Does Vyvanse Help With Anxiety

Are you one of the many individuals who struggle with anxiety on a daily basis? If so, you may have wondered if Vyvanse, a medication commonly prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), could potentially alleviate some of your symptoms. In this article, we will explore the question, “Does Vyvanse help with anxiety?” We will examine the drug’s mechanism of action, potential benefits, and considerations to help you understand if Vyvanse could be a viable option for managing your anxiety.

What is Vyvanse?


Vyvanse is a medication that is commonly prescribed for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It belongs to a class of drugs called stimulants and contains the active ingredient lisdexamfetamine. Vyvanse is a controlled substance due to its potential for abuse and dependence.

Common uses

While Vyvanse is primarily used to treat ADHD, there is growing interest in its potential effectiveness for managing anxiety disorders. Anxiety is a common mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by feelings of excessive worry, fear, and nervousness. Many individuals with anxiety find it difficult to control their thoughts and may experience physical symptoms such as a racing heart, trembling, or sweating.

Understanding Anxiety


Anxiety is a natural response to stress that can help individuals prepare for upcoming challenges or potential threats. However, for some people, anxiety becomes chronic and excessive, interfering with their daily lives and overall well-being. Anxiety disorders encompass a range of conditions, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias.

Common symptoms

The symptoms of anxiety can vary from person to person, but common signs include constant worry, restlessness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and sleep disturbances. Physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, muscle tension, and digestive issues can also accompany anxiety.

Does Vyvanse Help With Anxiety: Causes of anxiety

Anxiety disorders can have various causes, including genetics, brain chemistry imbalance, traumatic experiences or childhood trauma, chronic medical conditions, and substance abuse. Stressful life events, such as the loss of a loved one or job, can also trigger or exacerbate anxiety.

Does Vyvanse Help With Anxiety

Mechanism of Action

How Vyvanse works

Vyvanse works by increasing the levels of certain neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, in the brain. These neurotransmitters play a role in regulating mood and emotions. By enhancing their activity, Vyvanse may help alleviate symptoms of both ADHD and anxiety.

Impact on brain chemistry

Anxiety is associated with an imbalance in brain chemistry, particularly involving neurotransmitters like serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and glutamate. While Vyvanse primarily targets dopamine and norepinephrine, the changes it induces in brain chemistry may indirectly affect these other neurotransmitters, potentially contributing to the medication’s effectiveness in managing anxiety.

Research and Studies on Vyvanse for Anxiety

Overview of relevant studies

Several studies have investigated the potential benefits of Vyvanse in treating anxiety. While most of the research has focused on its effectiveness for ADHD, there is emerging evidence suggesting its potential efficacy for anxiety disorders as well.

Efficacy of Vyvanse in treating anxiety

A few studies have shown promising results regarding the use of Vyvanse for anxiety. One study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology found that Vyvanse significantly reduced anxiety symptoms in adults with ADHD compared to a placebo. Another study in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders demonstrated that Vyvanse improved anxiety-related occupational productivity and quality of life in individuals with ADHD and comorbid anxiety.

Comparison with other medications

When compared to other medications commonly prescribed for anxiety, such as benzodiazepines or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), Vyvanse offers a distinct mechanism of action. While benzodiazepines provide immediate relief by targeting the GABA neurotransmitter, Vyvanse’s effects are more gradual, focusing on the dopamine and norepinephrine systems. The choice of medication should be based on an individual’s specific symptoms and medical history.

Potential side effects

As with any medication, Vyvanse can have side effects. Common side effects include decreased appetite, insomnia, dry mouth, and increased heart rate. More severe side effects, although rare, can include cardiovascular complications and psychiatric reactions. It is essential to closely monitor patients for any adverse effects and adjust the dosage accordingly.

Does Vyvanse Help With Anxiety

Prescribing Vyvanse for Anxiety

Considerations for healthcare professionals

Healthcare professionals should carefully evaluate the risks and benefits of prescribing Vyvanse for anxiety. It is crucial to conduct a thorough assessment, including a comprehensive medical history, to ensure that Vyvanse is an appropriate treatment option. Close monitoring of each patient’s response to the medication is vital to determine its effectiveness and manage any potential side effects.

Patient eligibility criteria

Vyvanse may be considered for patients with diagnosed anxiety disorders who have not responded well to other treatment options or who have coexisting ADHD. However, individual patient characteristics, medical history, and overall health must be taken into account. Vyvanse should not be used as a first-line treatment for anxiety, and healthcare professionals should carefully evaluate its appropriateness on a case-by-case basis.

Dosage and administration

The dosage of Vyvanse for anxiety will vary depending on the individual’s age, medical history, and specific needs. Starting with a lower dose and gradually increasing it, if necessary, can help minimize side effects. Healthcare professionals should provide clear instructions to patients regarding how and when to take Vyvanse and should closely monitor their response to the medication.

Monitoring and follow-up

Regular follow-up appointments are crucial when prescribing Vyvanse for anxiety. During these visits, healthcare professionals should assess the patient’s response to the medication, monitor any side effects, and make necessary adjustments to the dosage or treatment plan. Open communication with the patient can help ensure their needs are met and any concerns addressed.

Individual Experiences and Patient Perspectives

Anecdotal evidence

While anecdotal evidence should not be considered as definitive proof of Vyvanse’s effectiveness for anxiety, some individuals have reported positive experiences with the medication. These reports often highlight improvements in focus, productivity, and overall mood when using Vyvanse as part of their anxiety management.

Positive experiences

Some patients with anxiety disorders have found Vyvanse to be beneficial in reducing their symptoms. They have reported experiencing increased focus, improved energy levels, and a reduction in anxious thoughts and physical symptoms. Vyvanse may help individuals better manage their anxiety and go about their daily lives with greater ease.

Negative experiences

It is important to acknowledge that negative experiences with Vyvanse for anxiety exist as well. Some individuals have reported heightened anxiety or restlessness as a side effect of the medication. Each person’s response to Vyvanse can differ, and it is essential to carefully assess its suitability for each patient.

Possible Benefits of Vyvanse for Anxiety

Increased focus and productivity

One potential benefit of Vyvanse for anxiety is increased focus, attention, and productivity. People with anxiety often struggle with concentration and may find it challenging to complete tasks. Vyvanse may help improve their ability to focus, enhancing their productivity levels.

Improved mood and energy levels

Another possible benefit of Vyvanse for anxiety is an improvement in mood and energy levels. Anxiety can cause feelings of fatigue, low motivation, and general distress. By targeting neurotransmitters involved in mood regulation, Vyvanse may help individuals feel more positive, energized, and emotionally stable.

Reduced physical symptoms of anxiety

Many individuals with anxiety experience physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, muscle tension, and shortness of breath. Vyvanse’s impact on brain chemistry may indirectly alleviate these physical symptoms, leading to a reduction in overall anxiety levels. By addressing the physical manifestations of anxiety, Vyvanse may improve individuals’ quality of life.

Risks and Limitations of Vyvanse for Anxiety

Potential dependence and abuse

Vyvanse is categorized as a Schedule II controlled substance due to its potential for dependence and abuse. Healthcare professionals should exercise caution when prescribing Vyvanse for anxiety to individuals with a history of substance abuse or those who may be prone to developing addictive behaviors.

Negative side effects

While Vyvanse can be beneficial for some individuals, it is essential to be aware of potential negative side effects. These can range from mild symptoms such as decreased appetite and insomnia to more severe effects, including cardiovascular complications and psychiatric reactions. Close monitoring and regular follow-up appointments are crucial to manage any side effects.

Interaction with other medications

Vyvanse may interact with other medications, including antidepressants and antipsychotics. It is essential for healthcare professionals to thoroughly evaluate a patient’s medication regimen and potential drug interactions before prescribing Vyvanse for anxiety. Open communication with the patient and collaboration with other healthcare providers involved in their care can help ensure a comprehensive treatment plan.

Effectiveness for different types of anxiety

Vyvanse’s effectiveness for different types of anxiety disorders varies. While some individuals may experience significant relief from symptoms, others may find minimal or no improvement. It is crucial to consider the unique characteristics of each anxiety disorder and evaluate whether Vyvanse is a suitable treatment option on an individual basis.

Alternatives and Complementary Approaches

Non-medication treatments for anxiety

Medication is not the only option for managing anxiety. Numerous non-medication treatments have shown efficacy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), relaxation techniques, and exercise. These approaches can be used alone or in combination with medication for a comprehensive treatment plan.

Other medications commonly prescribed

In addition to Vyvanse, several other medications are commonly prescribed for anxiety disorders. These include benzodiazepines, SSRIs, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and beta-blockers. Each medication has its own mechanisms of action and potential side effects. Healthcare professionals should evaluate the specific needs of each patient to determine the most appropriate treatment option.

Combined treatment approaches

In some cases, a combination of medication and non-medication approaches may be the most effective treatment strategy for anxiety. By combining medication, therapy, and healthy lifestyle changes, individuals can address their anxiety from various angles, maximizing their chances of symptom relief and overall well-being.

Conclusion: Does Vyvanse Help With Anxiety

Summary of findings

While Vyvanse is primarily used for ADHD, there is growing interest in its potential benefits for managing anxiety. Research suggests that Vyvanse may be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms, but more studies are needed to establish its long-term efficacy and safety for anxiety disorders specifically.

Considerations for further research

Further research is needed to better understand the potential benefits and risks of prescribing Vyvanse for anxiety. Large-scale clinical trials focused specifically on anxiety disorders and comprehensive assessment of long-term effects are necessary. Additionally, comparative studies with other medications commonly used for anxiety can provide valuable insights into Vyvanse’s place in the treatment landscape. Continued research efforts will contribute to greater clarity and confidence in incorporating Vyvanse into anxiety management protocols.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Which ADHD medication is best for anxiety? The choice of ADHD medication for anxiety varies, but Vyvanse is among those considered for its potential dual benefits.

2. Can Vyvanse improve anxiety? Vyvanse may offer improvements in anxiety symptoms for some individuals, as it addresses both ADHD and can have a calming effect.

3. Does Vyvanse have a calming effect? Vyvanse, in some cases, can have a calming effect, particularly for individuals with ADHD, contributing to improved focus and reduced restlessness.

4. Should ADHD or anxiety be treated first? The approach depends on individual needs; addressing both simultaneously is common, and Vyvanse is one option that targets both ADHD and anxiety.

5. Should I take ADHD medication if I have anxiety? Taking ADHD medication, including Vyvanse, when experiencing anxiety is a decision best made with a healthcare professional to ensure a balanced treatment plan.

6. Do ADHD meds take away anxiety? ADHD medications, like Vyvanse, may alleviate anxiety symptoms in some cases, but individual responses vary.

7. Is 10mg of Vyvanse enough? Dosage requirements differ per individual; 10mg of Vyvanse may be sufficient for some, while others might need adjustments for optimal effects.

8. Will Vyvanse make me more confident? Vyvanse’s impact on confidence varies; improved focus and reduced ADHD symptoms may contribute positively to overall confidence.

9. Does not taking Vyvanse cause anxiety? Ceasing Vyvanse abruptly can lead to withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety. It’s crucial to follow a healthcare professional’s guidance for discontinuation.

10. Why do I feel lazy on Vyvanse? Feeling lethargic on Vyvanse might indicate an inappropriate dosage or individual response; consulting with a healthcare provider can help address such concerns.

11. Why do I feel better on Vyvanse? Vyvanse’s positive effects can include increased focus and reduced ADHD symptoms, contributing to an overall improved sense of well-being for some individuals.

12. What happens if you take Vyvanse without ADHD? Taking Vyvanse without ADHD can lead to unintended side effects and is not recommended. It’s crucial to use prescription medications only as directed.

13. Can untreated ADHD feel like anxiety? Untreated ADHD may manifest with symptoms that overlap with anxiety, such as restlessness and difficulty concentrating, highlighting the importance of proper diagnosis.

14. Is my anxiety actually ADHD? An accurate diagnosis by a healthcare professional is essential to distinguish between anxiety and ADHD, as their symptoms can share similarities.

15. Do I have ADHD or is it anxiety? Seeking professional evaluation helps determine whether symptoms align more with ADHD, anxiety, or a combination of both.

16. Why does Adderall calm my anxiety? Adderall, like Vyvanse, can have a calming effect on individuals with ADHD, potentially reducing symptoms that contribute to anxiety.

17. Can anxiety mask ADHD? Yes, anxiety symptoms may overlap with ADHD symptoms, potentially masking or complicating the accurate diagnosis of ADHD.

18. How do you fight ADHD anxiety? Combating ADHD-related anxiety involves a comprehensive approach, including lifestyle adjustments, therapy, and, in some cases, medications like Vyvanse.

19. Can Vyvanse make you more talkative? Vyvanse may increase focus and reduce impulsivity, potentially impacting conversational tendencies, but individual responses vary.

20. Does Vyvanse give you motivation? Vyvanse’s ability to enhance focus and reduce ADHD symptoms can contribute to improved motivation for many individuals.

21. Does Vyvanse work for everyone? Vyvanse, like any medication, doesn’t have a universal response. Its efficacy varies among individuals, and other treatment options may be considered.

22. Can ADHD turn into anxiety? Untreated ADHD may contribute to the development of anxiety symptoms, emphasizing the importance of comprehensive evaluation and treatment.

23. Can ADHD get worse with age? ADHD symptoms can persist and, in some cases, become more pronounced with age, highlighting the need for ongoing management and support.

24. What are some sad facts about ADHD? ADHD can present challenges, but focusing on effective management and support can lead to positive outcomes.

25. What is Ring of Fire ADHD? “Ring of Fire ADHD” refers to a subtype characterized by intense emotional states, sensory sensitivity, and heightened reactivity; seeking professional guidance aids in understanding and managing it.

26. Does ADHD cause overthinking? ADHD can contribute to overthinking due to challenges in maintaining focus; strategies like mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral therapy may help manage this aspect.

27. What is the best antidepressant for ADHD and anxiety? The choice of antidepressant for ADHD and anxiety varies per individual; consulting with a healthcare professional ensures a tailored approach that addresses specific needs.

More on Vyvanse here.