Does Vyvanse cause acne?

There are zero published studies about Vyvanse or Lisdexamfetamine and acne. Interestingly, this massive 2014 study of 55,825 dermatology patients found an association between the frequency of ADHD in acne versus control patients (in other words, people with acne are twice as likely to have attention deficit disorder), implying that the underlying cause of acne (possibly inflammation) is causal to ADD.

On the question of Vyvanse and acne: Vynvanse is a stimulant, and anecdotally nearly any stimulant can trigger acne. This is not strongly backed by research. This study of 83,000 women found that caffeine intake was negatively correlated with acne rosacea.

This can occur by a variety of mechanisms, including disrupted sleep, increased sebum production, and increased stress. If you started taking Vynvanse and your acne got worse, you should probably turn to another ADD treatment. Modafanil is a another stimulant with fewer (or at least different) skin-related side effects.

If you have used Vyvanse and experienced an increase in acne, please tell us about it in the comments section. Be sure to include as much information as possible, including when you started taking Vyvanse, the dosage, other side effects you experienced, and any other relevant data.

38 Replies to “Does Vyvanse cause acne?”

  1. Hi, I am 38 years old and taking 70mg of vyvanse. I have always been praised for my beautiful complexion until now. I have horrible cystic pimples on my chest, and I am talking about 6 huge deep pimples that will not go away, and my chin looks like a teeagers chin with deep big pimples and small red irritated look everywhere else. My nose is red and has blackheads all over it with a few pimples, and yes one of them happens to be on the end. My thighs are breaking out! My thighs people, thats up with that? I am oily all over, which is a new thing for me. I love the way the medicine makes me feel but not enough to feel like a teenager again, especially when I never did this before now. I am trying to find something to help but if I don’t or can’t afford it I will be switching. I don’t want to look like a meth head.

  2. Hi,
    I was taking 40mg of Vyvanse and I honestly wasn’t able to tell if it was causing issues or not because my skin just occasionally has issues.

    Approximately three weeks after taking 70mg of Vyvanse I broke out so bad. I gave it everything I had and thought: “Well.. it’ll go away”.. except it didn’t. It just decided to move itself elsewhere on my face and jaw line.

    Why isn’t this on the side affects list? Has anyone who lists the side affects actually google the medication after a while and update that stupid list.

    I’ve checked every single website I could find, and it isn’t officially listed, and it all points to…..

    Stop acne = stop taking the medication.

    1. Hi Karen; I am on 30mg of Vyvanse for just over one month. I am getting breakouts, especially on my jawline, chin and neck. I am going to see my doctor this week and change to another medication that does not have this side affect.

  3. Son B is only 11 and breaking out like crazy. He is on Vyvanse. I was wondering if it is the cause, and I am going to bet that it is. He is on 30 mg.

  4. I am in my early 40s and just started taking vyvanse 50 mgs about 3 weeks ago. I NEVER had acne issues (one occassional pimple here and there as a teen) and I now have 3 big pimples on my face…which made me look into the relationship of vyvanse & acne…now I am freaked out. Of this gets worse I will not continue w this medication. I am hoping it will settle in and this is just a short lived reaction.

  5. Im only 16 years old and i just began taking medications for my ADHD. i was on focalin for a couple months but i was getting bad side effects of stomach pains and feeling ill so i recently got switched to vyvanse on a low dose to test out the side effects. within like five days of taken it i noticed i was getting some little clogged poors all over my forhead. now its been a week and my forhead is covered in these little bumps and some are inflamed and red and traveled to my cheeks. before my skin wasnt bad at all and occaisnly hormonely breakout. now my skin is so bad im scared to go in public :/

    1. use nizoral anti dandruff shapmoo as a face mask for your forehead. i put it on after my face is clean and dry for about 10 min, once in the morning and at night. i also don’t use any type face wash to clean my forehead, but sometimes use witch hazel to remove my makeup. it sounds crazy but it should work within 10 days! i’m going through the same exact thing

  6. I am 15 years old and I started taking vyvanse last year because of ADD. My grades dramatically improved but my face is breaking out everyday especially when I just increased the dosage. Vyvanse also made me extremely less hungry, I barely eat anything. I am loosing a ton of weight.

  7. Hello.
    First and quickly I’ll say that thank you for this website and thread! I’ve searched everywhere for some feedback on this exact issue.
    I’m a 27 year old female only recently diagnosed. Vyvanse is the only medication I’ve tried for my Type 1 ADD. I went from 30mg to now taking 50mg for about 5 months.
    I have most definitely had way more acne than I have had my whole life! Big cystic acne. I do drink around 16 oz of water or more a day, eat semi healthy, and excercise regularly.
    My first round of trouble came with these tiny blisters around my nose and chin. Unlike acne it was tiny bumps filled with clear substance??!! I scored the web and thought it might be a candida issue. As soon as I was able to get that cleared up. I started getting severe cystic acne on one side of my face along the cheekbone. It has gotten to the point that once it finally heals it leaves a huge indented scar!!! Mortifying! Ive tried everything sort of the dermatologist. The only thing that helps (which doesn’t prevent only speed the healing process and reduces swelling) is a homemade face treatment of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and turmeric.

    I’m at a loss for what to do. I don’t have health insurance. I was approved for a free year of Vyvanse so switching isn’t something I can afford. Plus the reason I even sought psychiatric help was because I was having a lot of trouble coping with I thought was severe anxiety and turned out to be ADD. Otherwise I take no other medication. I prefer natural solutions when able.
    Getting diagnosed and starting medication has changed my life. Issues I’ve had my whole life that I had no idea were ADD related I’ve finally accepted as a part of the way my brain works and stopped blaming myself. Vyvanse doesn’t make me feel (throughout the day) like I’m even on any medication. There is no peak and crash, no other side effects (for me), and has allowed me to take control of my life.

    Anyway, stopping medication at this point isn’t something I feel like I can do until I can learn how to cope without medication. BUT Vyvanse is the only thing I can afford without insurance. Ahhhhh I’m in a pickle!!
    I know I’ll have to choose between my mental health and the health of my skin if I can’t figure something out. I can deal with occasional acne but the scars are killing my self esteem. I did see where Vyanse finally listed small rash to their side effects. I just wish there was a doctor or a psychologist that could help everyone with this issue figure out why this is happening. Wether it be dehydration, lack of nutrients, or something to counterattack whatever’s going on with the body in response to the Vyvanse.
    Sorry so long.
    Thank you for offering this thread, much appreciated.
    Jessica.

    1. Hi Jessica-
      I usually just read these threads, never submitting my own thoughts, but after I read your comment I felt inclined to reply and at least sympathize.
      I too am a 27 year old female.

      With the exception of an occasional zit in my early teens, I’ve never struggled with acne.
      When I was 21, finishing up college, I saw a mental health specialist who diagnosed me with ADHD and prescribed me Adderall XR.
      I don’t recall the acne being an issue for me right away, but in the last two years or so of taking it, I really noticed an increase in acne that was unexplainable. I blamed my birth control, which I had been on various type for nearly 10 years. It only made sense that the birth control hormones were causing my sudden mid-20s breakouts, among many other awful side effects.

      Well, I spent a good 7 months off birth control but my skin didn’t go back to normal.

      So I went back on birth control and instead decided to get off my ADHD meds — mostly because it was altering my personality and sociability.
      And wah-la! (well, kinda). My acne mostly went away. My skin really cleared up after I stopped taking ADHD medicine.
      However, after about 5 months off now, I’ve really decided I need something to help me with my focus problems at work.

      So my doctor just put me on vyvanse about 2 weeks ago. I’ve been taking 30mg. Its effectiveness is not extremely noticeably, which I kind of like, but I do notice the one dreadful side effect — acne. I’ll say this: it’s not AS bad as it was on Adderall (although I am on a lower dose with vyvanse by comparison) but I have to attribute the acne to the medication. I guess it’s just a tradeoff you have to decide on. For me, the pros of the medication, at least for the slight acne vyvanse has caused, outweigh the cons of not being on it right now.

      Here are some things I’ve tried over the years, just as an FYI:
      – I noticed that not taking the medication when I don’t need it (like breaking from it over the weekend) does seem to help because I’m not stimulating stress hormones from the medication 24/7.
      – I did a lot of reading about hormones and thought that maybe my androgen levels were too high so I took a DIM supplement- didn’t seem to help me
      – Trying to treat the acne as it appeared or applying stuff to my face to pervent it: I literally tried ever “treatment” method under the sun: homemade masks, expensive cleansers, exfoliating. None of that worked, and often I felt like over drying out my face with treatments only compounded the problem.

      Anyway- I’m headed to see an endocrinologist and hopefully get hormone testing done. At the end of the day, it seems like Vyvanse and many other ADHD supplements are affecting hormones and THAT is what is causing the acne in some patients.
      I’ll return if I find anything new out!

      Good luck, and remember: You’re beautiful regardless! Love yourself.

      1. Virginia,

        I am reading he post and am very interested to see how the visit with the doctor went? I am 22 years old and started vyvanse and within a few months of taking it I have gotten acne like I have never had before. I removed my IUD, changed my eating habits, and constantly wash my face and sheets. I believe it is the hornanal imbalance that is caused by the over stimulation of the vyvanse. Please let me know your results, I would very much appreciate it.

        Thanks
        Dee

      2. Hi there, reading your experience is like looking in a mirror. Did you ever find out if the acne was caused by a hormone imbalance? I’m going through the exact same struggle.

    2. I have been on vyvanse for over 4 years and I never had acne until I started the vyvanse. I had cystic acne on my chin, chest and back. I have been off vyvanse for a week now and I have cleared up on all areas. It’s the vyvanse.

      1. Thank you for sharing this. I’m on vyvanse 70mg and have such terrible acne! Before this, I was on Focalin. I’ve always struggled with acne, but in the last 2 years it’s gotten so much worse. I am going to schedule an appointment with my doctor to discuss. What do you take now? Did you replace vyvanse or do you take nothing now?

  8. My 8-year old son has been on 20 mg Vyvanse for 3 weeks. He has 1 cyst on his back and a small pimple on his chin. First pimples of his life. Very concerned he’ll scar as he tends to pick at himself.

  9. I am a 16 year old male, and I have been taking vyvanse for my ADD for a few months now. I just started having breakouts, and my (very minor) acne scars have gotten a lot worse. I have tried everything to clear my face up, but nothing was working and I had no idea what was causing this. I have never had a problem with acne until a few weeks ago. I never suspected these pills I’m taking could have caused it until I researched it randomly one day. I am hoping that is the problem, because I have no idea what else could cause it. I am going to take a break for a few weeks to see if it is the problem, if it is i am going to stop taking them forever. I be back to update if my skin has cleared up.

  10. Hi

    I’m 17 and up until I started taking Vyvanse three months ago, I had the clearest skin. I’ve never had more than the occasional hormonal spot. A couple weeks after I started taking it, my forehead erupted into angry red bumps. Even the four year olds that I teach noticed and said something. The medication has really helped with my symptoms, but the acne is really hurting my self image. It’s also an issue because I compulsively pick at it and it’s beginning to scar. I’ve tried everything, and they’ve not gone away.

  11. I’m 26… Started taking 30mg vyvanse in January of this year. In late February I switch up to 40mg. In mid March I notice 2-3 bumps in my chest area. So never dealing with acne I went to buy over the counter acne products. It just made it worst and got an allergic reaction. I went to the dermatologist and she prescribed (doxycycline hyclate) to take twice a day for 2 weeks and to apply Verdeso ( steroid foam) on my affected area once a day.. So i started doing that and for the next couple of days I notice the acne started to diminish. After a week .. I notice when waking up .. my affected area would be kind of clear but through out the day it would start up again and I started getting more acne.. So after researching, I have come up with the conclusion that vyvanse is the cause of all this. It’s a shame because I am making wonders in school and the semester is about to finish .. Also at I get everything done at work in time.. I decided i will take vyvanse 2-3 times a week instead of 5 days a week.. and than stop until I start school again ..

  12. Growing up I had really beautiful skin, but really horrible grades. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of high school that I began taking ADD medication. Originally, I took Adderall (different doses throughout the months) and then switched to Vyvanse (70mgs) during the middle of my junior year because of how anxious the medication would make me. Slowly but surely, I began to get acne around my chin area, but never associated it with my meds. Now I’m a sophomore in college (19y/o) and although I am a straight A student, my acne has gotten progressively worse. I always have 3-4 pimples on my chin, and they’re painful, they’re large, they’re hard to cover up and they’ve definitely taken a toll on my self esteem.

  13. hello! my comment is going to be like the rest of yours. i’m 18 years old. i have never had a acne problem. i’m currently on 30mg of vyvanse. i take it monday-thursday. and i’ve been on it for a little over a month. i noticed acne around my chin area and my cheeks. it does suck bc it takes forever for it to clear up. but new acne always replaces it. my grades are amazing and my focus is on point. but i am so worried 24/7 with the way i look that i’d rather quit the medication altogether if that’s the main cause. i wish it was listed as a main side effect

  14. YESSS. i always took so much pride in my skin and skincare was a legit hobby of mine. i’ve been SO frustrated these past few months because i cannot find the root of my new emerged acne but now i have. I thought maybe my skin is just breaking out cuz i’m not getting any sun but it never gets this bad in the winter. until i realized that this acne didn’t start until fall when i got prescribed. thought maybe it was stress acne from school but i’m taking the spring semester off and still taking my doses. i’m gonna take a break and see what it does for my skin. i miss being able to go bare faced all the time 🙁

  15. I am 1 month shy of 43. I have huge pimples that are painful and annoying!!! I didnt have this problem before i started Vyvance. Its like dancing with the devil – feels great and powerful and yet my skin has to take a beating.

  16. Im a 15 year old girl and have adhd and have been on vyvanse (30mg) for about a year or two and have noticed an increased amount of acne on my face. Before starting the medication i would get a couple of pimples or two but nothing major but since starting on the meds my acne has gotten worse. I have tried altereing my diet, different facials and skin care regiments and nothing seems to work. Im starting to wonder if it is the vyvanse that is causing my breakouts. They are mainly around my T-zone; my chin and mouth area, centre of my forehead ,around my nose, on my temples and in my hair line. The pimples are usually large and under the skin and take ages to go away.

  17. Hi.
    I hope this post help everyone here:
    I always had the most beautiful skin til I started taking Vyvanse 40 mg. I’m 42 yo, 120 pounds, 5’3 and eat vigorously health. In about one week I had zero pimple to 30 cystic acne mostly on my chin and cheeks. I got desperate and I cried and didn’t want to go anywhere. I learned something: to shave the pimples off with a new blade and of course you’re going to bleed a lot then apply rubbing alcohol and squeeze them. ( Hey it’s me, it was what worked for me, you do whatever you want to do in your own skin, right?! 😉 This procedure I did after 4 months of suffering in pain and it helped wonders. Until it dried completely I used only alcohol, I started on Friday and finished on Monday morning.
    Here’s what saved me and I really hope you can benefit as well because I have felt your pain.
    I take daily: 2 pills of zinc for acne
    2 pills of DIM – 200 mg,
    5,000 UI Vit D3,
    Organic silica – 1 pill – 500mg
    Mario Budescu drying mask at night
    I exfoliate everyday and use a toner to remove the last makeup residue.

    I’m on Vyvanse now for 11 months and acne free but one time I started getting lazy with all that medications and care and the cystic acne started coming back but I took control again. I forgot to mention I have no acne scars … thank God! I truly, deeply and sincerely hope this post will help at least one person.

  18. I am a 20 year old girl and have been taking Vyvanse 40 mg for about 3 years now. In my early-mid teens I had moderate acne on my forehead, but I contribute that mainly to puberty and genetics. A few months after I began taking Vyvanse I developed moderate acne along my cheeks and jawline (the acne on my forehead had completely cleared up and hasn’t been a problem since). I continue to struggle with acne in this region of my face and it fluctuates from moderate to severe. I always just assumed this was hormonal and never, until now, thought it could be correlated with taking Vyvanse. I have tried a slew of medications, creams, and 2 different types of birth control and nothing has completely cleared it up. I really do wonder if Vyvanse is a major contributor to my skin issues. I’ve stopped taking it the past week or two and noticed a big difference in my skin but this could also be hormonal and due to the fact that I have a few weeks until my period comes again (i’ve noticed my acne sometimes gets worse around that time of the month). While it’s hard to pinpoint one main cause for my acne, i’m definitely going to start closely monitoring how it affects my skin between periods of taking the medication and not taking it. Just sad to think that all the emotional turmoil i’ve gone through the past few years due to my acne could have been a direct cause of the medicine, something i very much have control over.

  19. Hey guys! I’m 21 and have been taking Vyvanse for almost two years now. It’s been my life saver. I probably wouldn’t get through college if it weren’t for Vyvanse, much less hold down a job in the future. Before taking Vyvanse though, I’d had a pretty great complexion. I’d get one “bump” a month with my period and it wasn’t even the puss filled zit kind of bump, just a bump. Since I started taking Vyvanse I’ve had terrible, painful cystic acne. Vyvanse is my life crutch though, so I’m not willing to part from it. I recently found a supplement that had great health reviews for pretty much all feminine issues. I got it from amazon for $20 it’s called DIM + estrogen (I purchased Smokey Mountain Naturals brand because it had the highest reviews. I’ve been taking it for about a week now and I’ve already noticed a difference. The painful cystic spots on my face are healing very quickly or have become significantly less inflamed. Moreover my general complexion is smoother and feels better after just a week.

    I hope this helps some of you!!

    Here’s the link to the product I purchased!
    DIM Supplement 200mg Plus BioPerine (2 Month Supply of DIM) Estrogen Balance, Cystic Acne, PCOS, Hormonal Acne Treatment, Menopause Relief, Body Building. Aromatase Inhibitor. Vegan, Non-GMO, Soy-Free https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006KL4TYG/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_JLjyBbFA2CE04

  20. I’ve been taking vyvanse for 3 years & the red pimples have not gotten better over time. In fact its gotten wose. I increased my does recently and its so bad I’d rather not go out in public. But the med helps with my ADD. Definitely going back to my original dose.

  21. I’m 48 and have been on Vyvanse for 5 months. My breakouts are so bad that I feel like I’m in high school again! It is so embarrassing! A mixture of white heads and deep cystic pimples that are mostly on my forehead and hairline and around my mouth and chin. Just this week my chest has begun to get white heads too. It is truly not worth it.

  22. I am taking 60mg of vyvanse and have always had very clear skin. I noticed that I now struggle with breakouts on my back and face. It isn’t terrible but just irritating. I use a clay mask several types a week that helps so much. It’s a natural clay that I mix with apple cider vinegar, it does wonders to my skin. The clay I got on amazon called aztec healing clay. I recommend this 100%. My doctor said the breakout are common when taking stimulants but can be a temporary side effect. I hope this is the case.

  23. Im 28 ,started taking vyvanse about 2 months ago, 10 mg which is the smallest dose! Iv notice few pimples here and there and now they are getting worse and not healing well! I had smooth clear skin before vyvanse ….

  24. I am 15 years old and I started taking 30mg of Vyvanse when I was 13. I started to get acne on the center of my forehead as soon as I started taking it but had no idea that it was from the medication. I gradually went up to 70mg and it started to get worse. I take 70mg everyday of the week including Saturday and Sunday. I still had no clue that it was from the medication.
    I went to see a woman who had treated many of my friends for acne and their results were wonderful! I thought that since my acne was so bad that maybe I could go see her and try out her *expensive* products. She said that after three months I would start to see results and honestly it only got worse, and I was really upset that I had spent over $700 on new acne products because if I would’ve known that Vyvanse is the reason for my acne then I wouldn’t have gone to see her.
    I don’t know what I’m gonna do, but it’s getting to the point where I am sick of having to put on makeup every morning. My self esteem has dropped tremendously and I honestly try to hide my face when I’m talking to people.
    I am a sophomore in high school, and my grades have been so good since I started taking Vyvanse. I think that having good grades is more important than having clear skin, but I think that I should start to cut down how many days I take it a week. I just hate having to try so hard:(

  25. Terrible back ACNE, I have stopped for a few weeks and I am still plagued.

    I never had it until I started taking Vyvanse

  26. Hello, I am a 23 year old female and I’ve been taking vyvanse for a couple of months now. I am currently in nursing school and vyvanse has helped me tremendously when it comes to school work and being able to focus on the long chapters that comes with this profession. I had a bump here and there whenever it was that time of the month, but recently I’ve been thinking more and more on it and I can actually say that before Vyvanse this was never an issue. I have been using soaps and witch hazel on my face everyday and as soon as I think I’m clearing up there’s another bump that appears, mainly on my cheeks and forehead. I am going to try a few things that I’ve seen here as well as I’m gonna mention it to my physiatrist and see if there’s a better alternative. No one wants to have acne on their face. I am really stressed because the vyvanse has really helped me in school but I don’t know if it’s worth my beautiful face.

  27. It causes horrid cystic acne. I truly believe vyvanse doesn’t actually cause it- but instead causes our bodies to chemically change so much, we develop an underlying “acne infection”. Which is, of course, bacterial related, hormone related, stress related, food intake related and so on.
    Every time I take one I immediately break out the next day. Two days after stopping my almost completely gone.

    I read that these cystic type acne breakouts increase with the drug; and the infection can be quite scary if not taken care of.

    Anyone have information?

  28. 40 yo woman here. Lots of redness, small pimples that take forever to go away, irritating and I’m already starting on wrinkles bc I’m 40, I don’t need more affecting my face! I’ve been taking Vyvanse for about three years but in that time I also had my ovaries and tubes removed (to prevent cancer, genetic condition) landing me in surgical and early menopause so I blamed the menopause but now that I think about it, I was starting to have acne issues (first time since I was about 16) before my surgery and change of hormones. So, thinking about taking days here and there to not take the Vyvanse and hope these small breaks give my body enough of a break to heal the acne and redness. Good luck everyone. Like some, I am able to get my Vyvanse free through Takeda patient assistance so I cannot afford to change medications.

  29. I am a 29 year old female, I had no skin issues then about 5 days after starting vyvanse I have deep cysts on my forehead hair line and behind my ears! Its horrible I am stopping immediately.

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