The Complete Guide to Switching From Adderall to Vyvanse

For individuals managing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), finding the right medication can be a crucial step toward improving focus, concentration, and overall daily functioning. Two commonly prescribed medications for ADHD treatment are Adderall and Vyvanse. While Adderall contains a combination of amphetamine salts, Vyvanse consists of lisdexamfetamine dimesylate. Switching from Adderall to Vyvanse may be a viable option for individuals seeking alternative treatment or experiencing challenges with their current medication regimen.

This comprehensive guide aims to provide valuable insights and considerations for those considering a transition.

Understanding the Need for Switching

1.      Efficacy: Adderall and Vyvanse both work as stimulants to increase neurotransmitter activity in the brain, but they differ in their formulation and how they are metabolized in the body. Some individuals may find that one medication is more effective in managing their ADHD symptoms than the other, prompting the need for a switch.

2.      Tolerability and Side Effects: Each person reacts differently to medications, and some individuals may experience intolerable side effects with Adderall. Switching to Vyvanse may offer a chance to find a medication with fewer side effects or a more favorable tolerability profile.

3.      Personal Preferences: Some individuals may prefer Vyvanse due to its extended-release formulation, the smoother onset of action, or longer duration of effect. Switching to Vyvanse can cater to individual preferences and lifestyle requirements.

Consult Your Healthcare Professional

Before making any changes to your medication regimen, it is vital to consult with a healthcare professional, preferably a psychiatrist or a medical doctor specializing in ADHD. They can assess your specific needs, evaluate the efficacy of your current medication, and guide you through the process of switching to Vyvanse.

Step-by-Step Guide to Switching From Adderall to Vyvanse:

1.      Medical Assessment: Your healthcare professional will conduct a thorough evaluation of your medical history, ADHD symptoms, and previous response to Adderall. They will also consider any coexisting conditions or medications that may impact the switch.

2.      Dosing Adjustment: The dosing of Vyvanse is not a direct conversion from Adderall, as they have different pharmacokinetic profiles. Your healthcare professional will determine the appropriate starting dose of Vyvanse based on your individual needs. This may involve starting at a lower dose and gradually titrating upward to achieve the desired therapeutic effect.

3.      Transition Period: The switch from Adderall to Vyvanse may involve a transition period where both medications are administered concurrently. This allows for a smooth tapering of Adderall while gradually increasing the Vyvanse dosage. The duration of this transition period will be determined by your healthcare professional and depends on individual factors.

4.      Monitoring and Adjustment: Throughout the transition, it is important to closely monitor your response to Vyvanse. Your healthcare professional will assess the medication’s effectiveness, potential side effects, and make necessary adjustments to the dosage or treatment plan accordingly. Open communication with your healthcare provider is crucial during this process.

Considerations and Potential Challenges

1.      Differences in Onset and Duration: Adderall is typically faster-acting but has a shorter duration of effect compared to Vyvanse. Adjusting to Vyvanse’s extended-release formulation may require some adaptation. It is important to plan activities and daily routines accordingly.

2.      Side Effects: Each medication can produce side effects, such as appetite suppression, insomnia, or increased heart rate. Be aware of potential side effects specific to Vyvanse and discuss any concerns with your healthcare professional.

3.      Individual Response: Every individual may respond differently to medications, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It may take time and adjustments to find the right dose and treatment plan that works best for you.

Foods to Avoid while Switching From Adderall to Vyvanse

While switching from Adderall to Vyvanse, it is important to restrict or avoid specific foods. There are certain dietary considerations that can support the effectiveness of Vyvanse and promote overall well-being. Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:

1.      Caffeine and Stimulant Beverages: Both Adderall and Vyvanse are stimulant medications, and consuming additional stimulants like caffeine can potentially increase the risk of side effects such as jitteriness, restlessness, and increased heart rate. It is advisable to moderate or limit the intake of caffeinated beverages like coffee, energy drinks, or excessive amounts of tea.

2.      Acidic Foods and Drinks: Vyvanse is a prodrug that is metabolized in the body to its active form, dextroamphetamine. Acidic foods and drinks can alter the pH level in the stomach, potentially affecting the absorption and effectiveness of Vyvanse. While this interaction is not well-documented, it may be prudent to avoid consuming large amounts of acidic foods and beverages (e.g., citrus fruits, tomatoes, vinegar) in close proximity to taking Vyvanse.

3.      High-Fat Meals: Like Adderall, Vyvanse can be taken with or without food. However, consuming high-fat meals shortly before or after taking Vyvanse may delay the medication’s absorption and onset of action. It is generally recommended to opt for balanced meals that include lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to support overall health and maintain stable blood sugar levels.

4.      Alcohol: It is important to avoid or limit alcohol consumption while taking Vyvanse. Both alcohol and Vyvanse can have central nervous system effects, and combining them may lead to adverse reactions, including increased drowsiness, dizziness, or impaired judgment.

5.      Hydration: Staying adequately hydrated is essential when taking any medication, including Vyvanse. Drinking enough water throughout the day can help maintain overall well-being and ensure optimal absorption and distribution of the medication in the body.

It is crucial to note that these dietary recommendations are general guidelines and may not apply to everyone. Individual responses to medications and dietary factors can vary. Therefore, it is always best to consult with your healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized advice and recommendations based on your specific needs and medical history.

Remember, open communication with your healthcare professional is key throughout the switch from Adderall to Vyvanse. They can provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information tailored to your unique circumstances to ensure a successful transition.


Switching from Adderall to Vyvanse can be a viable option for individuals seeking a change in their ADHD medication. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional who specializes in ADHD to guide you through the process. The switch requires careful assessment, dosing adjustments, and monitoring to ensure a smooth transition. Understanding individual preferences, potential challenges, and being patient throughout the adjustment period is key to finding the most effective treatment for managing ADHD symptoms.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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