Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional. Brands and generics both contain the same active ingredient(s) and are medically equivalent. Some brands are marketed under different names by the same manufacturing country depending on the country of origin.
Atomoxet (atomoxetine) is an SNRI used to help patients age 6 and up who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder stay calm and focused.
The medication helps patients in a number of ways. Patients who take Atomoxet can expect to see:
The medication in Atomoxet is a Selective Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor (SNRI). Unlike the more widely-recognized ADHD treatments, such as Ritalin or Adderall, SNRIs are not stimulants, not addictive, and do not produce withdrawal symptoms when treatment stops. Other advantages include:
Note that, while stimulants like Adderall are also used for narcolepsy, non-stimulant ADHD treatments like Atomoxet are not beneficial for this condition.
Dosage & Administration
Atomoxet comes in tablets, typically taken once or twice per day according to personal preference. If a large daily dose causes side effects, dividing into two smaller dose may help.
Food is optional but may help ease gastrointestinal side effects, if experienced.
Dosage varies according to patient age and weight, and other medical factors---such as other medical conditions or other medications being taken---may also influence dosage. In otherwise healthy adults:
It takes about 4 to 6 weeks for significant benefit to be seen, though many patients notice smaller improvements sooner. During the first few weeks of treatment regular doctor checkups are advisable---particularly for younger patients---to ensure Atomoxet is working as intended and to monitor for developing side effects.
Treatment may continue for as long as it provides benefit. Treatment can end abruptly with no concern for withdrawal effects.
Atomoxet can cause potentially dangerous reactions in individuals with certain other medical conditions; it should not be used without explicit doctor instruction if there is any history of:
In most cases side effects are mild and may stop occurring as the body adjusts to the first few weeks of treatment. Most commonly reported are:
The above side effects are not cause for concern unless severe enough to be disruptive.
Atomoxet may interact with other medications, particularly MAOI medications (used to treat depression and some other mental disorders), albuterol (for asthma or COPD), some high blood pressure medications, and some decongestants. Always double-check with a doctor or pharmacist before taking other medications with Atomoxet.
A small percentage of patients under age 25 may find Atomoxet increases suicidal, self-harm, or aggressive thoughts and inclinations. These symptoms usually develop in the first few weeks of treatment, if they develop at all. Younger patients---especially if there is any history of depression---should be monitored closely at the start of treatment.