Vyvanse Pharmacology & Classification

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

Have you ever heard of lisdexamfetamine dimesylate? Probably not, but you have most likely heard of ADHD. This lesson connects the dots between the two as you learn about the pharmacology and classification of Vyvanse.


Not too long ago, it was thought that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was a made-up disorder. Of course, now we know better as ADHD results in very real issues including the following:

  • Problems concentrating on tasks
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsive behavior

These issues may lead people, especially children, with ADHD to struggle in school and have problems forming or maintaining good relationships with people. Ergo, it only makes sense that for people who need it, some sort of medical help is available. One drug used to help people with ADHD is called Vyvanse. Let's cover its basic pharmacology as well as its classification.

Vyvanse Classification

Vyvanse is actually the brand name for a generic compound known as lisdexamfetamine dimesylate. Yep, that's a mouthful. So to keep things light here, we'll stick to calling it Vyvanse.

Vyvanse, therapeutically speaking, is classified as a CNS stimulant. The CNS is the central nervous system. Your central nervous system is composed of two major structures. They are the brain and the spinal cord. The brain does all the major work in terms of processing incoming information and sending out commands to various parts of the body. With some exceptions, the brain cannot transmit nor receive information from the rest of the body without the help of the spinal cord. The spinal cord is kind of like a relay center.

The CNS is composed of the brain and spinal cord.

Chemically speaking, Vyvanse can be classified as a sympathomimetic amine. Without getting into too much detail, an amine is an organic compound that contains the chemical element nitrogen. When we say something is sympathomimetic, we mean that it stimulates a part of the nervous system called the sympathetic nervous system. That's the gist of it.

Vyvanse Pharmacology

Drugs that are sympathomimetics, like Vyvanse, activate receptors called adrenergic receptors. The adrenergic receptors are part of the adrenergic system, a part of the body that utilizes epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline) as biochemical messengers. Norepinephrine, epinephrine, and another biochemical messenger called dopamine are also known as catecholamines.

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