One question most people ask is if it is safe to mix vyvanse and alcohol. Vyvanse is a drug and it may not be safe to combine it with alcohol to avoid harmful reactions from the interaction. In fact, it is never advised to combine both substance because there will definitely be health implications.
It is not a new trend to see people mixing drugs and alcohol, but one thing you should know is that this has always been very dangerous. This is why doctors have always warned about taking alcohol with drugs and vyvanse is not an exemption. This article will explain the dangers and side effects of mixing vyvanse and alcohol.
WHAT IS VYVANSE?
Vyvanse is classified under a group of drugs called central nervous system stimulants, it is the brand name for lisdexamfetamine. The active ingredient in this drug is lisdexamfetamine dimesylate. Vyvanse is used for treating symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a condition that causes difficulty in paying attention, impulsive behavior and hyperactivity.
It is also used to treat moderate to severe binge eating disorder (B.E.D). The drug works by making the brain to become active, it does this by increasing the amount of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine produced in the brain. When these neurotransmitters are produced, they help to send signals between neurons in the body and maintain alertness.
According to statistics by ClinCalc in 2018, about 1.4 million patients in the United States have been taking this drug. Vyvanse is commonly abused as it is a prescription drug but also a Schedule II controlled substance. Abuse of this drug can cause physical and severe psychological dependence.
WHAT IS ALCOHOL?
Alcohol or ethanol is a psychoactive substance and active ingredient that is found in drinks like wine, beer, and hard liquor (distilled spirit). It can produce feeling of euphoria, happiness, decreased anxiety, and increased sociability. It can also cause loss or disabled cognitive, memory, motor and sensory functions or skills.
When alcohol is taken, it causes the neurotransmitter known as γ-aminobutyric acid to have more effects thereby subduing the activity of the central nervous system. Alcohol is the most abused substance and it can easily interact with other drugs leading to serious complications.
Mixing vyvanse and alcohol should not be encouraged or advised. Vyvanse or Lisdexamfetamine works in the body by disrupting the balance of chemicals and stimulating the production of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, it is a stimulant drug. Alcohol on the other hand, is a depressant.
It suppresses the activity of the central nervous system and causes loss or disability of sensory, cognitive, memory and motor skills in the brain. These substances work in opposite directions, while one stimulates neurotransmitters, he other suppresses. What will happen if they are combined? If vyvanse and alcohol is mixed, the alcohol in the body will first cause decrease in metabolism.
Mixing vyvanse and alcohol is a very serious dangerous act that can cause severe health complications. There will be side effects and the Society for the Study of Addiction in 2006 conducted a research and found out mixing both substances can cause overdose. We know that taking overdose of each substance produces serious side effects, so overdosing on both will be much worse and extremely dangerous.
SIDE EFFECTS OF VYVANSE AND ALCOHOL
Each of these substances have their side effects and it is important to know them so as to better understand the danger of mixing them.
According to Laguna Shore Recovery, some common side effects of vyvanse are:
- Trouble with sleeping
- Mood swings and irritability
- Dry mouth
- Lesser appetite
Other serious side effects of using vyvanse are:
- Hallucinations and delusions
- Worse symptoms not behavioral problem
- Worse or new though patterns
- Severe symptoms of bipolar disease
- Sudden stroke and heart disease
- Sudden death in worst cases.
Side effects of alcohol are:
- Vomiting and nausea
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
- Sensitivity to light
- Depression and irritability
Long term effects of alcohol are:
- Damage to liver and brain
- Loss of consciousness
- Dependence and withdrawal
VYVANSE AND ALCOHOL SIDE EFFECTS
When you combine vyvanse and alcohol, you can experience side effects like:
- Changes in blood pressure
- Rapid heart beat and increase in heart activity
- Heart problems like heart attack and stroke
- Risk of alcohol poisoning as there is slow metabolism in the body
- Dry mouth
- Chest pain
- Violent behavior or unusual changes in behavior
- Confusion and memory failure
- Widening of the pupil (Dilation)
- Irritability and aggression
- Feelings of euphoria and hyperactivity
VYVANSE AND ALCOHOL INTERACTION
Mixing vyvanse and alcohol can lead to risks like:
1. Alcohol poisoning
Vyvanse stimulates the neurotransmitters and central nervous system while alcohol is a depressant. Alcohol when taken, causes the body to get to a certain point of relaxation where mobility is difficult, this signals you to stop consumption and intake of the substance.
When you combine vyvanse and alcohol, the body finds it difficult to feel the depressing effects of alcohol. It will take you twice of your normal alcohol limit to get drunk. You will have to drink much more than you normally drink which can lead to injuries related to alcohol like falling down, unconsciousness and alcohol poisoning.
2. Heart Problems
A study by the Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics in 1995 showed that one of the risk of combining amphetamine like vyvanse and alcohol is the increase in heart activity and blood pressure. Vyvanse has the side effects of increasing heart rate, so when you add alcohol to it, this effect doubles up nd becomes more dangerous. People with underlying heart issues are more at risk of experiencing the serious side effects of vyvanse. Adding alcohol will lead to extreme effects like sudden stroke, heart attack and death in some cases.
3. Rise in Exhibiting Risk-Taking Behaviors
Alcohol causes the consumer to show drunk effects, when you take vyvanse, these effects are minimized but the worst part is that the individual will take part in activities with high risk.
These risk-taking behaviors are:
- Engaging in physical argument and quarrel
- Driving under the influence of substance
- Getting into accidents (vehicular)
- Having wild and regrettable sexual experience
- Assaulting others sexually
- Engaging in crime and other social vices
- Being a victim of sexual assault and crime
- Deliberately injuring themselves (self-harm).
There can be worse cases and behaviors because the individuals do not know they are impaired, they become dangerous to themselves and others around them.
4. Increased Chances of Psychosis
Psychosis is a mental condition that causes patients to lose their touch with reality (WebMD, 2021). This condition causes individuals to hear and see what others cannot (hallucinations) and believe things that are not true (delusions). People who have mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder can experience worse symptoms of psychosis when they mix vyvanse and alcohol. The individual can even experience paranoia.
5. Potential for Addiction
Vyvanse is a drug that is abused while alcohol is the most abused substance. In fact, those who are on prescription for vyvanse are at risk of developing problems of substance abuse. This risk will be severe when prescription drug and alcohol are combined.
Combining vyvanse and alcohol can lead to a condition known as polysubstance abuse, this condition can cause severe mental condition and even influence physical health poorly. It is complicated to go through the rehabilitation process of polysubstance abuse.
IS HAVING VYVANSE AND ONE OR TWO GLASSES OF ALCOHOL OK?
Most people who drink alcohol may ask their health provider if it is acceptable to combine vyvanse with a glass or two of alcohol. It is not advisable because alcohol can have different effect in people when taken in different amount. Some people need enough time to clear alcohol from their body while others do this faster.
Some factors that can influence how alcohol is cleared from the body and how it can interact with vyvanse are:
- Medical history
WHEN SHOULD YOU GET MEDICAL ATTENTION?
You should see a doctor if you experience symptoms of alcohol poisoning like:
- Trouble with breathing
- Decrease in heart rate
- Pale skin
- Sweaty and wet skin
- Difficulty in staying awake
See a doctor if you experience signs of a heart attack like:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pain in some parts of the body like the arms, shoulders, jaw, neck, back or stomach.
WHEN CAN YOU TAKE ALCOHOL AFTER YOU HAVE STOPPED TAKING VYVANSE?
You should not stop vyvanse or other stimulant drugs without consulting your doctor. Stopping your drug can cause withdrawal symptoms that can last for weeks or months. If your health provider has asked you to stop taking vyvanse, the next question is when you can go back to alcohol.
The best way to know is to understand how long it will take your body to clear out the drug. Vyvanse takes approximately 3 days to be cleared from the body. But it is best to ask your health provider the best time to resume consuming alcohol.
Vyvanse and alcohol are substances that work in opposite directions, one stimulates neurotransmitters while the other suppresses. Now, mixing them will lead to complications. You should never mix both substances for your health’s sake. If you are placed on vyvanse prescription, you should finish your dose and report to your doctor. Also, find out from your health provider if you can take alcohol after you are done with vyvanse