The main Vyvanse uses are for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults, adolescents, and children age 6 to 12. It is not exactly known how Vyvanse works to treat ADHD, but it is known that it produces a calming effect by affecting certain brain chemicals. There are currently no universally accepted off-label uses of Vyvanse.
What Is Vyvanse Used For? -- An OverviewVyvanse™ (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) is a prescription medicine that is approved to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is part of a group of medications known as amphetamines.
When Vyvanse was first approved in 2007, it was approved only for use in children 6 to 12 years old. In 2008, the drug received approval for use in adults. In 2010, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved the medication for use in adolescents (13 through 17 years of age).
ADHD is a common problem involving difficulty paying attention, sitting still, and controlling one's behavior. With ADHD, these problems are worse than expected for a typical child of the same age. In general, the ADHD symptoms must be present before the age of seven to qualify as ADHD. The symptoms must also affect school, work, or social life in a negative way to qualify as ADHD (see ADHD and School and Relationships and ADHD for more information).
In clinical trials, Vyvanse has been shown to help children age 6 to 12 years old who have ADHD. Vyvanse can help children sit still and pay attention in the classroom, and can help to improve behavior. Clinical studies have also shown Vyvanse to be effective for treating adult ADHD. The medication is taken just once a day in the morning, eliminating the need to take medication at school or work.
Any behavioral change involves a well-balanced ADHD treatment plan, including social, educational, and mental therapy (see Behavior Therapy for ADHD). If lifestyle changes alone are not effective at changing ADHD behavior, ADHD medications, such as Vyvanse, may be necessary.
Although ADHD is generally thought of as a problem in children, teenagers and adults can also have ADHD. Diagnosing ADHD in adults is different than diagnosing ADHD in children. Vyvanse is approved for use in adolescents and adults (see Adult ADHD).