vyvanse question

hi everyone. I recently got diagnosed with adhd. results said “clinically significant adhd” but I’m not sure what that means in terms of how severe it is. Anyways, I tried adderral instant release and hated how I felt. I was anxious already so I got very anxious and didn’t feel right on it, getting dissociated and unable to think or focus from nerves. Almost like I was high on weed and having a bad time. Anyways, told my psychiatrist and she’s having my try Vyvanse. I’m nervous because I don’t want to feel different than myself on it, I don’t want to feel that dissociated anxious feeling if that makes sense. Is vyvanse a drug where you really won’t feel any different or too much increased anxiety? (I’m starting on 20mg)


I don’t know to much about it, i can’t even remember the name of the one i take lol

But I do know that they effect people in different ways and it is normal to try several different drugs until you find the one which is right for you.

So unfortunately the only way to find out how it will make you feel, is to try it, and if it doesn’t improve your life, then stop.

Be sure to consult whoever subscribes your medication before you decide though.



First of all, welcome here to the HowToADHD forums @katiedoo !

I interpret “clinically significant ADHD” to mean that it is more severe, but you ought to ask the person who diagnosed you whether that is what it means.

  • The licensed counselor who diagnosed me characterized my ADHD as “mild-to-moderate” (after my concurrent anxiety was well-controlled; the anxiety acted as a multiplier for my ADHD traits).

I have no experience with Vyvanse, but I believe it has a slower release them the instant release Adderall. I previously took Adderall XR (extended release), which was released into my body over a period of several hours. I did not experience any increase in anxiety, which I was concerned I might, but the first week I was on a higher dose I did experience an elevated heart rate (tachycardia). Vyvanse is related to Adderall, but if I remember right, it can only be released via digestion.

Do you know what type of ADHD presentation you have?
(Predominantly Inattentive presentation, Predominantly Hyperactive-Interactive presentation, or Combined presentation)

I have the Predominantly Inattentive presentation, and I have found that non-stimulant atomoxetine works twice as well for me than Adderall XR did. It was a months-long process working with my doctor to find the medication and dosage that works well for me. Even so, my current counselor (who has ADHD himself and decades of experience treating ADHD) is certain that I am still under-medicated.

There are a number of medications for the treatment of ADHD, the two most prominent being from two families of stimulants, those like Adderall, and those like Ritalin. Many people with ADHD will respond to one, the other, or both. Then there are non-stimulant meds like atomoxetine (brand name Strattera, I’m on a generic), antidepressants (notably Wellbutrin), and I think even one blood pressure medication.

Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing how a person will respond to a particular medication before trying it. According to medical studies, the majority of people with ADHD will respond well to one or more medications.

My best advice is to keep a daily journal to record how you feel while on a medication.


Everyone responds to medication differently. And there are multiple types of stimulants and non-stimulants for ADHD, so individual response can vary within class.

I am on Vyvanse right now and I would say it doesn’t change who I am. It helps my mind calm down, helps with me getting started on projects, and in general keeps me more focused on work, conversations, and day-to-day things. I was so grateful for starting it. I started on 20 mg as well, and I’m now at 70 mg.

I would say make sure to make notes of what you’re feeling on the medication, good or bad, and try to track when those things happen. Do your symptoms get worse right after taking the medicine or a few hours later? How long to the side effects last? What is the most problematic side effect for you?

Many side effects go away in time, but for the ones that don’t you have to work with your provider to see if they’re worth dealing with or worth making a change. It’s hard to predict how you will react in advance, so communication along the way is super important. Good luck!

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Thanks so much. Sorry for the late reply. I haven’t asked which kind I have, but I do believe it’s either the inattentive or combined, I’ll have to look get some answers! Additionally, I’m going to start a journal to note how I feel on this to see if it’s working best for me or not. Thanks again! :slight_smile:

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Thank you so much for the insight and suggestion! Going to be taking note of all my side effects etc. from here on out :slight_smile:

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It should be noted that ‘nocebo effect’ is a thing, so don’t get yourself so obsessed with sideeffects that you inadvertently create some for yourself :P.

From a quick look at Wikipedia, lisdexamfetamine (the actual drug behind the brand name Vyvanse) is effectively dextroamphetamine, while Adderall is a special blend of amphetamine salts, and sounds like it give you a mix of dextroamphetamine and levoamphetamine.

So it could be that the levo. was causing the trouble, and a formulation without it will be fine, or it could also be as simple as the rate of release/absorption being too fast (compare skulling a shot of coffee to sipping a latte).

dashes off to work

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Adderall is a mix of amphetamine and dextroamfetamine (i.e. “amphetamine salts”).

gets back from work

As long as you have the presence of mind at the relevant time, I would certainly encourage you to ask questions of your physician; she should be quite happy to answer ones like, “How is this new one different from the old one?” and, “So, what has you thinking this one will be better for me?” And if she won’t take the time to properly inform you when you ask for some basic explanation of what is being done to you, you should probably consider replacing her.

Also, pharmacists can be good people to ask when one has questions about a medication, as it is literally their speciality, and while there are distinct limits on what level of medical advice they can give (although they have a responsibility to do things like not proceed with a script if they recognise a clear problem such as ‘these two together will kill you dead’ [but they will try to contact the prescribing doctor to figure out WTF is going on with it]), they certainly should be able to give comparative information about two drugs and their side effects.

Given that amphetamine is composed of dextroamphetamine and levoamphetamine (which are mirror images of each other), I think my original paragraph is more useful. A search for those two gives results like this:

“…This effect occurs because Adderall contains 25% levoamphetamine. Levoamphetamine is more biased toward promoting norepinephrine release than Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine). Norepinephrine activates the sympathetic nervous system or the fight-or-flight response. …”

Which may actually answer katiedoo’s question – if levo’ has a greater effect than dex’ on ‘the fight or flight response’, that would fit with a feeling of being on edge and anxious, and it is logical to hope that cutting out the levo’ will cut out that problem.

Fair enough. Most often, I’d seen the amphetamine salts listed as I wrote. Thank you for sharing, you’ve increased my knowledge about Adderall.


The names of the specific salts with have the name of the drug followed by things like *aspartate monohydrate or *sulfate. Same sort of deal as how say, a magnesium supplement is magnesium, but could be in the specific citrate or sulfate forms (among others). The exact details of bioavailability and rate of absorption and such can vary between them, but is a bit of a ‘it depends’ thing.

I’m glad it this was actually beneficial in some small way :smiley: .

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