Snorting Vyvanse | Effects & Dangers

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS


The ADHD medication Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) is water soluble and may potentially be abused by snorting/insufflation. However, lisdexamfetamine must be metabolized by the liver before it takes effect, which means that snorting it provides no added impact over regular oral ingestion.

Vyvanse is a brand-name medication made with the stimulant drug lisdexamfetamine dimesylate. It is prescribed for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and binge eating disorder, and may be used off-label to treat depression, schizophrenia, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

As with other prescription stimulant drugs like Adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine), Ritalin (methylphenidate), and Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine), Vyvanse may be misused or abused for a variety of reasons.

However, unlike similar prescription medications Vyvanse is not commonly snorted or inhaled as this does not intensify its effects.

Does Snorting Vyvanse Work?

Vyvanse acts as a prodrug stimulant, meaning that it doesn’t have any direct effect on the body when first absorbed. 

Instead, the lisdexamfetamine must first be broken down/metabolized by specific enzymes in the liver to separate the stimulant drug dextroamphetamine from the deactivating l-lysine molecule. Only then will Vyvanse stimulate activity in the central nervous system like any other stimulant medication.

This means that snorting Vyvanse does not produce any increased effect.

Vyvanse Abuse

Stimulant medications are prescribed to manage the symptoms of ADHD in both adults and children with the goal of increasing dopamine activity in the brain and bringing this up to a more typical level. This has the effect of easing hyperactivity and increasing attention span, concentration, and mental organization.

However, high school and college students may seek out these drugs and take them without a prescription to increase energy level and focus, often when cramming for exams or before athletic events. Others will take the drug over a longer period of time to reduce their appetite for weight loss.

Others may abuse prescription stimulants in high doses to produce a methamphetamine-like stimulant high, which can be extremely addictive and dangerous. This is why drugs similar to Vyvanse are sometimes tampered with and injected, smoked, plugged, or snorted.

It’s important to note that lisdexamfetamine (like other amphetamine-based prescription stimulant drugs) is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. This means that using Vyvanse has an increased risk of dependence and addiction.

Side Effects

The side effects of Vyvanse may be increased sharply in cases where Vyvanse is misused in high doses or taken by those who do not have a valid medical reason to use the drug.

These effects may include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • stomach/abdominal pain
  • loss of appetite
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • nervousness
  • dizziness
  • trouble sleeping
  • sweating
  • unusual weight loss
  • restlessness
  • irritability

Always let your healthcare provider know if you experience severe or persistent side effects when taking your medication.

Dangers Of Snorting Vyvanse

Snorting drugs, also known as insufflation, is a high-risk form of drug abuse that can do severe damage to the mucous membranes of the sinuses, leading to chronic health risks such as:

  • tissue inflammation and damage
  • chronic runny nose
  • frequent nosebleeds
  • damage to your sense of smell and taste
  • difficulty swallowing
  • hoarseness and voice changes
  • tissue death leading to a perforation/gap in the septum
  • increased risks of drug addiction and dependence

In addition, because Vyvanse does not generate any increased effect when snorted, there is a chance that those misusing it in this way may take an excessive dose out of impatience, leading to delayed but severe and dangerous symptoms of Vyvanse overdose.

Health Risks

The short- and long-term effects of Vyvanse addiction and abuse are known to include the following:

  • increased heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure, which can lead to chest pains, heart attack, stroke, seizures, cardiovascular collapse, and even sudden death (especially in those with pre-existing heart conditions)
  • increased risk of chronic heart and cardiovascular issues
  • dizziness and impaired coordination
  • unhealthy weight loss
  • insomnia and sleep problems
  • anxiety, depression, mood swings, mania, psychosis, hallucinations and other mental health issues
  • physical dependence and addiction

Vyvanse Addiction Treatment

Vyvanse abuse is dangerous, and the harmful effects of the drug increase the longer it is abused. This is why it is so important that those suffering from Vyvanse addiction enroll in a professional addiction treatment program as soon as possible.

At Ohio Recovery Center, we offer evidence-based treatment options for prescription drug abuse and addiction, including:

To learn more about our services and how they can support you or your loved one, please reach out today.

  1. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  3. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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