Vyvanse Dosage: How to Get the Right Dose

Vyvanse is the newest medicine for ADD or ADHD in the USA. I have written several articles on this blog on Vyvanse, and have had great feedback and comments from readers of this blog. For example – if you want to find out if vyvanse works, visit this post to read many people’s first hand experiences.
One question which many people ask is about the dosing of Vyvanse.
This article will provide you with the answers you need to get the right dosage of Vyvanse.

Research studies compared the dosing of Vyvanse with Adderall XR. What this research showed was the following:

  • Vyvanse 30 mg = Adderall XR 10 mg
  • Vyvanse 50 mg = Adderall XR 20 mg
  • Vyvanse 70 mg = Adderall XR 30 mg

The recommendations for the starting doses of Vyvanse are as follows: Doctors should start Vyvanse at 30 mg, and then gradually increase the dose to 50 mg, and then up to 70 mg if needed. Of course the doctor would monitor response to the medicine (i.e. if there is a great response and ADHD is controlled at 50 mg, then there is no need for 70 mg of Vyvanse). The doctor will also monitor for side effects – i.e. if there are too many side effects at 70 mg, then the dose may need to be dropped to 50 mg of Vyvanse.

The importance of the ‘conversion’ dosing listed above relates to those people who may switch from one stimulant medicine to Vyvanse. Using the information above, you can figure out how to change your dose of Adderall XR to Vyvanse.

When it comes to the available strenghts of Vyvanse, Vyvanse is now available in the US in the following dosage strengths:

  • 20 mg
  • 30 mg
  • 40 mg
  • 50 mg
  • 60 mg
  • 70 mg

In Canada, all of the dosage strenghts are available except for the 70 mg dose. The dosage recommendations above are the general recommendations for dosage. That said, your doctor may start lower, and may take a different approach to your dosing. When Vyvanse was first release, there were fewer strengths of the medicine available – i.e. only 30mg, 50 mg and 70 mg. Now, there are the ‘in between’ doses as well (the 20 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg). This does give doctors more flexibility in adjusting the dose to tailor it to suit you.

If you are switching from Concerta to Vyvanse, then you will need to follow these rough guidelines (and of course, talk to your doctor – who can personalize the information to suit your treatment):

  • Concerta 36 mg = approx. Vyvanse 30 mg
  • Concerta 72 mg = approx. Vyvanse 50 mg

I have to say that the dose changes from Concerta to Vyvanse are based on logic, and not on research.
Here is the logic:

  1. Concerta 36 mg works out to approx. 8 mg of regular ritalin three times daily.
  2. That is approximately 5 mg of regular adderall twice daily.
  3. That works out to approximately Adderall XR 10 mg once daily.
  4. Since Adderall XR 10 mg daily is equal to Vyvanse 30 mg, once can guess that Concerta 36 is equal to approximately Vyvanse 30 mg.

[Click here for a full review of how to calculate concerta doses.]

There are two important points to remember here:

  1. Even though I can suggest what the equal doses are, you may react differently to any one medicine. Only testing, monitoring and talking to your doctor will help to sort out what the right dose is for you.
  2. Please talk to your doctor about your individual care. Even though this blog article may help you to find the right dose of Vyvanse based on a combination of my review of the research and my opinion, your doctor is an expert in your care.

Thank you for reading, and please post any comments or your experiences with the dosing of Vyvanse in the comments below.

Dr. Kenny

(Updated May 2010)

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Comments

  1. I was on 300 mg of Wellbutrin when I started taking Tamoxifen and had to discontinue. The doctor has put me on Vyvanse 30 mg, but I’m not seeing any effect. Do I need to go up in dosage or just try a different kind of ADD med?

  2. If you are not feeling any effects from vyvanse ask your doctor to increase your dosage. Im at 40mg and it works well for me. If you already have wellbutrin tolerance 50mg vyvanse is what id try.

  3. I am currently taking a dosage of 60mg of Vyvanse in the morning, and another 60mg of Vyvanse in the afternoon usually around 1-3pm. I was curious as to see what your thoughts were on this. I was prescribed this amount by my psychiatrist. I have been trying to find out information online about unsafe dosage in the long run but have come up empty handed. If you could help me out with this it would be greatly appreciated.

    • Thats pretty high dosage. Do you feel lIke a high performance fighter jet.
      How is your patience with others when you are in this dosage? Do you find that you are more impulsive, spending more money than usual?

    • I was recently diagnosed with ADHD, and my psychiatrist prescribed me 70 mg right away. When we took it to the pharmacy to have it filled, the pharmacist looked at me and said “You’ve been on this before?” I told him no, it was my first time. He looked concerned and then told me he was going to call my psychiatrist to see if the ’70′ on the script was supposed to be ’20′ (very messy handwriting). Nope. The psychiatrist had prescribed me 70 mg right away. We called and had them reduce it to 50. You’re not the only one who’s having these concerns :/

      And a side note- I only weigh 110, so the high dosage wasn’t given because I’m a large size or anything.

  4. I started taking 20 mg of Vyvanse in May after being diagnosed with ADD (I am 45 yrs young and long suspected I had ADD). I’ve been taking sertraline/zoloft for the past 9 years and decided to test for ADD after my sister, niece and brother in law all reported dramatic positive results of taking vyvanse after testing positive for ADD.

    Since May I have ramped up from 20 to 70 mg while weaning off of sertraline (finally weaned off around the time I started taking 60). Here’s the thing, I do not know how I am supposed to feel. Ramping up on vyvanse while weaning off sertraline (and the withdrawals) made me feel that Vyvanse was working for a short period of time (felt great then it felt like the vyvanse wore off in middle of the day). 60 mg did not do anything and 70 was too much based on the feedback I gave my doctor. Problem is, he now wants me to drop to 50mg. Not sure if this will be the effective dose now that I am completely weaned off sertraline/zoloft. I took 40 mg this past saturday, nothing sunday and then 40 again on Monday to see if I noticed any difference. I felt good on 40 but still don’t know the yardstick to measure how I am supposed to feel. I did not take any vyvanse yesterday and took my last 20 mg this morning to see if it would have any effect. The frustrating part to all this is that I have no clue to which dosage I should stick with. I know that Vyvanse is not a cure all miracle drug but at least with children you can see improvement through their school grades. Any comments or feedback is appreciated.

  5. Another three comments I would like to make are about Diet, Tolerance and impulsivity.

    Diet: I believe is a factor in the release of Vyvanse into our bodies. In the information that I have read I believe that in order for Vyvanse to be effective yoiur protein intake needs to be reasonable. In this believe that rather than starting on a high dose or increasing a dose that you read up on how Vyvanse is released into the blood stream through protein in yoiur diet. Interesting stuff.

    Tolerance: I have also read blogs and it seems to be my experience that after taking it for awhile you may think that it it is not effective when it is actually doing it job.

    Impulsivity: I would like to make a comment here to anyone starting vyvanse for the first time that if you have had poor spending habits and are an impukse spender that you hand yoir charge card over to someone you can trust ubtil yoiu have been on it for awhile. I have foiund with myself that my tenedency to spend money is more on Vyvanse

  6. I have been on 20mg. of Vyvanse for about 3 weeks and it started out working great however, I am having a drop in the afternoon into a mild depression and lack of motivation and energy. Should I ask the Dr. to up my dose, or can I take another around lunch time? Is there something else I can combine with Vyvanse or should I try Adderall (which after research seems to not be a good idea) I’m 5’7 and weight 121 & really do not want to lose weight and so far have not had an issue with this.

    • Hi Lu,

      I realize that everyone is differrent. What I can share with you is my own experience and also that which I believe is common for all of us.

      In answer to your question about your 20 mg dosage for Vyvanse. Hmmm, I’m not a doctor and cannot give you professional advice but I think that it is common knowledge that 20 mg is a little on the light side. There are two issues in upping your dose that I think there are practical condiderations.

      First of all, unless you have a benefit package, Vyvanse is not cheap. Probably 5 dollars every time you take it. So taking it twice a day is going to double your cost. Taking a higher dose in the morning is only going to give you a bigger kick and then still wear off in the afternoon.

      I think also that many of us see Vyvanse as a fixer. Vyvanse is not a fixer in itself. It’s meant to be part of a program where we have the proper support to allow the changes in our patterning and conditioning that have had years of reinforcement.

      If you haven’t done so already I would suggest that you take some time, without being hard on yourself, sit down and have a look what you can practically change.

  7. Hi,
    I was just wanting your expert opinion on how much Vyvanse a 12 yr old child should be on…He has been taking 70 mg for past couple of years and I do not give it to him during the summer…He is about to start school again and I was just wondering in your opinion, whether to start him back on 70mg or maybe start him back on a lower dosage like 30 then go up from there if he needs it…Thanks!

    Also, he gained 20 lbs this summer which is great bc he was skin & bones!

    • My 14 year old son is also in 70mg of Vyvanse for the past three years, 110 lbs and skinny. We have taken summer breaks also. My experience has been, when his appetite comes back, his focus at school drops. I’m wondering if I have to settle for less focus, how much Vyvanse can someone be on?

  8. My “phsyciatrist” aka-drg pusher, told me after meeting me for 10 min. that I had a.d.d. I went there for treatment for my bi-polar. He instantly prescribed 70 mg vyvance. I had never heen diagnosed with add before. The second time I went, he said why not take 2! Haha. Now my insurance topped out at paying 5grand for the crap. So he prescribed 30 mg. generic adderall. I can’t get you to bed and all I want to do is cry! This bas***** has turned me into a DRUG ADDICT! I trusted him and now I’m ruined and my family basically has no prescrption cverage. You don’t have to have a “Addictive Personality” to become addicted. Shire pharmacuticals should be taking me out to lunch! Beware!!!

    • I agree with this im on 70 mg vyvanse twice a day. 6 am and 12pm right after judge mathis. im only 129 pounds, average build and im very productive. i can accomplish all my task . but i cant really do anything with out it. vyvanse is like vagisil for your brain. WHen you wake up your brain is dry so you take vyvanse allthough you may not need it. sometimes your Virginia gets dry so you use vagisil. so look at it that way hope that helps

  9. My daughter – now 12yrs old – was diagnosed ADHD in May 2010 (she was going on 10). Her pediatrician put her on Vyvance 30mg and up until a few weeks ago it was working fine. Lately she is not working up to her potential in school (7th grade), she is lacking motivation and dedication to her classwork and her homework. When she is assigned HW she puts it off until she forgets about it, and when she does complete an assignment she forgets to turn it in —> so she ends up getting graded as if it wasn’t done. She is not thrilled about ever having to read a book (for any of her subjects), her FCAT scores last year were unacceptable, she doesn’t particularly care for math, and I am debating if it is time to ask her pediatrician to up the dosage from 30mg to 40mg daily.

    • Michelle, while I haven’t personally experienced it, several of the teachers who work with our son told me that when they reach puberty, expect changes in behavior that may require a change in dosage or in some cases a change in the ADHD drug. If you haven’t already, speak with your pediatrician about the changes you’re experiencing.

  10. No, Seriously, I was taking 70 mg. (seventy mg.!) B.I.D. twice a day. That is 140 mg. a day. Yes it is expensive, I know. No wonder I was stressed out when I wrote that. Wouldn’t anyone be going 140 to 0? I have been off that for 2 weeks now. Today is the first day without any a.d.d. medicine, and quess what? I feel great! Thanks for letting me blow off some steam. All I’m saying now is while a good medication, it is very expensive, and it won’t go generic till 2024? Thanks!

  11. I’ve been on Vyvanse for 3 months. Started on 10mg of Ritalin & was a little more organized but the effects wore off before the month was out & I didn’t see any other improvement. Than my Dr switched me to Vyvanse 20mg, & has increased dosage up by 10 mg each month since. I am on 40 mg now, but still not seeing the effects. I am still not able to stay focused, & not motivated or organized at all. Should Vyvanse help with motivation & organization? Also not having much energy through the day, I thought since this was a stimulant I would feel more energized while on it. Just wondering if I am expecting too much, or if my dosage isn’t strong enough, or if Vyvanse is even right for me.

    • You “have a patient”? You’re a doctor and asking someone on an online blog for an “expert” opinion? (And can’t use punctuation, either, btw). I sure hope not.

      • Also cannot spell adderall…… He must’ have obtained his doctorate online…..

        LOL – I can use punctuation. The dots were meant to make my point. Kind of like crickets. <- Just had to say that :)

  12. My child has been on stimulants for ten years for ADHD. Adderall from 4 to 8, switched to Vyvanse and uptitrated to as high as 70, then backed down to 50, then to 60 when it was available. Recently had an acute depressive episode… Every quirk associated with ADHD combined with Asperger’s syndrome (OCD, hyper focusing) was extremely exacerbated and he began a downward spiral to major depression. Stopped Vyvanse, switched from Sertraline to Prozac, continued guanfacine and added Reperidone at bedtime. I have a completely new, happy, healthy, eating, sleeping, engaging teenager! Better than I’ve seen him in three years, at least! Don’t hesitate to try a stimulant vacation if you have been on it for many years!

  13. I was on 120 mg of Vyvanse for 4 years and it worked very well for me until the last few months. I am now taking Concerta which doesn’t seem to be doing anything. I am taking 54 mg of Concerta right now. What dose could I take that would be as effective as the Vyvanse?

  14. I’m recovering from an eating disorder and have begun taking Vyvanse to help with the impulsivity of binges and racing thoughts regarding food and exercise. I’ve been prescribed 30 mg of Vyvanse daily, which I have been on for a few weeks now. I feel good, but notice the racing thoughts returning in the evenings and am suspicious that this dosage is not high enough. My doctor suggested taking the 30 mg twice daily, but I have not done so yet in fear of running out of the medication too quickly. Has anyone been prescribed the medication twice daily? If so, are your prescriptions filled with a larger quantity of pills? Also, does anyone know if the price for 60 mg vs. more 30 mgs per month differ? My insurance unfortunately does not cover the medication.

    • Christina, I’m wondering if you may benefit from either taking the first dose later in the morning or if not, then maybe a lower afternoon dose might work out for you.

      For example, take your normal 30, then around 5 or 6 take a smaller 20, or split one of your 30s into two half doses to use over two days?

      I’m not a doctor and don’t know what the actual effects would be, just trying to be helpful with the financial side of if.

  15. My 8 year old son was on Vyvanse 30, but then brought down to 20 mg cause he was not gaining any weight. We recently went gluten free for him and it has made a ton of difference in his behavior. Barely any mood swings or tantrums anymore. Has anyone else experienced this? For those at the end of their ropes…its worth a try. I was thinking about trying to bring him down to 10 mg but looks like 20 is the lowest.

  16. Hi, I’m a 58 year old mail my weight is 240 I’m 6’1. I was latterly going what seamed 1000mph babbling at a rate that no one could understand me, I would be asked by family members and my fiancé to SLOW DOWN..I couldn’t my mind would go from one thing to another constantly. I was on 80ml a day, two 40ml pills in the morning. So this wasn’t working, I was on this dose for months, then I decided to up my dose my self on a weekend I couldn’t get ahold of my doctor, I took a extra dose, another 40ml……much to my surprise, I was the calmest ever. My fiancé ask me what was wrong or what did I do, cause she has NEVER had a conversation with me that I was so calm didn’t studier or rant at all day I kept telling her how I had never felt this way, at peace not racing was having a normal conversation, and like I said….FEELING NORMAL…for the first time it was GREAT!!! Now I now it was a high dose, but there has to be a happy medium here, my doctor said the 80ml is the highest, well if so why was I doing so well, being under control, not twitching my leg, rubbing my hands, pacing back and forth like a caged animal. Come on people, give me some answers, I enjoy being normal….HELP….what’s going on, I would like an opinion ASAP to give to my doctor, cause I sure do like being in control and feeling NORMAL .it is real..
    Finally at peace…DAVE!

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