Hypothetical patient portrayal

Key Topics

These links provide you with a page overview. Click on a topic of interest to be directed there.

ADHD in Adults 101

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a treatable, neurobehavioral disorder found in kids, teens, and adults. As you get older, ADHD symptoms may look different. However, ADHD may still affect you in different settings (at home, at work, or at school, and in social situations).

More About the Symptoms of ADHD

There are three core symptoms of ADHD: inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. While anyone can feel inattentive, impulsive, or hyperactive sometimes, people who have been diagnosed with ADHD must have experienced a certain number of these symptoms for at least 6 months in two or more settings (like home, school, or work). Symptoms must also have been present before the age of 12 and not be due to another mental disorder. To learn about all the symptoms of ADHD and how they may appear in children and adults, check out the ADHD diagnostic criteria and the full symptom list.

The information in this site was created to help you understand more about ADHD so you can have a more informed conversation with your doctor. Remember, only a doctor or other health care professional can diagnose ADHD.

The 3 core symptoms of ADHD – 1) Inattention, 2) Impulsivity, 3) Hyperactivity
Back To Top

Where Do I Start?

Curious about ADHD? Or have you received an ADHD diagnosis? Either way it is important to talk to your doctor.  Visit Getting Started to find helpful information and plan for your visit to the doctor by reviewing the ADHD Doctor Discussion Guide

ADHD Doctor Discussion Guide

Patient portrayal.

Back To Top

Is Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) Right for You?

If you have been diagnosed with ADHD, or if you are concerned about ADHD, talk to your doctor. Only a doctor or health care professional can accurately diagnose ADHD.

Vyvanse (pronounced Vi’-văns) is a once-daily prescription medication approved for the treatment of ADHD in patients 6 and above. Vyvanse is not for weight loss. It is not known if Vyvanse is safe and effective for the treatment of obesity. Vyvanse may help increase attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity in adults with ADHD. Your doctor may prescribe Vyvanse as part of a total treatment program that may include counseling or other therapies. 

Vyvanse may help increase attention in adults with ADHD

Who should not take Vyvanse?

Do not take Vyvanse if you are taking or have taken within the past 14 days an anti-depression medicine called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, or MAOI, or are sensitive to, allergic to, or had a reaction to other stimulant medications.

Concerned about side effects? Talk to your doctor. Learn more

Back To Top

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Vyvanse is a federally controlled substance (CII) because it can be abused or lead to dependence. Keep Vyvanse in a safe place to prevent misuse and abuse. Selling or giving away Vyvanse may harm others and is against the law.

Vyvanse is a stimulant medicine. Tell the doctor if you or your child have ever abused or been dependent on alcohol, prescription medicines, or street drugs.

Who should not take Vyvanse?

Do not take Vyvanse if you or your child are:

  • taking or have taken an anti-depression medicine called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) within the past 14 days.
  • sensitive or allergic to, or had a reaction to other stimulant medicines.

Serious problems can occur while taking Vyvanse. Tell the doctor:

  • if you or your child have heart problems, heart defects, high blood pressure, or a family history of these problems. Sudden death has occurred in people with heart problems or defects taking stimulant medicines. Sudden death, stroke and heart attack have happened in adults taking stimulant medicines. Your doctor should check you or your child carefully for heart problems before starting Vyvanse. Since increases in blood pressure and heart rate may occur, the doctor should regularly check these during treatment. Call the doctor right away if you or your child have any signs of heart problems such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting while taking Vyvanse.
  • if you or your child have mental (psychiatric) problems, or a family history of suicide, bipolar illness, or depression. New or worse behavior and thought problems or new or worse bipolar illness may occur. New psychotic symptoms (such as seeing or hearing things that are not real, believing things that are not true, being suspicious) or new manic symptoms may occur. Call the doctor right away if there are any new or worsening mental symptoms or problems during treatment.
  • if you or your child have circulation problems in fingers and toes (peripheral vasculopathy, including Raynaud’s phenomenon). Fingers or toes may feel numb, cool, painful, sensitive to temperature and/or change color from pale, to blue, to red. Call the doctor right away if any signs of unexplained wounds appear on fingers or toes while taking Vyvanse.
  • if your child is having slowing of growth (height or weight). The doctor should check your child’s height and weight often while on Vyvanse, and may stop treatment if a problem is found.
  • if you or your child have symptoms of serotonin syndrome: agitation, hallucinations, coma, or changes in mental status; problems controlling movements or muscle twitching, stiffness, or tightness; fast heartbeat; sweating or fever; nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Call your doctor or go to the emergency room if symptoms occur. Serotonin syndrome may occur if Vyvanse is taken with certain medicines and may be life-threatening.
  • if you or your child are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Vyvanse may harm your unborn baby.
  • if you or your child are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed while taking Vyvanse. Talk to your doctor about the best way to feed your baby if you take Vyvanse.

What are possible side effects of Vyvanse?

The most common side effects of Vyvanse in ADHD include:

    • anxiety
    • decreased appetite
    • diarrhea
    • dizziness
    • dry mouth
    • irritability
    • loss of appetite
    • nausea
    • trouble sleeping
    • upper stomach pain
    • vomiting
    • weight loss

The most common side effects of Vyvanse in adults with moderate to severe B.E.D. include:

    • dry mouth
    • trouble sleeping
    • decreased appetite
    • increased heart rate
    • constipation
    • feeling jittery
    • anxiety

For additional safety information, click here for Prescribing Information and Medication Guide and discuss with your doctor.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


  • if you or your child are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Vyvanse may harm your unborn baby.
  • if you or your child are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Vyvanse may harm your unborn baby.
  • if you or your child are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Vyvanse may harm your unborn baby.
  • if you or your child are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Vyvanse may harm your unborn baby.
  • if you or your child are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Vyvanse may harm your unborn baby.
  • if you or your child are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Vyvanse may harm your unborn baby.