Frequently asked questions

View Frequently Asked Questions About ADHD and Vyvanse® for Children

Patient and caregiver portrayals

Only a trained healthcare provider can diagnose Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). But what else is there to know?

Understanding ADHD in Children and Vyvanse® for ADHD in Children

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a treatable medical disorder characterized by the core symptoms of hyperactivity, inattention, and 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 healthcare provider can diagnose ADHD. Learn more about ADHD.

How do I know if my child has ADHD and not something else?

Only a healthcare provider can accurately diagnose ADHD. If you are concerned your child might have ADHD, make an appointment with your child’s doctor. To help prepare for the appointment, complete the discussion guide and bring it with you to the doctor’s office.

What should I know about ADHD treatment options?

Medications do not cure ADHD. But they may be able to help people with ADHD control the hyperactive/impulsive and inattentive symptoms of ADHD. Medicine may not be right for everyone with ADHD. If medicine is prescribed, it may be used as part of a total treatment plan for ADHD that could include counseling and other therapies. Learn more about Vyvanse as a treatment option for ADHD.

How can ADHD symptoms change as my child gets older?

Some ADHD symptoms may become less noticeable as he or she ages. As ADHD may persist from childhood into adolescence, symptoms of hyperactivity in children, such as climbing or running excessively, are less common and may appear in teens as fidgetiness or an inner feeling of restlessness. Teens may also continue to struggle with impulsivity as they get older.

Will my child eventually grow out of ADHD?

There is no way to predict if your child will outgrow ADHD. Based on parents' reports, as many as 50% of children with ADHD continued to have ADHD as adults. Keep talking with your child’s doctor and track your child’s progress. This discussion guide can help.

What is Vyvanse?

Vyvanse (pronounced Vi’-văns) is a once-daily prescription medication approved for the treatment of ADHD in patients 6 years 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 children with ADHD.

Your child’s doctor may prescribe Vyvanse as part of a total treatment program that may include counseling or other therapies.

Who should not take Vyvanse?

Your child should not take Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) if he or she:

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

Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) may not be right for everyone. Your child should take Vyvanse exactly as the doctor tells him or her to take it. For more information, talk to your child's doctor and take a look at the Important Safety Information for Vyvanse.

Can I ask my child’s doctor for Vyvanse?

Each patient's experience with ADHD is different and each patient may respond differently to treatment. There is a lot to consider before taking any medication. Vyvanse may not be right for every patient. Have an open and honest conversation with your doctor about how your child’s ADHD symptoms are impacting his or her world, and your doctor will decide whether he or she should try Vyvanse.

Is Vyvanse addictive?

As with any medication, proper use is important. Vyvanse is a federally controlled substance (CII) because it can be abused or lead to dependence. So, please talk to your doctor about this risk or any concerns you have about any medication, including Vyvanse. Keep Vyvanse in a safe place to prevent misuse and abuse. Selling or giving away Vyvanse may harm others and is against the law. Read the safety information continued below and download our Proper Use of Prescription Stimulant Medication brochure for more information.

What is the recommended Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) dosage?

The doctor will work with your child to find the dosage that works best—increasing it if your child’s symptoms aren’t well-controlled or decreasing it if your child experiences side effects. It may require time to determine which dose of medication is right for your child.

Your child should take Vyvanse once a day in the morning. Vyvanse chewable tablets must be completely chewed before swallowing. Vyvanse capsules can be swallowed whole—and taken with or without food.

If your child has trouble swallowing capsules, Vyvanse capsules may be mixed into yogurt, water, or orange juice. Learn more about how to take Vyvanse here.

It’s important that your child takes Vyvanse exactly as the doctor tells him or her to take it. And it’s also important to keep talking with the doctor while your child is taking Vyvanse. If your child takes too much Vyvanse, call your doctor or poison control center right away, or get to the nearest hospital emergency room.

See additional dosing information.

Is there another way to take Vyvanse if my child has trouble swallowing pills?

Yes. Your doctor can recommend other ways for your child to take Vyvanse. In the meantime, see the administration options here.

How soon does Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) start working and how long does it last?

  • In a clinical trial of kids aged 6-12 with ADHD, Vyvanse was shown to start working 1.5 hours after taking the medication.* Vyvanse was shown to be effective for ADHD symptoms 13 hours after the morning dose.
  • The onset and duration of Vyvanse in teens (13-17) have not been studied.

Vyvanse is not for weight loss. It is not known if Vyvanse is safe and effective for the treatment of obesity.

Please talk to your doctor if you have any questions about Vyvanse.

*Based on Swanson, Kotkin, Agler, M. Flynn, and Pelham Deportment Scores (SKAMP-DS)

Can Vyvanse be stopped on weekends or for “drug holidays”?

Your child’s doctor or healthcare provider can determine the best course of treatment for your child. Make sure you talk with the doctor before stopping or changing the dose of your child’s medication.

How should Vyvanse treatment be discontinued?

Only the doctor can determine the proper course of treatment for your child, including when to start or whether to stop Vyvanse. Your child’s doctor may sometimes stop Vyvanse treatment for a while to check his or her ADHD symptoms. Talk to your child’s doctor before stopping Vyvanse.

What should I tell my child’s doctor before starting Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate)?

Before starting Vyvanse and during treatment, tell your doctor about all health conditions (or family history of) including:

  • Any previous or current abuse or dependency on alcohol, prescription medicine, or street drugs
  • Heart problems, heart defects, or high blood pressure
  • Mental problems, including psychosis, mania, bipolar illness, or depression
  • Circulation problems in fingers and toes
  • If your child has any kidney problems. Your child's doctor may lower the dose
  • If your child is pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to become pregnant or breast-feed, and about any medications (prescription or non-prescription) that your child is taking
  • And any other information you think might be important for your doctor to know about your child or your family health situation

What are side effects of Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate)?

Vyvanse may cause serious cardiovascular, mental (psychiatric), and circulatory side effects. Vyvanse may also cause the slowing of growth (height and weight) in children. The most common side effects of Vyvanse include anxiety, decreased appetite, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, irritability, loss of appetite, nausea, trouble sleeping, upper stomach pain, vomiting, and weight loss. These are not all the possible side effects of Vyvanse.

It is important for your child to see the doctor regularly to discuss how he or she is doing on a treatment plan and to report any side effects, discomfort, or concern she/he experiences while taking medicine.

For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist and see Important Safety Information.

Next up?

Parenting a child with ADHD doesn’t come with a handbook, but you’ve got help.

Want info about Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) for ADHD in Adults?

Right this way