People who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are generally prescribed one of two medications to help them with their condition, either Vyvanse or Adderall. As a result, many patients are curious what the differences are in Vyvanse vs Adderall.

Or, another possible scenario is that some people who don’t have a prescription are using Adderall and/or Vyvanse to get high or to gain more energy. If you fall into this category, we at Knoxville Recovery Center addiction rehab program understand how hard it can be to break free of harmful habits like these. 

Let’s take a moment to talk about the differences between Adderall and Vyvanse and explore how they work inside of your body. 

vyvanse vs adderall

What is Adderall?

Adderall is an amphetamine-based medication that is used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. It is also prescribed for people who want to increase their focus and improve their mood. Adderall is taken as a pill and works by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is responsible for feelings of well-being, concentration, and reward. When someone has ADHD, dopamine levels are low in the brain.

The medication Adderall helps increase dopamine levels, allowing people with ADHD to have more focus and concentration, as well as a boost in mood and energy. Adderall is a Schedule II controlled substance, which means it has a strong potential for abuse. Individuals who take it for non-medical reasons may find that it provides a “high” or feeling of euphoria. Furthermore, long-term use of this medication may negatively impact the development of the brain, especially in young people.

vyvanse vs adderall

What is Vyvanse?

Vyvanse is another amphetamine-based medication that is used to treat ADHD and is taken as a tablet. Vyvanse is a powerful ADHD medication that is also used to treat binge-eating disorder. It also works by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Like Adderall, Vyvanse is a controlled substance, which means it has a strong potential for abuse.

Vyvanse works by increasing the brain’s ability to transmit and receive signals. This, in turn, helps people focus on tasks, reduces hyperactivity, and increases attention span. ADHD is a brain disorder that affects at least 5 percent of children. People with ADHD have trouble focusing, focusing on one thing for too long, and/or controlling their behavior. People with ADHD may struggle with paying attention to schoolwork, engaging in age-appropriate social interactions, or managing their own impulses. Vyvanse can help with these symptoms.

Vyvanse vs. Adderall

Although both medicines are used to treat the same medical conditions, there is one main difference between Adderall and Vyvanse. Adderall contains four different kinds of amphetamine salts, whereas Vyvanse only has one. It is known as lisdexamfetamine, which must be chemically converted by the body before it is activated. 

Since Adderall contains free amphetamine salts, the possibility of it being abused is greater than Vyvanse. However, both are controlled substances and therefore have a high potential for abuse.

Another difference is that since there is no generic version of Vyvanse on the market, it costs more to buy than Adderall. 

vyvanse vs adderall
About Prescription Stimulants

Prescription stimulants work to escalate levels of chemicals in the brain known as dopamine and norepinephrine. Dopamine is involved in the pleasure center of the brain, while norepinephrine influences factors such as heart rate, blood pressure, blood vessels, breathing rate, and blood sugar levels. When you take prescription stimulants, you become more alert, attentive and you gain energy. 

Useful for treating ADHD and narcolepsy, when misused, prescription stimulants can become addictive and dangerous to your body in many ways. If you don’t have a prescription and you are taking Adderall or Vyvanse, you should be concerned about this. 

Side Effects of Amphetamine-Based Medications

Adderall is a controlled substance and may cause serious side effects, especially when taken long-term. These possible side effects include:

  • Serious cardiac events, including heart attacks and strokes
  • Permanent damage to the brain, including addiction and cognitive impairment
  • Weight loss and malnutrition
  • Liver damage
  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Severe mood swings
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Unpredictable behavior
  • Long-term use may also cause aggression, hostility and violent tendencies

The risks and side effects of Vyvanse are also quite serious, including all of the above side effects listed for Adderall. In addition, long-term Vyvanse use is also linked to a higher risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C.

vyvanse vs adderall
Is Adderall or Vyvanse Better for ADHD?

There are pros and cons to both Adderall and Vyvanse. Some people have better outcomes when they take one of these medications. It’s important to talk to your doctor about which medication might work best for you. If you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Adderall is considered an effective treatment option. In fact, Adderall is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD in the United States. There are many benefits of taking Adderall, including improved focus, reduced impulsivity, and a better ability to stay organized.

Taking Adderall can help you organize your day so that you have less trouble paying attention to your surroundings, you’re less impulsive, and you’re better at staying organized. Vyvanse is also a commonly used medication for treating ADHD. However, Vyvanse has a few benefits that Adderall does not. One of the benefits of Vyvanse is that it does not have the same risk of abuse or overdose as Adderall does. No matter which medication you choose, it’s important to remember that ADHD medications can help people with ADHD by increasing their focus and reducing their impulsive behaviors.

Dangers of Abusing Adderall or Vyvanse

When you ingest chemicals into your body that are not meant for it to have, you are taking a big risk. You are gambling with your life when you take Adderall or Vyvanse to get high. 

First of all, if you take too many of either prescription, you risk overdosing. You could have a heart attack, a seizure, blood pressure that is too high or too low, or blood poisoning. Other symptoms of overdose from prescription stimulants include rapid breathing, hallucinations, panic or confusion, a spiked fever, and weakness.

Addiction is the most common manifestation of experimenting with Adderall or Vyvanse. One of the main concerns with becoming addicted is that you develop a tolerance for the amount that you have been taking, and you are left wanting more. 

Online medical journals give the following warning regarding Adderall abuse, “Taking Adderall at excessive doses or not as prescribed can affect your whole body, including your cardiovascular system, metabolism, and your brain.”

vyvanse vs adderall
What If You Have Become Addicted?

We at Knoxville Recovery Center know how difficult it can be to kick a prescription drug habit, especially one for stimulants like Vyvanse and Adderall. During your detoxification period, we will stand beside you, providing guidance and comfort during this challenging time. 

We will help you identify possible sources of the addiction and give you the tools to begin your recovery journey. We want to understand why you picked up the bottle of pills in the first place, find the places within you that are broken, and help you find yourself again.  

Why put it off another day? Your mind and body are waiting for you to become clean again. Our friendly staff at Knoxville Recovery Center is eager to speak with you.

Knoxville Recovery Center Can Help 

Fortunately, help is available for those battling addiction and/or mental health issues. Knoxville Recovery Center offers various services to those struggling in any stage of addiction or mental illness. 

Services offered: 

Detox – Our on-site detox clinic accommodates and supports clients as the body sheds all residual traces of addictive substances. Clients are under medical supervision during the detox process to ensure that they remain safe and comfortable. 

Addiction Treatment  During our addiction treatment program, clients will engage in introductory therapies and exercises that work to prepare them for continued, more intensive treatment outside of our facility. The goal of our addiction treatment track is to stabilize clients so that they are treatment-ready. 

Mental Health Treatment – Our mental health treatment program introduces behavioral therapies rooted in self-expression and holistic exercise. Art therapy, music therapy, and yoga are just a few forms of therapy we offer at the center. Our goal is to help the client reclaim their voice and expose them to treatment within a professional facility. 

Aftercare Planning – Aftercare is designed for individuals who have benefitted from our introductory addiction services and are transitioning into a more intensive addiction treatment program. Once a client is stabilized, they will be encouraged to pursue continued addiction treatment. Our experienced case managers will then work with our clients to place them in a program that addresses their specific wants and needs.

If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling and needs help, or if you’re curious about the difference in Vyvanse vs Adderall or any other stimulant prescription drug, our specialists are on standby and ready to help. Call Knoxville Recovery Center and speak with an expert today.

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