I’ve been on Vyvanse for a week now. Since I’ve been so open about both my eating disorder and being put on this medication, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about it.
First of all, Vyvanse is an ADHD drug that the FDA approved for people with moderate to severe binge eating disorders. I’ve heard for years how ADD and ADHD medications have helped with my type of eating disorder, but the rule with my health insurance is that my prescription coverage doesn’t cover prescriptions that are being used for something that the FDA hasn’t approved it for yet. So while I wanted to try some other options, this is the only one that my insurance will cover.
To get prescribed this medication, first you have to be diagnosed with a binge eating disorder. I was first formally diagnosed with it even before it was a recognized eating disorder by my hospital. Since there really weren’t any treatment options at my hospital (they were going to consider me a non-purging bulimic), I went elsewhere for therapy. This included the RFO program which did have group therapy. I had to be re-diagnosed with a binge eating disorder to get the prescription.
This is not a weight loss drug. I know that those are out there, but I wasn’t looking for that. This medication helps to reduce the number of binge eating episodes that I have. To me, that is way more powerful than a weight loss medication.
And yes, I have felt some side effects. I had a racing heart pretty much the entire first few days. But now, that is gone. I also had issues with shaking hands, but that is also pretty much gone (that sometimes comes back when I work out). Beyond the first two days, almost all the side effects have stopped. The only side effect that I’ve felt every day is a little dizziness for brief amounts of time (maybe less than a minute) a few times a day. It feels very similar to vertigo (which I have so maybe that is what the dizziness issue is).
I’ve had a lot of people ask me how it’s going so far. Well, I’ve been on the medication for a week. And I’m taking less than half of what the dosage usually was for patients with binge eating disorders. I’m even taking less than the recommended starting dosage. I’m not sure why my doctor did it this way, but I will be meeting with him in just about a month to reevaluate (and I’m sure to up my dosage if I’d like to continue taking it). It’s hard to tell how much it’s working right now. I have had moments where I have no appetite, and I know that is something that this is supposed to do. But it has not reduced my binge eating episodes down as much as many of the trials stated it did for those patients. Again, this might be due to the low dosage that I’m on.
My plan going forward is to continue taking the medication and evaluating if a higher dosage would give me better results when I meet with my doctor next month. That’s it. I can’t really do much more than that. I’ve been warned that it can take several months to figure out if a medication is right for me and what dosage I need to be on. I just have to be patient and see.
If you have any questions about Vyvanse (I’m not paid to talk about it, just sharing my experiences with you all), let me know. I’m happy to help answer what I can. It makes me so happy that by me allowing myself to be open and share this with the world that others feel comfortable enough confiding in me. If I get nothing else out of this medication, I will know that I might have helped at least one person be less ashamed about their eating disorder.