atomoxetine (Strattera) or viloxazine (Qelbree).

They may also recommend antidepressants like Bupropion (Wellbutrin), Desipramine (Norpramin), Fluoxetine (Prozac), Imipramine (Tofranil), Nortriptyline (Pamelor), Sertraline (Zoloft), and Venlafaxine (Effexor).

Sometimes high-pressure medications like clonidine (Kapvay) and guanfacine (Intuniv, Tenex) can be better alternatives for ADHD medications.

Generally speaking, these meds don’t let side effects like anxiety overpower the effectiveness of the medication.  

But again, keep in mind the question – can Vyvanse help anxiety? Remember that here the non-stimulants are given for people with ADHD – not to avoid the side effects of developing anxiety – but to control the anxiety effects or levels.

These medications cannot control anxiety disorders if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. 

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Can Vyvanse help anxiety – other remedies

For those who have both ADHD and anxiety, cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques and meditation, and certain prescription medications are often used to treat both disorders at the same time.

The best option will ultimately be recommended by your doctor, depending on your symptoms, the severity of the condition, and other health conditions you may be experiencing.

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Can Vyvanse help anxiety – Next steps

We hope this has answered the question – can Vyvanse help anxiety? Ultimately, you should seek to consult with your doctor regarding any medications you are currently using or have questions about. Your doctor will look to prescribe the right solution for your needs.

If you are prescribed Vyvanse, then you may be paying too much for your monthly medication. You could potentially obtain your meds for just $60.00 per month per medication. Fill in our short enrollment form now and let us help.

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