By Naomi Carr

Last updated: 06 February 2024 & medically reviewed by Morgan Blair

Vyvanse is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant medication containing lisdexamfetamine dimesylate. It is used to treat conditions such as ADHD and binge eating disorder. It is also used illicitly, to produce euphoric effects or enhance academic or athletic performance. [1][2]

Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate is a Schedule II controlled substance, due to its abuse and dependence potential and can only be obtained legally with a prescription. Vyvanse dependence can result in withdrawal symptoms if use is stopped. [1][3]

Vyvanse Withdrawal Symptoms

Does Vyvanse cause withdrawal symptoms?

Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) can cause withdrawal symptoms when taken as prescribed or with illicit use, particularly if it is stopped abruptly and has been used for a prolonged period. As such, a gradual dose reduction is recommended. [1]

People can develop a tolerance or dependence on Vyvanse, even if it is being used as prescribed. When tolerance develops, the effects of the substance become reduced, so higher doses are required to achieve the same effects. When dependence develops, the body becomes reliant on the medication, and stimulant withdrawal symptoms can occur. [1][4]

Vyvanse affects dopamine and norepinephrine levels and activity. Dopamine is involved in the brain’s reward circuit and contributes to pleasure and euphoria, while norepinephrine contributes to increased energy and alertness. [4]

With prolonged use, the body adapts its functioning to accommodate the effects of these neurotransmitters. If Vyvanse is suddenly stopped, the body must rapidly adjust to the lack of the substance and change in neurotransmitter levels. This can cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, impacting emotional and physical functioning. [2][4]

The effects of Vyvanse are long-lasting and take longer to occur than other amphetamines. This can reduce its potential for abuse and result in fewer or less severe amphetamine withdrawal symptoms, although withdrawal symptoms may still occur with abrupt cessation. [5]

Vyvanse withdrawal symptoms

Vyvanse withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person, depending on the duration, amount of use, and any underlying conditions.

Common withdrawal symptoms include: [1][2][6][7]

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Increased need for sleep

  • Increased appetite

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Depressed mood

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • Irritability

  • Anxiety

  • Headaches

  • Cravings

Compared to other medications containing amphetamine such as Adderall, Vyvanse withdrawal symptoms are less likely to be severe. However, severe symptoms may occur with abrupt cessation, heavy use or abuse over a prolonged period, or use alongside other substances. [4][5]

Vyvanse withdrawal timeline

When stopping Vyvanse, amphetamine withdrawal symptoms are likely to occur, which commence within 24 hours of the last dose. In the initial few days, individuals are likely to experience what is known as a ‘crash’. This involves intense changes in mood, sleep, and appetite. Withdrawal symptoms are likely to be at their most severe during this time and will reduce within a week. [6][7]

Following this, for several days to several weeks, withdrawal symptoms can continue, although these are often less severe. This might include continued sleep disturbances and mood and behavior changes. In many cases, withdrawal symptoms are alleviated within three weeks. [7]

However, some people who withdraw from an amphetamine can experience ongoing symptoms for several months or longer. The duration and severity of Vyvanse withdrawal symptoms may be increased by heavy and prolonged use. [4][7]

Vyvanse cessation timeline

Some people may choose to abruptly stop Vyvanse use, although this can increase the risk of withdrawal symptoms. It is recommended to gradually reduce the daily dose before stopping completely, known as tapering. [1]

A safe and effective tapering schedule for Vyvanse is likely to vary from person to person. It is advised to make gradual dose reductions in small increments, as this can help reduce withdrawal symptom severity. During this time, reductions can be paused, slowed, or stopped, to allow for any emerging withdrawal symptoms to reduce.

Depending on the person’s reaction, some people may be able to reduce their daily dosage over a short period, such as several weeks, while others may require several months. Often, people who have used Vyvanse in large and frequent doses for prolonged periods will require a slower cessation than those who have used smaller and less frequent doses for a short time. [1][8]

Is Vyvanse safe to withdraw from at home?

Vyvanse is unlikely to cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, so it may be safe to withdraw at home. However, it is recommended to gradually taper doses and to seek professional advice before reducing or stopping use. A medical professional can advise on safe cessation and monitor for any concerning or dangerous symptoms. [4][8]

Some people may be at a higher risk of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms, such as those who have used high doses of Vyvanse for a prolonged period or have underlying physical or mental health conditions. If this is the case, it may not be suitable to withdraw at home, as extensive professional monitoring and treatment may be required. [1][8]

Individuals withdrawing from Vyvanse at home might also wish to inform their friends and family. Loved ones can provide emotional and practical support during detox and can help monitor for severe withdrawal symptoms, contacting professionals if required. 

Vyvanse detox treatment

Stimulant abuse treatment can be received through outpatient services or at an inpatient treatment program, such as a rehab center. 

Inpatient treatment may be necessary for some people, particularly following heavy and prolonged use, as professionals can monitor and treat withdrawal symptoms and ensure safety. It may also be easier for individuals to avoid using Vyvanse or other substances while at an inpatient facility. [8]

There are no medications specifically for Vyvanse detox, although some people may be prescribed medication to help reduce the severity of certain withdrawal symptoms. This might include: [6][7]

  • Antidepressants: To reduce low mood, suicidal thoughts, and anxiety

  • Antipsychotics: To reduce agitation, aggression, and psychotic symptoms

  • Benzodiazepines: To reduce agitation, anxiety, and insomnia

Detox treatment is also likely to involve therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or other behavioral interventions. This can help individuals reduce their addictive behaviors by learning coping strategies to manage triggers and cravings and process any underlying emotional distress. Also, ongoing therapy is beneficial to help improve the recovery process and maintain abstinence. [7][8]

Amphetamines can have a significant impact on sleep and appetite, so during the detox and recovery process, it is important to focus on nutritional intake and improving sleep quality and quantity. Other holistic approaches, such as mindfulness or exercise, can improve well-being and assist in the detox process. [8]

Detox treatment typically lasts around two weeks, as severe withdrawal symptoms tend to be reduced by this time. However, extended or ongoing treatment may benefit lasting recovery, including psychosocial treatments and group therapies. [7][8]