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Adderall vs. Vyvanse: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 28, 2023
Adderall contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, prescribed for ADHD; Vyvanse contains lisdexamfetamine, a prodrug activated in the body, also used for ADHD.

Key Differences

Adderall and Vyvanse are both FDA-approved medications primarily prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adderall contains a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which are central nervous system stimulants. In contrast, Vyvanse contains lisdexamfetamine, which is a prodrug and requires conversion in the body to become effective.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 28, 2023
The mechanism of action between Adderall and Vyvanse shows differences as well. While both drugs act by increasing the concentrations of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, Adderall starts working more quickly after ingestion. Vyvanse, on the other hand, due to its prodrug nature, needs to be metabolized in the body first, resulting in a more gradual onset of effects and potentially smoother symptom control.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 28, 2023
Regarding the duration of effects, Vyvanse tends to have a longer duration of action compared to Adderall. This means that patients might need fewer doses of Vyvanse in a day compared to Adderall. Additionally, because of the way Vyvanse is metabolized, it might be associated with a lower potential for misuse compared to Adderall.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 28, 2023
From a prescription standpoint, Adderall comes in both immediate-release (IR) and extended-release (XR) formulations. Vyvanse, in contrast, only comes in an extended-release form. Both medications, Adderall and Vyvanse, require a prescription and have the potential for side effects, so a healthcare professional must monitor their use.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 28, 2023

Comparison Chart

Active Ingredient

Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine
Lisdexamfetamine
Sumera Saeed
Oct 28, 2023
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Onset of Effects

Faster onset
Gradual onset due to prodrug nature
Sumera Saeed
Oct 28, 2023

Duration of Effects

Shorter for IR, longer for XR
Typically longer-lasting
Sumera Saeed
Oct 28, 2023

Potential for Misuse

Possibly higher
Possibly lower due to prodrug metabolism
Sara Rehman
Oct 28, 2023

Available Formulations

Immediate-release (IR) and extended-release (XR)
Only extended-release
Sumera Saeed
Oct 28, 2023

Adderall and Vyvanse Definitions

Adderall

Available in both immediate and extended-release forms.
Depending on the patient's needs, the doctor might prescribe Adderall XR.
Janet White
Oct 28, 2023
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Vyvanse

A controlled substance with potential side effects.
It's essential to take Vyvanse only as prescribed to avoid adverse reactions.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 28, 2023

Adderall

A medication containing amphetamine compounds.
The doctor prescribed Adderall to help manage the patient's ADHD symptoms.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 28, 2023

Vyvanse

A medication containing lisdexamfetamine as its active ingredient.
Vyvanse is often used as a first-line treatment for ADHD.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 28, 2023

Adderall

A drug used for treating ADHD and narcolepsy.
Some college students misuse Adderall as a study aid.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 28, 2023

Vyvanse

A prodrug activated in the body.
The effects of Vyvanse are felt once the body metabolizes it.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 28, 2023

Adderall

A controlled substance due to its potential for misuse.
Possessing Adderall without a prescription is illegal.
Sara Rehman
Oct 28, 2023

Vyvanse

Used primarily to treat ADHD and binge eating disorder.
The doctor prescribed Vyvanse to help the patient with their binge eating episodes.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 28, 2023

Adderall

A stimulant affecting the central nervous system.
Adderall can increase focus and decrease impulsivity in ADHD patients.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 28, 2023

Vyvanse

Known for its extended-release formulation.
Patients usually take Vyvanse once daily due to its long-lasting effects.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 28, 2023

FAQs

Can Adderall be used for conditions other than ADHD?

Yes, apart from ADHD, Adderall can also be prescribed for narcolepsy.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 28, 2023

Is Vyvanse an immediate-release medication?

No, Vyvanse is only available in an extended-release form.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 28, 2023

How long does the effect of Vyvanse last?

The effects of Vyvanse can last up to 14 hours.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 28, 2023

What are common side effects of Adderall?

Side effects can include insomnia, nervousness, and increased heart rate, among others.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 28, 2023

Are there non-stimulant alternatives to Adderall for ADHD?

Yes, medications like Strattera and Intuniv are non-stimulant options.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 28, 2023

Can Vyvanse cause anxiety?

Anxiety is a potential side effect of Vyvanse, but not everyone experiences it.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 28, 2023

What is Adderall primarily used for?

Adderall is primarily prescribed for ADHD and narcolepsy.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 28, 2023

Is it safe to take Adderall and Vyvanse together?

Combining them could be harmful. Always consult a healthcare professional before mixing medications.
Sara Rehman
Oct 28, 2023

Are there any dietary restrictions when taking Vyvanse?

Certain foods or drinks, like citrus, might interfere with absorption. Discuss with a doctor.
Harlon Moss
Oct 28, 2023

Can Adderall affect blood pressure?

Yes, Adderall can raise blood pressure and should be used with caution in those with hypertension.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 28, 2023

Is there a generic version of Vyvanse?

As of my last update in January 2022, there's no generic equivalent for Vyvanse in the U.S.
Harlon Moss
Oct 28, 2023

How is the active ingredient in Vyvanse different from Adderall?

Vyvanse contains lisdexamfetamine, a prodrug, while Adderall contains amphetamine compounds.
Sara Rehman
Oct 28, 2023

How quickly does Adderall start working?

The effects of Adderall IR can be felt within 30 minutes to an hour.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 28, 2023

Can Vyvanse be used for weight loss?

While Vyvanse can reduce appetite, it's not approved for weight loss and should not be used off-label for this purpose.
Harlon Moss
Oct 28, 2023

Can Vyvanse be opened and sprinkled on food?

Yes, the contents of a Vyvanse capsule can be sprinkled on food if swallowing pills is a challenge.
Sara Rehman
Oct 28, 2023

Is Adderall available in extended-release form?

Yes, there's an extended-release version called Adderall XR.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 28, 2023

Does Vyvanse have a potential for addiction?

Yes, Vyvanse is a controlled substance with potential for misuse and dependency.
Janet White
Oct 28, 2023

Is Vyvanse more expensive than Adderall?

Prices can vary, but Vyvanse is often more expensive than generic forms of Adderall.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 28, 2023

How should Adderall be stored?

Store Adderall in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 28, 2023

Is it safe to drink alcohol while taking Adderall?

Mixing Adderall with alcohol can be dangerous and is not recommended.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 28, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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