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6 Side Effects of Vyvanse and How to Manage Them

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Vyvanse is a medication commonly prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in both children and adults. While Vyvanse can be an effective treatment option for managing ADHD symptoms, it can also have side effects that individuals should be aware of. 

  1. Loss of Appetite

One of the most common side effects of Vyvanse is a loss of appetite. This can occur because Vyvanse stimulates the central nervous system and decreases hunger signals. For individuals who are already struggling with poor appetite or eating disorders, this side effect can be particularly concerning.

To manage this side effect, it is important to prioritise proper nutrition and hydration. Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day can be helpful in maintaining energy levels and preventing malnutrition. Drinking plenty of fluids can also help to stay hydrated and reduce the risk of constipation.

  1. Insomnia

Another common side effect of Vyvanse is insomnia, or difficulty falling or staying asleep. This can occur because Vyvanse is a stimulant and can increase alertness and energy levels.

To manage this side effect, it is important to prioritise good sleep hygiene. This can include creating a consistent sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and electronics before bedtime, and creating a comfortable sleep environment. If insomnia persists, healthcare professionals may adjust the dosage or prescribe a separate medication to promote sleep.

  1. Headaches

Headaches are a common side effect of Vyvanse, occurring in approximately 15% of individuals who take the medication. Headaches can range from mild to severe and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea or dizziness.

To manage this side effect, over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be helpful. If headaches persist or become severe, healthcare professionals may adjust the dosage or prescribe a different medication.

  1. Nausea

Nausea is another common side effect of Vyvanse, occurring in approximately 11% of individuals who take the medication. Nausea can be accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, stomach pain, or loss of appetite.

To manage this side effect, it is important to stay hydrated and avoid consuming large meals or spicy or greasy foods. Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day and drinking plenty of fluids can also be helpful. If nausea persists or becomes severe, healthcare professionals may adjust the dosage or prescribe a different medication.

  1. Anxiety

Anxiety is a less common side effect of Vyvanse, occurring in approximately 5% of individuals who take the medication. Anxiety can range from mild to severe and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as restlessness, irritability, or panic attacks.

To manage this side effect, it is important to prioritise stress-management techniques such as deep breathing, mindfulness, or regular exercise. Healthcare professionals may also adjust the dosage or prescribe a separate medication to manage anxiety symptoms.

  1. Mood changes

Mood changes are another potential side effect of Vyvanse, occurring in approximately 3% of individuals who take the medication. Mood changes can include irritability, agitation, or mood swings.

To manage this side effect, it is important to prioritise self-care and stress-management techniques. Engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation, such as hobbies or spending time in nature, can be helpful in managing mood changes. Healthcare professionals may also adjust the dosage or prescribe a separate medication to manage mood symptoms.

Takeaway

While Vyvanse can be an effective treatment option for managing ADHD symptoms, it is important to be aware of the potential side effects and how to manage them. Loss of appetite, insomnia, headaches, nausea, anxiety, and mood changes are among the most common side effects of Vyvanse, and it is important to work closely with a healthcare professional to manage these side effects and adjust treatment as needed.

Prioritising self-care, stress-management techniques, and good sleep hygiene can be helpful in managing many of these side effects. With proper management and support, individuals with ADHD can achieve optimal symptom control and improve their overall quality of life.


David Radar, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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