What is the difference between Vyvanse and Wellbutrin? 

In this article we will answer the question “what is the difference between Vyvanse and Wellbutrin?” as well as other topics related to the subject.

What is the difference between Vyvanse and Wellbutrin?

The difference between Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) and Wellbutrin (Bupropion) is that they are two different medications, which belong to two entirely different classes with different therapeutic importance and side effect profiles. Vyvanse is an Amphetamine, a central nervous system stimulant (1,2). 

Wellbutrin, on the other hand, is an atypical antidepressant (3,4). Both Vyvanse and Wellbutrin are prescription medications and can be used for the management and treatment of a number of psychological illnesses. 

Why is Vyvanse prescribed and how does it affect your body? 

Vyvanse is generally prescribed for the management and treatment of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), in people older than 6 years of age (1,2). 

This medication can also be used for the management of binge eating disorder, which is only in people who are older than 18 years of age (2,3). Vyvanse, being an Amphetamine, is a controlled substance by law. 

 Due to its considerable potential for addiction and misuse, the prescription of this medication is restricted to authorized healthcare professionals, and it is not readily available at all pharmacies.

Vyvanse contains Lisdexamfetamine Dimesylate that converts into Dextroamphetamine once inside your body (1). 

This drug tends to increase your energy levels, elevates your mood and productivity, heightens your senses, boosts your stamina, and overall enhances your physiological and psychological functioning (1). 

It does so by increasing the number of excitatory neurotransmitters in your brain, like norepinephrine and dopamine. These chemicals can overall make you feel good and satisfied, which is why they are highly addictive (6). 

Nevertheless, it is imperative to acknowledge that no medication in existence is exempt from potential adverse effects, particularly when considering a medication such as Vyvanse, which has the capability to impact the brain. Therefore, let us examine the frequently reported side effects associated with Vyvanse.

Common side effects of Vyvanse (5): 

  • Dry mouth or decreased salivation 
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Stomach/abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea 
  • Concussion or nervousness 
  • Dizziness
  • Inability to fall asleep
  • Sweating
  • Weight loss
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Fatigue 
  • Increase in blood pressure

Rare and serious side effects of Vyvanse (1,5)

  • An allergic reaction or hypersensitivity 
  • Vision-related complications
  • Arrhythmia and palpitations
  • Behavioral changes and mood swings like anger, agitation, suicide attempts, picking up fights, etc.
  • Involuntary movements or tremors 
  • Signs of a decreased amount of blood flow in the fingers or toes, including symptoms like cold and numb fingers, pale in color, tingling sensation
  • Wounds and bruises on the skin
  • Loss of libido
  • Swelling 
  • Fatigue 
  • Unexplained weight loss 
  • Prolonged erections

Why is Wellbutrin prescribed and how does it affect your body? 

Wellbutrin is prescribed for several mental health conditions, including depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), depression comorbid with bipolar disorder, and some symptoms associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (3,4). 

Wellbutrin is not an actual CNS stimulant and is not considered a controlled substance by law in the US. This medication also increases the amount of some excitatory neurotransmitters in your brain, but the way it works makes it less dangerous than Amphetamines. 

Wellbutrin can improve your mood and energy levels, counteracts depression symptoms, and can also be used for smoking cessation (3,4).

Wellbutrin is also associated with some side effects, but most of them fade away within a few weeks as your body adjusts to the medication (7). Let’s take a look at them. 

Common side effects of Wellbutrin 

Rare and serious side effects of Wellbutrin 

  • An allergic reaction 
  • Seizures 
  • Auditory or visual hallucinations 
  • Fear 
  • Joint rigidity and pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Arrhythmia 
  • Swelling or tenderness in different parts of the body.

How to properly use Vyvanse and Wellbutrin together?

The proper manner of using Vyvanse or Wellbutrin together is ensuring that you use these medications only if they have been prescribed by your healthcare provider.

Since these meds can make you feel good, some people may take a higher dose. This can subject you to more pronounced side effects. 

It is crucial to adhere strictly to the prescribed dosage as directed by your physician. The appropriate and responsible usage of medications is paramount in maximizing their therapeutic benefits. 

If you harbor any concerns regarding the occurrence of any side effects, promptly communicate them to your doctor. It is important to refrain from abruptly discontinuing such medications without proper medical guidance.


In this article we have answered the question “What is the difference between Vyvanse and Wellbutrin?”, why they are prescribed, their side effects, and how to properly use them together.

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PubChem. Lisdexamfetamine [Internet]. pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.


Coghill DR, Caballero B, Sorooshian S, Civil R. A Systematic Review of the Safety of Lisdexamfetamine Dimesylate. CNS Drugs. 2014 May 1;28(6):497–511.


PubChem. Bupropion [Internet]. pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.


Patel K, Allen S, Haque MN, Angelescu I, Baumeister D, Tracy DK. Bupropion: a systematic review and meta-analysis of effectiveness as an antidepressant. Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology [Internet]. 2016 Feb 18;6(2):99–144.




Stroup TS, Gray N. Management of common adverse effects of antipsychotic medications. World Psychiatry [Internet]. 2018 Sep 7;17(3):341–56

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