Strattera

1 What is Strattera?

Brand: Strattera

Generic: Atomoxetine

Strattera is a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that is used for patients with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

This medicine reduces inattentive and hyperactive symptoms by increasing the levels of norepinephrine, a certain chemical in the brain that is necessary for attentiveness, emotions, and behaviors. This product is available in a capsule.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Strattera, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it.

This medicine is appropriate for use in children, adolescents, and adults. However, safety and efficacy have not been established in children younger than 6 years of age and in elderly.

Pregnancy category C – The use of atomoxetine during pregnancy is warranted only if benefits justify risks to the fetus and only when no alternative management is appropriate.

There are no adequate studies whether atomoxetine can pass through breast milk or if it could cause harmful effects to the infant. Discuss with your doctor if you are breastfeeding a baby.

Taking this medicine with any of the following medications is not recommended.

Your doctor may choose not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take:

  • Brofaromine
  • Clorgyline
  • Furazolidone
  • Iproniazid
  • Isocarboxazid
  • Lazabemide
  • Linezolid
  • Moclobemide
  • Nialamide
  • Pargyline
  • Phenelzine
  • Procarbazine
  • Rasagiline
  • Selegiline
  • Toloxatone
  • Tranylcypromine

Taking this medicine with any of the following medications is usually not recommended, but with the exception in some cases.

Your doctor may change the dose or the frequency of one or both of your medicines if both medicines are prescribed together:

  • Albuterol
  • Bupropion
  • Darunavir
  • Donepezil
  • Panobinostat

Taking this medicine with any of the following medications may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you.

Your doctor may change the dose or the frequency of one or both of your medicines if both medicines are prescribed together:

  • Amitriptyline
  • Amoxapine
  • Clomipramine
  • Desipramine
  • Dibenzepin
  • Dothiepin
  • Imipramine
  • Lofepramine
  • Nortriptyline
  • Opipramol
  • Protriptyline
  • Trimipramine

Some medical conditions can interact with this medication.

Tell your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Mood disorder
  • Blood vessel problems
  • Depression
  • Heart disease
  • Heart rhythm problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Low blood pressure
  • Mania
  • Problems with urination
  • Painful or prolonged erection of the penis
  • Psychotic disorder
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Glaucoma, narrow-angle
  • Heart disease
  • Pheochromocytoma — Should not be used in patients with these conditions.

3 Proper Usage

To use Strattera properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. Check with your doctor if you think this medicine is not giving you any improvement after you have taken it for several weeks.

Take this medication with or without food as directed by your doctor. Swallow the capsule whole. Do not crush, break, chew, or open it.

Wash your hands if you touch a broken or opened capsule. Be careful not to get a medicine powder in your eyes. If the powder went to your eyes, rinse it thoroughly with water and call your doctor immediately.

If the powder went to your eyes, rinse it thoroughly with water and call your doctor immediately.

Recommended dose for adults, teenagers, and children 6 years of age and older and weighing over 70 kilograms:

The initial dose is 40 mg/day. The dose may be increased to 80 mg after a minimum of 3 days.

It may be taken in the morning as a single dose or it can be equally divided between the morning and late afternoon. The dose may be adjusted by your doctor up to 100 mg per day.

Recommended dose for teenagers and children 6 years of age and older and weighing less than 70 kilograms:

Initial dose is 0.5 mg/kg/day. The dose may be increased to 1.2 mg/kg after a minimum of 3 days.

It may be taken in the morning as a single dose or it can be equally divided between the morning and late afternoon. The dose may be adjusted by your doctor up to 1.4 mg/kg/day.

Children younger than 6 years of age — Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is near for your next dose, skip the missed dose and start again to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

Store the medication in a cool and dry place. Keep it away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep out of reach of children. Do not keep expired medications.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Strattera, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor.

Check with your doctor immediately or seek help immediately if:

  • If you or your child has pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, unusual tiredness or weakness, or yellow eyes or skin since this medication can cause a serious liver problem.
  • If you or your child has chest pain, shortness of breath or fainting while taking this medicine since this medication can cause serious heart or blood vessel problems.
  • If you or your child notices any unusual behavior.
  • If you or your child experience a prolonged or painful erection of the penis for more than 4 hours.

Your doctor will be checking you regularly to monitor the effectiveness of the medication. Blood tests may be ordered for undesirable effects.

This medicine may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Avoid driving, operating machinery, or any other unsafe activities when you take this medication.

This medicine should not be taken together with MAO inhibitor drugs. Also, do not use a MAO inhibitor in the 14 days before starting atomoxetine and in the first 14 days after you stop using it.

Go to hospital emergency if you developed allergic reactions after taking this medication. Slowly get up from a lying or sitting position since this medication may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. Check with your doctor if this problem continues or gets worse.

Your child's doctor will monitor your child’s height and weight since this medicine may cause slow growth in children. Talk to your doctor if you are planning to take any other medication.

5 Potential Side Effects

If any of the following side effects occur while using Strattera, check with your doctor as soon as possible:

  • Hives or Welts
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Itching
  • Large, Hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • Redness of the skin
  • Skin rash
  • Painful, Prolonged erection of your penis
  • Convulsions
  • Dark colored urine
  • Fainting
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Muscle spasm or jerking of all extremities
  • Pelvic pain in male
  • Right upper belly pain or tenderness
  • Sudden loss of consciousness
  • Yellow eyes or skin

Less serious side effects:

  • Acid or Sour stomach
  • Belching
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Change in amount of bleeding during periods
  • Change in pattern of monthly periods
  • Cough
  • Decrease in the frequency of urination
  • Decrease in urine amount
  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  • Difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • Difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Inability to have or keep an erection
  • Indigestion
  • Irritability
  • Loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • Nausea
  • Pain or Tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  • Painful urination
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sleepiness or Unusual drowsiness
  • Stomach discomfort, upset, cramps, or pain
  • Stuffy or a Runny nose
  • Tightness of the chest
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness
  • Unusual stopping of menstrual bleeding
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Abnormal dreams
  • Abnormal orgasm
  • Back pain
  • Blistering, Crusting, Irritation, Itching, or Reddening of the skin
  • Bloated or Full feeling
  • Burning, Crawling, Itching, Numbness, Prickling, "Pins and Needles", or Tingling feelings
  • Change in hearing
  • Change or Problem with discharge of semen
  • Chills
  • Cold sweats
  • Confusion
  • Cough
  • Cracked, Dry, or Scaly skin
  • Crying
  • Decreased weight
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty with moving
  • Dizziness, Faintness, or Lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • Ear drainage
  • An earache or pain in the ear
  • Excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • Feeling of warmth, redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
  • Feeling unusually cold
  • Frequent urination
  • General feeling of discomfort or illness
  • Groin pain
  • Increased or Sudden sweating
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle aches, cramping, pains, or stiffness
  • Pain or Burning with urination
  • Passing gas
  • Shivering
  • Sinus headache
  • Sleep disorder
  • Swelling of the skin
  • Swollen joints
  • Swollen, Tender prostate

Not all side effects are listed above. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

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