Vyvanse Medication: Identifying It As Pills, Capsules, And Other Forms

Last Updated: September 9, 2021

Authored by Isaak Stotts, LP

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

The Vyvanse medication, generically known as lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, is a prescription pill designed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity in both children and adults, as well as binge eating disorders. The drug works by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain. This increases alertness and focus in patients who suffer from adhd. The use of the medicine is also vital in helping obese people lose weight. The Vyvanse drug comes in two forms – chewable tablets and capsules. Each of these forms has various dosages with the Vyvanse pill ranging from 10mg – 60mg while the capsules come in 10mg – 70mg. The medication can be habit-forming, which makes it susceptible to Vyvanse abuse and addiction. This article will discuss the ingredients that make up the Vyvanse drug, its forms and strengths, and abuse.

Ingredients Of The Medicine

What is in the Vyvanse drug? The medication, which has a half-life of 12 hours, contains both active and inactive ingredients. The active ingredient in the Vyvanse pill is lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, which is also the generic name for the drug. This active ingredient can be dangerous when misused. Thus no one should use the drug without a doctor’s supervision. There are other ingredients that are inactive, meaning they do not impact the person taking the medication. These inactive ingredients include microcrystalline cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, and magnesium stearate. Capsule forms of the medication include gelatin, titanium dioxide, and various dyes, depending on the color. Considering whether Lisdexamfetamine is a narcotic? The answer is no. However, it is a Schedule II drug. As such, all forms of lisdexamfetamine are available by prescription only. Other medications are known to interact with Lisdexamfetamine so it is best to consult a physician for more information.

Product Forms of Vyvanse Medication

The Vyvanse medication is a pharmacologically inactive prodrug that only becomes active when it is metabolized in the system. This slows down the medicine’s effects compared to its alternatives. The drug is orally administered which then enters the gastrointestinal tract and then hydrolyzed in the bloodstream to form dexamphetamine. Lisdexamfetamine looks different depending on which form of the drug is taken. The Vyvanse doses are also different and are administered depending on the severity and type of the disorder. The common product forms of lisdexamfetamine available are capsules and chewable pill tablets. However, users who don’t want to swallow the drug can open up the capsules and pour the powder into water or juice. The Vyvanse dosage should be prescribed by a doctor after a thorough examination before use.

Different pills and capsules are on the yellow background.

Capsules

Lisdexamfetamine capsules are the most prescribed form of the medication. These pills are meant to be taken by swallowing them accompanied by water. They should be taken only as often as directed by the prescribing doctor. All versions of the capsules are hard pills, which break open once in the stomach, releasing the drug. Like any other medication, lisdexamfetamine has its side effects which include decreased libido. However, a doctor should be notified anytime the side effects manifest for swift medical attention.

Dosage Forms And Strength Of Capsules

Lisdexamfetamine is a prodrug which means it can only be active when it is metabolized inside the body. This quality slows down the action of the medicine making it take longer before it begins to work compared to other adhd medications. However, it is very effective in the treatment of adhd and binge-eating disorder. The higher Vyvanse doses can cause heart problems, so caution must be exercised in taking them. There are other alternatives to lisdexamfetamine that have lower dosages but talk to a physician before use.

DOSE AND RELEASE(VYVANSE) COLOR SHAPE IMPRINT
30 MG WHITE&ORANGE CAPSULE S489
40 MG WHITE&BLUE-GREEN CAPSULE NRP104
50 MG WHITE & BLUE CAPSULE S489
60 MG BLUE CAPSULE S849
70 MG BLUE & ORANGE CAPSULE S489

The side effects of Lisdexamfetamine range from mild to serious which includes heart attack. So patients are advised to seek medical help anytime they have chest problems after taking the medicine. Addicts can also seek help from a recognized rehab center to help with withdrawal symptoms. Depending on certain factors, a physician can administer Vyvanse dosage by weight of the user. For instance, if a patient is experiencing low weight, the physician may recommend a low dose or stop administering the drug entirely. This is because Lisdexamfetamine can affect the weight of users, so administering Vyvanse dosage by weight of a patient is just a cautious step.

Chewable Tablets

Chewable tablet pills are also commonly available. In general, lisdexamfetamine chewable tablets are only used with children and those who struggle to swallow pills. The chewable pills are flavored so that the taste is not off-putting. All strengths of the tablets are white. However, their shape changes based on strength. All the chewable tablets will have the imprint of S489 on one side and the strength on the other. They are as follows:

Dosage Forms And Strength Of Chewable Tablets

The chewable tablets are made quickly absorbed into the gastrointestinal tract. However, they hold no significant advantage over other forms of lisdexamfetamine. These tablets enter the body through the gastrointestinal tract and are released as dextroamphetamine. The tablets come in many shapes and dosages, each with its own strength.

DOSE AND RELEASE COLOR SHAPE IMPRINT
10MG ROUND TABLET WHITE ROUND S489/10
20 MG HEXAGONAL TABLET WHITE HEXAGON S489/20
30 MG TRIANGULAR TABLET WHITE TRIANGULAR S489/30
40 MG OBLONG TABLET WHITE OBLONG S489/40
50 MG SQUARE TABLET WHITE SQUARE S489/50
60 MG DIAMOND TABLET WHITE DIAMOND S489/60

Be sure to consult a medical doctor before using any Vyvanse pill. Also, strictly follow the directions given by the doctor or the information on the box. This is to avoid abuse or addiction to the medication. The Vyvanse dosage may increase or decrease periodically depending on the disorder and help manage the side effects. Also, people who have underlying conditions like kidney problems may have their Vyvanse dosage lowered to avoid complications. It is therefore important to inform the doctor of any other health problems before using any of the Vyvanse doses.

Injections And IVs

Can one inject any form of Vyvanse dosage? Injecting and taking Lisdexamfetamine IV are not approved methods of using the drug for treatment. However, some drug users may attempt it by dissolving the medicine in water and then taking it intravenously. Ultimately, this offers no reward for the user and may only cause other problems down the line. Lisdexamfetamine pills are manufactured so that the medication is coated by the protein lysine. This protein can only be removed by stomach acid, which means the only way to experience the effects is by swallowing it.

A woman holds different pills and capsules.

Powder

Lisdexamfetamine chewable tablets can be crushed until they are in powdered form. In general, powdered forms of drugs are used for Vyvanse snorting, which is dangerous. It is not an approved method of consumption not only because it has risks, but because—as with injecting it—snorting and smoking the drug bypasses the gastrointestinal tract. Since stomach acid is needed to release the drug from its proteins, snorting and smoking the drug’s powder will have no effect. Snorting this drug can be a sign of addiction, so professional addiction treatment is required. However, the powdered form can be mixed with water and food and then consumed.

If Abuse Is Suspected, Seek Help

As mentioned earlier, the Vyvanse drug is habit-forming, making it a candidate for abuse and addiction. Symptoms of abuse include paranoia, restlessness, chest pains, and increased heart rate. Grinding the medication into powder and injecting it, smoking, or snorting it is the wrong way to use the drug. The best way is to just swallow a Vyvanse pill or a tablet.
Lisdexamfetamine side effects can be dangerous, and when the medication is abused, the risk is even greater, as it may cause tolerance and withdrawal. In many cases, those abusing the drug combine it with other substances, leading to an overdose. Seek assistance from a reputable rehabilitation center if there is a suspicion that someone is abusing lisdexamfetamine.

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Page Sources

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Published on: April 1st, 2019

Updated on: September 9th, 2021

About Author

Isaak Stotts, LP

Isaak Stotts is an in-house medical writer in AddictionResource. Isaak learned addiction psychology at Aspen University and got a Master's Degree in Arts in Psychology and Addiction Counseling. After graduation, he became a substance abuse counselor, providing individual, group, and family counseling for those who strive to achieve and maintain sobriety and recovery goals.

Medically Reviewed by

Michael Espelin APRN

8 years of nursing experience in wide variety of behavioral and addition settings that include adult inpatient and outpatient mental health services with substance use disorders, and geriatric long-term care and hospice care.  He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving particular vitamins, dietary supplements, and administering auricular acupuncture.