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What to know about Vyvanse and weight loss

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Vyvanse and weight lossVyvanse and appetiteManaging weight on VyvanseRisksSafe weight managementAlternativesContacting a doctorSummary
Vyvanse can cause side effects, including appetite changes. Sometimes, this may lead to weight loss, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve the drug for weight loss alone.
Medically reviewed by Alyssa Walton, PharmD
Updated on

Vyvanse is the brand name for a prescription drug containing the active ingredient lisdexamfetamine dimesylate.

Doctors and healthcare professionals use it to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and binge eating disorder.

It belongs to a group of medications called central nervous system stimulants. In some people, stimulants can cause you to lose your appetite or feel a decrease in your appetite, which may result in weight loss.

Vyvanse and weight loss

Bathroom scales next to a bath mat representing Vyvanse weight loss
Stephen Swintek/Getty Images

The FDA doesn’t approve Vyvanse for weight loss as research hasn’t yet confirmed its effectiveness or safety for this purpose.

Vyvanse treats ADHD symptoms by increasing the amounts of specific brain chemicals — dopamine and norepinephrine. This chemical rebalance helps improve attention span and impulsive behavior.

Adults and children older than 6 years can take Vyvanse to treat symptoms of ADHD. Healthcare professionals may also prescribe medication to treat binge eating disorder in people ages 18 and older.

Stimulants like Vyvanse can lead to side effects, including:

  • appetite changes
  • irritability
  • drowsiness
  • headaches
  • mood changes
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • insomnia

Also, the medication may cause weight loss and suppressed growth in children ages 6–12 years.

It’s important to take these medications only as prescribed by a healthcare professional who will closely monitor the medication’s effects.

If you’re concerned about any side effects or if they affect your quality of life, make sure to speak with a healthcare professional as soon as possible.

Vyvanse and appetite

It’s not exactly known how lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (Vyvanse) suppresses the appetite and reduces episodes of binge eating.

A small 2022 study found that lisdexamfetamine dimesylate was able to improve feelings of being full (satiety) and lower the brain’s reward response through its effects on dopamine. 

The same study noted that lisdexamfetamine dimesylate may also suppress appetite because it reduces impulsivity and improves attention, two factors linked to managing what we eat.

How to manage weight when taking Vyvanse

As Vyvanse can lead to appetite changes, monitoring your weight for fluctuations is important. Ways to manage your weight may include:

  • taking the medication exactly as prescribed by a doctor or healthcare professional
  • eating a balanced diet at consistent and regular times
  • drinking lots of water to stay hydrated 
  • speaking with a healthcare professional if you’re experiencing difficulties with the changes to your appetite.

They can refer you to a nutritionist or dietician who can help you create and manage an eating plan.

What are the risks of using Vyvanse for weight loss?

The FDA doesn’t approve Vyvanse for weight loss as there is limited research into its safety and efficiency. It notes that similar drugs prescribed for weight loss and obesity have caused serious heart conditions.

Some other risks involved in taking Vyvanse for weight loss include an increased chance of:

  • experiencing dizziness, upset stomach, and headaches
  • serious adverse effects like anxiety, depression, insomnia, seizures, and psychosis
  • medication dependence

Safe weight management

To manage your weight, a healthcare professional may recommend making some lifestyle adaptations, like:

  • eating a balanced diet that is high in fiber, whole grains, and healthy proteins
  • avoiding foods that are high in sugar, processed food, and saturated fats
  • getting regular physical activity (if you are able)
  • getting quality sleep
  • trying to reduce stress levels

A healthcare professional will also be able to discuss whether weight management medications are appropriate for you and your individual circumstances.

Vyvanse alternatives

Medical professionals prescribe Vyvanse to treat ADHD and binge eating disorder. It’s currently the only medication approved to treat binge eating disorder, but other medications may help treat ADHD. These include:

A healthcare professional may also consider changing your ADHD medication to nonstimulants, although it can take longer for you to feel the effects of these medications. Some nonstimulants to treat ADHD include:

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Discussing options with a doctor

If Vyvanse causes side effects that are affecting your quality of life, or if you feel the medication isn’t working for your symptoms, a healthcare professional may consider switching your medication or changing the dosage.

If you feel you could use some guidance on weight management, they’ll also be able to discuss options with you and work with you to reach your healthcare goals.


Vyvanse is the brand name for a prescription medication containing the active ingredient lisdexamfetamine dimesylate. The FDA approves Vyvanse to treat ADHD and binge eating disorder.

The medication can affect your appetite, which can lead to weight loss in some people. 

If you experience changes in weight while taking Vyvanse to treat ADHD or binge eating symptoms, talk with your healthcare professional.

They can help you manage any side effects and discuss alternative options while keeping your treatment plan on track.

Download the free Optum Perks Discount Card to save up to 80% on some prescription medications.

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