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Lisdexamfetamine Patient Tips

Medically reviewed on Mar 13, 2017 by C. Fookes, BPharm

How it works

  • Lisdexamfetamine is a CNS stimulant that is converted into its active form, dextroamphetamine, in the body. Dextroamphetamine blocks the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine by nerves, leading to an increase in the concentrations of these two neurotransmitters in the nerve synapse (space between two nerves).


  • Used in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and for moderate-to-severe Binge Eating Disorder (BED). Lisdexamfetamine should not be used for weight loss.


If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, take no other medication or have no other medical conditions, side effects you are more likely to experience include:

  • Insomnia, decreased appetite, stomach pain, irritability, nausea or dry mouth.
  • May cause dizziness and impair judgment and affect a person's ability to drive or operate machinery. Alcohol should be avoided.
  • May cause serious cardiac side effects; the risk is greater in people with preexisting cardiac abnormalities or heart problems.
  • Other adverse effects include an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, exacerbation of preexisting psychiatric disorders, growth suppression in pediatric patients, and peripheral tissue disorders.
  • High potential for abuse and dependence. Tolerance to the effects of lisdexamfetamine may develop over time.
  • Withdrawal symptoms (extreme fatigue, depression) may occur if lisdexamfetamine is abruptly stopped. Taper off dosage slowly under medical advice.

Notes: In general, seniors or children, people with certain medical conditions (such as liver or kidney problems, heart disease, diabetes, seizures) or people who take other medications are more at risk of developing a wider range of side effects. For a complete list of all side effects, click here.

Bottom Line

Lisdexamfetamine is a stimulant used in the treatment of ADHD and BED; however, use is limited by its risk for dependence and other serious side effects.


  • May be taken with or without food. Take in the morning; avoid afternoon dosing due to the potential for insomnia.
  • Capsules may be swallowed whole or the capsule opened and the contents mixed with yogurt, water, or orange juice, then drunk immediately. Chew the chewable tablets thoroughly before swallowing. The same dosage capsule may be substituted for the same dosage chewable tablet and vice versa (for example, 30 mg capsules for a 30 mg chewable tablet).
  • Do not attempt to divide a capsule or chewable tablet into smaller dosages.
  • Take exactly as directed by your doctor, do not take more than recommended. Tell your doctor if you think you have become dependent on lisdexamfetamine or if it does not seem effective.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery if lisdexamfetamine affects your judgment or causes dizziness. Do not drink alcohol while taking lisdexamfetamine.
  • Tell your doctor if you experience chest pain on exertion, unexplained temporary loss of consciousness, or other symptoms suggestive of heart disease.
  • May precipitate psychotic symptoms even in people with no psychiatric history.
  • May cause circulatory problems in the fingers and the toes, a slowing of the growth rate in children, and weight loss.

Response and Effectiveness

  • Peak effects reached in approximately four hours.
  • Differences in behavior have been observed two to four hours after taking a dose of lisdexamfetamine to treat symptoms of ADHD.
  • When lisdexamfetamine is used in the treatment of binge eating disorder, a reduction in symptoms (specifically the number of binge days per week) may not happen for several weeks (in some people symptom reduction may take up to 12 weeks).



  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use lisdexamfetamine only for the indication prescribed.

Copyright 1996-2018 Revision Date: 2017-09-04 03:06:27

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.