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Vyvanse vs. Adderall

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Old 08-28-2010, 04:31 PM   #1
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Vyvanse vs. Adderall

My 11 yr. old son is taking 40 mg of Vyvanse. We just change health insurance to Keystone/Independence Blue Cross. Blue Cross will not renew his prescription even though I disclosed it and want him to take Adderall. I know Vyvanse is Shire's patent replacement for Adderall. Can someone share the differences if they have changed from adderall to vyvanse of vice versa? Thanks.

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Old 08-28-2010, 06:03 PM   #2
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Re: Vyvanse vs. Adderall

Ultimately, they're very similar. They're both amphetamines, so as a rule, should have very similar effects. There are some differences that may be significant, depending on your son's personal chemistry.

Adderall is mixed amphetamine salts. It consists of approximately 75% dextroamphetamine, and 25% levoamphetamine. These two enantiomers are chemically identical, but physically are mirror images of one another, one formed in what they call a right twist (thus dextro-) the other a left twist (levo-). Because they are physically different, they will result in slightly different effects, the result of binding differently with the various receptors on the cells of your body. The levoamphetamine is often blamed for some of the side effects experienced with Adderall, though I believe it does promote some different positive effects as well.

Vyvanse does not contain levoamphetamine. It is made up of dextroamphetamine bound with the amino acid L-lysine. These two are split in the gastrointestinal tract, thereby supplying the body with dextroamphetamine, though ideally at a graduated pace, rather than all at once. This effect is similar to the extended release versions of Adderall. This limited release formula is intended to deter abuse, as it's more difficult to get high using this drug.

Ultimately, it's impossible to predict how your son will respond to Adderall, as compared to Vyvanse. There are many who feel that Adderall is the only option for them, and do not respond as well to medications made up of only dextroamphetamine. On the other hand, many feel that the levoamphetamine in Adderall causes increased anxiety and negative physical responses (tremors, racing heartbeat, etc). Ultimately, it's all subjective and depends heavily on one's own individual chemical makeup. If the pharmacy is being difficult, you may decide to give Adderall a try, and see how your son responds, or you may enquire about Dexedrine if they're concerned about cost. Dexedrine is one of the oldest ADHD treatment medications and is made up exclusively of dextroamphetamine, it's just not bound with L-lysine. Funny how we can re-patent an old medication by adding an amino acid, no? You probably won't have a lot of luck obtaining Dexedrine, it tends to be frowned upon in the U.S. right now, but if the pharmacy is really concerned about the cost of the patented drug, tell them they can get the same thing for cheap with Dex.

I hope you feel better informed now, despite the convoluted ramble above. Best of luck!

Old 08-28-2010, 07:26 PM   #3
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Re: Vyvanse vs. Adderall

I dont know your young sons condition but please read about Vyvanse. Some doctor wanted to give it to me for PTSD and I read about it first and came to the conclusion that I would NEVER touch that stuff. Once again that was just my situation. I am a 41-year-old male.

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Old 08-29-2010, 08:58 AM   #4
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Re: Vyvanse vs. Adderall

I took Dexedrine IR tablets for 3 years tom treat ADHD. The med worked for a while then seemed to fizzle out quicker with time. The Doc would up the dose a bit then it gradually lost it's effectiveness so up the dose again until I was taking 40mg. AM, 40mg. afternoon, 20mg. late afternoon (I must also tell you this med was originally Rx'ed to ward off droopiness from Methadone I was on for Chronic Pain, 40mg. twice daily, this was how the ADHD was discovered). My Dr. (a Pain Mgmnt. doc) tried me on Adderall SR. It helped the Methadone lethargy and cleared my mind like never before. I was on 30mg. twice a day for a few years. I eventually began to see a Psych Doc for Depession/Anxiety disorder who took over the non-pain meds in conjuntion with the pain doc. It was after some time that I was able to get to where I no longer needed Methadone and came off it. It seemed the Adderall was not doing well at this point so my doc tried me on Vyvanse. I was on 50mg. AM, 30 mg. PM. It seemed to do well for a while but it also made my weight drop, my jaws were tight and my face thinned out. I began to feel "weird" or something so after only 2-3 months, we switched back to Adderall, this time 30mg. SR three times a day. This may seem like a lot but I also take Xanax and Prozac/Wellbutrin. Of all the meds for ADHD, the Adderall worked best but it does seem to have "highs and lows" with it. I guess that seems to happen to many, I wonder what switching to IR Adderall would help. Good luck, Jackbeanstalk

Old 09-01-2010, 11:44 AM   #5
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Re: Vyvanse vs. Adderall

I've taken Dex for nearly all my life but GP Dr. thought trying Vyn that I wouldn't have to take so many different doses. It works better than Adderal (put me right to sleep) but I still feel "normal" on Dex even though I do have to spread out the doses over the day. I take about the same meds as you and worry about taking "something to get going and then something to get down" but as long as I can function and be half way normal, what the hell.

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