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Vyvanse Overdose: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment

3 min read · 6 sections
Vyvanse is a prescription medication used to treat certain conditions. However, it can also be misused which can lead to a potentially fatal overdose. Learn about Vyvanse overdose symptoms and how to get help if you or a loved one is struggling with a stimulant use disorder.
What you will learn:
What Vyvanse is and its side effects.
Vyvanse overdose signs and symptoms.
How to respond to a Vyvanse OD.
Getting help for stimulant addiction.

Central nervous system (CNS) stimulant medications like Vyvanse are generally considered to be safe when used as directed under the guidance of a doctor.1 However, they can be misused and present a risk of overdose.2

This article will help answer the question, can you overdose on Vyvanse, and explain what Vyvanse is, Vyvanse overdose symptoms, how a Vyvanse OD is treated, Vyvanse misuse and the associated increased overdose risk, and how to find effective addiction treatment near you.

What Is Vyvanse?

Vyvanse is a prescription CNS stimulant medication that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and moderate to severe binge eating disorder (BED) in adults.2 Vyvanse contains lisdexamfetamine dimesylate and is available in capsule and chewable tablet forms.2 Like other CNS stimulants, Vyvanse has a high potential for misuse and dependence.2

Vyvanse Overdose Symptoms

Vyvanse overdose is possible, especially if someone misuses the medication.2

Overdose on Vyvanse means that a person has taken so much of the substance that their bodies are overwhelmed and the person suffers from severe symptoms that can place their health and lives at risk.3 The Vyvanse overdose amount can vary from person to person, and can also be influenced by other drugs a person is taking. depending on individual factors as well as whether they are using counterfeit drugs that could contain other potentially lethal substances.2,3

Vyvanse overdose symptoms can include:2

  • Agitation
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Rapid pulse.
  • Twitchiness.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Hyperthermia (abnormally high body temperature).
  • Pressured speech (speaking faster/more urgently than normal and being unable to stop).
  • Enlarged pupils.
  • Arrhythmias.
  • Hypertension.
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.

A Vyvanse overdose can be fatal, especially if left untreated, and may be preceded by coma and convulsions.2

How Is a Vyvanse Overdose Treated?

A Vyvanse overdose is a medical emergency.3 If you suspect amphetamine or Vyvanse overdose (or any other type of overdose) in yourself or another person, you should call 911 right away.Additionally: 

  • Don’t leave someone who is overdosing; remain with them until medical help arrives, and provide any information you can to emergency medical technicians, such as what substances they used and how much of it they took.
  • Try to keep them cool. People who are overdosing on stimulants may experience an abnormally high body temperature, so it can be helpful to provide water, move them to a cool, shady place, or offer a cool washcloth to prevent overheating.
  • Monitor the person and try to keep them calm. If possible, reduce external stimulation, such as excessive noise or touching.

People who misuse stimulants may also misuse opioids, so you should also administer naloxone if the person is not conscious and isn’t breathing–and have access to this life-saving medication.1,3

Vyvanse Misuse and Increased Overdose Risk

Misusing a prescription medication increases the risk of overdose, which can be fatal.2 Prescription drug misuse means using the medication in unintended ways, such as taking more than prescribed, using someone else’s prescription even if for a legitimate medical condition, forging prescriptions, using it via unapproved routes of administration (such as snorting or injecting it), or using it just to get high.1,2

It is important to note that Vyvanse is a prodrug of dextroamphetamine, which means it passes through the body’s GI system where it metabolizes from lisdexamfetamine to dextroamphetamine. This serves as an abuse-deterrent mechanism by extending the time it takes for the drug to be released, making it difficult to achieve euphoric highs as well as eliminating the possibility of snorting, smoking or injecting it to bypass extended release.4  It also means that should someone take enough of the drug to cause an overdose, it will be several hours before the effects of the drug kick in, significantly delaying signs of overdose.4

Find Drug and Alcohol Rehab Treatment Near You

If you or someone you care about are struggling with Vyvanse addiction or misuse of other drugs or alcohol, help is available. Prompt treatment can help people resume productive functioning and regain control of their lives.5

American Addiction Centers’ network of drug and alcohol rehabs offer evidence-based addiction-focused healthcare across the country. You can click here to find a treatment center near you or give us a call at to speak with one of our knowledgeable and helpful navigators.

Vyvanse Addiction Treatment Programs

People who seek rehab for stimulant addiction can enter different levels of care, including:7

  • Inpatient treatment, which means you live onsite at a rehab and receive 2/4 care and monitoring.
  • Outpatient rehab, which means you live at home but travel to a treatment facility on a predetermined schedule.

As there are no FDA-approved medications to treat stimulant addiction, people generally participate in different forms of behavioral therapy to help them develop healthier thoughts and behaviors, and to learn skills that are needed for sobriety and minimize the risk of relapse.3 These therapies can include:3,5

  • Contingency management (CM), which provides positive reinforcement, such as tangible rewards, when people achieve target goals, such as negative drug tests.
  • Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA), which is an intensive 24-week outpatient program that involves different components, such as recreational, familial, social, and vocational reinforcers, along with material incentives, to help people understand the value of substance-free lifestyles.
  • Motivational interviewing (MI), which helps people strengthen internal motivation and build a plan for making positive, healthy changes.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps people identify and change unhelpful thoughts and behaviors that contribute to substance use.

People with stimulant use disorders also often struggle with co-occurring disorders.1 Those who do can and should receive integrated treatment that addresses both the mental health condition and the addiction at the same time, as co-occurring disorders can complicate diagnosis and treatment.1

If you’re thinking about rehab or are ready to start the treatment process, we’re here to help. Please call us at to speak to an admissions navigator about your rehab options or to ask questions about treatment. We can also help you quickly verify your insurance coverage.


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