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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Weight Management arrow Vyvanse and Weight Loss: A Closer Look

Vyvanse and Weight Loss: A Closer Look

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: April 14, 2023
4 min read 1128 Views 0 Comments
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Many people mistake Vyvanse for being a weight loss drug, but that is not the case. Prescription medication requires careful management to ensure safety. Keep reading as we discuss what Vyvanse is, how it works, and its intended purpose.

vyvanse weight loss

Prescription drugs have an intended use, but they tend to come with side effects. Some might view these as positive, while others are unwanted. Vyvanse is one particular drug that can result in side effects that might lead some people to abuse or misuse this medication.

Misusing medication can be harmful, so it is critical to understand what it is you’re taking and why. If you’re trying to lose weight and are curious about taking Vyvanse, keep reading. 

This article explores the effectiveness, safety, and risks of using Vyvanse for weight loss.

Vyvanse and Weight Loss: Is It Really Effective?

Vyvanse is not a weight loss drug, and it is unknown whether taking Vyvanse is safe and suitable for losing weight. Many people mistakenly associate Vyvanse with weight loss because it is one of the possible side effects of using this drug. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve the use of Vyvanse for weight loss purposes.

Vyvanse has several effects on the body that may promote weight loss. It can suppress appetite, making you less likely to overeat throughout the day. It can also increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature, which might speed up your metabolism.

While weight loss is one of the main reported side effects, you should not use Vyvanse for this reason. Vyvanse is a controlled substance, and misuse has a high likelihood of addiction. It may cause damage to the nervous system if overused or misused for extended periods.

What Is Vyvanse?

Vyvanse is the brand name for lisdexamfetamine, a prescription-only stimulant medication taken orally. It is FDA-approved to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in patients over the age of 6 and moderate to severe binge eating disorder (BED) in adults.

Vyvanse belongs to a class of drugs called central nervous system (CNS) stimulant medications. These medications increase certain chemicals in the brain to enhance cognitive processes. They can help improve mental performance, concentration levels, and energy levels.

People must take Vyvanse correctly as prescribed by their doctor. It is categorized as a schedule II controlled substance, which means this drug has a high risk of abuse and the potential to cause severe psychological and physical dependence if used inappropriately.

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What Is Vyvanse used for?

Vyvanse is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms. Individuals with ADHD tend to be restless and fidgety, have difficulty concentrating, and act without thinking. Vyvanse helps decrease these symptoms and increase attention and alertness.

Doctors also prescribe Vyvanse to treat binge eating disorder in adults. People with binge eating disorder frequently consume large amounts of food and struggle to control their eating habits. Vyvanse is proven to be an effective drug for reducing the number of binge episodes.

The Food and Drug Administration only approves this medication to treat ADHD and binge eating disorder. Vyvanse is not designed for weight loss, although some people do misuse the drug to lose weight. You should only ever use prescription drugs as directed.

How Does Vyvanse Cause Weight Loss?

One side effect of Vyvanse is that it promotes appetite suppression, which means you lose the desire to eat. This is partly why Vyvanse for binge eating works. It makes the user feel less hungry while increasing attention, allowing them more control over their binge eating habits.

Moreover, Vyvanse has some physical effects that can aid weight loss. It stimulates the sympathetic nervous system causing the body to burn excess energy stores, which may help you lose weight. It can also increase physical energy, making you more likely to exercise and burn fat.

How Quickly Do You Lose Weight on Vyvanse?

It’s unclear how quickly or how much weight you might lose on Vyvanse because weight loss is only a side effect of this drug. It has yet to be studied thoroughly for weight loss purposes. Not everyone will have the same results, and you should not rely on this drug for weight loss.

It can start taking effect after the first dose when used to treat symptoms of ADHD and BED. However, it might take a few weeks to see any noticeable physical changes in your body.

Does Vyvanse Speed Up Your Metabolism?

Taking Vyvanse can potentially speed up your metabolism. It raises your body temperature, which is closely associated with your body’s metabolism and also activates the central nervous system, and the sympathetic nervous system plays a fundamental role in regulating metabolism.

A faster metabolism can support weight management, while metabolic slowing can aid weight gain. Some users may experience unwanted weight loss while taking Vyvanse despite eating food as normal and following their usual diet.

Side Effects of Vyvanse

Like any drug, anybody who takes Vyvanse might experience some side effects. You can work with your doctor to assess the advantages and drawbacks of using Vyvanse. Usually, the benefits of prescription drugs weigh out the potential adverse effects.

The most common side effects include:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Nervousness
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Sweating

Less common side effects include:

Serious side effects may include allergic reactions and serious cardiovascular reactions with an overdose, including a heart attack or sudden death. Vyvanse can potentially cause certain mental health conditions. If you have a mental health disorder, Vyvanse might worsen symptoms.

How to Lose Weight Safely

Taking an ADHD drug is not a safe way to lose weight. You do not want to risk Vyvanse addiction, which can have a rebound effect and lead to severe weight gain. Furthermore, the Vyvanse withdrawal period brings unpleasant symptoms, such as anxiety and fatigue.

There are better ways to lose weight without putting your mental and physical health at risk. Diet and exercise are two scientifically-proven strategies to help you shed pounds. A healthy diet fills your body with important nutrients, while exercise ensures you burn calories.

A Word From a Dietitian

Lisdexamfetamine, or Vyvanse, is a stimulant medicine. When ingested, it alters the balance of certain chemicals in your brain and raises norepinephrine and dopamine levels – neurotransmitters that the human brain and body naturally produce.

Norepinephrine increases alertness and attention, while dopamine promotes feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. These increased levels of neurotransmitters result in cognitive enhancement. It can provide a cognitive boost and improve attention span in people with ADHD and binge eating disorder.

While Vyvanse is used to control certain eating disorders, it is not for losing weight. However, weight loss is a common side effect that may encourage some individuals to misuse it. Doing so is extremely dangerous, as it may result in severe mental and physical dependence.

If you are experiencing unwanted weight loss, talk to your doctor, as they may be able to alter the dose. They can give you a low dose that manages symptoms but mitigates weight loss. Never take more than the maximum recommended dose, as your doctor advises.

You should focus on healthy strategies if you want to lose weight faster. Eat a balanced diet rich in whole foods to ensure your body gets essential nutrients. Getting your daily intake of healthy fats, protein, and fiber will help naturally support appetite control without medication.

You also need to partake in regular exercise to burn calories. There are many ways to move your body, but the trick is finding something you enjoy. Try to identify some hobbies that interest you. For example, you could go for daily walks or explore different running workouts.


Vyvanse should be reserved for treating ADHD and binge eating disorders. It is not FDA-approved for weight loss, and using this medication to alter your appetite and promote fat loss intentionally is dangerous. It can pose a serious threat to your physical and mental health.

It’s best to lose weight with safe and sustainable methods. Aim to eat healthier and work out at least twice a week to reduce your overall body weight.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: April 14, 2023
4 min read 1128 Views 0 Comments

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