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Vyvanse vs Ritalin

Drug facts and comparison

Vyvanse

lisdexamfetamine

Ritalin

methylphenidate hydrochloride

Uses

  • To treat symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children
  • To treat moderate to severe binge eating disorder (BED) in adults
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To treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) and narcolepsy

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Summary

Brand name: Vyvanse
Brand name: Ritalin
Manufacturer: Shire US Inc.
Manufacturer: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Active ingredient: lisdexamfetamine
Active ingredient: methylphenidate hydrochloride
Indication: To treat symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children To treat moderate to severe binge eating disorder (BED) in adults
Indication: To treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) and narcolepsy

Side Effects

Most common

  • Anorexia
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness, nausea, vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Upper abdominal pain, loss of appetite, decreased weight, diarrhea, constipation
  • Increased heart rate

More serious

  • Serious cardiovascular reactions
  • Sudden death has been reported with CNS stimulant treatment at recommended doses in pediatric patients with structural cardiac abnormalities or other serious heart problems
  • Sudden death, stroke, and heart attacks in adults
  • Blood pressure and increase in heart rate
  • Suppression of growth – monitor height and weight in pediatric patients
  • Peripheral vasculopathy, including Raynaud’s phenomenon
  • Serotonin syndrome – increased risk when taken with serotonergic agents (SSRIs, SNRIs, triptans), but also during overdosage situations
  • New or worsening psychosis (unusual thoughts or behavior)
  • Withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop using this medication – severe tiredness, sleep problems, mental/mood changes such as depression

Most common:

  • Sweating, increased blood pressure
  • Changes in mood, feeling anxious
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fast heartrate
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain
  • Headache, dizziness

More serious:

  • Chest pain, difficulty breathing, feeling faint
  • Hallucinations, aggression, hostility
  • Feeling numb, pain, unexplained wounds, changes in skin color
  • Painful penis erections lasting 4 hours or longer
  • Serotonin syndrome – agitation, hallucinations, sweating, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Reduced growth in children

Drug Interactions

Severe interactions
  • Antiarrhythmics – amiodarone, dronedarone
  • Antipsychotics – clozapine, haloperidol
  • Immunosuppressants – fingolimod, siponimod
  • Antidepressants – citalopram, fluoxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine
Serious interactions
  • Antibiotics – clarithromycin, erythromycin, ofloxacin
  • Antifungals – ketoconazole
  • Immunosuppressants – voclosporin
  • Tricyclic antidepressants – clomipramine, desipramine, imipramine
Moderate interactions
  • Seizure medications – phenobarbital, phenytoin
Severe interactions
  • Opioid analgesics – tramadol
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors – isocarboxazid, phenelzine, selegiline
Serious interactions
  • Calcium channel blockers – amlodipine, felodipine, nifedipine, diltiazem, verapamil
  • Diuretics – Bendroflumethiazide
  • Beta-blockers – atenolol, bisoprolol, propranolol, sotalol
  • ACE inhibitors – captopril, enalapril, ramipril
  • Antidepressants – citalopram, fluoxetine, sertraline
Moderate interactions
  • Anticonvulsants – phenobarbital, phenytoin
  • Blood thinners – warfarin

Warnings

You should not use Vyvanse if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredient lisdexamfetamine dimesylate
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Vyvanse
  • Are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI)
  • Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant

You should talk to your doctor before using Vyvanse if you:

  • Are taking any of the medications that could interact with Vyvanse
  • Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed – lisdexamfetamine can pass into breast milk
  • Have depression, mental illness, bipolar disorder, psychosis, or suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Have kidney disease
  • Have coronary artery disease
  • Have blood circulation problems in your hands or feet
  • Have a drug or alcohol addiction
  • Have a family history of heart disease, heart problems, or high blood pressure

You should not take Ritalin if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredient methylphenidate
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Ritalin
  • Have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days
  • Have glaucoma
  • Have severe high blood pressure or a heart problems
  • Have an overactive thyroid
  • Have a personal or family history of tics or Tourette’s syndrome
  • Have severe anxiety, tension, or agitation
  • Are younger than 6 years old

You should talk to your doctor before using Ritalin if you:

  • Have heart problems or a congenital heart defect
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have a family history of heart disease or sudden death
  • Have depression, mental illness, bipolar disorder, psychosis, or suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Have blood circulation problems in your hands or feet
  • Suffer from alcohol or drug addiction
  • Have problems with your esophagus, stomach, or intestines
  • Suffer from seizures
  • Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed

Dosage

Once daily in the morning

Two or three times daily

Cost

100 Vyvanse capsules, 10 mg will cost around $1,175

100 Ritalin tablets, 5 mg will cost around $80

FAQs

According to the National Institute on Mental Health, ADHD is one of the most common mental disorders affecting children. Vyvanse and Ritalin are brand names for prescription drugs both classed as CNS (central nervous system) stimulant drugs thought to work by increasing the concentration of two neurotransmitters (dopamine and norepinephrine) in the brain.

Vyvanse and Ritalin are both used for the treatment of ADHD. Vyvanse is approved for use in children as young as 6 years old, and Ritalin is approved in children as young as 3 years old. Both drugs can be used in adolescents and adults.

Here we will explain how they work, their similarities and differences, their side effects, and more. This should provide you with the basics to better understand your options.

What is Vyvanse?

Vyvanse is an FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) approved medication manufactured by Shire PLC. Vyvanse is a central nervous system stimulant medication used to treat ADHD symptoms in children (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and moderate to severe binge eating disorder (BED) in adults.

ADHD is a condition that causes differences in brain development and activity. The most common symptoms of ADHD are inattention, impulsivity, excess energy, and difficulties with controlling emotions. It usually emerges and is diagnosed in childhood, often between the ages of 6 and 12. It can be diagnosed later in life though. ADHD can be very disruptive to your life, affecting performance at school and in the workplace, as well as interfering in your home and social life.

Vyvanse belongs to a class of drugs known as amphetamines. These work by blocking the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine into the presynaptic neuron and increasing the release of these monoamines into the extraneuronal space.

Vyvanse is not recommended for weight loss. The use of other sympathomimetic drugs for weight loss has been associated with serious cardiovascular adverse events. The safety and effectiveness of Vyvanse for the treatment of obesity have also not been established.

Vyvanse is a prodrug, meaning lisdexamfetamine is converted into dexamphetamine once it is in the body. Vyvanse and Ritalin are both federally controlled substances because they have a high potential for drug abuse and can lead to dependence. You should store Vyvanse at room temperature, but away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom, and keep all medications away from children and pets.

Vyvanse dosage

Vyvanse is available in capsule and tablet form, in the following doses:

  • Capsules: 10 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 50 mg, 60 mg, and 70 mg
  • Chewable tablets: 10 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 50 mg, and 60 mg

The typical dose for Vyvanse is 30 mg, and the maximum daily dose is 70 mg. To make swallowing easier you may open the capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a glass of water or orange juice, or mix it with yogurt. Once the medicine has dissolved, drink or eat the mixture right away.

For additional safety information, read the full prescribing information and medication guide. Always speak with a healthcare professional for medical advice or about any changes to your dose so they can monitor and evaluate your condition.

What is Ritalin?

Ritalin is an FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) approved medication manufactured by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. It is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant also used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) and narcolepsy. The active ingredient of Ritalin is methylphenidate.

Ritalin dosage

Ritalin is available as an immediate-release tablet in 5mg, 10mg, and 20 mg, and as extended-release (long-acting) tablets in 20 mg.

Your daily dose and maximum daily dose will be based on your age. Ritalin tablets must be swallowed whole and never crushed or chewed.

Common side effects of Vyvanse and Ritalin

The most common side effects of Vyvanse in clinical trials include:

  • Anorexia
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness, nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Upper abdominal pain, stomach pain, vomiting, decreased appetite, decreased weight, diarrhea, constipation
  • Increased heart rate

More serious side effects of Vyvanse include

  • Serious cardiovascular reactions
  • Sudden death has been reported with CNS stimulant treatment at recommended doses in pediatric patients with structural cardiac abnormalities or other serious heart problems
  • Sudden death, stroke, and heart attacks in adults
  • Increased blood pressure and increase in heart rate Increases
  • Suppression of growth – monitor height and weight in pediatric patients
  • Peripheral vasculopathy, including Raynaud’s phenomenon
  • Serotonin syndrome
  • New or worsening psychosis
  • Withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop using this medication – severe tiredness, sleep problems, mental/mood changes such as depression

The most common side effects of Ritalin in clinical trials include:

  • Sweating and increased blood pressure
  • Changes in mood, feeling anxious
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fast heart rate
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain
  • Headache, dizziness

More serious side effects of Ritalin include

  • Chest pain, difficulty breathing, feeling faint
  • Hallucinations, aggression, hostility
  • Feeling numb, pain, unexplained wounds, changes in skin color
  • Painful penis erections lasting 4 hours or longer
  • Serotonin syndrome – agitation, hallucinations, sweating, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Reduced growth in children

These aren’t all the side effects Vyvanse or Ritalin can cause. You can find more details in the patient leaflet that comes with your medication. If you have any concerns about side effects, talk to your physician or pharmacist.

Vyvanse and Ritalin drug interactions

Vyvanse can interact with other medications. These include:

  • Acidifying and alkalinizing agents – acidifying agents decrease amphetamine blood levels, and alkalinizing agents increase amphetamine blood levels
  • MAO inhibitors – isocarboxazid, linezolid, metaxalone, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline. Most MAO inhibitors should also not be taken for two weeks before treatment with this medication
  • Serotonin syndrome toxicity increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, e.g. MDMA, St. John’s wort, certain antidepressants (fluoxetine, paroxetine, duloxetine, venlafaxine)
  • Do not use medications containing amphetamine or dextroamphetamine while using lisdexamfetamine

Ritalin can interact with other medications. These include:

  • Opioid analgesics
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Diuretics
  • Beta-blockers
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Antidepressants
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Blood thinners

Vyvanse and Ritalin can interact with other medications. This can change how Vyvanse and Ritalin and other medications work and can make side effects more likely. Tell your prescribing physician about all your drugs, including vitamins and dietary supplements.

Vyvanse and Ritalin contraindications

You should not use Vyvanse if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredient lisdexamfetamine dimesylate
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Vyvanse
  • Are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI)
  • Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant – there is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to ADHD medications during pregnancy

Talk to your doctor before using Vyvanse if you:

  • Are taking any of the medications that could interact with Vyvanse
  • Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed – lisdexamfetamine can pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in the nursing baby
  • Have depression, mental illness, bipolar disorder, psychosis, or suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Have kidney disease
  • Have coronary artery disease
  • Have blood circulation problems in your hands or feet
  • Have a drug or alcohol addiction
  • Have a family history of heart disease, heart problems, or high blood pressure

You should not use Ritalin if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredient methylphenidate
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Ritalin
  • Have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days
  • Have glaucoma
  • Have severe high blood pressure or a heart problem
  • Have an overactive thyroid
  • Have a personal or family history of tics or Tourette’s syndrome
  • Have severe anxiety, tension, or agitation
  • Are younger than 6 years old

Talk to your doctor before using Ritalin if you:

  • Have heart problems or a congenital heart defect
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have a family history of heart disease or sudden death
  • Have depression, mental illness, bipolar disorder, psychosis, or suicidal thoughts or action
  • Have blood circulation problems in your hands or feet
  • Suffer from alcohol or drug addiction
  • Have problems with your esophagus, stomach, or intestines
  • Suffer from seizures
  • Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed

Other drugs for ADHD

If you have any concerns about Vyvanse or Ritalin side effects, talk to your physician, or pharmacist for medical advice. Also inform your healthcare provider about any medical conditions, supplements, and over-the-counter meds you are taking. You are also encouraged to report side effects to the FDA: visit http://www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1

The content on this website is intended for information purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. The information on this website should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always speak to your doctor regarding the risks and benefits of any treatment.
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