Compare Vyvanse vs. Adderall

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

Vyvanse
(Lisdexamfetamine)

Adderall
(Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine)

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.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 insomnia and other side effects.
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Reviews & ratings
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4.924276169265033Vyvanse
Reviews for Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine)
65%
of people say Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) is worth it
46%
say it works well
18%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine)
74%
+9% vs. Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine)
53%
+7% vs. Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine)
16%
+2% vs. Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine)
Side effects
VyvanseAdderall
  • Decreased appetite 35%
  • Dry mouth 23%
  • Sleep difficulty 19%
  • Any side effect 8%
  • Abdominal pain upper 6%
  • Vomiting 5%
  • Drowsiness 1%
  • Fever 1%
More Vyvanse side effects »

The Adderall FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Adderall side effects »
How it works
VyvanseAdderall
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.Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine) 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
VyvanseAdderall
StimulantPrescription only
StimulantPrescription only
Available as
VyvanseAdderall
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for (click to learn more)
VyvanseAdderall
Risk factors for serious side effects
VyvanseAdderall
  • 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
  • Children ages 6 to 12
    Detailed Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) risks & warnings »
    • History of heart problems
    • History of drug abuse
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • History of high blood pressure
    • History of psychotic episodes
    • History of Bipolar Disorder
    • Taking with alcohol or drugs
    • Children ages 7 to 10
    Detailed Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy category
    VyvanseAdderall
    CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    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.

    See the FDA package insert
    CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    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.

    See the FDA package insert
    Alcohol
    • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
    • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
    Food
    No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
    Sex
    No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
    Sleep
    No specific sleep-related info.
    • Can cause trouble sleeping, so don't take it too close to bedtime.
    Weight
    • Appetite suppression may occur. In clinical studies, long-term treatment with stimulants similar to Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) caused a temporary slowing of growth rate (both height and weight) in children ages six to twelve years. Doctors should monitor children's growth during treatment.
    • Can cause blurry vision, loss of appetite, weight loss, headache, dry mouth, or anxious feelings.
    • Appetite suppression may occur. In clinical studies, long-term treatment with stimulants similar to Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine) caused a temporary slowing of growth rate (both height and weight) in children ages seven to ten years. Doctors should monitor children's growth during treatment.
    Upsides and benefits
    VyvanseAdderall
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • The capsules can be opened, mixed in a spoonful of applesauce, and swallowed if you can't swallow the whole capsules.
    • First-choice medication to treat ADHD.
    Downsides and risks
    VyvanseAdderall
    • 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.
    • Has to be taken in the morning and early afternoon, otherwise it can cause insomnia.
    • For schooled-aged children, the second dose will likely need to be given at school.
    • 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
    VyvanseAdderall
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
    • Can cause blurry vision, loss of appetite, weight loss, headache, dry mouth, or anxious feelings.
    • Can cause trouble sleeping, so don't take it too 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 can then be swallowed without chewing.
    • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
    Learn more
    More about VyvanseSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about AdderallSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert