Vyvanse and Orange Juice

12 Dec

Important Note:

I have been researching the activity of this drug more carefully, and have learned a few things that alter my opinions on this matter. I will be updating this post with that new information, but until then, if you’ve come here for medical advise, please stop that. You really should be talking to your doctor about this if you’re concerned – as I say below.

Also, check the comments blow for more information as it arrives. More knowledgeable people than I have weighed in on this issue and are willing to share their information.

This is something I probably should have been warned about by my doctor, and when I see him Wednesday I’ll be bringing it up, but here’s the tl;dr: Be careful when you drink orange juice, or ingesting any citrus, while taking Vyvanse, or you may risk heart damage.

* * Update * * – I spoke with my doctor about this on Wednesday, and he said he’d heard a few similar reports. He didn’t give any specific advice, but I’m going to continue my citrus abstinence for a while and see what happens.

Quick note: I am not a doctor, a chemist, nor a nutritionist. All of the below comes from third-party sources; I’m only sharing this here because it’s helped me, and may help someone else. Definitely talk to your doctor about this if you’re concerned.

Last Wednesday, I took my Vyvanse (50mg) like any other day. That morning, I had several glasses of orange juice during breakfast at the hotel – it was free, and I love the stuff. During the day, I had several spells where my heart rate would climb up past 100bpm and it felt like my heart was working very hard. This was my at-rest rate.

I didn’t think much of it – that happens occasionally, as the side effect list warns – and dealt with it the way I usually do: by regulating my breathing and calming myself down. It usually takes about one to two hours from onset of one of these spells for me to be able to calm down.

The next day, Thursday, I took my Vyvanse, and proceeded to indulge my OJ craving. Again, I had issues during the day – only much worse this time. My at-rest heart rate peaked around 120bpm (that’s 2 beats per second!), I was jittery and anxious, and I was seriously contemplating what would happen to my family if I died at 31 of a heart attack. Not cool.

At the time I decided to stop taking the stuff and talk to my doctor ASAP, but when I got back to the hotel, I did some research. Turns out the culprit was the orange juice.

Vyvanse is a time-release drug. This means that it stays in your system and is slowly absorbed by the digestive tract. As its absorbed, it changes form from its medically inert state to its active state through the action of digestive enzymes. The speed at which this process occurs depends on your own metabolism, and anything that speeds up metabolism will increase the amount of the drug being absorbed by your body. Because Vyvanse is an amphetamine, its effect on the heart can be profound, especially in high doses.

The vitamin C in orange juice increases metabolism, and its acidity increases absorption. I was drinking maybe 1 and a half liters of OJ each morning – three large glasses full. I don’t know the numbers involved, but I’m pretty sure I was exceeding some serious tolerances for amphetamine in my blood, and this was causing the frightening increase in side-effects I experienced.

Among the suggestions, I found the following: cut vitamin C out of your diet when Vyvanse is active in your system. Take your meds with a meal and plenty of water – this will reduce the acidity of your digestive system and make it take longer for the Vyvanse to hit your system. During the day drink plenty of water for the same reason. Consider taking an antacid before eating anything acidic to counter the effects – one person suggested baking soda and water, to avoid the excess calcium from something like Tums. I have seen several suggestions for magnesium citrate as well to slow the body’s absorption.

On Friday I took my Vyvanse again in the morning, but skipped on the OJ. I drank two glasses of water with my eggs and sausage, and a couple more glasses during the morning and afternoon. I did experience some increase in my heart rate, up to around 90bpm at rest, but this only lasted for about an hour before I returned to normal.

I’m going to be talking with my doctor about this and all of these suggestions. I’ll post again on Wednesday or Thursday with his advice, and throughout the week with the results of my testing. I’ll try to keep a log each day, especially when I have those spells, and we’ll see how it goes.


Posted by on December 12, 2011 in Uncategorized


6 responses to “Vyvanse and Orange Juice

  1. Carl

    July 4, 2014 at 7:33 am

    90 bpm is pretty normal. 120 bpm isn’t serious. At all.

    • Erik Forbes

      July 4, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      Perhaps not after a light jog, or a sudden fright – but I was calm, lying down, with no prior exercise, and my heart was beating like there was no tomorrow. =P

  2. Will

    October 31, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Let me explain why you experience these effects. Not to correct you, but you shouldn’t cut vitamin C out of you’re diet. There is almost nothing that will speed up you’re metabolism enough to make the absorption of this drug significantly quicker EXCEPT CNS stimulants. This drug happens to be a CNS stimulant. If you look at drug forums, which I’d recommend not using as a reliable source, unless you are looking for a high which if you are then you’re health is not what you should be worried about, you will see what a lot of people say is take a small dose of the medicine than a massive non therapeutic dose and the “high” will be a lot stronger. I digress… However, the reason orange juice increases the potency of vyvanse is because of something called lysine. Lysine is an essential amino acid to the body. For vyvanse to become active in the body it must bind to lysine in the intestine. Now normally this is a great thing because it makes it so you cannot strongly abuse… or at least take so much of the drug that you’re body will be poisened from it. By this I mean it is impossible if used exactly how it was meant to take to much. The reason for that is, how lysine is made in you’re body is protein is broken down and forms many amino acids, one of them being lysine. If the drug does not bind to lysine in the body it simply will pass through the body and peed out. This is why you cannot snort or inject vyvanse. Very smart idea except…….. lysine is naturally in orange juice and many other products. Now, it’s still better than adderall or any other plain amphetamine, but it still has flaws. According to, what I hope to be the FDA (I googled how much lysine was in orange juice and an answer came up) it says there are about 22mg of lysine per cup of OJ. This binds to the drug and it become active very quickly and when digested all absorbed into the blood stream at once. This can become very dangerous, however, 50mg of vyvanse unless injected, mixed with lysine, probably ( different people re act differently so I can’t say for sure but 99.999999999% positive) that it wouldn’t effect you enough to cause any major short term or long term effects. If you took a dose as high as I’d guess around 200mg of vyvanse, mixed with orange juice, and were out of shape, you’d have a bit to worry about. The reason I say this is because Adderall, commonly prescribed drug to treat primarly ADD/ADHD like vyvanse, has been taken in massive quantities up to 500 mg at once and, actually the world record in the book is 15,000mg in one day (24 hours). Adderall is 50% D-Amphetamine, which is what vyvanse is. It means they took 250mg of D-amphetamine/world record is like 7,500mg in a day. Never take near that much in a day btw. Having more than 200mg of D-Amphet (vyvanse with OJ) in your system at once is dangerous and can potentially cause severe effects (short and long term) or even death. So that’s my long rant about this, I think I covered pretty much everything, if you have any questions I’d be happy to answer. (I AM NOT A MD OR LICENSED PHARMACIST. I AM NOT TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE IF YOU SOME HOW HURT YOURSELF BECAUSE OF THIS POST OR FOUND IT OFFENSIVE. DON’T BE STUPID AND USE THIS INFO TO GET HIGH OFF OF!)

  3. Will

    October 31, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Oh also, I wanted to make a quick side note. A to apologize for grammar. I typed these post fast and didn’t edit them. B to talk about whether vyvanse is the right drug for you. If you have a very slow metabolism it is actually better to go with another drug. The reason being is because the slower the your metabolism, the slower the drug is processed. To small of an amount of amphets in the blood stream tend to keep the bad side effects and not have the good ones. So that’s why that is… I always wanted to make a note about metabalism. The average person is only going to be able to absorb 30mg of vyvanse in a single moment (put that much into your blood withing a 2 minute time period) and about 70mg in 5 hours. The reason being is how fast your body is making lysine which is how fast it breaks down protein. If you have a very fast metabolism you are breaking down protein faster than someone with a slower metabolism. This is why you see some people saying they really hate vyvanse and some saying they love it. fast = 5-7 hours of a really intense high, or if taken correctly extreme focus, increased confidence, some euphoria and possibly other good effects. Slow = 12 hours of the bad without the good. Let me give you a metaphor for modifying your brain chemistry. If you are trying to get somebody to move and you poke them they get angry. if you push as hard as possible they just move and respond how they have been conditioned to. 🙂 hope this helped a little. Btw disclaimer in the last post includes this post to. 🙂

    • BrightUmbra

      October 31, 2014 at 10:11 pm

      Hi Will,

      Thank you very Very much for your comments! 🙂 I have only a basic understanding of organic chemistry, and this was very informative – gave me more search engine fodder, at the very least – so thank you for sharing it! 🙂

      This is a pretty old post actually, and I am currently off of all my meds, including Vyvanse. If I find another programming position I might look into alternatives to stimulants for my ADHD control needs, but for now I’m doing alright without any of them. Thank you for your concern, too. 🙂


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