View Full Version : Vyvanse vs Strattera for predominantly inattentive types

01-25-14, 04:29 PM

I recently decided to explore other medications after having a panic attack and worrying that the stimulant effects of Adderall would trigger/worsen anxiety.

So I've been trying Vyvanse for a couple days, but to no avail... I like the lack of physical side effects, but I almost feel more (mentally) anxious on Vyvanse and I think it's because it doesn't help me focus as much.

After reading about it, I found that Vyvanse contains ONLY D-amphetamine, whereas Adderall contains D-amphetamine and L-amphetamine. I also read that D-amphetamine is related to dopamine, whereas L-amphetamine is related to norepinephrine.

Now for somebody with ADHD my body doesn't seem to like dopamine as well as most people with this disorder for some reason. I tried taking L-tyrosine once which basically made me feel like I was high. I was definitely more chill-- but I didn't want to be that chill with all the homework I had and stuff I had to get done. I hated it.

THEN, after doing a bit more research, I discovered that my first therapist had diagnosed me with ADHD-primarily inattentive type! Thanks for telling me! lol. Anyway, I read that these people benefit more from that kick than regular or hyperactive ADHD people do. I also read that Strattera is generally better for these individuals.

Has anybody with inattentive type on here tried both medications? Or if you have tried one or the other, are they working for you? Please let me know because I just paid $15 for this new stuff and it's not doing anything!! (Side note: I'm at 40mg which is slightly less than the equivalent of 20mg of Adderall XR which I was originally on. I believe about 50mg of Vyvanse = 20mg Adderall XR, but it's still not even working as well as half a dose of Adderall does for me) >:[ help?

01-25-14, 04:38 PM
How long have you been on the current med? I might be reaching but I'm picking up a bit of H in you...

These things take time... I'd say two weeks to a month on any dose is a better indicator of your response.

01-25-14, 04:54 PM
I started Vyvanse yesterday, this is my second day on it. I might be having Adderall withdrawal, idk...

lol, by H do you mean hyperactive?

I might be a little hyper, but my biggest problem is being inattentive.

I might be more hyperactive than usual right now anyway because I'm mad because I haven't been getting any homework done. lol :P

01-25-14, 04:59 PM
hahahahaha! yes, that's true :)

01-28-14, 01:58 PM
Okay! Decided to start the Strattera ONLY on the conditions that I could take my Adderall while I was waiting for it to kick in. If anybody has any warnings against this please let me know-- I was a bit surprised but my psychiatrist told me it would be fine. I'm on my first day and maybe I'll journal it [the best I can-- I'm pretty busy in college] even though today might not be the most accurate description of the effects. (I'm running on 2 hours of sleep).

Took 18mg of Strattera today and about an hour later felt a bit... lighter, idk how to describe it. Got kinda a metallic feeling in my mouth and a slight aversion to food but nothing too weird. I'm definitely drowsy but then again I slept for 2 hours last night. I felt a bit nauseous by lunch too but this might be from lack of sleep. Slight headache, again, possibly from lack of sleep, lol.... usually I can do fairly well on Adderall with lack of sleep though, so we'll see how this plays out. I also don't seem to be as sensitive to tactile stimuli anymore, which is weird. Like I don't care as much when it's cold outside or my hands are dry or my scarf is itchy. I def feel like something is happening, and my body feels generally cooler on the inside (idk how to describe it other than that), and for some reason my sense of taste and smells is more.... flowery? Or sorta reminds me of a doctor's office? It seems cleaner. Idk. it's weird, but not in a bad way, lol.

01-28-14, 03:38 PM
Yes, sounds promising, continue with this, get some sleep, and see how it turns out.

01-28-14, 11:50 PM
My chest feels a little tight, and I still have that weird chilly feeling in the back of my throat. It's not noticeable enough to be a problem atm, just uncomfortable. Is that unusual?

01-30-14, 07:27 PM
Mkay, decided to stop Strattera at least for the time being because I got terrible insomnia and an overall just weird feeling, not giving up on it forever, just until I can get a few extra free days to deal with the side-effects. Going back to Vyvanse for now.

02-01-14, 07:00 AM
Mkay, decided to stop Strattera at least for the time being because I got terrible insomnia and an overall just weird feeling, not giving up on it forever, just until I can get a few extra free days to deal with the side-effects. Going back to Vyvanse for now.

So for one, I'd posit as to whether you were taking Strattera with food. That really makes a HUMONGOUS difference for people. I'd say that when I used to be reading the old threads like 2yrs ago, probably 60-70% of posters would say that Strattera + no food = feel like crap.

As for Vyvanse vs Adderall XR - these are sincerely two different meds, irrespective of whatever chemicals in the brain they are said to impact. Vyvanse is a much more staggered release and depends on whether you eat throughout the day. Adderall is more like a jolt and is highly sensitive to the acidic level of your stomach (e.g. Vitamin Water + Adderall XR = less effective overall).

On dosages: That rule of thumb of 50mg=2x20mg AXR is really fraught. For one, unless you're taking the brand of Adderall XR, then there's known to be huge variability for how people experience different generics. Its not at all like RC vs Jiff Cola instead of Coca Cola. I used to be on 25mg of Adderall XR x2/day but now am mostly good with 60mg Vyvanse each day x1.

As for an alternative to Strattera that's not a stimulant, I'd recommend looking into Intuniv which came out 4 years ago. It has a LOT of positive impacts the Strattera has without nearly as many side effects or as long waiting period for effectiveness to occur. It's just less overall 'strong' as the Strattera is at optimal level.

Finally, I'd really recommend checking out Dr Halowell's book 'Delivered from Distraction' as that has a lot of insight on both meds and interventions of other varieties. And its helpfully broken down so that each chapter is about the size of a usual ADD-I's attention span ;)

*PS Any initial impact of Strattera on the first day ought to be disregarded since 99.99% of posts I've read on here are people saying that that first day is NOT indicative of how it will go for the next 2-6wks.

02-04-14, 12:06 AM
I appreciate your insight/advice greatly, thanks so much for the info. I decided to maybe give it another try on Spring break or Summer break when i have more time to deal with insomnia.

I've noticed I respond much better to Adderall, but is it a healthy drug to take? I always hear such bad stuff about how it effects your heart/tolerance/impaired dopamine functioning after stopping the drug. I also have anxiety which makes me nervous about the heart-related aspect.

I'll definitely take that book into account :) Maybe make a trip to the store one of these days.

I did take Strattera with food, and was mindful of eating balanced meals throughout the day. It did start feeling worse at night and was a little better after I ate something, but this was at 3am when I still hadn't gone to sleep.

Is Intuniv an ADHD medication? Is there any indication of it being effective for ADHD-PI types? How old is it compared to Strattera?

Thanks for your help and sorry if this post is full of typos/weird grammatical issues. I'm really out of it & on klonopin for stress, I had some sort of weird drug interaction which triggered a panic attack and yep. here I am on klonopin woohoo.

lol as a side note if anyone has any advice on benzo withdrawals that would be wonderful too.

thanks guys.

02-04-14, 12:08 AM
Just did quick research on Intuniv-- it says not for people with low blood pressure. I have low blood pressure at times/am slightly anemic unfortunately :/

BUT it's been thought to have a positive effect on opiate withdrawal-- could it maybe help with klonopin withdrawal?

I'm nervous about the low blood pressure effects but wondering if maybe I take it with a stimulant it could help? I'm also really liking this opiate withdrawal plus. That could be really nice because what I'm going through right now really stinks. lol I hate benzos.

02-04-14, 03:49 AM
It's seems like it might be an attitude thing. You seem focused on the negative. Fact is all drugs have side effects.

All adhd meds have an 80% chance of working. To me the benefits far out way the risks.

Taking A drug for less than 2 weeks doesn't give it enough time. Adding an SNRI to the vyvanse would increase efficacy and eliminate insomnia.

As with all drugs diet and exercise are crucial.

02-04-14, 03:54 AM
yeah... whack all these med ideas is some sort of diary... check in with it every two months...

nothing is gonna "work" 100%... overthinking a solution is fogging what your doing right now...

02-04-14, 04:10 AM
Over thinking a solution is adhdpi. Time to stop thinking and start doing.... but that's what the meds help us with... I'm so glad I didn't over think the meds till I started one for a while. The catch 22 you're in.

When I realize I'm doing this I make a decision, even if there is a chance is not the best one, because doing something is better than doing nothing.

02-04-14, 12:28 PM
You're right, I'm obsessing a bit and this could be attributed to a ADHD-PI characteristic (thanks for shedding some light on that & sharing personal experiences).. the Vyvanse is doing okay, and the benefits do outweigh the side effects but I've been having panic attacks lately which is why I've been so wary of the meds. I think I'm sticking to the Vyvanse for a while, talking to a doctor instead of doing online research myself, and just focus on diet/exercise more than I have been lately. It's true that these are huge factors into treating ADHD.

02-04-14, 02:16 PM
Charles Parker has a YouTube video about the adhdpi thinkers. We think and think and think and don't do. He puts us in a subtype. I'm not a fan of subtyping but it does explain this trait.

02-09-14, 12:33 AM
Started the Vyvanse and it gave me hideous side effects--- pretty much gave me what felt like bipolar disorder or mild schizophrenia and I had an awful week thinking I was going through benzo withdrawals.

Strattera gave me insomnia so decided to try that over spring break.

Back to Adderall!