How do I take a very small daily dose of Vyvanse?
July 9, 2016 11:24 PM   Subscribe

The smallest dose Vyvanse comes in is 30 mg. That's too much for me, and makes me speedy. Opening the capsule and taking a much smaller dose gives me the concentration I want, without the side effects; my doctor approves of this. My guess is that 10 mg- 15 mg is the right dose for me (I understand this might change over time, but that's what it's been for a while). How do I keep the dose consistent?

Pills are over $1 each, so I don't want to use any method that involves throwing away most the pill. I called pharmacies and compounding pharmacies in the area and they can't help. For now I'm eyeballing it and putting the powder into gel caps, but that's messy and I end up with amphetamine all over the kitchen counter. Is there some device or technique that will help me do this?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are local pharmacies telling you Vyvanse comes in 30 mg and up? I'm aware of it being available in 20 mg capsules.
posted by bluedaisy at 11:39 PM on July 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Vyvanse should be available in 10 mg capsules. The often have the smaller doses for people weaning off the drug. You may need to call some kind of specialty pharmacy or see if your insurance allows for home delivery, but it seems odd to me that the pharmacy can't do that since they just dispense the little powder through a machine and the manufacturer approves doses between 10 and 70 mgs.

You could use a digital scale:

Are you able to try another drug - something like Wellbutrin?
posted by mmmleaf at 11:46 PM on July 9, 2016

You can get a little plastic apparatus for filling multiple gel capsules.

Here's some forum discussion of resizing antidepressant capsules.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:51 PM on July 9, 2016

Vyvanse definitely comes in 10mg. Possibly your pharmacy just doesn't (normally) carry less than 30mg.

If that's not enough, you could maybe DIY compound it by dissolving a known quantity of drug into a known quantity of water and titrating the dose that way. Probably it won't actually dissolve and you'd end up with a suspension so you'd have to shake well before taking it. Not sure why the professionals won't do that for you though.
posted by neckro23 at 1:51 AM on July 10, 2016

There is no guarantee that such a suspension or solution would remain chemically stable, and even if it was stable enough to drink a single dose I suspect you would be advised to discard the remainding 15-20mg. A compounding pharmacist has the resource to advise for certain, but the evidence is not clear for all medications and they are ethically obliged not to just guess.
posted by chiquitita at 2:44 AM on July 10, 2016 [3 favorites]

You'd need laboratory-grade equipment to be able to weigh the contents of your capsules accurately at the milligram level, and I suspect you'd lose a few mg to your spatulas and weigh papers. I don't think it's likely that you'll be able to do what you're asking about here.

That said, if all you're trying to do is divide the contents of the capsules evenly in half, you can probably get very close just by eyeballing the size of the piles. If I wanted to do this and I was trying to do the best job I could, here's what I would do:
  1. Place a square of parchment paper on a glass cutting board.
  2. Pour contents of capsule onto parchment paper.
  3. Using a razor blade, make a pile of the contents and then divide it into two same-sized piles.
  4. Cut the parchment paper in half with the razor blade, leaving one pile on each half.
  5. Consume one pile, pour the other back into the capsule and re-close the capsule for later.
Humans are no good at estimating weight (certainly not to the milligram) but we're great at comparing the sizes of two piles and determining whether they're equivalent. I think you could get very close this way.

Also, if your doctor has approved what you're doing, they probably know you're doing it at home without access to pharmacy equipment. It may very well be that a difference of a few milligrams each way doesn't translate into a meaningful difference in effect. Certainly, if your subjective experience is that dividing the capsules in half using whatever method you're using now works for you, then it works for you. No need to be extra fussy if what you're already doing works.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 6:37 AM on July 10, 2016 [5 favorites]

Roy at will do this for you by mail. (The pharmacy is in Minnesota.) There's a weekly charge, but I don't know if it's on top of the prescription cost.
posted by listen, lady at 8:31 AM on July 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Vyvanse has the time-release built into the actual powder, so open up a capsule, and divide into smaller portions. Voila, smaller dose of Vyvanse. My doc recommend just dividing it up by eyesight and pouring into a glass of water. Drink the water (being sure to leave no residue in the bottom), and you've taken the smaller dose.
posted by dis_integration at 8:40 AM on July 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm supporting the feeling of this being generally unadvisable, the alternate presized capsules are much more sensible idea --- but, if you must, my way would be similar to that which Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The suggested, but instead of piles go for a uniform but thin line; this would make the division easier more consistently to (gu)es(s)timate.
posted by Hadrian at 9:00 AM on July 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Vyvanse certainly comes in 10 and 20 mg capsules. Talk to your pharmacy--a lot of pharmacies don't keep infrequently prescribed medications in stock routinely because they have to eat the cost if it doesn't get used, but most places can order it with a lead time of a few days to a week, and generally they're happy to do it, especially for a maintenance medication that you're going to be refilling regularly.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 10:27 AM on July 10, 2016

It's possible that your insurance doesn't cover the smaller-dose capsules -- check the formulary online.
posted by DMelanogaster at 11:42 AM on July 10, 2016

Vyvanse capsules contain a shocking amount of powder*, and eye-balling it into thirds really wouldn't be difficult. You might end up with 9mg, 9mg, and 12mg, but that's close enough with this particular drug.

*it's sometimes a hard "plug" in the gelcap instead of loose powder, but this is easily remedied by smooshing the plug.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 6:55 PM on July 10, 2016

Followup from the anon OP:
Thanks for the information about the lower dosages being available now; my doctor didn't know. I'll get a new prescription for next month.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:38 PM on July 10, 2016

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