Strattera (Atomoxetine)

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What is Strattera (Atomoxetine) prescribed for?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHA, affects children and teens and it can continue into adulthood. And it is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder within children. Children with ADHD may seem to be very hyperactive and unable to control their impulses, or perhaps they have trouble with paying attention. Adults with ADHA may have issues with managing time, being organized, setting goals and holding down a job.  And they may also have problems with relationships, self esteem, and addiction.

Atomoxetine, the active ingredient in Strattera, is used to treat deficit hyperactivity disorder, better known as ADHD. It is a condition with such symptoms as inattentiveness, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. However, the symptoms do different from person to person. But the symptoms always begin in childhood. Many adults with ADHD have problems with managing time, being organized, setting goals, and holding down a job.

This medication is part of a treatment plan that includes physiological, social, and other treatments. And when taken it may help to increase the ability to pay attention, concentrate, stay focused and to stop fidgeting. It is thought to work by restoring the balance of a natural substance, called a neurotransmitter, within the brain.

This medication is taken by mouth, with or without food, and usually 1 to 2 times a day, or as directed to you by your doctor. The first dose is usually taken when you wake up in the morning. If a second dose is prescribed, take it as directed by your doctor, usually in the late afternoon/early evening. Taking this medication late in the day may cause trouble sleeping (insomnia).

Swallow the capsule whole. Do not crush, chew or open the capsule.  If the capsule is opened or broken avoid any contact with the powder and wash away any loose powder as soon as possible with some water. If it gets in your eyes, flush with plenty of water right away and then contact your doctor.

The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other drugs you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products. Do not increase your dose or take this drug more often than directed.

Before taking this medication, it is best to advise your doctor if you are allergic to Atomoxetine; or to any other medications or allergies in general. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems.

You should also let your doctor know of all of your medical history. Especially if you have ever dealt with any of these experiences in the past; a certain adrenal problem (pheochromocytoma), bladder or prostate problems, glaucoma, heart problems (such as irregular heartbeat, heart failure, previous heart attack, problems with heart structure), family history of heart problems (such as sudden cardiac death, irregular heartbeat), high blood pressure, liver disease, personal/family history of mental/mood disorders (such as bipolar disorder, depression, psychosis, suicidal thoughts), stroke.

While minor, some of these side effects may occur. They are as follows; Stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, constipation, tiredness, loss of appetite/weight loss, dry mouth, dizziness, drowsiness, trouble sleeping, or decrease in sexual ability/desire may occur. In women, menstrual cramps or missed/irregular periods may also occur. However if any of these persist or worsen, it’s best to speak with your doctor right away.

This medication may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: difficulty urinating, unusually fast/irregular heartbeat, fainting, numbness/tingling.

Atomoxetine may rarely cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of liver damage, including: dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting/loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin.

This medication may rarely cause serious problems such as a heart attack or stroke. Get medical help right away if you experience any of the following: chest/jaw/left arm pain, shortness of breath, unusual sweating, weakness on one side of the body, confusion, slurred speech, sudden vision changes.

Rarely, males (including young boys and teens) may have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours while using this medication. Caregivers/parents should also be watchful for this serious side effect in boys. If a painful or prolonged erection occurs, stop using this drug and get medical help right away, or permanent problems could occur. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

What happens if I suddenly stop taking this medication?

There may be a relapse in symptoms as well as side effects. You should speak your doctor before stop taking this medication.

 

 What is the best dosage to take?

The diagnosis with your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage for your treatment. Work with your doctor closely for dosage and dosing schedules.

 

 What happens if I miss a dose?

You should take the missed dose as soon you realize you have forgotten. If the forgotten dose is closer to your next scheduled dose, take the next schedule dose to avoid overlapping in dose.

 

 What is the best way to store this medication?

This medication is stored at room temperature, and should be kept away from children and pets. Do not throw away this medication in the wastebasket. If you are uncertain how to dispose of this medication speak with your pharmacist for help in safely disposing of this medication.

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