Vyvanse should not be taken with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or within two weeks of stopping MAOIs due to an increased risk of hypertensive crisis and serotonin syndrome. A hypertensive crisis is a severe increase in blood pressure that may lead to a stroke, while serotonin syndrome is characterized by agitation, trembling, dizziness and sweating. Make sure your doctor is aware of any prescription, over-the-counter or illicit drugs you may use in conjunction with Vyvanse in order to minimize the risk of dangerous interactions.
Vyvanse and Alcohol
Vyvanse and alcohol should not be used together. Alcohol is a CNS depressant, and Vyvanse is a CNS stimulant. Combining these classes of drugs can have unpredictable effects on the cardiovascular system.
Vyvanse and Pregnancy
Currently, there is little data on the effects that Vyvanse might have on pregnancy and potential neonatal adverse reactions. Although there are no well-controlled human studies to define risk, some animal studies indicate that adverse effects may be possible. This may be because Vyvanse can reduce blood flow to the placenta, which carries oxygen and nutrients to the fetus.
Is Vyvanse Addictive?
As a Schedule II controlled substance, Vyvanse carries a high risk of abuse, addiction and dependence. Although most people who take it as directed for legitimate medical reasons will not suffer from Vyvanse addiction, those who take Vyvanse that has not been prescribed to them have a higher risk.
That said, Vyvanse was formulated to have a lower risk of abuse than other prescription stimulants. Vyvanse comes as a “prodrug,” meaning that it is inactive and requires enzymatic metabolism for the active drug to become available. When someone takes Vyvanse orally, the prodrug lisdexamfetamine interacts with enzymes in the blood that break the drug into its metabolic byproducts. These byproducts include the amino acid L-lysine and dextroamphetamine, the active form of lisdexamfetamine.
Since metabolism is necessary for Vyvanse to take effect, common routes of abuse (for example, snorting the powder) do not deliver the potent high that is often associated with other prescription amphetamines. In addition, Vyvanse was formulated as a drug with extended-release capabilities, meaning the drug is released slowly. These precautions were designed to reduce Vyvanse’s potential for abuse. However, like all stimulants, Vyvanse has been shown to cause tolerance, dependence and addictive behavior when taken regularly.
Vyvanse is considered by the FDA and DEA to have a high potential for abuse, and it is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. Vyvanse addiction potential can be minimized by taking the drug exactly as prescribed. Caution should be exercised with long-term regular use. Make sure to talk with your doctor about whether you have particular risk factors that could lead to dependence or addiction.
Can Vyvanse Get You High?
Vyvanse is designed to minimize the ability for people to get high by abusing it. Because it is packaged as a prodrug that requires enzymatic processing in the blood to be activated, Vyvanse is only effective when taken orally. In addition, Vyvanse is an extended-release medication, so the possibility of getting an immediate rush is limited. However, it is possible to misuse Vyvanse by taking very large doses by mouth. This can result in a transient, mild euphoria but also cause uncomfortable symptoms like rapid heart rate, nausea and anxiety.
Vyvanse Addiction Risk Factors
Although risk factors for Vyvanse addiction specifically are unknown, risk factors for stimulant addiction are similar to those for other substances. The more risk factors a person has, the greater their risk of developing a stimulant use disorder. Risk factors include:
- Aggressive behavior
- Lack of parental supervision
- Abusing other substances
- Having access to Vyvanse