Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, can occur at virtually any age, but older adults are being diagnosed more commonly with this condition due to advances in medical research and medical treatments. In the past, ADHD wasn’t well known or fully understood, leaving many people to live their entire lives suffering from the effects.

ADHD can manifest itself in a number of ways, but many older adults affected by ADHD have a hard time completing tasks, maintaining focus or organizing thoughts.  ADHD can also lead to behavioral responses due to how an affected person’s mind handles electrical impulses in the neural network. While counseling and therapy have been shown to be effective in treating ADHD, many people also find that medications like Vyvanse can help.

What is Vyvanse?
Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) is a drug that treats the symptoms of ADHD in people ages six and up. It is prescribed to help individuals with ADHD who are facing difficulties with binge eating that may be a co-occurrence with ADHD. Vyvanse is available as a capsule, a chewable tablet and as a solution that can be mixed in with food or beverages.

Although this medication has been shown to be effective in treating ADHD associated with a binge eating disorder, it comes with a number of potentially difficult side effects. It’s important that patients who are prescribed Vyvanse work closely with their physicians to monitor progress and address any changes in mood or cognitive behavior as soon as possible. The use of alcohol or certain medications while taking Vyvanse can lead to serious health consequences.

Does Medicare Cover Vyvanse?
Medicare recipients who have been prescribed Vyvanse to treat ADHD may be able to receive coverage under Part D prescription drug coverage. In many cases, Vyvanse will be considered a non-preferred drug, and depending on your individual plan benefits and copayment and deductible requirements, there may be a significant out-of-pocket cost associated with Vyvanse.

Medicare coverage does not usually include Vyvanse because the drug is prescribed for binge eating disorder. Because Medicare does not cover drugs that are specifically prescribed for weight control, Medicare recipients may be responsible for paying the full cost of the medication if Vyvanse is prescribed solely for this purpose. As mentioned, ADHD can co-exist with binge eating disorder, so it may be possible to treat both conditions with one medication, but this is something you will need to discuss directly with your physician.

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