What distinguishes Adderall from Vyvanse?

What distinguishes Adderall from Vyvanse?

Comparison of Adderall and Vyvanse

The primary difference between Adderall and Vyvanse is the composition of their active ingredients. Adderall is a combination drug that contains four different types of amphetamines, while Vyvanse only contains one type of amphetamine salt called lisdexamfetamine. Once inside the body, lisdexamfetamine is converted into dextroamphetamine.

Effectiveness of Adderall and Vyvanse

Studies have shown that both Adderall and Vyvanse are effective in treating symptoms of ADHD. However, there are no head-to-head trials comparing the effectiveness of the two drugs. One study found that both drugs improved classroom behavior in children with ADHD, and another study reported similar results in adults with ADHD.

Abuse Potential

Adderall has a higher potential for abuse due to its composition of free amphetamine salts. Lisdexamfetamine in Vyvanse requires contact with red blood cells to be activated into dextroamphetamine, which may make it less likely to be abused. However, there are no direct comparisons of the abuse potential of the two drugs.


Adderall is available in a generic form, making it less expensive than Vyvanse, which is only available as a brand-name drug. However, a generic version of Vyvanse is not expected until 2023.

Extended-Release Forms

Adderall is available in both immediate-release and extended-release forms, but there is no significant difference in effectiveness between the two. Vyvanse behaves like an extended-release form once it is inside the body due to the time it takes for lisdexamfetamine to be converted into dextroamphetamine.

It is important to note that both drugs contain amphetamines and have a high potential for abuse. People prescribed these medications should take care to store them safely to avoid non-authorized use. Misuse of amphetamine-type medicines can cause serious health complications.



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