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Understanding ADHD in Adults

ADHD is a treatable medical condition characterized by the symptoms of hyperactivity, inattention, and/or impulsivity that are more frequent and severe than is typically seen in one’s peers.

Only a trained health care professional can diagnose ADHD. But what else is there to know? 

  • What is ADHD?

    ADHD is a treatable medical condition characterized by symptoms of hyperactivity, inattention, and/or impulsivity that are experienced repeatedly and in a way that is severe enough to have an impact at home, at school, and in social situations. Only a trained health care professional can diagnose ADHD. Learn more about ADHD.
  • Is there a cure for ADHD?

    Medications do not cure ADHD. Rather, they may help people with ADHD control the hyperactive/impulsive and inattentive symptoms of ADHD. Medicine may not be right for everyone and may be used as part of a total treatment plan for ADHD that may include counseling and other therapies. Learn more about Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) for adults with ADHD.
  • What should I know about ADHD treatment options?

    There are several treatment options available for ADHD. Talk with your doctor to see if Vyvanse is right for you. Medicine may not be right for everyone and if prescribed may be used as part of a total treatment plan for ADHD that may include counseling and other therapies. Learn more about a treatment option for ADHD.

  • How do I know if I have ADHD and not something else?

    Only a trained health care professional can accurately diagnose ADHD. If you are concerned you may have ADHD, make an appointment with your doctor. Prepare for the appointment with our ADHD Symptom Checklist
  • Any tips to help me remember my questions for the doctor?

    Try writing down your questions ahead of time. Raise your questions as soon as the doctor enters the room. If you’ve already left the appointment, call back. Don’t let a moment of embarrassment keep you from getting the important information you need. Get suggested questions to ask your doctor about ADHD and Vyvanse.
  • What help may be available for me in college?

    Certain accommodations may be available for students with disabilities. The existence and level of services vary widely from college to college. Your first step is to visit your college’s department that deals with student disabilities services and find out the steps you will need to take. You may need to provide a copy of the evaluation from your doctor and, if necessary, a copy of your 504 Plan or IEP or a Summary of Performance from your high school. 

    ADHD accommodations may include extended test time, the use of calculators, computer-aided instruction, note takers, early registration, class, and professor selection, and tutors. You may also be able to take smaller class loads and still be considered a full-time student, and there may be special academic advisors available to advise and consult with your professors.  

    Beyond what your school offers, you may want to consider hiring an ADHD coach. A coach may assist you in developing time management skills and help keep you on track toward your goals.

  • How can I get help from my employer?

    In the workplace, having ADHD doesn't necessarily mean you are eligible for accommodations. Find more information at the Job Accommodations Network.
  • What does an ADHD coach do and where can I look for one?

    ADHD coaches are trained in specific techniques to help people with ADHD set goals for creating new behavior patterns. Coaches may charge a fee or provide fee-based services to help with practical issues like getting organized and managing time. Ask your doctor for help finding an ADHD coach. You can also visit one of these ADHD coaching sites for more information:

  • Where can I connect with other people who have ADHD?

    ADHD groups may be a great idea for additional support and to help answer any questions you might have. Ask your doctor for information about support groups for adults with ADHD. Or contact an ADHD support group and advocacy organization to see what services they may have available. Here are some to check out:

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.