Medications to control symptoms of ADHD abound, and one of the biggest concerns is that the side effects of a drug may outweigh its benefits. Adderall may have finally met its match in Vyvanse. In 2011 there were nearly three times as many teens and preteens on Vyvanse as there were taking Adderall. How do the drugs match up? Let's do a Vyvanse vs Adderall comparison and see.
Both drugs are psychostimulants and are addictive. Vyvanse is considered to be the less addictive of the two which may account for why more doctors are prescribing it. Unlike Adderall, Vyvanse is just for ADHD sufferers and is not used to treat other conditions like narcolepsy. One of the major differences between Vyvanse and Adderall is that Vyvanse is a once a day treatment whereas Adderall usually needs to be taken 2 to 3 times per day. Of course, a comparison of Vyvanse vs Adderall XR takes this difference out of the equation, since Adderall XR is a longer lasting version of the drug designed to be taken less frequently. Both of these medications are manufactured by the same pharmaceutical company, Shire.
It should be noted that as of yet there is no generic equivalent to Vyvanse which means that some health insurance companies may refuse to cover it. Another consideration is that while Adderall is available for use in both the United States and Canada, Vyvanse is only legal in the US at this time.
Common side effects of Adderall include weight loss, headaches, anxiety, irritability, and insomnia. Vyvanse is not without its share of side effects. It can cause some similar effects such as anxiety, headache, insomnia, and irritability. Added to these side effects are general discomfort, restlessness, dizziness and nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, upper abdominal discomfort, dry mouth, and rapid heart beat.
Vyvanse does have the advantage of having less frequent side effects, but Adderall is the stronger mix of drugs. Another plus for Vyvanse is that what you eat or drink with it does not limit the effectiveness of the drug like it may occasionally do with Adderall. Shire developed Vyvanse because the patent expired on Adderall and generic forms were released causing a decrease in profits. For all intents and purposes, Vyvanse is a long lasting version of Dexedrine. It is expensive, and may require a higher dose to achieve the same results as Adderall.
As always, consult your physician to see which medication is best for you.