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Problems With Vyvanse

Apr 04, 2009 - 9 comments
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i



I am a fifteen year old, and I am writing this because I need some advice.
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Just a little while ago, I felt as if I was in a thick, tired fog, making it extremely difficult to type. My eyes didn't look right, and I was feeling off-balance. My heart was racing. I randomly had strange "fuzzy" sensations on my skin. I was sensitive to, and irritated by, a lot of normal, everyday things. I felt like a zombie and I couldn't think straight.

These are just some of the things I've been experiencing for the past two days.
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Two days ago, I met for the first time my new psychiatric counselors and doctors. After some paperwork, a brief check-up, a talk with the head doctor, and a profile assessment, I was officially diagnosed with ADHD.

He then prescribed to me the amphetamine, Vyvanse (30mg). I was to take it the very next morning after breakfast.

I have had very few problems with the my other medications, like the antidepressant, Zoloft (50mg), and the antihistamine, Zyrtec (10mg). But I have started to notice some very disturbing and confusing side effects the same day I started taking this.

On Friday, I had taken one pill in the morning and left to go to school (I had taken my other medications the night before). At first it didn't seem too bad. I was concentrating better and felt a lot more confident.

I then started to develop a headache. On my visit to the nurse, I wasn't too worried. My doctor had talked to us about some side-effects that would probably occur. He said that they should go away in a week or so. I took a Motrin and went cheerfully back to class.

But in the next hour or so, I started to feel just a little too happy and alert. You could have probably said the extent of it was to the point of insanity. Everything that I said was a mile a minute, and I had the peculiar delusion that everyone was my friend. I even started to cry and sob when my friend told me to shut up, even though I had previously told her to say so if I started to become annoying.

After crying like an idiot, my headache then came back with nausea. I came back to the nurse a second time, and I decided to lay down to rest for a bit. After a few minutes, I went into the bathroom to splash some water on my face.

When I looked into the mirror, I noticed something was very strange about my eyes. As I looked closer, I soon realized that my pupils were dilating and then becoming small again in a random, vaguely spasmodic motion. They were bigger than usual, and my left was bigger than my right.

I told the nurse about my eyes and wanted to go home. She called my parents, but left out the part about my eyes in the description she gave (I don't know why, either). My mother told me to take a second Motrin for my headache and go back to class.

In my next class, I asked my friend about the condition of my eyes. My friend had said to me that she could see something was wrong, even though my pupils are usually very hard to see at a distance.

After I came home, I was exhausted. I had used up all of my energy and I started to feel extremely depressed. Everything I had been exited about earlier in the day was simply boring. All I wanted to do was sleep, and I just didn't feel like doing anything at all.

After I had taken a nap that was a few hours long, I woke up to eat dinner. Soon after I woke up, my heart was racing faster than usual. I developed stomach pains and nausea, the kind you feel when you're about to vomit. Luckily I did not, and a bit of food helped a bit (this drug lessens your appetite, so I can probably assume that hunger was the most likely cause).

Unfortunately, because of the long nap, I had a particularly tough time getting to sleep. More specifically, I had forgotten to sleep. I was much too busy sorting tea sets and doll clothes, reading, and checking on my hamster. It was probably five-thirty or so before I finally went to bed.

When I woke up this morning, my eyes were still a bit out of sorts. My family insisted they were fine, but they didn't seem very fine to me. I hadn't taken my other medications the night before, and ended up taking them at nine.

At noon, after taking forever to get up and eat breakfast, I took the Vyvanse again. I could be exaggerating, but I felt, almost immediately, the surge of energy come back again. My eyes (especially my left) were left dilated. I was very childishly irritable with my father, and became hyperactive. It lasted for a while, and, just as quickly as it started, disappeared.

While I was writing all of this, things got worse. I became frustrated with people who bothered me, and my mind quickly became foggy and dull. I was put into a zombie-like state, complete with the blank, unthinking stare and a dead, monotonous tone when I spoke. I can't even remember some of the things that were happening after that occurred.
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Though all of this has happened, we have only just begun to test if Vyvanse is right for me and can help me concentrate. And it does, for a short while. But for me, it's already starting to look like a terrifying roller coster of tall, steep ups and plummeting, spiraling downs. That definitely doesn't sound like the "twelve-hour consistency" slogan that they advertise. Even so, I do not know how this medication will end up working as time progresses. But I am hoping that the side-effects won't be permanent, and, most importantly, not terminal.
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What I am now trying to ask of you, my friend, is for some knowledgeable and trustworthy advice. The answers to these questions are extremely important and urgent. These answers will help in deciding what would be the best thing for my family to do. If this drug is not going to help, and if it will harm me unnecessarily, you can be most certain that I will stop taking it. This is my body, my mind, and my life.
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~Are all of these typical, mild side-effects, or did I mention any of the more serious ones that need to be treated as such?
~If I do continue to take this drug, will the side-effects gradually get better or only become worse and worse?
~Are there any permanent side-effects from taking this drug?
~What are the very-real, compromising, and life-threatening risks of taking this drug besides addiction?
~If it applies, what kind of personal experiences have you or someone you've known had with this drug?
~What kinds of things would you do in this situation?
~Would you advise an alternative to Vyvanse, and what is it?
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I thank you with all my heart for your time and patience.
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Comments
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by nellyg, May 02, 2009
Did I respond to this before? I feel like I did, but I can't remember, and I don't see any comments on it right now. If I didn't, I have also been trying Vyvanse (for 2 or 3 weeks now) and could share my experience if that would help.

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by 20101051, May 05, 2009
wow, it sounds like you're effects are very extreme and not being taken seriously by your parents. i'm 16 years old and was diagnosed with add about 5 months ago. after trying concerta which didnt seem to do much, i'm taking 40 mg of vyvanse. you mentioned that you felt really happy and energetic when you first took it. i've been reading different things online that say many people feel irritable when they're on the drug; but i also feel very happy and talkative when i'm taking it. i talk to people that i normally wouldn't, and i feel confident. once the medication wears off, though, i become very irritable and everything seems to bother me. i also feel lazy and like i can't make myself accomplish anything once the effects wear off (compared to the talkative and super happy person on the medication, i become boring and say nothing later in the day). the drug is supposed to last for 12 hours, so i don't know if this is just all in my head, i feel so much less focused and concentrated after only about 5 hours. before i started taking vyvanse, i'd have good days and bad days like most people do, but ever since i started taking it, i feel sooo happy for a few hours and the next few i feel so depressed, gloomy, and all i want to do is sleep and not talk to anyone. So i guess my biggest problem is the constant roller coaster of moods, except that i feel extremely happy while on the medication and depressed after (opposite of most people).  i'm curious to see how the medication is working for you now (if you're still on it).  

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by nellyg, May 10, 2009
I was on Vyvanse 50 mg for about a week and a half. The first day I felt really happy, confident, and I couldn't stop talking. But each day I took it, the "high" was less and shorter, and instead I slipped into a zombie state. I also lost my appetite, eating just toast in the morning and maybe some yogurt at night. I had a racing heart and a dry mouth. I started to feel emotional, and lashed out at people in situations that I normally wouldn't have. But maybe that was just disappointment that I wasn't going to get the high every day. Maybe I was just disappointed Vyvanse wasn't the miracle it seemed to be the first day.

Anyway, my doctor moved me down to 40 mg because I lost about 7 pounds in less than 2 weeks. I definitely have less side effects now, but unfortunately the desired effects have lessened too. On 50 mg I was able to concentrate, be more organized, and procrastinate less. Maybe it was psychological though? Anyway, on 40 mg I'm eating a little more and my mouth is a little less dry.

I'm not expecting Vyvanse to change my life. I know I have to put in the effort. But I have to say I am disappointed right now. (Oh btw I am also a teenager who was just diagnosed with ADD - not the hyper kind, just inattentive.)

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by furryrabbit21, Jul 21, 2009
I'm 18 and recently was diagnosed with ADHD (the innattentive type rather than the hyperactive type). My doctor first put my on Concerta and I had a bad reaction to it, but that's a whole other story. I've only been taking Vyvanse for 6 days, but I experienced very similar effects to what you mentioned when I had caffeine along with the medication. Even a small amount of caffeine would make me feel wonderful and energetic for a while only to crash terribly a few hours later. If you drink caffeinated drinks, cut them out of your diet while you're trying Vyvanse and hopefully that will solve the problem. Good luck with everything.

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by criszz, Oct 04, 2009
i have no clue what other people have said about this because im jumping straight to a reply.

i have to take adhd meds to. i am 13. i also suffer from "severe clinical depression" I found out after about a week that it makes depression worse. and it also creates mood swings in some people. but i believe you have manic depression. .. manic depression + adhd meds. = very bad.
talk to your doctor about all of this he will most likely say the same

Ive been dealing with this **** my whole life so i know what im talking about. yes please mate

if he agrees. ask if you could try a low dose of concerta and an ssri.

works pretty well for me. the only down side is that you have to change the dose for concerta pretty often
good luck

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by jpolo, Nov 11, 2009
I took Vyvanse for about 6 months.  I started with 30mg, the went to an apparently strange dose of 40mg, then to 50mg.  I then started to have major constipation problems.  So I started taking half a dose (25mg) and the constipation cleared up.  The main thing that concerned me was that my heart rate which used to be very relaxed was now almost constantly in the pre-hypertension stage.  That's why I stopped taking it.  But while on it I was exactly the same way, easier to concentrate, more confident, more talkative.  And once I was on it for over a month I was didn't have the changes in mood at all and was able to sleep.  I started being able to figure out the signs of hunger, which are different than the normal stomache pains...I realized that when I started slipping back into the ADDish mode or slight light headedness - it was because I had forgotten to eat.  Once I ate I was fine.  But the high heart rate was enough to scare me into not taking it any more.



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by murdock92188, Dec 14, 2009
I am 21 years old and was recently diagnosed with ADHD about a month to a month and a half ago.  I'm currently being prescribed 70mg.  I find that maybe 45mins to an hour after I take it, it starts working.  I get very talkative as well...everything is right with the world, however, I have yet to discipline myself on how this exciting new focus power should be toward my studying (which I should be doing as I type) instead of my love for people. Lol. But I too find that it only lasts about 5 hours or so, and then I come back down, wishing I could be that talkative, loving, energetic person I was just 5 hours ago b/c it was so nice and I was so HAPPY!  However, I can see that this is the type of medicine that can make people want to abuse it, and, if I had but a wee bit less self-control/morals, I would love to take one again as it wore off. I know that would be a terrible thing to do (healthwise) so I don't. Also, I have been pulling all-nighters with no problems for my final exams, and whatnot. Probably not a good thing (especially 3 in 5 days!). Not to mention my lack of appetite as well (not really notable weight loss--mainly b/c I don't think I can lose anymore weight).  But I wish it did, however, last as long as they say it did. It's nice, and I'm gonna see how it progresses, but for now, I'll try to use those 5 hours for solid work.

ps. Thank you jpolo for the alternate signs of hunger solving the loss of focus!
Ciao!

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by Girl4hvn, Jun 16, 2012
Hi I'm 21 years old and a Sr. In college. I was diagnosed the summer before my Sr year in HS...do when I was 17, about to be 18. To all of you, you will feel thi "kick" more if you do not eat before. It is VERY important to eat a healthy breakfast considering you may forget to eat later. One way to help is to keep some healthy snacks around, almonds, peacans, peanut butter, stuff like that. Avoid OJ and vitamin C along with most fruit juices.
As your doctor about starting at a lower dose, then when you start feeling these symptoms again, you know it means it's time to change the dose. The symptoms you mentioned, for the most part, occurs when an incorrect dose is taken.
Yes, you may have some symptoms, especially at the beginning...but don't stop taking it because that will make them worse. Try to keep a small journal or dated list of symptoms you feel so you can show your doctor and monitor it yourself.
The pills do help but if you rely on them only, you will not be able to reap the benefits or learn to control those moods better. Though it can be slightly expensive, I highly suggest taking part in a program such as Brain Works. I did a few months there and it made a large difference. They found out my strengths and weaknesses in school and learning-many of which I didn't know. I thought I was stupid or just bad at math, but after working with them, I found my math skills were amazing. I went from a A/B/C average in all my classes to having a 4.0 my Sr year. They gave me skills and ways to train myself to focus so I wouldn't have to always rely on the pills. This helps especially if you forget them one day and you have a test or class. If I only have one class and I don't want to be focused all 12 hours, I will have an energy drink. Take it slowly throughout the full length of your class.
My freshman year of college, I decided I didn't need the pills and could do it on my own. BIG mistake. My grades slipped a lot. It wasn't just the meds tho-I was a lot more social.
Sorry to tell you guys, but when you have ADD you sometimes have to work harder and longer than others just to get by. I later realized that instead of hanging out with everyone during the day, I should have a few friends (2-5) to study with...that way you can be social but also keep each other on track. Plus it's fun if your friend falls asleep while studying to take a funny pic of them and a video of you waking them up in a fun way...make incentives for yourself, like for every assignment you finish you get a snack, or for every hour or 2 you study, you get a 15 minute dance break. Breaking your studying down and giving your mind a short rest also help improve your memory and help the pills work well. I find taking notes in different colors and highlighting my book helps a lot too.
Back to the symptoms: my symptoms started getting better when I started training myself how to focus. Your pills should not be a crutch but just something to give you that extra safety net lol.
I would live to discuss more with who ever wants to. I can give you advice, and hear you out. I may have some insight on stuff you don't.
I do advise you to definitely check out other medicines and do some research on your own, I found I am more easily agitated when not on my meds and now suffer from possible mild depression at times. Luckily I have Jesus in my life who comforts me and gives me joy even in my darkest hours. Feel free to contact me.Hope this helps.

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by katielyst, Dec 20, 2012
This is waaay after the fact, but I've been on vyvanse (90 mg/day) for almost 6 years and I can't imagine my life without it. I started off with a really low dose, 30 mg/day) and over a period of about 8to months that 30 mg/day turned into 90 mg/day - I also am prescribed 5a mg (yes, mg - not a typo) of Klonopin each day to treat my social anxiety disorder, help me eat on the vyvanse, and help me sleep. It took about 2 years to get used to the LOOONG lasting effects of the vyvanse, and you really have to commit to wanting to restructure your life to make it work. Now, no matter what, my alarm goes off by 7:00am at the latest, I'm productive and super functional until about 3, then the klonopin helps me ride the vyvanse wave steadily down to bedtime, still allowing me to be functional until about 10:30/11 when it's time for bed. But I wouldn't dream of trying anything else - vyvanse gave me my life back!

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