View Full Version : Advice needed : First few days of Vyvanse

05-17-16, 05:28 AM
Hi All,

An ADHD sufferer from the UK here !

Recently diagnosed at the age of 41, though not severe, more mild to moderate. That in itself always unnerves me as when you are taking meds how can you be sure you really are ADHD ? Anyway, I'm quite organised and disciplined, where I struggle is in focus and concentration. I've just lived with it long enough to find 'reasonably' effective workarounds. Too much of a chatty brain, that's for sure !

Anyway, I was prescribed Concerta XL 18mg for 2 weeks. Tried it, felt buzzy but not focussed. Life felt foggier than before, like I was watching everything throuhg a Window. Upped to 36mg, just feel sick, cold sweats, scarily awful.

Doctor switched me to Vyvanse (known as Elvanse in the UK). 30mg capsules. Started taken them last Saturday, it was immense ! I felt focussed, confident, the brain stopped chatting, and it felt like the world was in High Definition.

But then I couldn't sleep. 3 hours max.

Day 2 the same, felt good, felt focussed. But slept about 3 hours.

Day 3, completely jaded from lack of sleep, but took it and it woke me up enough to function for most of the day. Got an early night and slept longer, more like 5 hours.

Day 4. This is where it turns.
I woke up, took the meds usual time (7:30am) and by 9:30am I started getting jitters. No focus, just felt jittery and uncomfortable. Headache too...

Where had my calm, composed, confident feelings from Day 1-3 disappeared to ?
Why has my brain now gone foggy again, and I can't form clarity or thoughts like I was before ? I felt sharp as a knife in the first couple of days but it's disappeared.

A few questions:

1) Is the sleep issue normal and will it go away ?

2) Is it usual to have 'good' days and 'bad' days on this med ? when it can feel super effective or not at all ?

3) Is it beneficial to have breaks (days off) in the week without it, to prevent tolerance ?

What's people's experience of this, should I just be patient and give it a good run of use to see how I adjust ?

I don't want to just stop prematurely because in all honesty the first 3 days felt like a revelation for me. No real side effects other than mild insomnia, which was probably just over-thinking. But If I feel as jittery as I do now each and every day, it's not the med for me.

Help !



Little Nut
05-17-16, 08:16 AM
Hey Mark, No experience w/ Vyvanse, but let me generalize as it may apply to you. The same med affects people differently. Even when it comes to side effects, some people's are severe enough to make them stop, others not so much. For me when I make a change it takes about 2 weeks for everything to stabilize, sometimes longer for individual side effects (sleep disturbance with Dexedrine took ~ a month to get back to somewhat normal. What I focus on is;

1-How well is each individual symptom being addressed. Goal is fully treated by my judgement. (Daily note taking works for me and makes it simpler to objectively evaluate later.)

2-Be attentive to side-effects and answer the question; Is it minor enough such that I can live with it for a cupla weeks and reevaluate then.

3. At first the drug is slowly building up in your body to equilibrium levels. Your body is going to react to the drug and compensate for it over a cupla weeks. So minor fluctuations in effectiveness and side-effects are to be expected.

4. Based on your agreements with your Doc, you probably have a certain time frame to evaluate the treatment's effectiveness. You'll need to be somewhat objective imho as to how effectively it treated your symptoms and how long did the dose last for you. Did it run out after 2 hours, did it last 16 hours.....

So for any serious side-effects, you need to address them right then and communicate w/ Doc. Otherwise I document and try to ignore until I can do a good evaluation. HTH, Tom (aka LN)

PS For individual medication discussions, such as Vyvanse, there is a separate sub forum and thread to discuss these matters.

05-17-16, 09:57 AM
Hi MrCaskey. The side effects you are describing sound to me like your dose is too low. Paradoxically, when a dose is a little low, it can cause more side effects such as feeling on edge or anxious. Also 30mg is a low dose so it's normal that you adjusted to it in a few days and no longer seems effective. I'm sure your psychiatrist will know what to do. Good luck

05-17-16, 11:22 AM
Hi MrCaskey. The side effects you are describing sound to me like your dose is too low. Paradoxically, when a dose is a little low, it can cause more side effects such as feeling on edge or anxious. Also 30mg is a low dose so it's normal that you adjusted to it in a few days and no longer seems effective. I'm sure your psychiatrist will know what to do. Good luck

Thanks for this, I didn't realise this was the case. I must admit the jitters disappeared by midday (after about 2 hours) but I've been left with feeling a bit like I always feel, not particularly focussed, a bit cloudy and tired. Pre-Meds.

I read on other forums that you don't really build a tolerance to the Meds, so I'm a bit puzzled why day 1-3 felt great and day 4 is not-so ?

My worry with doubling the meds (I have 30mg tablets, I guess I could cut another in half and have 45mg ? or 60mg?) is that when I tried moving from 18mg Concerta to 36mg, I just ended up with cold sweats, shakes and feeling sick. I don't want the same with Vyvanse.

Thoughts ?



05-18-16, 10:03 AM
ok, Day 5 !!

Took it at 7:30am. No jitters this morning, felt good, very confident and focussed. I've solved it !

Or so I thought.

2:30pm cold flushes and sweats, slight minor headache. Feeling a little unwell.

Will my body adjust ? I felt great today, but now it feels like a step backwards again. I don't want to feel like this everyday, I'd rather just live with the ADHD !

(previously tried Concerta, no success there)

05-19-16, 01:25 AM
1.) Sleep issue will go away but can come back again if you make yourself nervous or hyperactive. Its not Vyvanse.

2.) Its usual to have good days and bad days as a human. So you also have them on your medication. This depends on sleep and satisfaction or some neurotransmitters make weired sauce in your brain. :-)

3.) Its benefical to have days off or breaks if you feel for it, if you slept not enough the last days or you just wanna try the difference. Also your physician will be happier if you take less than more of this substance than subscribed. You develop tolerance if you are on your personal max dosage meaning most you can get is not the best for you, your body and your adhd. More amphetamin means not you are in a better function.

05-20-16, 12:50 AM
When Vyvanse first came out, 30mg was the lowest aviliable dose of Vyvanse. My doctor said 30mg was equalivent to 10mg Adderall and 70mg was equalavent to 30mg Adderall. I already took and needed 30mg Adderall daily. I don't think 10mg Adderall or 30mg Vyvanse would had done much.

It has been my experience under-dosing amphetamine based ADD medications can have much more side effects than the full doses. Kind of like if you are driving on a side road with a 30mph speed limit and you decide to get on the freeway with a 70mph speed limit but you refuse to go faster than 50mph. Obviously you are going to have some side effects as well as safety concerns you are not going to have if you travel down the freeway at 70mph. Or as Chuck Yeager's observations of the first supersonic aircraft flight, right at the mach 1.0 threshold he experienced a buffet but once he accelerated a little past mach 1.0 flat everything smoothed up and worked normal. I think the buffet analogy is a little more accurate.

As for the sleep issues, this will likely pass some, but I found Benadryl (diphenhydramine) to work very well. My doctor approved me for 100mg which I believe is the EU recommended maximum dose for sleep but be careful of its effects dragging on into the next day. I found taking the medication two hours before sleep to work best for me but this may or may not conflict with your late evening functions. I found Benadryl to be considerably more effective than any FDA approved sleep medication including Ambien, Lunesta and Halcion in the maximum dosage.

Also, last but not least, amphetamines are highly sensitive to the amount of sleep you get the night before. I have found anything less than 6 hours causes Adderall/Vyvanse to work less than optimally, if I only get 4 hours of sleep I wont take my medication because I know it either wont work or otherwise worsen my condition. If I go two nights in a row with only getting 6 hours of sleep, I find it best to go ahead and take my ADD medication but it wont work as good as getting a full 8 hours of rest. By forum guidelines I cannot comment on even "hearing abuse stories" but so let me just say it as... I have heard stories of people taking their Adderall type medicine at the wrong time of day and pulling an "all nighter" studying but my best guess is these people do not have low dopamine levels naturally which I presume is the leading cause of inattentive/foggy type ADD like myself, because I have found them to have zero effect in relieving natural exhaustion even though they do relieve daytime tiredness not caused by lack of sleep. It is common sense not to expect ADD medication to substitute for lost sleep, even during daytime application, but I suspect for a considerable portion of ADD people if not the majority there is some actual science to it. Your newfound sleep issues may be rolling into problems with how the Vyvanse (or even Adderall) is working during the day.

05-21-16, 04:14 PM

thanks for your well chosen words and thoughts and not repeating "common internet sense" or some physicians blah blah. :-)

Only thing is see a little different is I would not take pills for sleeping. I think its for an ADHD-mind more important than for anyone else to have a little satisfaction each day to calm down due to ADHD is (excuse my non native english) so much about acceptance/appreciation/respect/praise/recognition. Sorry dont know which word would point it exactly. Maybe its a mix of all of them.

05-23-16, 07:03 PM
Hi mr caskey,

I'm 38 and was recently diagnosed with ADD. I take vyvanse 60mg which has helped for the most part. It does feel at times that the drug isn't working and other days it works perfectly. Since it's a metabolizing drug, the effect will not be consistent. As for sleep, I will take 15mg of melatonin with one pill of Benadryl at night to help me sleep. Without it I do have some difficulty but it's not the drug that keeps me up. I do get jitters once in a while but when that happens I will drink 750 ml of water. I'm usually drinking about a gallon of water a day. Mostly because I'm also working out as well. Try to adjust the MEDS with your doctor and ask if you can take something else similar to vyvanse.