Vyvanse Possible Treament For Depression

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ChitwnCounsl Says:

I don't have a question but do have a few thoughts about Vyvanse. I noticed that in the official Vyvanse drug info that Vyvanse was being considered in the treatment of Major Depression Disorder. I have struggled with Bipolar ll for many years with Seasonal Pattern, ie I have extreme depression in the winter and hypomania in the summer. My depressions generally havetreatment resistant and I have been hospitalized several times. A couple of times only ECTs could break my depressions. There have been times when depression threatened my life because it was so unbearable. A couple times ECT's was the only effective treatment.
Last winter (2010-2011), I didn't bother with seeking hospitalization but strongly felt that I could not deal with another bout of such debilitating depression. My doctor, who has always been a front runner in keeping up on the latest treatment news, put me on Vyvanse for possible ADHD early Spring 2011. It does helped me with ADHD symptoms and I stayed on it.
Although I would agree that there are issues of side effects and the crashes, I believe that Vyvanse kept my usual swing into seasonal depression at a tolerable level. When I look at the big picture, I'm sure my family would rather put up with some irritability than the lose of my life. Vyvanse kept me from living my life in bed and agonizing. I even have been able to work part-time in my profession of licensed professional counselor.
My experience will not be everyone's and a few more winters need to pass to know for sure if Vyvanse is truly a viable treatment tool for depression (winter was more mild) but I'm just glad this winter is over. I'm in the process of decreasing the the dosage that I take, knowing I will need less for Spring/ Summer.

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ChitwnCounsl Says:

Sorry for the repeated words, it's hard to proof read in the little comment box on a smart phone.

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Verwon Says:

No need to apologize, we appreciated your sharing your thoughts and experiences with this medication with our site users.

You've given some valuable details and insight.


Does anyone have any questions or comments?

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katiedidntdoit Says:

Thanks so much for posting this. I have treatment resistant depression and pretty bad anxiety, but not ADHD or ADD. I have never been hospitalized. I have considered ECT but my Drs were not enthusiastic about it and I never did it. I have been running out of options. I've tried so many meds that when my psychiatrist suggests another drug I just roll my eyes and hope it won't be one of the ones that causes truly horrific side effects - I have no expectation that it will work. I have taken some stimulant or stimulant like drug to augment my antidepressant for 10-15 years (ritalin, Adderall XR, Straterra). 4 weeks ago we started me on Vyvanse and tapered me off Strattera. Hmmm - I seemed to feel less depressed although a little sleepy, I am now up to 70 mg (I always need high doses to get a therapeutic effect on these drugs) and to my shock, my anxiety is way down - I've been able to significantly reduce my dose of xanax XR and feel calmer than I did on the higher dose. And my depression is also improved by a huge amount. However, I am not sure if I can tolerate this drug. If I take it at 8 am, I am sleepy until 1 or 2 pm, and then I can't fall asleep until 3 or 4 am. Then completely knocked out - a couple of days I have slept until noon, and I have a job, I can't keep doing this. 2 days ago I set my alarm and took it at 5 am - didn't help much. Last night, took it at 3 am - helped a little, able to be at work at 10:30, still not acceptable. I don't know if Vyvanse makes me sleepy but when it wears off I still have the benefit of being less depressed and anxious (in which case it could be a bizarre "sleeping pill" for me), or if Vyvanse does not kick in for me until many many (5-8) hours after I take it - which would explain why taking it 8 am wakes me up at 2 PM and keeps me awake until 3:30 am. I know all this is a little complicated and weird - but I don't want to give up on something that kicks the depression and anxiety, willing to fight with it for a while! If anyone has had similar sleep issues or has any other comments, please reply!!

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ChitwnCounsl Says:

Glad you are getting some of the anti- depressant benefits of vyvanse. It does take some experimentation to find the doseage that works for you. My first experience with Vyvanse was similar to yours and then I read an online article that most were not dosing it right including the doctors. If you are too high or too low starting out, you have some of the problems you mention.
For me also, timing is everything and knowing when the drug is winding down. I found that taking 30mg in the AM and then 20 or 30 mg when I felt that tired and irritable feeling, got me through the day. I also found that varying the dose and taking two days off usually helps my body from becoming tolerant. I may take 50-70mg in a day but never all at once. Some times I split into three dosages in a day to stop a crash at the wrong time (20mgx3).
Another example of value of timing is if I work early am, I'm going to take a dose soon upon getting up and the another dose when I feel that crash 4-6 hours later. If I work a second shift, I take the initial dose around 1pm and go from there. Usually, by bedtime, I'm tired at the right time. Again though, it took awhile to figure out what works for me. I have found if I stay on too many days in a row and don't vary the dose, it becomes counter- productive.
As far as having what I need to do this, I get 20 mg of vyvanse prescibed 3x a day one month, and 30 mg vyanse 2x a day another month so I can vary the dose as I do. 70mg is a very high dose and I don't exceed it in a day. If I took it all at once, it would put me to bed as well. Other meds I take that can also play in the mix are 200mg Lamictal and 75mg Wellbutrin. I take Ambien and Ativan for sleep but don't think they would effect the Vyvanse. The other meds named I take at bedtime. Although, Vyvanse initially impacted my sleep somewhat, it's no longer an issue since my body has adjusted. I have been on the sleep meds for at years at the same dose for 8 years.
One last thing, I can get very irritable when the drug is winding down so I take .5 mg Ativan to take the edge off and make life more bearable for anyone who has to deal with me. :P
If you have any more questions feel free to ask. Hopefully you have a pdoc who is open and progressive. Hang in there, it does take time and persistence. It's not perfect but the best out of all the other alternatives I've tried. ECT's do work for life threatening depression but I'd rather not have to go that route again.

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Jane Doe Says:


Vyvanse has been a miracle medication for me. Ive taken numerous ADD medications as well as numerous Antidepression medications. They didnt help my depression, most of the time made it worse, and the ADD medications helped in that aspect a bit but would increase my anxiety. I have a teenage daughter who I watched struggle with the same issues and with the same problems with various medications as well. Vyvance has been a god send. To finally feel "normal" is amazing.

Also, the STRATTERA is what is probably making you tired. I HATE that medication. Im not medical doctor but that dosage dosage of Vyvance seems pretty high. I would stop taking the Strattera just for one day and see how you feel. If you feel significantly better just stop the medication. And why are you on Strattera if you dont have ADD or ADHD?

Its sad how many people are so uninformed and misinformed as to what ADD and ADHD really is.
Thinking it only means you have to be some hyper person that cant pay attention to anything when that is so not all or what it is...and thats not ADD.

Anyway, feel free to email me with any questions.

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Jennifer Says:

I've had depression for about 5 years and don't tolerate the SSRIs very well as they give me anxiety (which is one of the causes of my depression). I started on 60 MFs of Vynanse 3 days ago and can only say this: wow. I don't have ADD - just depression and generalized anxiety for 5 years. I took this and felt NORMAL for the time in years with no jitters, anxiety, or anything for that matter (other than lack of appetite).

I would definitely recommend for someone who doesn't respond well to SSRIs. My question is do you really develop a tolerance. To me, there feels like there's no side effects - like someone hit my "reset" button after 5 years of hell. If there is a tolerance, perhaps I'll do every other day.

One question - how open are doctors to the idea of using this to treat depression? I mean, it is stimulant, and my friend doesn't just want to go ask. But it's not like adderal at all - no speed whatsoever. AnyOne with experience on doctors not letting someone at least try it?

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Jane Doe Says:


I understand, and was the same way on this medication. I just finally felt "normal"...and boy does that feel great. I also have that social anxiety disorder and it helps me with that, as well as my depression. Where all other anti depressants havent worked for me. Its also the best ADD/ADHD medication Ive tried (Ive been on Ritalin, Adderal, Concerta, Strettra). It amazing to me how many aspects its helped me with. I like that I dont have to take multiple medications as well.

I started out on 40mg, for the first couple of months.
It only really affected my appetite for maybe 3/4 weeks. I dont know if you would say I built up a tolerance, but after about 6 weeks the effects werent as strong. I know with many meds this is common. You start off on a low dose and work your way to a dose which works good for you. Tomorrow I go up to 50mg. So Ill see how that goes.

Also I would NOT try taking it every other day either. You need a steady regular dose every day. Ive accidently not taken it for a day, and I can feel it when I dont take it, and then the next day when I took it again, the effect was a little more harsh from not having it the day before. If that makes sense.

My psychiatrist had no problem when I told him I wanted to try Vyvanse.

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ChitownCounsl Says:

Hi Jennifer.
I'm glad that the vyvanse has been working for you. I have found that I do build up a tolerance and my doctor has always advised taking a couple days off from it in 7-10 days. I think it's a process to find what works for you. I take days off when I can have a day when I don't have work or do something that takes alot of focus. What helps me the most is to vary the dose so that I don't build up tolerance at a certain level as quickly. I use 20 mg and 30 mg capsules to do this..
I don't know how other doctors feel about prescribing vyvanse. I have been with mine for over 10 years and we have tried everything in the book over the years to treat major depression. I just don't tolerate the side effects and also they didn't have much impact. I think the way we both view my usage of Vyvanse despite that it is a stimulant, is that it improved the quality of my life and probably kept me from life threatening depression last year.
As more of us report the effectivness Vyvanse has for treating depression, it will help increase doctor awareness of using vyvanse as a viable treatment option. I hope that Vyvanse continues to treat your depressions and be sure to keep us updated on your experiences with it.

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Misty Says:

I I have suffered from depression and anxiety disorder for 40 years, starting in my teens. I have tried a myriad of anti-depressants over the years without any success. Fortunately, about 20 years ago, a psychiatrist prescribed Klonopin (1 MG three times a day). This was like a new lease on life because it eliminated debilitating anxiety symptoms without any noticeable side effects. I have only suffered minor depression symptoms in the past 20 years up until about a year ago when I started a major episode. I tried Lexapro (60 MG)—and was a total zombie--Psychiatrist said I was suffering from serotonin overdose and then Cymbalta (60MG) and had slightly different zombie-like symptoms. For the last 6 months I have been on Cymbalta (30 MG) –the lower dose allowed me to function more effectively at my job than the higher dose (I’m a middle school teacher), but I had no motivation/ability to do anything beyond earning a living, which I have no choice to do. I collapse into bed the moment I get home until I have to get up for work the next day and stay in bed over the weekends. I have difficulty making myself get up to get a drink a water let alone have a life.
Being off work for the summer has given me a 2 month window to try to improve the quality of my life. I went to my psychiatrist yesterday hoping he would agree that I just am not a good candidate for anti-depressants and discontinue the Cymbalta since I don’t feel depressed anymore, I think I am now just suffering from anti-depressant side effects.
He disagrees and, to my dismay, he strongly encouraged me to try Vynanse (20 Mg) along with the Klonopin (which he wants to lower the dose but I refuse to), and Cymbalta (30 MG)—he even suggested we might try to lower the Cymbalta to 20MG (evidently my depression is not caused my lack of serotonin).
I reluctantly agreed to try Vynanse because he said it wouldn’t take but a few days to see its affect on me. I did read on the net that the medication works on the part the brain that has to with motivation so that seems to be what I need at this point. I have also read about becoming drug resistant requiring days off and varying the dose. And comments about it causing sleep disruption and “crashes.†Alas, another Psychotropic drug that is no panacea ïŒ.
I would love input from other people on anti-depressants who are also taking Vynanse. All info will be greatly appreciated as I am working within that 2 month window of trying to improve the quality of my life before I have to go back at work, and I have to be able to work.

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ChitwnCounsel Says:

Hi Misty.Â
 ÂYou are right, there does not seem to be an utopia medication in which all symptoms are resolved without side effects. ÂIts extremely difficult to find what med at what dose and with what combination of other meds works for our individual biology. It is frustrating. Most of the time I like Vyvanse but my body lets me know when I have to give it a break.

 In response to your questions, I do take 75mg of Wellbutrin and 200 mg. of Lamictal. I have been on the Lamictal for 10 years during which on a few occasions for debilitating depression, the dose was raise to 300 but only for a short duration.Â
 ÂI have been taking the same dose of Wellbutrin a couple of years. I used to take higher dosages during periods of depression but tiarated it down when my mood improved. I intended to discontinue Wellbutrin, entirely but found that it increased the severity of the Vyvanse "crash". That was no suprise because while doing my research on Vyvanse, a low dose of Wellbutrin was recommended.Â

 ÂWellbutrin Âand Vyvanse both work on the same neurotransmitter of Dopamine. When the Vyvanse starts wearing off, Âwe feel a crash because dopamine levels have dropped off. The Wellbutrin however, softens up the blow because it has been maintaining a baseline of Dopamine. Instead of going from 100 miles an hour (metaphorically speaking) to 10 mph when Âthe Vyvanse starts wearing off, its like going down to 30 mph instead when using Vyvanse in combination Âwith Wellbutrin. I still feel the crash, but its more tolerable and does not Âlast as long. Once I'm over the "hump", I feel okay and finish out my night with my normal activity. Interestingly but no surprise, Wellbutrin is used to treat ADD for some of the same reason Vyvanse is prescribed for ADD. ÂFor some, Wellbutrin increases attention and Âfocus.

Here is a link to someone else's experience who breaks Vyvanse dosing down really well: healthlifeandstuff.com/2010/05/a-year-of-vyvanse-what-ive-learned/
This individual took Vyvanse to treat ADD
(Vyvanse labeled use ) and he takes it every day.

 ÂAs far as how Vyvanse and your other meds will work together for Âeffectiveness, it appears to be a trial basis until you find what works for you with the help of your Pdoc. ÂHe is right, it does not take long to know how Vyvanse affects you but it does take awhile to figure out the best timing Âfor Vyvanse dosing and along with combination with your other meds.

 ÂAsk you Pdoc about adding a low dosage of Wellbutrin if you are able to tolerate Wellbutrin. You are wise to use the summer to work this all out. Good luck and I'd be interested in hearing about your experience at summer's end.

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Misty Says:

Thanks for all the great information/link. You obviously have done a lot of research. Its interesting (and frustrating) to read Jennifer's post--she suffers from drug resistant MDD and GAD as I do, and she feels like a new person after a few days on Vyvanse, and not so much for me. It just really does speaks to how different we all are and what a random roll of the dice it is every time we make a med change. I am on day four, and I am only able to sleep 3-5 hours a night and unable to get to sleep until 3-6AM. The rest of the time I am wide awake. Today, I started having minor panic attacks that my Klonopin had completely controlled for 20 years. Time to call the Pdoc..can't wait to hear where we go from here. Now that I am done rambling, I do have question--when you and others speak of a crash, are you referring to getting really sleepy? or what? Thanks again, and Jennifer, if your still checking in on this thread, I am happy that Vyvanse worked for you. Enjoy life cause we all deserve it :)

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Laura Says:

I, too, have experienced almost the same symptoms, Major Depression, without the seasonal part, for about 5 years. Obtaining NO relief, after going through a few clinics/ doctors/therapists, set income and unable to work, I kind of gave up and just stayed in my cave with TV.

Then my daughter was diagnosed with ADHD and given Vyvanse, she finally got better; so, of course, I tried. IT IS THE ONLY MEDICATION THAT EVER WORKED FOR MY DEPRESSION! I feel like my old self, able to function, feel, go outside, want to do things, clean myself and house, I care again.

Of course, the psychiatrist says I can't stay on forever, BEFORE I EVEN STARTED, might cause stroke, I said I am on high blood pressure med anyway. They are so maddening! I felt like saying I didn't care if I stroked out, at least I felt alive again. He is just old-fashioned, why does everyone have a bad attitude about the only thing that makes me feel better?

Do any of you have problems with doctor about the fact that this is an amphetamine?

Good information about dosing and crashes, esp. part about possibly taking too much. I definitely do not like that feeling. Dr. has me on Effexor too, for depression.

Thanks to all for sharing your experiences, it really helps me understand head changes. Hope it is ok for me to vent a little about doctors, etc.

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Laura Says:

You may be starting at too high of a dose. Try taking earlier and or talk with Dr. re lowering dose. I was surprised that I didn't need as much as I thought I would. Usually, takes time to get dose/timing right; keep a diary.

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tired and fed up Says:

I recently asked my doctor for a vyvanse prescription. She instead is considering some other one called vybyrd. I am currently decreasing my 175 mg dose of effexer, (actually the generic version venaflaxine).

She wasn't familiar with vyvanse,

I have dealt with bipolar, but mostly in the major depressive episode for years. Like several of the above posters, I am tired of always being tired all the time. I want my energy and motivation back. But I don't want the depression that seems to stay at bay with the medicine to come back, or always being on the edge of falling apart in tears.

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Lark Says:

Hello! I'm 21 years old and have been taking Vyvanse for about a year and a half. I'm going to give a little bit of a back story so you can understand how my experience relates. Due to academic struggles starting in 2nd grade, I was eventually diagnosed with ADD in 5th grade. I tried multiple different medications but the negative side affects always outweighed the positive ones. I continued to severely struggle with academics until dropping out of high school at 16. I started to experience waves of depression around the age of 15 and it continued on until I started taking Vyvanse at age 19 or 20. Before I started taking Vyvanse my depression got very severe. The depression was not followed by any traumatic life events, usually there was NO notable reason. I have always been a very social and a fairly happy person but I started to get extreme social anxiety and would often deny spending time with my closest friends. I would spend a lot of time by myself crying and feeling terrible andhopeless wondering what in the world was wrong with me. People would say that it was my teenage hormones or would just think I'm a baby that can't handle life. I tried to continue a normal life and do the best I could but eventually I lost the desire to even try. After multiple counselors and lots of discussion about depression and the possibility of Bi- Polar disorder (I have family members that are Bi-Polar), eventually ADD was brought back up. I also tried taking an anti-depressant which was not helpful and ended in withdrawal symptoms involving worse depression than I had ever experienced previously. Soon I was prescribed to Vyvanse and within weeks my life completely changed. Ever since I started taking vyvanse I have not had a single depressive spell. I am finally able to control my emotions the way I always thought a "normal" person does. Of course life is not always rainbows and butterflies, but when it's not I am able to remain sane and clear minded. I am now going to college and am able to focus, make it to class (not always on time;)), get my homework done, and PASS my classes. After a lifetime of failure in school I thought it was impossible to ever succeed in school again. I had lost all hope. So, hopefully my story gives you and anyone else some insight. In my case, I think depression was a side affect of my ADD/ADHD. I'm glad that Vyvanse is able to help with your seasonal depression. One thing that I have learned is that every drug affects every person differently. I have done a lot of re-search on Vyvanse and for some people it works wonders and for others it's a complete disaster. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask. :)

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Chelsea Says:

Hello I was recently put on vyvanse and have developed severe depression from it and from things I have found on the internet I am not the only one. So I am not sure as to how effective this medication really is at treating it if it has cases of causing it. Although it may just be a different reaction per person. Everyones brain is independant and cannot expect the same results as others. I also experience some slight agitation, as well as a crash within 6 hours of taking it where all I want to do is sleep. Just some points to consider.

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Loser Says:

I am sorry but I stopped reading when you said ECT was the only effective treatment.

Then despite your terrible plight you are better off than me. I am diagnosed as treatment resistant but the Dr's involved in the weeks and weeks of ECT thought it would work, whether I was pessimistic or not. ECT did not have any discernible positive effect.
I envy you

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ChitwnCounsl Says:
via mobile

Unfortunately as with any medication, there will always be those for whom the medication is effective and those that it was a disaster. Fortunately after experiencing many disasters, something worked.That's all we can do, is search for what works for our own biology. When it comes to the biology of our brains, it's still too much of a hit and miss kind of science. Make sense I suppose, it's the the mission control part of our body.

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loser Says:

That too bad. Even if a Dr. doesn't think a drug will help. Good Dr.'s know what drugs are out there especially ones that have out for years. Unless it is a GP not a Psychiatrist

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Ranchhand12 Says:
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I take 60mg vyvanse and 400mg Wellbutrin for major depression. The vyvanse worked wonders for my depression. The Wellbutrin is okay not great. Together they work to keep me sane.

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