Vyvanse and Alcohol

Vyvanse pills spilling out of a prescription bottle next to a glass of alcohol

Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) is a stimulant used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and eating disorders. People using Vyvanse may find themselves wondering if it is safe to mix Vyvanse and alcohol. Ultimately, mixing alcohol and Vyvanse is not recommended, as there are several negative effects that can occur if you use both substances simultaneously.

Can You Drink on Vyvanse?

There are significant interactions between Vyvanse and alcohol. Alcohol suppresses brain activity and your body’s overall function, while Vyvanse is a stimulant that enhances and speeds up your body’s overall function. These two effects are opposites, and combining them can create some potentially dangerous side effects. For this reason, most medical professionals recommend not mixing these two substances.

How Long After Taking Vyvanse Can I Drink Alcohol?

Vyvanse does not stay in your system for very long, and it will normally be eliminated from your bloodstream within 24 hours. This means that you can usually drink alcohol 24 hours or more after taking Vyvanse.

If you are prescribed Vyvanse, however, you should typically be taking it at least once every 24 hours and should avoid using alcohol during this time. Ultimately, every situation is different, and you should speak with your doctor about your specific situation before taking Vyvanse and alcohol within the same three-day period.

Why Do People Mix Vyvanse and Alcohol?

Vyvanse is a stimulant that helps to offset some of the suppressing effects of alcohol. This can help people who are using alcohol to feel less drunk, but it can also lead to dangerous effects. People may also mix Vyvanse and alcohol in an attempt to get high.

Dangers of Mixing Vyvanse and Alcohol

The biggest danger of mixing Vyvanse and alcohol is that Vyvanse can cause a stimulative effect that hides the effect of alcohol. This can cause you to underestimate how much alcohol is affecting you, making you more likely to drink a dangerous amount of alcohol or fail to recognize safety risks that are present. Additionally, research shows that mixing Vyvanse and alcohol increases blood pressure and heart activity to potentially dangerous levels.

Vyvanse and Alcohol Side Effects

Both Vyvanse and alcohol can create side effects. Many of these side effects are opposites, creating conflicting processes in the body that can lead to unhealthy effects.

Vyvanse speeds up the body’s natural processes. Vyvanse Side effects include:

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss

Side effects will likely be different for each individual, and someone who is concerned about these side effects should speak with their doctor.

Alcohol suppresses the natural processes that occur in the body. Side effects of alcohol use include:

  • Relaxed, uninhibited feeling
  • Decreased coordination
  • Problems walking
  • Decreased attention and memory
  • Slurred speech
  • Slowed response time
  • Confusion
  • Sleepiness
  • Decreased responsiveness

Someone who is having problems responding or breathing may have used too much alcohol and should immediately seek medical care. If you or someone you are with may have overdosed on alcohol, you should immediately call 911.

Other Complications and Health Risks

There are several health risks that are caused by mixing Vyvanse and alcohol. Some of these are due to how Vyvanse hides some of the effects of alcohol, while others are due to the chemical combination of these two substances.

Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning is potentially the most dangerous risk that can arise when combining alcohol and Vyvanse. It is much more likely to occur because someone using Vyvanse will not recognize how much alcohol is affecting them. Since Vyvanse suppresses the effects of alcohol, a person may believe it is okay to drink more than normal, causing them to overdose on alcohol.

Alcohol poisoning can still occur at the levels it normally would, even when using Vyvanse. It can cause someone to stop breathing, which can lead to brain damage or even death. Someone who is mixing Vyvanse and alcohol and suddenly becomes less responsive or develops breathing problems should immediately seek emergency medical care.

Hypertension

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a side effect of both alcohol use and Vyvanse. Studies show that when these two substances are combined, the risk of hypertension substantially increases. Hypertension is dangerous because it places stress on your blood vessels.

At lower levels, hypertension leads to microscopic damage that, over time, increases the risk of problems like heart attack or stroke. At high levels, hypertension can cause severe stress and can even cause an artery to rupture, which can lead to deadly consequences.

Arrhythmia

Arrhythmias are abnormalities in the heart’s electrical rhythm. Alcohol is known to create an increased risk of arrhythmias over time; however, Vyvanse also carries a strong risk of arrhythmia development. When combined, these two substances create an even higher risk of arrhythmias.

Arrhythmias vary in severity based on how they actually affect the heart. Some arrhythmias may not even be noticeable, while others will instantly cause the heart to stop beating. Mixing alcohol and Vyvanse increases the risk of arrhythmias that may be deadly, and they are difficult to detect without using hospital-grade heart monitors.

Liver Damage

Both Vyvanse and alcohol are known to cause liver damage when misused. When they are combined, these substances may cause liver damage to occur at an even faster rate. Additionally, Vyvanse can cause someone to use more alcohol than normal, making this combination’s damaging effects on the liver even worse.

Cognitive Issues

Both alcohol and Vyvanse can increase the risk of psychosis, especially in large amounts. Psychosis is a condition that causes a detachment from reality; this condition is much more likely to occur when alcohol and Vyvanse are mixed than when they are used individually.

Both alcohol and Vyvanse can have long-term effects on brain function when used in high amounts, especially when this use occurs over a long period of time. When the substances are combined, these effects are more likely to occur, and the amount of each substance needed to cause these effects will be lower.

Depression and Anxiety

Alcohol use, especially at high amounts or over prolonged periods of time, can lead to anxiety and depression. When alcohol is mixed with Vyvanse, these effects can be augmented, making them develop more quickly or become more intense than they normally would.

Vyvanse and Alcohol Abuse

Because both alcohol and Vyvanse have the potential for abuse, people who are seeking a high may combine these two substances. Using a stimulant like Vyvanse and a depressant like alcohol together can lead to long-term health problems, but it can also be a sign that addiction has developed. Even if addiction has not occurred, mixing these two substances can actually increase the risk of Vyvanse or alcohol addiction.

People who have developed an addiction to alcohol and Vyvanse will often find it difficult to stop using them together. They may also find themselves hiding their use of alcohol and Vyvanse or being dishonest with others about how much and how frequently they are using these substances.

Addiction Treatment

An addiction to either alcohol or Vyvanse will often require professional help, but an addiction to both would definitely benefit from professional addiction treatment. The first step in addiction treatment is the detox process. When alcohol is involved, detox can be potentially dangerous. Depending on how serious the addiction is, medical supervision during alcohol detox is normally recommended.

Following detox, addiction treatment involves a rehab period where strategies are learned to help maintain sobriety and avoid lapsing back into the use of addictive substances.

Located in Washington, The Recovery Village Ridgefield is a state-of-the-art addiction treatment center that can help you or someone you love overcome addiction. We offer a variety of evidence-based treatments, including individual and group therapy, medication management and holistic therapies. Our experienced staff will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your unique needs in recovery. If you’re ready to take the first step toward sobriety, contact us today to learn more about treatment programs that can work well for you.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.