Adderall Vs. Vyvanse

Adderall and Vyvanse are both stimulant medications. These two prescription drugs have a variety of similarities, as well as some key differences.

Adderall (brand name for amphetamine-dextroamphetamine) and Vyvanse (brand name for lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) are both stimulant medications. These two prescription drugs have a variety of similarities, as well as some key differences.

Similarities Between Adderall & Vyvanse

Both Adderall and Vyvanse are used to help treat those struggling with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Some of the symptoms of ADHD include difficulty remaining still as well as the inability to concentrate or maintain focus.

Drug Class & Schedule

Not only do Adderall and Vyvanse help treat symptoms of ADHD, they also both belong to a class of medications known as central nervous system (CNS) stimulants.

In addition to these similarities, Vyvanse and Adderall are schedule II controlled substances, according to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This means that these ADHD medications both have a high potential for abuse.

Side Effects

Adderall and Vyvanse cause similar side effects.

Common side effects of Adderall and Vyvanse may include:

  • dry mouth
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • nausea
  • weight loss
  • anxiety
  • sleeplessness

Some of the more severe similar side effects of Vyvanse and Adderall can include:

  • severe stomach pain
  • high blood pressure
  • psychosis
  • stroke
  • withdrawal symptoms
  • loss of appetite
  • seizures
  • overdose

In addition to these side effects, those taking Adderall or Vyvanse may experience heart problems such as a heart attack. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), even acute conditions such as an increased heart rate can occur.

Drug Interactions

Vyvanse and Adderall have dangerous drug interactions that can take place when medications are combined.

Before taking either prescription stimulant drug, you should seek medical advice from your doctor if you take monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), if anyone in your family has ever had heart problems, or if you are or plan to become pregnant.

How Adderall & Vyvanse Work

Both Adderall and Vyvanse contain amphetamine, which increases the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain, specifically norepinephrine and dopamine.

When this occurs, the symptoms caused by ADHD, such as inattention, are relieved. It allows also those who struggle with ADHD to become more focused.

Differences Between Adderall & Vyvanse

One of the main differences between Vyvanse and Adderall is the amount of amphetamine salt present in each stimulant. While Adderall consists of a combination of four separate types of amphetamine salts, Vyvanse contains only one.


In addition to this, Vyvanse and Adderall have different uses. While they both assist in the treatment of ADHD, Vyvanse is also used to treat binge eating disorder, a disorder in which a person has moments of uncontrollable eating.

When it comes to Adderall, this stimulant also helps treat narcolepsy, a sleep disorder in which a person experiences excessive sleepiness or falls asleep abruptly.

When it comes to Vyvanse vs. Adderall, these central nervous system stimulants provide multiple uses and are both beneficial in different ways.

Abuse Potential

With Vyvanse, the medication is available as a tablet or chewable tablet. As for Adderall, it comes as an immediate-release or extended-release tablet. The extended-release form of Adderall is considered Adderall XR.

Because Vyvanse must be swallowed to feel the effects of the drug, it cannot be snorted. A person seeking to abuse a stimulant by snorting it may choose Adderall since it can be crushed into a powder form and abused in that manner.

Prescription Stimulant Addiction Treatment

For those living with a stimulant addiction, consider finding treatment. At Northeast Addictions Treatment Center, we provide a variety of outpatient services to assist you on your road to recovery, including:

To learn more about how we can help, contact one of our healthcare professionals.

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

Published on

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This page does not provide medical advice.

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