Switching From Adderall To Vyvanse: How To Safely Change Drugs

Adderall and Vyvanse are prescription medications used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Both Adderall and Vyvanase are stimulant drugs that work by increasing the availability of dopamine and norepinephrine, two hormones that influence focus and motivation.

Adderall is approved for use in children as young as three, while Vyvanse isn’t recommended for children under the age of six. 

Also, Adderall is approved to treat narcolepsy (a sleep disorder that makes people very sleepy during the day and often fall asleep very quickly), while Vyvanse is approved to treat binge eating disorder.

Because they’re both used to treat ADHD, you might find yourself switching from Adderall to Vyvanse under the guidance of your healthcare provider. 

We’ll review some common reasons for changing medications as well as things to know before you titrate from Adderall to Vyvanse.

Can you switch from Adderall to Vyvanse?

Yes, it’s possible to switch from Adderall to Vyvanse. You should only change from Adderall to Vyvanse under the guidance of your prescribing provider, as you need prescriptions for both medications.

It’s important to follow the guidelines from your healthcare provider when transitioning from Adderall to Vyvanse. 

Everyone responds to medications differently, so you might need to alter your dose as your body gets used to the new medication.

Adderall to Vyvanse conversion dose

There isn’t a set conversion dose for switching from Adderall to Vyvanse. Your new dose of Vyvanse will partially depend on your current dose of Adderall and the type of medication – regular or extended-release.

Your healthcare provider will offer guidance on how to convert your dose of Adderall to Vyvanse. Vyvanse doses usually start at 30 milligrams once daily and increase to a maximum recommended dose of 70 milligrams once daily. 

Adderall is usually taken once or twice daily, whereas Vyvanse is usually a once-daily dose. The maximum dose of Adderall is usually 40-60 milligrams per day.

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How to safely titrate from Adderall to Vyvanse

Your healthcare provider will likely recommend that you start slowly tapering your Adderall dose down instead of stopping Adderall suddenly. 

Gradually tapering can reduce the risk of withdrawal symptoms. Depending on your dose of Adderall, your healthcare provider will advise you on which dose of Vyvanse to start with. 

You might start with a lower dose of Vyvanse and gradually increase it, or your healthcare provider might start you on a dose that isn’t on the lowest end of the dosage range. 

It’s important to follow your provider’s dosing recommendations when switching from Adderall to Vyvanse.

Why do people change from Adderall to Vyvanse? 

Treating binge eating disorder

Unlike Adderall, Vyvanse is approved to treat binge eating disorder in adults. Symptoms of binge eating disorder can include:

  • Eating so much that you are uncomfortable.
  • Eating so quickly that you can’t pay attention to your satiety (fullness) cues.
  • Hoarding and stashing food in hidden places to eat later, typically in private.
  • Eating large amounts of food even if you’re not hungry.
  • Eating in response to emotional stress (also called emotional eating).
  • Obsessively thinking about food.
  • Eating alone and in secret.
  • Hiding eating from others because you’re embarrassed about how much you’re eating.
  • Frequent dieting.
  • Guilt, remorse, and other self-esteem issues related to binge eating.

Side effects

Vyvanse takes longer to metabolize and is considered a “prodrug,” which means the active ingredient is metabolized into the active form before it starts to work. 

Adderall is metabolized more quickly since it doesn’t need to be converted into an active form before it starts to work. 

This means that Vyvanse might have fewer side effects vs Adderall, so your doctor may recommend switching drugs if you aren’t tolerating Adderall.

The most common side effects of Vyvanse include:

  • sleepiness
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • dry mouth
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • weight loss

Some potential side effects of Adderall include:

Drug shortages

Drug shortages can occur for many reasons and result in a reduced availability of the medication. 

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported a drug shortage of Adderall in October 2022. 

At the time of writing this article, there are currently drug shortages for generic versions of both Adderall and Vyvanse, but not the name-brand versions.

Depending on which medications are easier to find during drug shortages, you might switch from Adderall to Vyvanse, whether name-brand or generic.

Insurance coverage

One of the main factors that influence which medications you use is your insurance coverage. 

Medical and prescription drug coverage dictates how much of your drug cost your insurance company will cover. 

If your insurance prefers Vyvanse over Adderall, then it means less money coming out of your pocket to pay for it.

Many insurance companies have specifications on whether they cover brand names or generic versions, with generic versions often being preferred because they come at a lower cost.

Lower risk of drug abuse

Some people abuse Adderall because it can increase their energy and focus, so they might take it during high-stress periods or when working on projects with deadlines.

Because Vyvanse is a prodrug (it has to be converted into its active form to work), its effects are slower to come on compared to Adderall. 

The lower risk of drug abuse is one of the benefits of Vyvanse vs Adderall and one potential reason to switch drugs.

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Things to consider when switching from Adderall to Vyvanse


Both Adderall and Vyvanse have generic versions available which helps reduce costs. Your cost will depend on any insurance coverage you have, as well as manufacturer coupons that are sometimes available. 

According to GoodRx, Vyvanse may be more expensive than Adderall when paying out of pocket. 

Here are the price breakdowns at the time this article was written:

  • Adderall (generic version): 30-day supply of 20-milligram tablets = $21-$55, depending on the pharmacy
  • Vyvanse (generic version): 30-day supply of 20-milligram tablets = $57-$160, depending on the pharmacy


People react differently to medications, regardless of the type. If your symptoms aren’t being well-controlled on the maximum dose of Adderall, your healthcare provider might recommend you try Vyvanse to see if it’s more effective.

Some people might respond better to Adderall than Vyvanse, so you might be switched back if Vyvanse isn’t effective for you.

Can you take Adderall and Vyvanse on the same day?

It’s not recommended to take Adderall and Vyvanse at the same time. Taking both medications might lead to serious side effects like high blood pressure and increased risk of stroke and cardiac death.

Is Vyvanse as good as Adderall?

According to a meta-analysis of 20 studies, Vyvanse was found to be more promising in outcomes than Adderall. 

Another study noted that Vyvanse was more predictable in terms of metabolism, requires less drug augmentation (adding other drugs to achieve desired results), and is not as impacted by factors like the pH of your stomach as Adderall can be.

Based on these studies, Vyvanse appears to be as effective as Adderall with some added benefits, most notably a lower risk of drug abuse.


  • Vyvanse and Adderall are both medications used to treat ADHD. Vyvanse is also approved to treat binge eating disorder, while Adderall is approved to treat narcolepsy.
  • Potential reasons for switching from Adderall to Vyvanse include cost, insurance coverage, treating binge eating disorder, and effectiveness. Drug shortages can also impact the decision to transition from Adderall to Vyvanse.
  • If you switch from Adderall to Vyvanse, you should do so under the instructions and supervision of your prescribing healthcare provider.

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