I have previously written about Dan’s terrible experience with Vyvanse, a stimulant prescribed to treat ADHD/ADD. Vyvanse was approved by the FDA in 2007 and prescribed to Dan in 2008, so it was very new at the time. As with Abilify, I see advertisements for Vyvanse all over the place, and I’ve wondered whether it is being prescribed regularly for OCD and/or what its effects are on the disorder. Here are a few accounts I found on the internet:
“My daughter is 11 years old she has been on Vyvanse 60mg- she immediately started to pick her face causing m any open wounds. I think vyvanse is triggering this ocd. Doctor prescribed Zolof to help but does [not] seem to be helping her. Anyone have any information on this?”
“About a month ago my 13yo daughter was prescribed Vyvanse 30mg daily to treat her severe ADHD. 2-3 weeks later she started to exhibit OCD behavior. She was constantly biting or cutting her nails until her fingers and toes wold bleed, pulling out her eyebrows, and more.”
“I started Vyvanse about 2 months ago. Since then, my OCD has gotten gradually worse to where I am now back to checking things and performing some other OCD behaviors of mine too complicated to explain here.”
This is all I need to hear (or read) to be convinced that Vyvanse should never be given to anyone who has OCD. In addition there are cases of people developing OCD after taking this medication. As far as treating ADHD goes, from what I read people either love Vyvanse or they hate it. Not much in-between.
I am not familiar with the FDA’s procedures for approving drugs, but we certainly know mistakes have been made in the past; Thalidomide, Fen-phen, and Accutane easily come to mind. No matter how rigorous a process a drug goes through before it is approved, we still need to pay attention to what happens once it is on the market. Doctors, patients, and caretakers need to make sure the medications prescribed are helping, not hurting, the people taking them, and if problems arise, they should be reported to the FDA.
I wonder if that has ever been done with Vyvanse.