Vyvanse Withdrawal and Detox
By The Recovery Village Ridgefield
Editor Jonathan Strum | Medically Reviewed By Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD
Last Updated: May 31, 2023
Editorial Policy | Research Policy
Vyvanse is the brand name for lisdexamfetamine, a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant drug that’s used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adults. It can also treat moderate to severe binge eating disorders, and it may be prescribed off-label to treat narcolepsy or other sleeping disorders. Vyvanse is a Schedule II controlled substance, meaning it has medical value but can easily result in strong physical or psychological dependence. If someone is dependent on Vyvanse, they may go through withdrawal if they stop using it. Symptoms of Vyvanse withdrawal vary and differ from person to person. Vyvanse withdrawal can impair a person’s functional abilities and lead to changes in behavior or mood that may require professional treatment.
Vyvanse Crash vs. Vyvanse Withdrawal
Some stimulants can cause a crash lasting several days after someone has taken a large dose. A crash is a period of extreme fatigue and sleep following heavy use. A person might be at a higher risk of a crash if they have taken short-acting stimulants like methamphetamine. Vyvanse, however, is a long-acting stimulant. Although short-acting stimulants are linked to crashes, there is no evidence that long-acting stimulants like Vyvanse cause a crash. For this reason, preventing a Vyvanse crash is not as much of a concern if you take this medication versus other stimulants. In contrast, all stimulant drugs carry a risk of withdrawal symptoms if you take a high dose and suddenly stop.
How To Avoid the Vyvanse Crash
Being on a long-acting stimulant like Vyvanse is already a way to avoid a crash. This is because there is no evidence that a crash can occur on long-acting stimulants. Short-acting stimulants are much more likely to cause a crash than long-acting stimulants like Vyvanse.
All stimulants carry a risk of causing withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal can occur after your brain and body become dependent on the presence of a drug to function normally. If you take a high dose of Vyvanse and suddenly stop, withdrawal may occur as the brain tries to cope with the drug’s absence. Specifically, the brain needs to overcome the reduced levels of norepinephrine and dopamine that occur when stopping Vyvanse.
Vyvanse Withdrawal Symptoms
Vyvanse withdrawal symptoms resemble withdrawal symptoms from other stimulants. Some common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Changes in sleep
- Vivid dreams or nightmares
- Increased appetite
- Mental slowing
- Physical problems
More dangerous withdrawal symptoms can occur if you take excessive doses of Vyvanse. These include:
- Disordered thoughts
Another symptom to consider is the reappearance of symptoms that the Vyvanse was originally prescribed to treat. If you were prescribed Vyvanse for ADHD or binge eating disorder and symptoms re-emerge following withdrawal, consult with your doctor.
Vyvanse Withdrawal Timeline
Vyvanse withdrawal usually begins within several days of taking the last Vyvanse dose, and most Vyvanse withdrawal symptoms will resolve within two weeks. However, not everyone experiences Vyvanse withdrawal symptoms, which is why there is no manufacturer recommendation to taper the drug.
How To Quit Vyvanse
If you take Vyvanse and are thinking about quitting, it is important to first talk to your doctor. This is especially true if you take Vyvanse to treat a medical condition like ADHD or binge eating disorder. Stopping Vyvanse may cause your symptoms to recur or worsen, and your doctor should know if you stop the drug so they can monitor you.
Can You Quit Vyvanse Cold Turkey?
Vyvanse is one of the few psychoactive medications that you may be able to stop cold turkey (without a taper) in some cases. This is because it is a long-acting medication that wears off slowly. The half-life of Vyvanse — or how long it takes half the drug to leave the body — ranges from 8.6 to 11.3 hours. It takes around five half-lives to completely remove a drug from your system. This means that even if you suddenly stop taking the drug, it will take the better part of a week for your system to be completely cleared of it. However, depending on the dose of the drug and whether you have previously experienced withdrawal symptoms when stopping, your doctor may recommend a taper. This is particularly true if you take a high dose of the drug, as this can put you at a higher risk of withdrawal symptoms.
Weaning or Tapering off Vyvanse
A taper refers to slowly decreasing the dose of a drug to allow your body time to adjust before you stop the drug completely. A Vyvanse taper may not always be necessary, and it is important to discuss quitting the drug with your doctor before making the decision to start. A Vyvanse taper is more likely if you are on a higher-than-recommended dose of the drug. The max recommended dose of Vyvanse is 70 mg daily. Few studies have been conducted on Vyvanse tapers, but one study looked at those taking an extremely high Vyvanse dose of 150 mg or higher. The dose was reduced to 50 mg for one week, and then the drug was stopped.
Medical Detox for Vyvanse Withdrawal
For some drugs, specific medications can be given to help lessen the symptoms of withdrawal or cravings. However, with a CNS stimulant like Vyvanse, there are no approved withdrawal medications that are currently available. If someone experiences psychological withdrawal symptoms, professionals in a medical detox program can ensure they receive the proper therapy needed. Over-the-counter medications can also be given to help with headaches, body aches or nausea. This assistance helps to ease symptoms, and it also ensures that the individual can focus on the detox process. If you become dependent on Vyvanse, professional detox programs are the best option. Without one, it can be difficult to manage detox on your own.
How Long Does It Take To Detox From Vyvanse?
People who quit Vyvanse and experience withdrawal symptoms may notice their symptom onset starts within a few days of their last Vyvanse dose. Most Vyvanse withdrawal symptoms will resolve themselves within two weeks. Similarly, a Vyvanse detox program may last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. The average time in medical detox at The Recovery Village Ridgefield is between five and 10 days.
Find a Detox Center Near You
If you or someone you love is living with a Vyvanse addiction, The Recovery Village Ridgefield can help. Contact us to speak with a representative and learn more about how our individualized treatment programs can help address addiction and co-occurring disorders. You deserve a healthier future — call today.
Our Recovery Advocates are ready to answer your questions about addiction treatment and help you start your recovery.
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