This drug guide provides information on atomoxetine side-effects, how it works, how long it takes to work, important information you should know before taking atomoxetine, and managing side effects.
Understanding Atomoxetine (Strattera)
Atomoxetine is a drug prescribed to treat ADHD. It is in a class of medications called selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Atomoxetine affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.
Mechanism of Action
It is not fully understood how atomoxetine works to treat ADHD, but it is believed to increase the amount of norepinephrine in the brain. This helps improve attention and reduces impulsiveness and hyperactivity.
How Long Does It Take To Work
It may take several weeks for atomoxetine to work properly. Improvement in symptoms should be gradual.
Important Information About Atomoxetine
There are some important things to know before taking atomoxetine. It is a pregnancy category C drug. It means it may not be safe for pregnant women to take. Atomoxetine can also cause liver damage, so people with liver problems should not take this medication.
Things I Should Tell My Doctor Before Taking Atomoxetine
Before taking atomoxetine, you should tell your doctor if you:
- Have liver problems
- Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
- Are taking any other medications, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements
There is not a lot of research on the long-term effects of atomoxetine. However, it is generally thought to be safe and effective for treating ADHD when used as directed.
The most common side effects of atomoxetine are:
- Dry mouth
Some rare but serious side effects can occur while taking atomoxetine. These include:
- Suicidal thoughts or behavior
Risks for Taking Atomoxetine For Long Periods
There are some risks associated with taking atomoxetine for long periods. People who take this medication for long period may be at risk of developing a rare but serious condition called hepatotoxicity (liver damage). Additionally, there is a small risk that people may become addicted to atomoxetine.
Medications That May Interact With Atomoxetine
If you are taking any other medications, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, you should tell your doctor before taking atomoxetine. However, some medications that may interact with atomoxetine include:
- Centrally acting alpha-agonists (such as clonidine)
Alternatives To Atomoxetine
If you are not comfortable taking atomoxetine, or if it does not work well for you, there are several alternatives available.
- Some people may benefit from medications such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) or amphetamine (Adderall), which help treat ADHD.
- Others may find behavioral therapies helpful, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or behavioral therapy.
Managing Side-effects of Atomoxetine
If you experience any side effects while taking atomoxetine, there are several things you can do to manage them.
- Drinking plenty of water may help reduce dry mouth.
- You can try taking the medication with food or milk to help reduce nausea.
- If you experience headaches, you can try taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- You may also want to adjust your schedule so that you take atomoxetine earlier in the day, so it does not interfere with your sleep.
The information in this article is NOT intended to replace the advice of your doctor. You should always consult with your doctor before starting any new medication. Atomoxetine can have serious side effects and may not be right for everyone. Moreover, this article is to provide general information about atomoxetine and its potential side effects. It is not a complete list of all the possible side effects of this medication. If you experience any serious or bothersome side effects while taking atomoxetine, you should talk to your doctor.
Atomoxetine is a safe and effective medication for treating ADHD with some expectations. However, it may take several weeks for it to work properly, so be patient. Furthermore, several side effects can occur while taking atomoxetine. But they can usually be managed with some simple tips. Moreover, if you have any other questions or concerns, talk to your doctor.
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