Vyvanse And Sexual Health: Side Effects And Libido Changes

Last Updated: October 28, 2020

Authored by Isaak Stotts, LP

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

Vyvanse is a great medication to manage the majority of ADHD symptoms. It’s effective, long-lasting and has less propensity to cause addiction than similar stimulant drugs like Adderall and Ritalin. Vyvanse side effects in adults, however, can be quite unpleasant and problematic. Vyvanse affects libido and mental state, which can significantly influence a person’s lifestyle. Therefore, it’s important to learn how Vyvanse sexual side effects may manifest and how to manage them.

Influence Of ADHD Medications On Sex Drive

Understanding how Vyvanse works is the first step towards fighting its side effects. Just like the majority of ADHD medications, lisdexamfetamine is a stimulant. This property allows the drug to improve focus and reduce impulsivity in patients, but it also contributes to the development of various sexual disorders. Vyvanse affects sex drive mainly in two ways: it either boosts it or kills it.

Vyvanse increases libido through the amplified production of dopamine and norepinephrine. As a stimulant, lisdexamfetamine increases blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature, causing arousal that can manifest sexually or non-sexually. This effect usually doesn’t last long and ceases once the patient adjusts to the new medication.

At the same time, ADHD medicines are known to decrease libido in the majority of adults who experience sexual side effects of these drugs. According to a study conducted by Shire, 2% of males who receive lisdexamfetamine treatment for binge eating disorders suffer from erectile dysfunction, as well as 1% of men who are treated for ADHD. In addition, 1% of the patients, including women, tend to experience decreased libido on Vyvanse.

Vyvanse And Sex

vyvanse erectile dysfunctionAdults with ADHD frequently encounter problems with impulse control when it comes to sex. It makes them more vulnerable and likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors including unprotected sex. Impulsivity may also result in anxiety and hastiness, leading people with ADHD to disregard their partners. Sometimes, attention problems can prevent them from fully enjoying the act, or even make them lose interest in completing it altogether.

Sex on Vyvanse feels reportedly better mainly because lisdexamfetamine slows down racing thoughts and suppresses the tendency for frantic behavior. With reduced hyperactivity, many patients find themselves more engaged in the process and considerate of their partners. They become more capable of focusing on sex rather than other problems or activities. Vyvanse also reduces anxiety and makes people more confident.

Changes In Sex Drive During Vyvanse Treatment

The most common changes in sex drive on Vyvanse are hypersexuality and decreased libido. While the former is explained mainly by chemistry, libido is dependent on a person’s mental state in addition to physical factors. Lisdexamfetamine is an amphetamine that affects perception and greatly improves concentration. Some people find themselves borderline obsessed with an activity or a thought when they are on ADHD medication, and the idea might be persistent enough to make such person forget about their basic needs like sleeping and eating. In this scenario, sex simply never becomes a priority.

Does Vyvanse Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

vyvanse and sexVyvanse causes erectile dysfunction in a small percentage of patients. Amphetamine contributes to the development of ED through the constriction of certain blood vessels and reduction of blood flow to the genitals. Men with erectile dysfunction may lose interest in sex or have trouble getting and keeping an erection. Typically, this side effect disappears as the body gets used to lisdexamfetamine, although for some men the problem is persistent and requires medical intervention. However, if the dedication is abused, the side effects may not disappear, and it is recommended to get a doctor’s consultation to find an appropriate drug rehab facility.

Women Sexual Health

Women might also experience sexual dysfunctions that manifest in lack of sexual desire, inability to become aroused or maintain arousal, difficulty achieving orgasm, and pain during sexual stimulation.

Effects Of Mixing Vyvanse And Alcohol On Sex Drive

It is generally inadvisable to mix medications with alcohol since it decreases the efficiency of drugs and presents significant health risks. Abusing Vyvanse and alcohol forces the body to deal with conflicting influences that often cancel each other.

In terms of the connection between Vyvanse and sex drive, alcohol might worsen some of the sexual side effects. In combination with alcohol Vyvanse can cause erectile dysfunction. Also, certain antidepressants, cannabis, and other prescription or illicit drugs can increase the risk of stroke and heart failure when mixed with lisdexamfetamine.

Ways To Minimize Vyvanse Sexual Side Effects

People who experience hypersexuality or wonder how to get hard on Vyvanse may resolve their issues in two ways. First of all, they should contact their doctor, describe the symptoms, and determine the next steps. Sometimes correction of dosage is required. The average dose of Vyvanse is 30 mg daily, and some patients may need to start with 10 mg, gradually increasing the dose as it becomes necessary.

The second option to counter Vyvanse side effects that involve changes in libido is to switch to a different drug. In cases when a patient doesn’t respond well to lisdexamfetamine, a doctor may prescribe other medications similar to Vyvanse. Stimulant drugs with the same properties include Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta. While Adderall is known to cause erectile dysfunction, Ritalin and Concerta both work on methylphenidate that often increases sex drive. Among non-stimulant ADHD medications, Wellbutrin is best known for having few sexual side effects.

Lisdexamfetamine Sexual Side Effects And Medical Help

Vyvanse affects sex life in different ways. Physically, Vyvanse sometimes causes erectile dysfunction or hypersexuality in both males and females. Psychological effects may include lack of interest in sex, obsessions, and hyperfocus. While some people may feel shy or embarrassed to discuss their sexual problems with their doctors, it is a crucial step towards improvement. Usually, sexual dysfunctions caused by lisdexamfetamine are treated with dosage correction or switching to a different ADHD medicine. In extreme cases, it is better to join an addiction treatment program to speed up recovery.

Page Sources

  1. https://www.shirecanada.com/-/media/shire/shireglobal/shirecanada/pdffiles/product%20information/vyvanse-pm-en.pdf
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26147855

Published on: April 1st, 2019

Updated on: October 28th, 2020

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.


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  • Jackson
    My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD with hyperactivity, is a Sophomore in Highschool. School writing homework has always been a struggle. Her tutor recommended that she try doing her writing in INK for All. It’s meant to limit distractions