Vyvanse is the newest medicine to come to the US for the treatment of ADHD and ADD. I have asked you (the readers of this blog) about your experiences with it, and there has been a lot of discussion (see the comments section on ‘Does Vyvanse Work?‘).
There have also been a lot of questions. One question which has come up again and again is: ‘Can Vyvanse be used for Adult ADD?’
Read on for the answer…
At the time this article is written, Vyvanse has been approved by the FDA for use in ADHD in children aged 6-12 years old. Shire (the company that manufactures and sells Vyvanse) has applied for approval for Vyvanse to be used to treat adults with ADHD.
Even though the FDA has not yet approved Vyvanse for the treatment of Adult ADD/ADHD, doctors can still prescribe it, if they think that it is the right medicine for you.
How can that be?
There is something called ‘off label usage’. What that means is that even though Vyvanse is not officially approved for anyone with ADD or ADHD over 12 years old, doctors can still prescribe it if they feel that it is the right treatment. Technically, a doctor could prescribe it for any situation in which he/she thought that it would be the best treatment, however the doctor would have to be sure that it was medically relevant, and wouldn’t be malpractice. Examples: Vyvanse for ADHD at the ages of 13, or 23, or 33 is logical and will most likely help, however Vyvanse for a face rash is illogical and would likely be malpractice.
I suspect that Vyvanse will be used extensively in teens and adults with ADD or ADHD, because one of its main advantages is that it cannot be abused, and these are the ages when this can be a concern. Soon, the FDA will most likely approve Vyvanse for teen and adult ADHD, and then it will be official. (How long will that take? One can never know until it is approved. I would expect anywhere from 1 year to 2 years maximum. Hopefully less…).
In the mean time, if you are an adult with ADD or ADHD, and think that vyvanse may be the best medicine for you, go ahead and talk to your doctor about it. He or she may agree.