A highly recommended medication for addressing most of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms or for acute binge eating disorder, Vyvanse has a very lasting impact. Additionally, it has lesser risks for addiction when compared to other stimulant drugs - Adderall and Ritalin. That said, when taken by adults, Vyvanse leads to side effects and impacts sex drive and the mental state of the person using it, which in turn considerably affects lifestyle. Hence, before you start consuming this drug, attain a complete understanding of its sexual side effects, to fight or control them.
Like all the other ADHD medications, Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, which is sold under the brand name Vyvanse, is a stimulant that allows the drug to increase focus and lessen impulsiveness. However, in the course of its action, Vyvanse often impacts sexual drive by triggering it and causing hypersexuality, particularly in men.
Hypersexuality is unusually increased sexual drive, thoughts or urges. When it leads to hypersexuality, Vyvanse does so by increasing the production of dopamine and norepinephrine. Lisdexamfetamine, being a stimulant, increases blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature, which leads to arousal often manifested sexually.
It is common to have sexual thoughts and fantasies, and many are known to go through time-periods when they think more about sex. But in the case of hypersexuality, the thoughts or behaviours affect a person’s lifestyle and relationship. Also, the side effect of hypersexuality resulting from Vyvanse medication tends to linger long.
The signs may include -
- Spending too much time with sexual thoughts or preparation for and engaging in sexual acts and behaviour
- Constantly having sexual fantasies, urges, or behaviour as a response to anxiety and stress, depression, boredom, or irritation,
- To fail to control or lessen the occurrence of sexual thoughts, desires, and behaviour
- Sexual behaviour like masturbating, watching pornography, having telephone sex or cybersex, going to strip clubs, et al. – often regardless of the risk of causing physical or mental damage to self or the partner
That said, it is essential to understand that not everyone who takes Vyvanse medication will have side effects. Drug side effects occur only to some users while remaining safe for others.
Dealing with hypersexuality as a side effect
Those afflicted with hypersexuality while on Vyvanse, must seek help to resolve the issue. The best way is to consult a doctor, share the condition, and decide on the necessary steps. Often a little change in the dosage is all that is required. While the oft-recommended dose of Vyvanse is 30 mg daily, some fail to take it at the initial stage. Such patients are prescribed with a lower dose of 10 mg per day, which is then increased slowly. If the change of dosage doesn’t work, doctors prescribe a different medication similar to Vyvanse, like Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta. However, these, too, can impact sex drive in users. Wellbutrin is known to be the best among non-stimulant ADHD drugs, as it has little or no sexual side effects. In extreme cases, the patient is advised to go for an addiction treatment program to expedite recuperation.
Categorised under amphetamines class of drugs, Vyvanse is also known to reduce libido in many adult users, as a sexual side effect of the drug.
Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP