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Vyvanse (Molecule of the Month for September 2007)

Lisdexamfetamine, Amphetamine, ADHD

Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) is a prodrug of the psychostimulant D-amphetamine coupled with the essential amino acid L-lysine. Lisdexamfetamine was developed so that the psychostimulant is released and activated more slowly as the prodrug molecule is hydrolyzed—consequently cleaving off the amino acid—during the first pass through the intestines and/or the liver. Vyvanse is the dimesylate salt of lisdexamfetamine marketed by Shire Pharmaceuticals.

Vyvanse is FDA approved—in strengths up to 70 mg—for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in pediatric patients ages 6–12. Shire will be applying for FDA—as well as European—approval for the treatment of adolescents and adult patients with ADHD.

Vyvanse produces an euphoric effect that is determined to be indistinguishable from the Schedule IV drug diethylpropion hydrochloride or dextroamphetamine.

Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)



Picture of Vyvanse

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Picture of Vyvanse

C15 H2 5N3 O

Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for September 2007 )