View Full Version : My experience on Strattera so far


dyingbreed
01-22-14, 11:43 AM
Little background: I'm 31, female, and have ADHD-C. Was diagnosed about six years ago and have been on Adderall XR 10mg twice daily pretty much since then. Lately I've been noticing a marked decrease in my ability to focus, and there has been a slow but steady increase in my social anxiety and tendency towards being a hermit while I've been on the drug. My hyperactivity is still under control, and my general anxiety over absolutely nothing has improved steadily, but I'm getting more irritable and less sociable as time goes on.

Six days ago I went to my GP and asked to switch over to Strattera after doing a lot of online research. I'm fully prepared for the six to eight weeks of crappy, horrible side effects before it starts working properly, and my doctor said that if I'm overly tired during the day I can still take my Adderall on an as-needed basis.

I did five days on 25mg and noticed a bit of a head-change, though nothing serious. I'm just calmer. Taking it in the morning was making it tough to work, and the night I took it right before bed I was up all night, so at the moment I'm taking it with dinner (around 7pm) and that's working pretty well so far. I take it with either a protein shake or a peanut butter sandwich, and so far I haven't noticed any nausea, which is impressive because my stomach is cranky and super sensitive.

Last night was my first dose at 40mg, which is what my doctor wants me to stay at for at least a month because my body tends to react well to very low doses of medication (except for downers, which I need way more of than normal people, but I think that might be common-place for ADHDers). I have noticed some increased focus, but nothing super major. Not expecting too much until my levels have regulated and my body is used to this stuff, which from reading these forums I'm guessing will be at least another month or so.

Side effects I've been experiencing so far:
Restless sleep/trouble falling asleep (I'm an insomniac anyway, but it's slightly worse than normal)
Headaches in the morning
Body/joint aches
Fatigue
Sneezing and itchy eyes (I thought I might be having an allergic reaction, but I guess this is a side effect related to Strattera drying out mucus membranes)
Dry-mouth/constant thirst

Nothing so bad that I can't deal with it yet, though I did miss a couple days of work due to headaches and fatigue. I told my boss ahead of time that I was doing a medication switch and might be out for a few days if side effects were real bad, so that wasn't a big deal. I will come back and update as time goes on. Hopefully with a success story, because I'd love to get off the stimulants.

dyingbreed
01-23-14, 08:34 PM
Day 7: Spoke too soon on the lack of stomach issues. Spent all day feeling like I got kicked in the gut. And hard. Not really sure if this is a result of the medication, or if I had a mild case of food poisoning that just happened to coincide with raising my dose. Either way, day seven was hell.

Day 8: Woke up to an ice-pick headache. It's been hitting me off and on all day. I've gotten headaches my entire life, but the ice-pick variety are completely new. They suck. My side-effects seem to peak around the time I wake up, regardless of when I take my dose. As of right now (early evening) I just have a mild headache and low energy.

dyingbreed
01-25-14, 08:38 PM
Day 9: Felt pretty damn good today. Had energy and was able to focus on things. Enjoyed the day. Only real issue was this awful stiff neck that's been kicking up for the past few days. I've always had back and neck issues, but since starting on the Strattera I'm noticing that I have knots in the back of my neck almost every day. Not sure if that's normal...?

Day 10: Mentally feeling pretty good. Headache and neck pain both moderate, and pretty annoying today. Those stick-on heat patches help a lot with the neck pain, and Excedrin does a decent job on the headaches. If the neck issues keep up I might call my chiropractor, but since it hurts in different places every day I'm guessing this isn't just some crick or muscle tweak. Pretty sure it's something the Strattera is doing.

dyingbreed
01-27-14, 01:12 PM
Day 11 and 12: The good stuff is happening!!! Yay! Side effect wise, my neck still hurts pretty much all the time,and I'm really really hoping that passes soon. Today was the first day I haven't woken up with at least a mild headache since I started taking these things. My sleep schedule has been all over the place, but I've never had anything even close to a normal sleep schedule, so I don't want to blame that on Strattera. My energy is a little lower than usual, but that's not a bad thing. The worst of it really is the neck pain (other muscles and joints hurt as well, but mostly the neck). I have a scrip for Ultram that has been helping out a lot with the aches, but I don't want to be a daily Ultram user, so I've only been resorting to it when heat patches and toughing through it aren't doing the trick.

Anyway, onto the good! The past two days I've been able to complete tasks without feeling overwhelmed or buried or like everything was some huge chore. Normally at work I'll start on a project that involves going through 50 or 60 items, and by the time I get to the tenth one I'll start to feel panicked, like there are just so many more to go and I'm never going to be done (this happens even if I'm moving through them all really quickly) and I'll have to keep taking breaks because it feels so never-ending. Yesterday and today, I've just been starting a project, finishing it, and moving onto the next. When I was on Adderall I worked at break-neck speeds, but it was a weird anxious sort of quickness. Like I was drowning in work and hauling *** to keep my head above water (again, even when I was working plenty fast and didn't have much to do). This ability to calmly start and finish a project is completely new to me. I never had it before I was medicated, and I never had it on Adderall. I like it.

Another nice effect I'm noticing is that things that I usually dread doing and put off for way too long (like dishes and taking out the trash) are suddenly things I'm just doing because I see that they need to be done. It feels natural to rinse and load a plate as soon as I'm done using it. I know that sounds dumb and I know that for normal people that sort of thing is natural, but I've always had to wait for chores around the house to build up, then tackle them at that break-neck-feel-like-I'm-drowning speed until they're done. I've never EVER been someone who just puts things away where they go when I'm done with them. I leave stuff all over, and then when it's messy enough to bother me I clean it all at once. It's so much easier to just put things away as you go, but my brain just wouldn't stand for it. It would convince me that I could do it later, and make the very idea of simply walking over a putting a DVD back on the shelf feel like some epic, horrible chore.

So yeah, this is excellent. I'm not operating as quickly as I did on Adderall (or unmedicated) but I think I'm actually getting more done, because I'm not taking breaks every time I feel overwhelmed (as in every ten minutes). Hopefully this is just what Strattera does, because I could really get used to this being my new normal.

lavita_bella
01-28-14, 02:14 AM
Thanks for sharing! This is really encouraging to read, especially the 11 days it took for you to see some positive changes. I heard that it takes significantly longer than that, but you gave me hope :P

I'm staying on Adderall XR until I start to feel the effects of the Strattera, my psychiatrist permitted that because we were both apprehensive about my college work suffering as a result of the delayed response of the Strattera. Did you continue to take the Adderall a all during any time you were on Strattera?

Also, since it takes a while to metabolize in your system which is more common for anti-depressants (for example), do you feel the effects continuously? Or do you have a crash like you would on the Adderall? (I don't particularly like these crashes, but if I end up getting the same calming effects of the Strattera like you did I'll deal with them happily. lol).

Thanks again and I hope it continues to be working for you :]

dyingbreed
01-28-14, 11:13 AM
I had two days where I took my Adderall still, but I was fortunate in that my job was really understanding and let me take four days off to sleep and adjust and feel like crap all day, so I haven't needed them that much. I can still take them if I need, and tomorrow I have a twelve hour workday and imagine I'll resort to popping a 10mg XR around the nine hour mark.

I haven't noticed a significant crash effect, but I do get really tired about ten hours after I take my dose. I started supplementing with 500mg of Magnesium the other day, and it may have been coincidence, but the following day was when I started feeling a whole lot better. I highly recommend trying a magnesium supplement while you're on Strattera.

How far into your titration process are you?

WillURepeatThat
01-29-14, 01:19 AM
Up until this week, I've been taking Adderall XR 30mg once a day for nearly a year-ish. Had my ups and downs with it and lately I've decided the downs are a little too much for me, so made an appointment and asked for something different.
My doctor seemed pleased to give me a starter pack of this Strattera. He explained some things but most of my understanding about it I've gotten from the internet (so I KNOW i can trust it :D). Anyway, stumbled onto this thread during my search and couldn't help registering for the forum since it just so happens we've both started this new drug arounnd the same time!
Forewarning, I'm feeling veryy addish right now, and can see myself having trouble getting my thoughts out the way I want, so apologies for that.

Anyway, wondering how your titration is structured? The pack he gave me has 5 25mg, 5 40, 5 60, and 15 80 mgs... Seems he thinks that 80s is my target dose (probably from the 30 mg adderall I was prescribed from my former psych and the fact that I weigh significantly more than youre avg 12 yr old this stuff was probably made for).
Oh.. just began the pack yesterday, and both days I've gone ahead and taken my 30 XR's, if only because I'm a little worried about how I'll act without them atm.
Though.. I was considering calling the doc and asking for a temp prescription of a smaller dose, or IR, to kind of "step me off" the 30 XRs. I just would prefer to avoid side effects from stopping cold turkey. I'm not irritable by nature, but my job is mildly stressful, combined with not smoking cigarettes since new years, combined with a new relationship, combined with a listed side effect of these stratteras being agitation, I just don't want to end up making myself feeling horrible and blaming the strattera before I get a chance to really see if it can work for me. Im not sure..
Oh, back to the point, the only side effects I've definitely noticed so far is (I think) the goosebumps I've been getting at the slightest empathic emotional stimulus (weird as hell); and second, waking up today with a blistering headache that lasted about 15 - 30 minutes.

Anyway, thats just my input on how its going, I'll try to update this post with my experience as I go along like you. Actually, when I got on, this is exactly the sort of thing I was looking for! So thank you, and I look forward to hearing more about your experience, and again I'm sorry for maybe being a bit of a jumble in this post, hopefully I'll be able to write something a little more clear soon :/.

dyingbreed
01-29-14, 09:28 AM
If there's one place you should never have to apologize for rambling or jumbling up your posts, it's here's in the ADD forums ;)

There's definitely a lot less info on Strattera available than most of the other ADD drugs, so I think all of us contributing our stories is important. I heard so much negative stuff about it, but most of that was from people who quit before they'd been on their target dose for the full 8 weeks. Please do keep checking in and posting your updates. Some of the side effects from this stuff are just plain weird, and it's great to find information on them on the boards.

Oh, and I am now on day 14, and woke up feeling really good this morning. No headache (finally, yay!) and less groggy than I would normally be this early in the day. I'm staying on 40mg for at least a month, and only going up to 60mg if me and my doctor both agree that I need to raise my dose. Magnesium supplements help, and so does making sure I eat a decent breakfast.

Good luck with you new meds! I'm staying off my Adderall as much as possible because I want a clear idea of how Strattera affects me on its own, but my doc said it's definitely okay to take it if I need it.

dyingbreed
01-30-14, 10:43 AM
**Day 15** I'm being social, y'all. Like, on my way upstairs after grabbing coffee I told a coworker that the color she was wearing looked good on her. I know that's nothing to most people, but I have weird social anxiety, especially about paying compliments to people. I don't small talk (I HATE small talk) and I only banter with friends I'm really comfortable with. For the past 24 hours or so I've felt totally comfortable chatting with the people around me though. I like it. It feels like how I imagine normal people feel all the time, but it's weird for me to not feel like my heart's going to beat out of my chest for five minutes after having a simple exchange of pleasantries with a coworker.

WillURepeatThat
01-31-14, 02:21 AM
Just btw, figured I should mention, I'm 23 years old, male, 6'1 200 ish lbs
Anyway, it's been going okay so far. Tomorrow, I'll take day 5 of the 25 mg. Like you said dyingbreed, don't feel much accept a sort of calming effect, which I did notice the first couple days (almost could be described as foggy). Yesterday and Today, I only took half my dose of the adderall ( I know its a little unorthodox, but I just ate about half the stuff in the pills, much easier than having to go through everything I'd need to to get it from the doc, and yea, i understand with time release its hard to halve a dose like that and expect it to be perfect), and I plan on doing the same tomorrow, but stopping the adderall completely when I move on to the 40 mg strattera capsules, so I can hopefully start to really judge how its effecting me.

The side effects have worn off alot (for now, as far as I can tell). Still a bit of a headache when waking, but hasn't been as bad as the first day at all. And no other symptoms as far as I can tell.

So, as of day 4. So far so good :), but I'm looking forward to seeing how the next stage affects my ability to focus, without the stimulant, (outlook good).

And thats awesome about your reduced anxiety! Let us know if that keeps up, there's no reason anyone should have to feel nervous to complement a coworker! (unless its a crush too lol) But i totally get where you're coming from...

WillURepeatThat
01-31-14, 02:25 AM
Crap, I was also going ot mention I've been taking them with breakfast, which, since I started strattera, has been a hard boiled egg, greek yogurt, and protein shake. So for all I know the breakfast alone is part of what's been making me feeling better, or reducing side effects, but either way I'm happy.

aarondev
02-01-14, 06:47 AM
Day 7: Spoke too soon on the lack of stomach issues. Spent all day feeling like I got kicked in the gut. And hard. Not really sure if this is a result of the medication, or if I had a mild case of food poisoning that just happened to coincide with raising my dose. Either way, day seven was hell.



You need to eat when you take this. Even if its before bed - try and take it 1-2 hrs before. I would always feel so awful if I had Strattera on an empty stomach. In addition, it will be more effective if a) you have it with protein and b) you eat more regularly.

Be aware, too, that Caffeine undermines the effectiveness of the drug. So that tiredness you referenced in another post may abate with this stimulant, but the positive effects of Strattera will be hampered in turn.

dyingbreed
02-02-14, 03:17 AM
So there haven't been too many changes over the past couple days. I find conversation to be much more fluid, and I've always had a heck of a time with that sort of thing. I seriously would have my body go into full-tilt panic mode if I wanted to tell someone I liked their new haircut. I can remember being that way when I was a kid too (no crush required, though that certainly makes it worse). My house is much cleaner than it's ever been. On Adderall I had a lot more areas of my house that were really really clean, but surrounded by a bunch of other messes. The panicky, "I'll never get this done, this task is insurmountable, I should just give up" thoughts are starting to feel like a things of the past, and it's amazing.

My memory seems a little less than stellar. Nothing terrible, and I certainly wouldn't be surprised if that side effect goes away once my medication levels stabilize. Even if it doesn't, it's not bad enough to outweigh any of the good effects. I'm still suffering from knots in my neck and back, but they're not as intense as they were before. Oh, and I'm having super vivid dreams. Not a bad thing at all, but definitely something the Strattera is causing.

I mentioned it previously, but taking a dose of magnesium with dinner (I take my Strattera with breakfast) seems to be doing worlds of good when it comes to combating symptoms. Overall, I'm pretty stoked on this drug, and I'm really hoping it will be the right one for me.

P.S. I took two Ultram today due to the neckaches, so if my post is rambly, misspelled, or full of run-on sentences, I blame the drugs. ;)

dyingbreed
02-03-14, 10:10 AM
Day 19: I think I'm pretty well regulated on this stuff already. Most of the side effects are gone or drastically faded. I'm still getting some muscle aches, especially in the neck region, but lately it's been more of a difficulty in find a comfortable way to lay down when I go to sleep. Previously it was intense, horrible knots that made me want to not move my head at all. The headaches are gone. The insomnia (which, again, I've always had) is pretty bad right now, but that's about it.

The positive effects have been an increase in focus and motivation, and a decrease in anxiety. I'm going to ask my doctor about bumping me up to 60mg from 40mg, because I feel like a slightly increased dose may help.