View Full Version : Side affects with Vyvanse


pipsqueak00
03-07-10, 10:52 AM
My son started taking vyvanse in Jan, and for the first month it seemed like we'd finally found something that helped. His school behavior improved dramatically, and his home behavior was better as well. Then the second month taking 30 mg once a day, he started having big mood swings. He seems very irritable and throws bigger tantrums than my three year old. Hes more aggressive, and just is unhappy all the time. Just when I started to think I had found something that would help him. :(
I guess I just wondered if anyone else had similar problems. We've tried ritalin, concerta, strattera, and focalin. Oddly enough when I told his psychiatrist about the problems she upped his dose to 40mg. The symptoms got a lot worse with the higher dose.

canukie
03-07-10, 10:14 PM
I have found in my own experience with my 12 yo, who only takes about 8mg of Adderall XR per day, that the trick with starting a new med is to start at a low dose and go up very slowly. We started with 5mg and went up a mg. or two each week. I'm sure that seems strange to many people here, but we've tried various meds and this I think is the trick. After a break in meds last summer we started up again in sept. and ramped up quickly to 10 mg within a few days and he had significant side effects, although he had been taking the 10 mg before we stopped for the summer.

In Canada, the CADDRA guidelines say start low and go slow. Our current doctor is in agreement with that. I think with Vyvanse you can cut the dose, and dissolve in water and take less if you need to. Just had that chat with our doc a couple of days ago. We're going to try it out next week. Have a rx for 30 mg but I'll only give him half to start out with.

pipsqueak00
03-08-10, 10:18 AM
The first month his dr prescribed 50 mg. My son is a big kid for 10 but the first day he took it I was ready to take him to the er. He turned pale and could barely make it off the couch. I called his ped frantic, she told me what to watch for... chest pains etc. His psychiatrist told me to dissolve it in a measured amt of juice and then give him increasing doses daily. So for most of that first month I was giving him about 2/3 of the dissolved mixture. So thats why the second month he was prescribed 30mg.
He also takes celexa, and im wondering if that might be part of it. He was originally taking the celexa for anxiety (a huge problem when he was taking focalin). Saturday was his birthday and he spent most of it crying or snapping at people, then finished off the day with a screaming fit. This just isnt him. I want to find something that will help him not change him. :(

mrsffcruzer
03-08-10, 12:16 PM
My son was diagnosed with Partial Complex Seizures and was put on Depakote Sprinkles. Then we noticed that he ws a little more active than normal and the doctor mentioned he may have some ADHD. So he put him on Vyvanse. My son is more out of control now than before. I am taking him off. I did some researcha and found that vyvanse and depakote sprinkles should not be taken together. My son won't eat, is very irritable and can't sleep. anyone else have something to share with this?
thanks

mrsffcruzer
03-08-10, 12:27 PM
My son started taking vyvanse in Jan, and for the first month it seemed like we'd finally found something that helped. His school behavior improved dramatically, and his home behavior was better as well. Then the second month taking 30 mg once a day, he started having big mood swings. He seems very irritable and throws bigger tantrums than my three year old. Hes more aggressive, and just is unhappy all the time. Just when I started to think I had found something that would help him. :(
I guess I just wondered if anyone else had similar problems. We've tried ritalin, concerta, strattera, and focalin. Oddly enough when I told his psychiatrist about the problems she upped his dose to 40mg. The symptoms got a lot worse with the higher dose.


Please read below. Seems that the same issues your son is going through i am going through.

pipsqueak00
03-08-10, 03:50 PM
After my post this morning I did a little research on my own. I checked for drug interactions and several sources I checked stated it is strongly reccomended not to take vyvanse with celexa. Im just confused why the psychiatrist wasnt aware of this.

The ADHD Fan
03-08-10, 04:31 PM
Hi pipsqueak,

While not a physician myself, I have worked with a number of kids on Vyvanse and most of the other stimulants you've mentioned. From your son's symptoms, it sounds an awful lot like an overdose.

For a great bit on getting the right dosing, please check out Dr. Charles Parker's blog (http://www.corepsychblog.com/2009/04/adhd-medications-use-the-therapeutic-window-corepsych-radio/). He talks about a concept called the "therapeutic window", which outlines the optimal dosing and timing of a medication, and discusses the symptoms/side effects if this "window" is missed.

There's a bit of a paradox with stimulant medications in particular. If you think of med dosing as an upside-down "U" curve, the sweet spot is at the top of the upside down U. If you're at a dose below this sweet spot, just adding 5-10 mg may bring you to the place of peak effectiveness.

However, if you overshoot the mark, the positive effects of the drug can be quickly overshadowed by the negative ones, and the symptoms (crankiness, irritability, and even trouble focusing) can re-surface. Your physician might have read into this being on the "left" side of the upside-down U, when, in reality, the dosage was too high (it is possible to build up the drug in our systems, so the accumulation over the last few months might be pushing the levels higher than when your son initially started).

There is a wide variation among the population as far as their abilities to metabolize and clear drugs, especially for long-acting ones like Vyvanse (a lot of this is simply due to enzyme efficiency, which is highly variable and often highly genetic (http://adhd-treatment-options.blogspot.com/2008/12/adhd-genes-influence-medication-dosage.html)). In other words, your son might simply be a slower metabolizer.

Otherwise, have you looked at all at other non-stimulants besides Strattera (guanfacine/Intuniv, clonidine)? These side effects can sometimes be a lot milder, and some individuals often respond much better. I know one person who did horribly on Vyvanse, but is doing much better on Intuniv at the moment. Maybe bring this up the next time you see your child's physician.


My son started taking vyvanse in Jan, and for the first month it seemed like we'd finally found something that helped. His school behavior improved dramatically, and his home behavior was better as well. Then the second month taking 30 mg once a day, he started having big mood swings. He seems very irritable and throws bigger tantrums than my three year old. Hes more aggressive, and just is unhappy all the time. Just when I started to think I had found something that would help him. :(
I guess I just wondered if anyone else had similar problems. We've tried ritalin, concerta, strattera, and focalin. Oddly enough when I told his psychiatrist about the problems she upped his dose to 40mg. The symptoms got a lot worse with the higher dose.

MGDAD
03-08-10, 05:43 PM
Vyvanse and other stimulants can cause aggression, and mood problems just like you described. It happened to my daughter. If you stop taking the stimulant, those symptoms will go away. There are other non-stimulant medications that you can try.

canukie
03-09-10, 09:33 PM
I'm a big reader of Charles Parker's blog also. I believe he has a book coming out. You can download a white paper he has on prescribing. He also mentioned something on one or more of his posts about stimulants and certain types of anti-depressants. Even though you have two doctors as we do, you still have to learn all you can. I guess I should read the vyvanse product monograph soon! You can also ask your pharmacist (if they're good and up to date) to check interactions for you. They have hugh databases.

And to add to this, echoing the Charles Parker school of thought, the 30 mg could still be too much. start low and go slow.

pipsqueak00
03-12-10, 07:48 PM
I stopped giving him the celexa. He seems to be a little less irritable, each day gets a little better. His psychiatrist said that she frequently prescribes these two together and wasnt aware of any problems. So for right now hes just taking the vyvanse so at least I can tell which is causing the problem. I know that the celexa might be in his system for a little while so Im taking things day by day to see what happens. I did read the blog referred to and it was helpful. Its just so frustrating and scary, but Im sure you all can relate.

scaredmom
03-14-10, 08:12 PM
Vyvanse and other stimulants can cause aggression, and mood problems just like you described. It happened to my daughter. If you stop taking the stimulant, those symptoms will go away. There are other non-stimulant medications that you can try.
please tell me what they are.

JenSMP
03-15-10, 09:05 AM
We started my 6 year old (48 lbs) on Vyvanse last month. 20 mg helped him focus, but it seemed to be a bit too much because we saw the following side effects: emotional lability (sadness), fewer meltdowns but when they occurred they were more severe than usual, calm but distant, not his usual personality, withdrawn, no appetite, sleeplessness, tiredness. So we opened the capsule, dissolved it in water, and gave him 3/4 of a dose (15 mg). We saw the same thing. The teacher was concerned about the personality change and his emotional state. So, we went down to 10 mg (half dose), and it was a perfect fit. He was his usual self for the most part, more focused, calmer, etc. This lasted about 2 weeks, and then over the course of about 3-4 days, it just stopped working. We went up to 15 mg for a day. Still didn't work, so we went up to 20 mg the next day. He had a great day, but he complained of feeling tired.

So, we've switched to Concerta, and while so far it doesn't seem to give him the exact same focus as the Vyvanse (at least not at this low dose), he's very happy and you can see his personality. NO MELTDOWNS!! Today is his first day at school on Concerta (18 mg), so this will be the true test.

I'm not sure if this info helped you or not, but I certainly think that, at least in our experience, Vyvanse can affect mood and coping skills, and for us it happened when the dose was too high.

MGDAD
03-15-10, 02:11 PM
please tell me what they are.

1. Stratterra.
2. Alpha Agonists - Intuniv, tenex, guanfacine.
3. Amantadine (sp?) - Not well tested.

BTW quitting the Celexa too quickly can cause withdrawl symptoms. It should be tapered off.

Tgary
03-19-10, 09:53 AM
My son, 9, is on 10mg of Vyvanse per day for a year now. It worked great to begin with. His teachers were very pleased with his ability to focus. However, he use to be the life of the class. Everyone liked him. He now comes home complaining that everyone "hates" him. He is so socially distant. He doesn't even want to atttend birthday parties for the friends he was closest to. It's very disturbing that such a social child wants to be alone all the time. I have offered him every activity and he has no want to leave the house. I am taking him off of the Vyvanse but I need something to keep him focused at school. It's not that he acts out, he just spaces out when he's not on Vyvanse. Also, he has very vivid dreams and he honestly thinks that some of his dreams are reality.

JenSMP
03-19-10, 10:50 AM
Tgary,
I noticed that we really were not seeing my son's personality on Vyvance. He was very subdued. We switched to 18 mg of Concerta, and so far it's wonderful. You can definitely see his happy, fun personality, and he's very focused. Have you tried Concerta?

MGDAD
03-19-10, 01:25 PM
Tgary, the different stimulants do seem to behave a little different in everyone. Vyvanse is a long acting form of Amphetamine, Concerta is a long acting form of Methylphenidate. Both stimulants but they work on the brain a little different. Concerta would be a good option, but there is nothing equivalent to 10mg of Vyvance. (which is half of the smallest Vyvanse pill). Another long acting form of Methylphenidate is Focalin XR. It has little pellets in a capsule that can be split up similar to Vyanse. That might be a good option to try.