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  • Smoking Vyvanse | Dangers & Effects Of Vyvanse Abuse

    Smoking Vyvanse | Dangers & Effects Of Vyvanse Abuse

    Vyvanse (the brand name for lisdexamfetamine and lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) is a central nervous system stimulant medication that treats both attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and binge eating disorder. 

    The prescription drug works by increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain which can help alleviate the symptoms of ADHD. This is similar to how other ADHD medications like Adderall (dextroamphetamine), Ritalin (methylphenidate), and Concerta work.

    Vyvanse is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance by the FDA which means it has a relatively high potential for abuse and addiction. One way people may try to abuse Vyvanse is by smoking it.

    Smoking Vyvanse

    Those smoking Vyvanse do so by opening the capsules, pouring out the insides into a paper, rolling it, lighting it, and smoking it. 

    But, since Vyvanse is a prodrug and only activated when digested, smoking it will not cause any kind of “high” or euphoric feeling. The same goes for snorting the drug as well.

    Despite it not producing a high, trying to smoke Vyvanse is a form of drug abuse and may suggest a larger problem with substance use. While taking Vyvanse orally can lead to a high, abusing Vyvanse and not taking it as directed can also lead to dangerous effects.

    Common Side Effects Of Vyvanse Abuse

    When someone abuses Vyvanse, various unpleasant side effects can show up. Some of the most common include:

    • dilated pupils
    • psychosis
    • mood swings
    • insomnia
    • impaired judgment
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • high blood pressure
    • increased heart rate
    • anxiety
    • decreased appetite

    Serious Side Effects Of Vyvanse Abuse

    While the common side effects can be unpleasant, others warrant a call to your healthcare provider or to 911. Some of the more serious side effects include:

    • blurred vision
    • irregular heart rate
    • hypertension
    • agitation
    • chest pain
    • aggression
    • mood swings
    • mental health issues
    • hallucinations
    • uncontrolled movements
    • muscle twitching
    • sensitivity to temperature in fingers or toes
    • extreme tiredness
    • rapid or unexplained weight loss

    Dangers Of Vyvanse Abuse

    Abusing Vyvanse can come with a number of dangers. From overdose to dependence, taking the drug in ways other than directed, including smoking and snorting, can be harmful to your health.


    One of the most dangerous issues with abusing Vyvanse is the possibility of an overdose. Those who take too much or use Vyvanse with other drugs or alcohol can experience serious symptoms that may include:

    • heart problems 
    • nausea or vomiting
    • hallucinations
    • fever
    • confusion
    • restlessness
    • panic
    • anxiety
    • tremors
    • rapid respiration
    • seizure
    • coma


    Whether you’re taking it in high doses or taking it over a long period of time, your body can grow dependent on the drug which means your body only functions properly when the drug is in your system. This makes it very difficult to stop taking the drug. 

    When you try to stop, withdrawal symptoms can appear, and to alleviate those symptoms, you may start taking the drug again. This greatly increases the risk of addiction.

    Withdrawal Symptoms

    If you stop taking Vyvanse after using it for a long time or abusing it, withdrawal symptoms may show up and make the process of quitting the drug that much harder. Vyvanse withdrawal symptoms can include:

    • oversleeping
    • poor coordination
    • shakiness
    • sweating
    • trouble sleeping
    • anxiety
    • fatigue
    • irritability
    • headaches
    • increased appetite
    • cravings for Vyvanse
    • depression
    • irritability
    • mood swings

    Drug Interactions

    There are multiple substances that shouldn’t be taken with Vyvanse because of the dangerous side effects they have when combined together.

    Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and Vyvanse can produce a fatal reaction and shouldn’t be taken together. Together, they can bring on serotonin syndrome which can result in agitation, confusion, high blood pressure, and diarrhea. 

    Any drug that increases serotonin can result in serotonin syndrome when taken with Vyvanse. This includes antidepressants like SSRIs and SNRIs, as well as ecstasy.

    It’s also important to not mix Vyvanse with any other substance containing amphetamines. Lisdexamfetamine is very similar to an amphetamine and mixing it with another can cause a very serious reaction.

    If you or a loved one struggles with an addiction to Vyvanse or other stimulant drugs, contact our helpline today and find the treatment option that’s right for you.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - Vyvanse
    National Center for Biotechnology Information - Lisdexamfetamine Dimesylate (Vyvanse), A Prodrug Stimulant for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
    National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Lisdexamfetamine

    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on April 26, 2022
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