Strattera, generically known as Atomoxetine, is a prescription medication used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Atomoxetine belongs to a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) medicine. Atomoxetine works by increasing levels of norepinephrine in the brain, which helps improve focus and reduce impulsive behavior in people with ADHD.
Strattera works by targeting certain parts of the brain that are responsible for controlling attention and behavior. It is one of the most widely prescribed non-stimulant drugs for children and adults with ADHD. Strattera is a non-stimulant; it is not considered a controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
Strattera is successful in treating symptoms of depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Strattera can help to improve focus and attention, reduce fidgeting, and improve concentration. It may also help to improve mood and sleep.
Uses and Dosage
Strattera comes in the form of Capsules and Immediate-Release tablets both of them to be taken by mouth usually once or twice a day. Strattera capsules and tablets have not been crashed, chewed, or broken. Both the tablet and the capsules needed to be swallowed whole. If you crushed this medicine accidentally in your mouth, you need to avoid contact with the powder and wash away any loose powder as soon as possible with water.
The ideal dose of Strattera varies from person to person. Capsules with dosages of 10mg, 18mg, 25mg, 60mg, 80mg, and 100mg are available. The Immediate-Release-Tablet is also designed to maintain a consistent level of the medication in the body throughout the day. Your doctor may adjust your dosage after 3 days until the best response is achieved – meaning the lowest dosage at which you or your child experiences the greatest improvement in symptoms without any adverse effects.
- For adults and adolescents greater than 70 kg: the recommended starting dose of Strattera is 40 mg taken as a single dose in the morning. The dose can be increased after a minimum of 3 days to a target total daily dose of 80-90 mg taken in divided doses. The maximum dosage studied and recommended is 100 mg per day.
- For children and adolescents less than 70 kg: the recommended starting dose of Strattera is 0.5 mg/kg taken as a single dose in the morning. The dose can then be increased after a minimum of 3 days to a target total daily dose of 1.2 mg/kg taken in divided doses. No additional benefit has been demonstrated for doses higher than 1.2 mg/kg/day.
Common Side Effects of Atomoxetine Include
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Low sex drive
- Stomach upset
- Trouble sleeping or insomnia
- Weight loss
Serious Side Effects of Atomoxetine Include
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Difficulty urinating
- Priapism or prolonged erections lasting 4 hours or more
- Symptoms of liver damage
- Abdominal pain
- Dark urine
- Persistent nausea/vomiting
- Yellowish skin
- Signs of heart attack or stroke
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Slurred speech
- Sudden vision changes)
- Unusual sweating
- Weakness on one side of the body
Form and Strength
Strattera and its generic alternative Atomoxetine are available available in the following forms and strengths:
- 10 mg
- 18 mg
- 25 mg
- 40 mg
- 60 mg
- 80 mg
- 100 mg
Atomoxetine: Immediate-Release Tablet
- 18 mg
- 40 mg
- 60 mg
- 100 mg
- You should disclose your entire medical history to your doctor, including any history of bladder or prostate problems, pheochromocytoma, heart problems, liver disease, hypertension, stroke, and mental or mood conditions such as bipolar disorder, depression, or psychosis.
- Atomoxetine in children/adolescents with ADHD is linked to an increased risk of suicidal ideation. Pediatric patients who are prescribed STRATTERA should have their behavior closely watched, particularly in the first few months of treatment or when the dosage is altered.
- Atomoxetine should not be used in children or adolescents with known structural cardiac abnormalities, cardiomyopathy, heart rhythm abnormalities, or other serious cardiac issues, as sudden death has been reported with atomoxetine treatment at usual doses in this population.
- If you are expecting to become pregnant, you should talk to your healthcare provider about managing your medications. People with ADHD who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant need to consider the risks and benefits of treatment with their doctor. Not treating ADHD during pregnancy can be risky for both the mother and the baby.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the most important information I should know about atomoxetine?
It may take several weeks before you notice the full benefits of this medication. It is important to continue taking atomoxetine as directed, even if you do not notice an immediate improvement.
What happens if I miss a dose of atomoxetine?
If you miss a dose of atomoxetine, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is closer to the time of your next dose. Discuss this with your healthcare provider. Do not double your next dose or take more than what is prescribed.
What should I avoid while taking atomoxetine?
Avoid drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs while you are taking this medication. They may decrease the benefits (e.g., worsen your condition) and increase adverse effects (e.g., sedation) of the medication.
How long does it take for atomoxetine to work?
It may take 4-8 weeks to get the maximum benefit once the right dose is determined. However, improvements in some symptoms may occur sooner.