Imagine going to the doctor and telling him that you have tried all the latest fad diets and even tried some exercise but you can’t seem to lose weight. The motivation is just not there. You are hoping for a kick start pill that can save you some effort or at least provide a shortcut. The doctor looks at your numbers for cholesterol, triglycerides and sugar and nods in disapproval. All he can do is advise you at what you need to do. He can’t force you but decides that the best option might be to try something out of the ordinary. You see, doctors have information to off-label uses of prescription drugs. These uses are not approved by the FDA but when times become desperate, then attempts are made to improve your life with minimal side effects.
This is a drastic step of last resort. Prescribing drugs for off-label use requires trust from pharmaceutical companies, other doctors and patients. We rely on pharmaceutical companies to be honest on treatment options that were discovered during general use throughout the population. Then we rely on other doctors who are used as references to determine appropriate treatments for patients with similar symptoms. Our last reliance is on the patients being honest and open on treatment options, using the treatments properly and reporting side effects that have a negative impact.
Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) is an amphetamine used as a central nervous system stimulant used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and binge eating disorder. The main use of Vyvanse is as an ADHD medication. Somewhere along the line, Vyvanse was being prescribed for patients who needed extra effort in weight loss under the guise of binge eating. Since this prescription medication works similar to Adderall, the drug shows improvements in brain development and nerve growth. When you compare Vyvanse vs Adderall you will see a lot of similarities since they are the same kind of stimulants. But there are differences with the main differences between the above two is that Vyvanse is a controlled substance (Class/Schedule II) with the high probability of drug abuse. The other difference is that there might have found additional treatment options using Vyvanse for schizophrenia and excessive daytime sleepiness.
So the question now lies as to where did the treatment for obesity come from. The answer lies in the ADHD medication side effects. If we look at the less serious side effects they will include bladder pain, bloody urine, frequent and painful urination, lower back pain, fever, chills, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, acne, blurred vision, excessive sweating, tics and weight loss. From a psychological side you can see symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, delusions, paranoia, irritability and mood changes when using a stimulant of this class.
Although the prescription drug has a lot of positive effects, we do have to discuss the negative side effects of ADHD medications like Vyvanse. First and foremost is the drug abuse associated with this drug by athletes and academia. Athletes seem to abuse it for its performance enhancing properties such as increased physical strength, acceleration, stamina and alertness while college students use it for study time, test taking and getting through those boring classes which some know it as a Vyvanse high.
The focus here is on the weight loss portion which is matched to binge eating treatment. Binge eating is a tough disease to diagnose but it is related to obesity. If you loosely connect the two together, some might promote it for weight loss. Being diagnosed as a binge eater requires certain criteria which include: eating much more rapidly than normal, eating until feeling uncomfortably full, eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry, eating alone because of being embarrassed by how much one is eating, feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty after overeating and an absence of regular compensatory behaviors (such as purging).
These are all symptoms that really can’t be confirmed using medical tests. These symptoms have to be provided by the patient. At any point, the patient can be coerced into responding to get access to Vyvanse just for the hope of losing weight. It is one of those treatment options that are open to interpretation. If you consider the benefits of weight loss, you need to know that the side effects are serious and if abused can be considered lethal.
Is the weight loss worth it?