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Is Vyvanse Safe for Teenagers?

 

teenager on Vyvanse for ADHD

Yes: under the correct circumstances, Vyvanse is safe for teenagers. Vyvanse is the brand name medication of lisdexamfetamine dimesylate. It is a central nervous system stimulant that is primarily prescribed for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Stimulant drugs are a class of psychoactive substances that, according to Drug Policy Alliance, “stimulate or activate the central nervous system and are commonly referred to as ‘uppers.’” Stimulants work in one’s body by altering and increasing the effects of certain neurotransmitters (dopamine and norepinephrine), which results in increased blood pressure, respiratory function and euphoria. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has classified Vyvanse as a Schedule II Substance, which are defined as “drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.” When prescribed, and taken under the direct supervision of a medical professional, Vyvanse can be a highly effective medication, by improving a young person’s focus as well as promoting better impulse control.

Side Effects

As is true with any medication, there are a number of side effects that can develop when taking Vyvanse. Vyvanse.com provide a list of reported side effects, some of which include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Irritability
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Decreased appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Upper stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Elevated heart rate

Every teenager is different and will have a distinct reaction to taking Vyvanse. The combination, severity and duration of the side effects experienced will differ from teen to teen. It is essential to discuss and new or worsening symptoms with your prescribing medical professional while taking Vyvanse.

Signs and Symptoms of Abuse

There are several common signs and symptoms that could indicate a teenager may be abusing Vyvanse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) provides the following examples of frequently exhibited signs and symptoms associated with stimulant abuse:

  • Increased productivity, motivation, and/ or arousal
  • Wakefulness
  • Extended endurance
  • Enhanced alertness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Heightened body temperature
  • Muscle spasms
  • Impaired judgment
  • Dilated pupils
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea 
  • Hallucinations 
  • Paranoia 

The severity of symptoms will depend on a variety of factors, including the personal health history of the teenager, the dosage and quantity abused, the frequency of use, and more. Teenagers that abuse stimulants, including Vyvanse, are at increased risk for developing a variety of severe short and long-term effects.

For Information and Support

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.

Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family. We can be reached by phone 24/7 at 800-531-5769. You can also contact us via email at info@pacificrtc.com.

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