Compare Adderall vs. Vyvanse

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Adderall
(dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)

Vyvanse
(lisdexamfetamine)

Helps you focus and stay alert. Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) is a first-choice treatment for ADHD that's available as a generic, but it's a stimulant, so it can cause difficulty sleeping and other side effects.Helps you focus and stay alert. Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) is a first-choice treatment for ADHD and you only have to take it once a day. However, it's only available as brand name drug, so it can be expensive.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.34Adderall
Reviews for Adderall
74%
of people (All ages) say Adderall is worth it
53%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
1309 reviews
Have you used Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Vyvanse
67%
+7% better vs. Adderall
49%
+4% better vs. Adderall
17%
+1% better vs. Adderall
491 reviews
Have you used Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AdderallVyvanse
  • Loss of appetite 34%
  • Dry mouth 30%
  • Insomnia 14%
  • Headache 13%
  • Difficulty sleeping 15%
  • Stomach pain 4%
More Adderall side effects »
  • Decreased Appetite 35%
  • Insomnia 20%
  • Abdominal Pain Upper 6%
  • Irritability 10%
  • Any side effect 8%
  • Vomiting 5%
  • Weight Loss 8%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Dry Mouth 5%
  • Dizziness 5%
More Vyvanse side effects »
How it works
AdderallVyvanse
Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) is an amphetamine stimulant. Researchers don't know exactly how it works for ADHD, but it increases the activity of the hormones norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, which affects attention and behavior.Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) is an amphetamine stimulant. Researchers don't know exactly how it works for ADHD, but it increases norepinephrine and dopamine activity in the brain, which affects attention and behavior.
Type of medication
AdderallVyvanse
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
AdderallVyvanse
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
AdderallVyvanse
Risk factors for serious side effects
AdderallVyvanse
  • History of heart problems
  • Misuse of Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)
  • History of drug abuse
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • History of high blood pressure
Detailed Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) risks & warnings »
  • Taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) 14 days before starting
  • History of drug abuse
  • History of heart problems
  • History of psychotic episodes
  • History of Bipolar Disorder
Detailed Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Alcohol
AdderallVyvanse
  • Don't take it with alcohol or illicit drugs.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
Weight
AdderallVyvanse
  • Can cause blurry vision, loss of appetite, weight loss, headache, dry mouth, or anxious feelings.
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
AdderallVyvanse
  • First-choice medication to treat ADHD.
  • Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) is used in combination with counseling or other non-drug therapies to treat ADHD.
  • Available as a generic medication.
  • Available in both immediate and extended release forms.
  • For the extended release capsule, if you can't swallow the whole capsule, the capsule can be opened, mixed in a spoonful of applesauce, and swallowed.
  • First-choice medication to treat ADHD.
  • Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) is used in combination with counseling or other non-drug therapies to treat ADHD.
  • Usually dosed once a day, so parents don't need to send the medication with their children to school.
  • The capsule can be taken whole, or opened into a glass of water or orange juice, or swallowed in a spoonful of yogurt.
Downsides and risks
AdderallVyvanse
  • Has to be taken in the morning and early afternoon, otherwise it can cause difficulty sleeping.
  • It's a controlled medication and should be locked up to prevent potential abuse.
  • Not safe for people with a history of heart problems.
  • For school-aged children, a second dose will likely need to be given at school.
  • Has to be taken in the morning, otherwise it can cause insomnia later that night.
  • Not available as a generic medication, so it can be expensive.
  • It's a controlled medication and should be locked up to prevent potential abuse.
  • Not safe for people with a history of heart problems.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
AdderallVyvanse
  • Can cause blurry vision, loss of appetite, weight loss, headache, dry mouth, or anxious feelings.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or illicit drugs.
  • Can cause trouble sleeping, so don't take it close to bedtime.
  • If using the extended-release version, the first dose is best taken right after waking up in the morning.
  • Capsules can be opened and sprinkled on applesauce, which should be consumed immediately, and swallowed without chewing.
  • Take Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) early in the morning to prevent insomnia later that night.
  • Avoid driving the first few days that you take Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) until you know how your body reacts to it.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
  • Store it in a locked area to prevent abuse.
  • It can cause changes in your mood.
  • Can raise your blood pressure and pulse, so it's not safe for people with heart problems.
Learn more
More about AdderallSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about VyvanseSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it