safety medical

Vyvanse and alcohol - A Complex Interaction

Vyvanse is an FDA approved drug that is used in the management of patients with ADHD. It is an inactive prodrug that is broken down in the body into an active form. In order for Vyvanse to act as prescribed, it is essential that the patient follows certain lifestyle changes to ensure that the drug exerts its maximum beneficial effect.

In patients who consume alcohol in excessive amounts, Vyvanse can interact with it and can cause significant damage to various vital organs. In fact, Vyvanse is not recommended for patients who consume large amounts of alcohol. Some of the commonly affected organs include the liver and the cardiovascular system.


The amphetamines that are produced by Vyvanse can have a detrimental effect on the functioning of the liver in patients who consume large amounts of alcohol. In other words, Vyvanse can be hepatotoxic. The level of toxicity varies but can be significant enough to require emergency treatment and in the rare cases a liver transplant.


In addition to its effects on the liver, Vyvanse that is taken by patients addicted to alcohol can have a significantly detrimental effect on the functioning of the cardiovascular system. This effect is seen irrespective of whether or not patients have underlying heart disease or a history of heart disease in the family.

Development of tolerance to alcohol

In the initial stages of alcohol addiction, patients find that they need more and more alcohol to achieve the same effect that they used to get with small amounts of alcohol when they started drinking. In patients taking Vyvanse, consuming large amounts of alcohol can result in them becoming tolerant to alcohol. This means that they can either get extremely drunk following just one drink or required a lot more than usual to get drunk.

Neurological effects

Patients consuming Vyvanse and alcohol in combination have been noted the experience blackouts and memory loss. It is therefore of utmost importance that alcohol be completely stopped if the patient is on Vyvanse.


Patients consuming alcohol when on a course of Vyvanse tend to be prone to developing dehydration. In the event of this occurring, immediate treatment is required.

Precautions to take

It is strongly recommended that patients who are on a regular Vyvanse stop alcohol consumption completely. This is because the body's response to even small amounts of alcohol becomes unpredictable in the presence of Vyvanse. Some have recommended consuming alcohol only 12 hours after the last dose of Vyvanse but we do not recommend that as Vyvanse may still remain in the circulation when alcohol is consumed. The patient's behaviour seen by combining these two medications can become unpredictable as well.

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