Treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and binge eating disorder (BED) in adults includes Vyvanse. This prescription medication is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant and helps to improve focus, attention, and impulse control in people with ADHD. A burning question in the minds of patients and caregivers is the effectiveness of the drug in terms of the length of time. Following sub-sections offer answers to the question – How long does Vyvanse stay in your system? This includes possible side effects and drug interactions, apart from the half life and mechanism of action.

Overview of Vyvanse

Vyvanse is a controlled substance and has the potential to be abused, hence is only available by prescription. It is not recommended for use during pregnancy as it may harm the fetus. The drug works by increasing levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine and norepinephrine. Vyvanse is taken orally, usually once a day in the morning, and its effects can last for up to 11 hours. The drug starts to work within 1 hour of taking it and reaches peak effectiveness at about 3 hours. Vyvanse is an effective treatment option, but it should only be used under close medical supervision as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes therapy, lifestyle changes, and other medications.

Conditions treated by Vyvanse

As outlined above, Vyvanse is sued to treat symptoms of ADHD, such as impulsiveness, inattention, and hyperactivity. Vyvanse is also used for treating BED in adults, that is characterized by recurrent episodes of overeating in a short period of time and feelings of loss of control over eating. Vyvanse helps to reduce binge eating episodes by controlling impulses.

Mechanism of action of Vyvanse

Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine), as outlined earlier is a CNS stimulant that works by increasing the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. The exact mechanism of action, though not fully understood is thought to work as follows:

Increase in release of neurotransmitter: The drug increases the release of neurotransmitters – dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. This helps to improve focus, attention, and impulse control in individuals with ADHD.

Inhibition in reuptake: The medication helps to prolong the effects of neurotransmitters in the brain by inhibiting their reuptake. This effectively means that the neurotransmitters remain active for a longer period, leading to a sustained improvement in symptoms.

Regulation of dopamine and norepinephrine levels: By regulating the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, Vyvanse helps to balance neurotransmitter levels and improve cognitive function in individuals with ADHD.

The overall mechanism of action of Vyvanse is designed to improve attention, focus, and impulse control in individuals with ADHD, and reduces binge eating episodes in individuals with BED.

How long does Vyvanse stay in your system?

With the basic information about the drug outlined, it is time to answer the question. This is best answered by looking at the time taken for the drug to start working in the body and the half-life of the drug. This refers to the time taken for half of the drug to be eliminated from the body, as this determines the dosage requirements and efficacy.

The onset of action of Vyvanse may vary, but it usually takes about 1 to 2 hours for the effects to start. As a prodrug, it needs to be metabolized in the body before it becomes active. Once the active drug is released, it increases the levels of specific neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to improved focus, attention, and impulse control. Vyvanse is to be taken on an empty stomach and is not to be taken with high-fat meals, as this can slow down the rate of absorption and delay the onset of action.

The half-life of Vyvanse is approximately 11 hours, and after 11 hours, half of the dose of Vyvanse will have been metabolized and eliminated from the body. However, the effects of Vyvanse can last up to 14 hours due to the gradual release of the active drug from the lisdexamfetamine dimesylate prodrug. The actual duration of effect can vary based on factors such as age, weight, and individual metabolism.

Possible side effects of Vyvanse

Possible side effects of the CNS stimulant include the following commonly reported undesirable outcomes:

In addition to the above, there are possible serious undesirable outcomes, that are however rare in terms of occurrence, namely:

Drug interactions of Vyvanse

All drugs come with the possibility of drug interactions and Vyvanse is not an exception. Interactions can trigger an increase in potency of either of the two drugs or it could impact the efficacy and potency of either of the two drugs. A common interaction is the aggravation of side effects of either of the two drugs.

Vyvanse may interact with MAOIs, belonging to the category of antidepressant medication, and result in a dangerous increase in blood pressure. The medication may interact with blood pressure and heart rate medications, as Vyvanse is known to increase blood pressure and heart rate. Therefore, intake of both medications can increase the risk of heart problems. Vyvanse may also interact with certain antidepressants, such as tricyclic antidepressants or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and this can increase the risk of side effects.

Intake of Vyvanse with CNS depressants or drugs that slow down the central nervous system, such as opioids or benzodiazepines, can increase the risk of CNS depression. This could lead to serious side effects, including respiratory depression. Vyvanse is also not to be taken along with stimulant medications such as amphetamines, as this combination may amplify or aggravate known side effects. Patients on Vyvanse or any medication are to inform treating specialists about intake of all medications, vitamins, and supplements to avoid any potential drug interactions.

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