Strattera (Atomoxetine Hydrochloride) is an alternative to the stimulant ADHD prescriptions regularly used to treat symptoms of attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children ages 6-12, adolescents, and adults.
Our Strattera review will concentrate on answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about this ADD/ADHD medication, including questions regarding claimed benefits, potential side effects, effectiveness, testimonials, and possible alternatives.
1) Strattera Quick Facts
Strattera (Atomoxetine) is a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) medicine, and it was the first non-stimulant prescription allowed for ADD/ADHD treatment in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In most cases, the standard treatment for ADD/ADHD includes stimulant prescription medication. However, Strattera is a safer alternative for patients who cannot tolerate or don’t experience the desired effects of stimulant drugs.
2) How Did Strattera Start?
Atomoxetine, marketed under the brand name Strattera amongst others, was accepted for medical use in the U.S. in 2002. Four years later, in 2016, Atomoxetine was the 245th most prescribed medication in the United States, with more than 2 million prescriptions.
Strattera is produced by Eli Lilly and Company, an American pharmaceutical company with headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana, and offices and facilities in 18 countries, including United Kingdom, Austria, Italy, Belgium, Spain, and Brazil. Its products are sold in approximately 125 countries. Eli Lilly was founded in 1876 by, and named after, Col. Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical chemist, and veteran of the American Civil War.
Lilly is currently the biggest producer of psychiatric prescriptions and makes a wide range of prescription drugs such as Dolophine (Methadone), Prozac (Fluoxetine), Zyprexa (Olanzapine), and Cymbalta (Duloxetine).
Eli Lilly and Company contact information:
- Phone: +1-317-276-2000;
- Address: Indianapolis, Indiana 46285 United States;
- Website: lilly.com.
3) Strattera Nutrition Facts
Strattera contains the following active ingredients: Atomoxetine 10 mg.
Atomoxetine is a synthetic compound that affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to impulse control and hyperactivity. Generally, Atomoxetine is utilized to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and attention deficit disorder (ADD), and it’s recommended for use in children, adolescents, and adults. Yet, Atomoxetine’s efficacy has not been analyzed in infants under six years old.
There are a few advantages of taking Atomoxetine over the standard stimulant treatments for ADD and ADHD. One of the primary benefits is the little known abuse potential.
4) Is Strattera Right for You?
While stimulants such as Concerta and Adderall are the “go-to” prescribed medicines for the treatment of attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), they are not always well-tolerated. These powerful stimulants can cause many unwanted adverse effects such as weight loss, irritability, and insomnia. Stimulants like Concerta, Ritalin, and Adderall have also been linked to cardiovascular side effects and the risk of dependence.
There is an alternative, though: Atomoxetine, known by its brand name, Strattera, is the only non-stimulant ADD/ADHD prescription sold in the United States. Usually, Strattera is prescribed as part of a more complex treatment plan that includes social, psychological, and other treatments.
Atomoxetine is one of the most researched and studied chemical compounds, both for safeness and effectiveness. Clinical studies have determined that it is safe and effective for long-term use, although not as effective or quick-acting as stimulants.
One good example of such a study is the 2008 clinical study in the Journal of Attention Disorders. The research was conducted on nearly 400 adult volunteers with ADD/ADHD who took Strattera for up to four years. The participants noticed their ADD/ADHD symptoms lessened by more than 30%, and the authors reported no unforeseen adverse effects.
5) What Strattera Does?
Some Strattera claimed benefits include:
- Improve attention span;
- Decrease hyperactivity;
- Reduce impulsive behaviors.
6) Potential Strattera Effects
Strattera can cause mild and moderate side effects, including:
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Aggressive behavior
- Decreased appetite
- Dry mouth
- Excessive sweating
- Decreased sex drive
- Vision changes, such as blurry vision, double vision, and pupil dilation (enlarged pupils)
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
Strattera may also induce thoughts of suicide, primarily in children and teens.
Some severe adverse effects can occur while taking Strattera. These severe side effects may include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Itchy skin
- Fast or pounding heartbeat
- Dizziness or faintness
- Trouble speaking
- Pain in the upper right part of the belly
- Weakness or numbness of an arm or leg
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Dark urine
- Hallucination (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- Unexplained flu-like symptoms
- Trouble swallowing or breathing
- Swelling in the face, tongue, lips, throat, hands, feet, eyes, ankles, or lower legs
- Rash or hives
- Abnormal thoughts
- Erection that lasts for several hours or longer
7) What You Need to Know Before Taking Strattera
As it’s the case with all prescription medications, there are quite a few warnings and precautions when taking Strattera (Atomoxetine).
Who should NOT take Strattera:
- People who have used an MAO inhibitor (i.e., methylene blue injection, isocarboxazid, phenelzine, rasagiline, linezolid, selegiline, and tranylcypromine) in the past 14 days;
- People who are allergic to Atomoxetine;
- People with severe blood vessel or heart problems.
Strattera should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women unless recommended by a medical doctor. It is not known whether Atomoxetine passes into breast milk or if it could affect a nursing baby.
Strattera is not approved as a treatment for anyone younger than six years old.
8) Where to Buy Strattera in the United States?
Strattera (Atomoxetine) is a prescription medication. That means it can’t, and it shouldn’t be bought from unapproved stores. It is available, however, at most drugstores.
9) Strattera Cost
Strattera oral capsule 10 mg costs around $420 for a supply of 30 capsules. The price may vary depending on the pharmacy you are buying from, and based on capsule strength (10 mg, 25 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg, 80 mg, and 100 mg).
10) Alternatives to Strattera
One of the most common questions we have received from our readers is, “are there alternatives to Strattera?” However, because Strattera (Atomoxetine) is a prescription drug, we can only review prescription medicines as potential alternatives. We don’t advocate substituting a treatment directed by your medical doctor with an over-the-counter dietary supplement.
Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) it’s an amphetamine chemical compound. Like Strattera, Vyvanse also alters brain chemicals. However, it targets both norepinephrine and dopamine. It’s speculated that this prescription medicine increases dopamine levels in the brain and improves the rate at which norepinephrine is released. As a result, more of these chemicals are available to stimulate the brain, which helps increase focus and attention.
Kapvay (Clonidine E.R.E.R.) is another powerful non-stimulant prescription drug approved for children ages 6 to 17. However, while mostly used in children, Kapvay may also be prescribed to adults. Kapvay (Clonidine E.R.E.R.) affects particular areas in the brain, numerous clinical studies concluding that Clonidine E.R.E.R. may improve impulse control, working memory, attention, and lower distractibility.
11) How to Use Strattera
The standard initial dose of Strattera (Atomoxetine) is usually 10 mg, one or two times a day (early morning and late afternoon/early evening). Taking it at the same time each day will have the best effect. It will also help you remember when to take it. It does not matter if you take Strattera before or after food.
12) What Customers Say About Strattera
"It does work. But, give it two or three weeks. You will feel weird at the beginning and a little nauseous. It goes away. I do feel like I concentrate better and focus longer. Be careful with caffeine! It makes caffeine much stronger and last longer." [Read full review]
"At 34, I started Ritalin. It had an up & down effect. At 46, I began Strattera. I hated it. Gained 35 lbs; anxiety soared; was fatigued & lethargic. My current dose is 60mg 2x/day. I never lost weight, but I feel normal. I don't limit caffeine intake. I drink tea, no coffee. Anxiety & depression are better w/Strattera." [Read full review]
"I was taking Concerta but had to go down from 54mg to 30mg because of side effects. With Concerta, I said everything that was on my mind, and I still could not concentrate enough as my mind was all over the place." [Read full review]
"Game changer for me. 60mg for ~3y. The not magic bullet, but without it, I couldn't be self-employed. I still lose days immobilized or where all I can do is a few emails but compared to weeks of incapacity without it." [Read full review]
13) Bottom Line – Does It Really Work?
Strattera (Atomoxetine) is a potent non-stimulant prescription drug that has been shown to help many people. However, based on your condition, Strattera may or may not be the right medicine for you. Be straightforward with your doctor when you talk about your current mental and physical health and your health history.
We strongly recommend taking Strattera precisely as directed by your doctor to treat your mental health problem. Regularly, medications for mental health conditions are part of an overall treatment plan that includes counseling and other therapies.
Talk with your doctor about how long it may take for Strattera to make a difference in how you feel. If it seems like the drug isn’t working, tell your physician. There may be other alternatives to treat your condition.