How long does Vyvanse stay in your system?
Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on June 4, 2020.
- Vyvanse (generic name: lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) is a long-acting medication used for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults and children ages 6 to 17 years of age, as well as moderate-to-severe binge eating disorder (BED) in adults.
- The ingredient in Vyvanse, lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, is considered a prodrug. Prodrugs are inactive when first taken. Once they are in your system, they are converted to an active medication. Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate is broken down to dextroamphetamine (the active agent) and l-lysine, an amino acid in your body.
- Dextroamphetamine, the active chemical for Vyvanse, has a half-life of roughly 12 hours. It takes about five half-lives for a drug to be eliminated from your body, so after 60 hours, or 2.5 days, most of the drug is eliminated. However, the half-life and elimination of a drug can vary from person-to-person based on age, weight, genetics, other medicines they take or even other medical conditions.
- The half-life of the inactive prodrug lisdexamfetamine typically averages less than one hour. As reported by the manufacturer, concentrations of unconverted lisdexamfetamine in the body could generally not be measured by 8 hours after a dose.
- If you have kidney disease, your doctor may need to lower your dose because Vyvanse is primarily eliminated by the kidneys.
How long is Vyvanse effective?
Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) is taken only once a day, in the morning, and is used to treat either attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or binge eating disorder (BED). Because it is a long-acting medication, it can be taken only once a day.
In clinical studies in children 6 to 12 years of age with ADHD, the effects of Vyvanse started at 1.5 hours after a dose and were sustained throughout the day. From questionnaires given to parents, it was found that behavioral effects in their children were evident in the morning (approximately 10 am), afternoon (approximately 2 pm), and early evening (approximately 6 pm).
In adults with ADHD, Vyvanse improves attention at 2 hours and 14 hours after taking a dose.
In clinical research with Vyvanse, a “binge day” was defined as a day in which the patient had at least one binge episode. In the treatment of binge eating disorder (BED), it can take up to 12 weeks for patients to show a significant reduction in their number of binge days per week.
In longer studies, Vyvanse effectively controlled binge-eating disorder symptoms for at least 38 weeks.
How is Vyvanse used?
Always be sure to take Vyvanse exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
Vyvanse is taken in the morning as a once-daily oral medication. Avoid afternoon or evening doses because it can interfere with your sleep. Vyvanse can be taken with or without food. Vyvanse is often started at a lower dose and increased based on your response.
Vyvanse comes in oral capsules or chewable tablets. If needed, the capsules can be opened and mixed with yogurt, water or orange juice; ask your pharmacist how to do this.
Your doctor may want to stop your Vyvanse treatment for a period of time to check your symptoms and your condition. Also, if you have kidney disease, your doctor may need to lower your dose.
Vyvanse is a controlled substance in the class of drugs known as central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. It can be abused or lead to drug dependence. Your doctor will assess the risk for abuse prior to prescribing Vyvanse and monitor you for abuse and dependence.
Keep Vyvanse in a safe place to prevent misuse, abuse or theft by others.
Do not take Vyvanse if:
- you or your child are taking or have taken an anti-depression medicine called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) within the past 14 days
- if you are sensitive or allergic to Vyvanse or any of its ingredients, or had a reaction to other stimulant medicines.
- Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) is a maintenance (long-term) medication taken once a day in the morning for treatment of ADHD in adults and children and binge eating disorder in adults.
- Dextroamphetamine, the active compound of Vyvanse, has a 12 hour half-life. In about 2.5 days, most of the drug should eliminated from your body, but this can vary from person-to-person.
- If you are experiencing symptoms of ADHD or BED after taking Vyvanse, or your symptoms return early in the day with ADHD, talk to your doctor. There are other medications you may be able to use that work differently than Vyvanse.
- Be sure to review Vyvanse side effects with your doctor before starting treatment.
This is not all the information you need to know about Vyvanse for safe and effective use. Review the full product information here, and discuss this information with your doctor or health care provider.
- Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) [Package insert]. Revised Jan. 2017. Shire US. Lexington, MA. Accessed June 3, 2020 at http://pi.shirecontent.com/PI/PDFs/Vyvanse_USA_ENG.pdf
- Goodman DW. Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (vyvanse), a prodrug stimulant for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. P T. 2010;35(5):273‐287. PMCID: PMC2873712
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