Venvanse: misuse of the drug to increase focus at work offers serious risks
Sales of Venvanse, an amphetamine-based drug, increased among executives, but misuse can bring serious health problems
The busy routine, with great demands of work under pressure, makes many professionals start to seek help in medication to cope with the task. As a result, the use of drugs indicated for other purposes has increased in recent years. Among them is the venvanseused in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
The drug, sold in Brazil by Takeda Pharma, is derived from amphetamine and has been misused to increase focus and performance at work🇧🇷 In reports published by Veja São Paulo and Folha de S. Paulo, executives from the capital of São Paulo said that they take the medicine to increase productivity, improve performance in important meetings and endure long workdays.
Still according to Veja SP, the medicine, which is sold under medical prescription in a controlled manner, can be purchased over-the-counter in Telegram groups (instant messaging application). As a consequence of that, there was a spike in sales between August 2020 and August 2022: the number went from 66,533 to 137,468 boxes sold annually in Brazil🇧🇷 Some pharmacies even had a shortage of the product in recent months.
The problem is that Venvanse, when used without specific medical indication, can pose serious health risks, especially among those who use it for years. Therefore, understand more about the subject and find out what to do if you or someone close to you uses the medicine, but you cannot find it in pharmacies.
What is Venvanse and how does it work?
Venvanse is the trade name for lisdexamfetamine dimesylate and is a psychostimulant medication approved for the treatment of ADHD and binge eating by Anvisa since 2010. It works by increasing the availability of dopamine and noradrenaline in the central nervous system.
“ADHD is known in neuroscience for demonstrating an imbalance of dopamine stimulation between different areas of the brain, such as, for example, the frontal cortex, which we need to be well activated by dopamine to maintain concentration, attention, memory and cognition”, explains Carolina Hanna, a psychiatrist at Hospital Sírio-Libanês.
“The drug acts by increasing the availability of dopamine and noradrenaline to those regions where the person with ADHD has a deficit, so that their activities are optimized”, he adds.
Read more: 16 tips to improve the life of a child with ADHD
With regard to binge eating, Venvanse has been indicated for reducing appetite, mainly as a side effect of amphetamine. “Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that acts on the reward system and brings satisfaction. So, the person feels full even without eating”, says the specialist.
However, in this case, it is also necessary to be aware of misuse: Venvanse should only be indicated for binge eating when the disorder is, in fact, diagnosed and should not be used by those seeking weight lossfor example.
What are the risks of taking the drug without medical advice?
Because it is an amphetamine, using Venvanse without medical advice can lead to some health problemssuch as cardiovascular and renal complications, sudden increase in blood pressure and even death.
In the drug leaflet, it is still possible to find among the adverse reactions: palpitations, accelerated heartbeat, myocardial infarction, restlessness, dizziness, insomnia, euphoria, depression, headache, cerebrovascular accident (CVA), diarrhea, constipation, anaphylaxis and sudden death.
Know more: Caffeine May Ease ADHD Symptoms, Study Finds
Furthermore, risks can also be psychiatric🇧🇷 “The increase in dopamine in the organism in those with a predisposition — which is often difficult to know in the clinical interview — can lead to hallucinations. This is an important side effect profile and, therefore, it is a controlled and effective medication for its indications”, says the psychiatrist.
Takeda’s position on the misuse of Venvanse
Takeda, manufacturer of Venvanse in Brazil, is against the use of the drug to increase concentration and performance at work by people who DO NOT have ADHD🇧🇷 “Takeda firmly rejects the misuse of medications and reinforces that these treatments should only be used for the indications on the package leaflet and with a medical prescription,” says the company in a note sent to MinhaVida.
“Takeda medicines are sold exclusively through duly authorized channels, and the purchase of Venvanse® requires retention of the prescription at the pharmacy, and its importation is controlled and limited by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa). In addition, the use for any purpose other than that approved in Brazil is considered to be used outside the package insert (off-label), with no proof of efficacy or safety”, he adds.
The company also reiterates that the Venvanse is safe when used by patients with ADHD and binge eating🇧🇷 Therefore, drug treatment for these cases should not be discouraged.
Read more: Bulimia and binge eating go together; understand why
“The misuse of any medicine is highly harmful, but its use by those who need it, according to a doctor’s recommendation and prescription, as in the case of ADHD, is fundamental and has a direct positive impact on the lives of patients and, especially, on children, because they are in the learning phase. Long-term clinical studies prove that lisdexamfetamine, the active ingredient in Venvanse, is a safe and effective medication, when used correctly, for children, adolescents and adults with ADHD”, says the note.
I have ADHD and I can’t find the medicine: what to do?
The increased demand for Venvanse and its consequent shortage in pharmacies across the country could harm patients who are undergoing treatment. In these situations, physician Carolina Hanna says that it is necessary to consult a trusted doctor to seek alternative pharmacological treatments that are approved for the disorders.
“In addition, there is also non-pharmacological treatment, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is a therapy that teaches a series of techniques that help modulate the patient’s behavior and thus combat the symptoms of ADHD”, he adds. .
Content for educational purposes only. Consult a Doctor.
The translator user relied on the following source:
Minha Vida Website – REF99827
Disclaimer – (English version>) This content has been prepared based on information from research, additional publications, or the translation/verification work of a volunteer editor of this web council. This is a non-profit service. It is strongly recommended that all details and information published be carefully verified. We never allow medication recommendations, medication package inserts or any medication guidance. We never allow partisan politics as information.
Isenção de responsabilidade – (versão em português): Este conteúdo foi preparado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou no trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário deste conselho web. Este é um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É altamente recomendável que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam verificadas cuidadosamente. Nunca permitimos recomendações de medicamentos, bulas ou qualquer orientação sobre medicamentos. Nunca permitimos a política partidária como base para checagem. Para mais informações, leia nossos termos.