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Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate)

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Old 09-20-11, 02:09 AM
rocksanne rocksanne is offline

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Silly question, but how does time release work?

I am prescribed 50-70 mg of Vyvanse daily as needed. In other words, I take 50 mg every morning, but am also prescribed a few 20 mg pills so I can bump the dosage to 70 mg as needed (I am prescribed Vyvanse both to treat ADD and to boost my anti-depressant, so when hormonal changes make my anti-depressant even less efficacious, I give it an extra kick with the additional 20 mg of Vyvanse).

Now I admit I'm really clueless as to how time-released medications work, but surely the extra 20 mg of Vyvanse doesn't just hang out until my usual dose has done its thing and then kick in, right? But for some reason, I feel the effects of the Vyvanse significantly longer when I take the "booster" pill than when I don't. I'm talking about an additional 6-8 hours, on top of the 10-12 hours I usually feel. And just to be clear, on days that I take the extra 20 mg, I take it at the exact same time as the 50 mg (first thing in the morning).

I was under the impression that an upward adjustment to the dosage would have a concurrent effect (i.e. 70 mg is 1.4 times stronger than 50 mg) rather than a consecutive effect (i.e. 50 mg for 12 hours + 20 mg for 6 hours). Is it because I'm taking two separate pills, rather than a single 70 mg pill? If so, is there any way to fix this problem (besides getting a prescription for 70 mg pills)? I remember when I first started on Vyvanse, my pdoc had me open the capsules and dissolve the contents in water. Does that bypass the time release issues? Or am I way out in left field thinking that the time release factor has anything to do with my insomnia when taking higher doses?

All advice welcome and appreciated, thanks!
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Old 09-22-11, 05:27 PM
JR1973 JR1973 is offline
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Re: Silly question, but how does time release work?

Ah yes. In reality there is no time release mechanism with Vyvanse (if you don't believe me read the prescribing info packet). Vyvanse really is just a superior form of dexedrine IR. The "all day long" effect of Vyvanse has to do with the 10-12 hour half-life of amphetamine.

No matter what dose you take it will peak around the same time (about 3-5 hours). When you increase your dose you get a longer duration of effect because your body is not used to the higher levels in the blood. That increased duration is only temporary though. Once your body adjusts (which can vary from person to person) you will find that the higher dose only lasts about as long as the lower dose you used to take. This problem has to do with the steady-state level in the blood.
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Old 09-28-11, 11:36 AM
Ack226 Ack226 is offline

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Re: Silly question, but how does time release work?

Here's the way I understand it based on what my Psychiatrist has told me plus my own research. Take it with a grain of salt because some of my "research" has been on websites that could possibly have incorrect info:

The active drug in Vyvanse is a chemically bonded combination of Lysine and dextroamphetamine. Dextroamphetamine is the active drug that provides the medication's effect. It cannot be used by the body until it is separated from the Lysine portion of the molecule. This separation occurs in the liver as your body metabolizes the medicine.

Once the medicine makes it to your liver the process begins and dextroamphetamine is gradually released until there is no more Vyvanse to metabolize. The way my doctor explained it was that increasing the dosage would make the medication somewhat more effective at it's peak, but mostly just increase the duration of effectiveness since it would take the liver longer to finish metabolizing all of the drug.

Based on my understanding, the capsule shell itself has nothing to do with the time release mechanism. Therefore, taking 70 mg of Vyvanse should have the exact same effect and duration whether you take it as a 70mg capsule, a 50mg capsule + a 20 mg capsule, or 70mg worth of capsules dumped into water.

Keep in mind that I'm not a doctor nor an expert, so some of the above could be incorrect.
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Old 09-28-11, 01:01 PM
selita selita is offline
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Re: Silly question, but how does time release work?

I think some of the time-release aspect of Vyvanse has to do with how quickly your liver breaks it down to d-amp and lysine. It seems like some people get wayyy too much effect at the beginning and then it stops working after 3-4 hours, which sounds to me sort of like their liver is processing it very quickly, more quickly than intended. Other people don't get any effect -- maybe their liver isn't breaking it down fast enough. That's just a guess though.

I didn't want to risk that and took Dexedrine instead. I'm sure it wasn't quite as good as Vyvanse is under ideal circumstances, but it wasn't bad at all.
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