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Strattera (Atomoxetine HCI)

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Old 04-25-04, 03:57 AM
DB1975 DB1975 is offline
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Anyone else have emotional changes with Strattera?

Hello,

I am new to this group and actually have never been on a group before. I am 28 years old and teach vocal music. After months of research last year, I finally saw a dr. and was diagnosed with Adult ADHD.

I started on Concerta and noticed a night and day difference immediately. Since I always take on too many work-related projects, I asked if I could try a higher dosage. So, for about a month I was on the max. Concerta dose of two 54 mg. tablets a day. Focus level was great but seemed so elevated that I felt overly anxious. Also, I had a significant increase in blood pressure.

So, I asked to try Strattera. The Doctor put me back on the slightly lower dose (two 36 mg. tablets per day) and combined it with Strattera (two 40 mg. tablets, which I take in the morning with the concerta). That was about four months ago. Since that time I have notices changes for the worse in my emotional responses to things. I have also noticed more severe mood swings.

For example, I am extremely passionate about directing vocal music, but since the strattera, a great rehearsal with my kids just did not produce that "woo hoo" feeling I used to get. I mean, I was calm as calm could be, so things that frustrated me before Concerta or Strattera did not frustrate me easily anymore. But, I have felt a lot of emotional "blankness" and I really started to notice it after a few weeks of taking both drugs together. I also noticed myself being short and grumpy with my wife when it was completely uncalled for on my part.

Can anyone else relate to this? What course of action did you take? My thought is to either a) Go back to just the slightly lower dose of concerta. b) Lower the strattera dose or cut it in half, or c) I know nothing about this--but what about taking the strattera at night and the Concerta in the morning?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you SO much!

DB1975
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Old 04-26-04, 06:58 PM
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Establishing the correct/most effective medication for ADHD is very much a trial and error process for both doseage and for the combination that works best. Of course your Dr will give you guidelines, but they are just a starting point. Focus and attention, for example, are often greatly improved at low to moderate doses of stimulants. At higher doses, the stimulant will actually hurt your attention and focus. But what consistutes the best dose - exactly - is different for different people. A "medium" dose is around .5mg/kg/day (your weight in kg's) for methylphenidate (the drug in Concerta), with the maximum recommended dose being 1mg/kg/day. The targeted doseage for Strattera is 1.2mg/kg/day.
It's hard to say which drug is effecting your moods, since both can do that.
You may find that as the Concerta wears off you may "crash" of feel down - this rebound is one thing people often complain about. I find I can be a bit irritable at this time, but it's not too bad for me.
Strattera works in a similar way to a lot of antidepressants, so it too will effect your mood - I suspect that it's the Strattera that's surpressing/calming the "Woohoo" feeling, but it could also be the Concerta - stimulants will calm down us ADHDers.
You might want to consider just taking one or the other drug and try to figure out if it's working for you and what the best dose is before adding anything else. Especially if it's just the ADHD symptoms you are trying to treat and not something else as well - like drepression or anxiety. That way you will get a better idea of what that particular drug is doing for you before you add another to the mix.
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Old 06-16-04, 03:29 PM
egnater egnater is offline
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GABA is a transmitter that counteracts norepinepherine which you are enhancing with straterra. Drugs that enhance GABA are called anti-convulsants but are also used for mood stablization, Depression, anxiety, and ADD. I take Neurontin because it is the cleanest of all It basicly has no side effects, well just a little relaxation, but its very socialbilizing. You may of felt the effects of a GABA releaser if you have ever been drunk since booze is a GABA releaser as well as a serotonin releaser. But keep in mind, booze has far more side effects than anti convulsants
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Old 08-04-04, 12:58 PM
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Hello, my name is Jim. I'm new here as of Aug. 4, 2004.

I've been taking ADD meds for about a year. First Adderal then Concerta now Straterra. Starterra has been the best focus drug yet without the irritability of the stimulants in the other two. My anxiety, however, has been building to an all time high while my motivation has hit an all time low. Years back, while starting a family, my ADD lead to self medicating with alcohol to the extent of "Alcoholic Tendencies". I'm done drinking now (1.8 years) but still dealing with the anxiety and a serious lack of motivation. AA helps just a little. I've been on Paxil and Zoloft with no change. I used to drink just to get motivated to finish a task. Booze would unblock whatever it was that was preventing me from motivating. As asinine as it sounds I could drive more confidently with a couple of drinks in me. MADD would'nt understand. I'm currently in therapy with an ADD focused MD/PhD. He hasn't mentioned the drug Neurontin or anything about GABA releasers. Is this in the same family as Depakote? He claims that the anti-convulsants have many side-effects such as hair loss, etc. Any more info on the matter would be appreciated.
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Old 08-07-04, 06:04 PM
egnater egnater is offline
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Nuerontin is in the same class a depakote, but neurontin is different. I tried depakote and it was kinda disgusting. Neurontin is way clean and first choice in its class for a starter. I have had not one side effect except a strong relaxation which was nice. Not many doctors are familiar with administering this drug except nuerologists. If you had trouble with straterra my condolences go out to you and Gaba (norepinepherine's counteractive) may be key to your condition; especially if a SSRI has not helped.

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Old 11-13-04, 06:30 AM
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Egnater,

Your post concerns me because I am taking Straterra now as my first attempt to improve my ADD symptoms. I have recently had my dosage increase from 80mg to 100mg. I have been disussing that in another thread. I actually tried 120mg for a couple days and it seemed to work great. I was focused and calm at home those two evenings. It was a welcome change. Finally, I heard back from my doctor and today was my first day taking 100mg.

I have read others accounts of Strattera being great for focus but poor for motivation. This is not a good thing for my job. I have more than I can handle and my entire job is not in the least ADD friendly. Since learning of my ADD I have made changes and even started saying "no" to some requests. I also started Strattera and all together things have improved. The problem is I have to change tasks often, and many of my distractions are unavoidable.

Now that I think about it, I do think I am getting more anxious. I also have found myself ready to go home at the first opportunity where before I had to force myself to stop working. I guess I will just have to wait and see, but I wonder if stimulants, in general, provide a better-rounded solution.

James
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Old 07-31-06, 02:03 AM
Captain Ron Captain Ron is offline
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I have posted a similar thread in this group and will add that I stopped taking Strattera due to the problems outlined in the post. I felt unmotivated and emotionally detached. I've been off everything for about 2 months now and just today I noticed I felt truly happy around my kids again. I had energy to plow through some housework, too. I love having the energy back. Strattera taught me how to see my thoughts before acting or speaking on them...if that makes sense. So now I'm a bit more appropriate. I am considering Adderal, but am nervous about addiction. We'll see. Strattera was a miracle for about a year, then I started feeling the depression, energy-draining, emotionless, directionless, unmotivated, yet anxious feeling you all have described. Now I'm battling some memory loss, too, and I'm suspicious of Strattera. We'll see.

Good luck.
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Old 07-31-06, 10:01 AM
addinjapan addinjapan is offline
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Smile Strattera scrambled my already somewhat scrambled brain

hi DB,

I just got done with a Strattera trial (one month - 75mg), and I can relate to your case. For the past month after starting Strattera, I felt totally blah, unmotivated.
I wouldnt say I was depressed, but I wasnt feeling happy at any point either. However - on two occasions during that month, I suffered two of what I can only describe as panic attacks or maybe sudden depressions that scared the ---- out of me. Both were simple,simple disagreements with family members that sent me through the floor, resulting in tears (from me - for the first time in as long as I can remember) and a terrible feeling of hopelessness. I am typically a very happy extroverted kind of guy who rarely gets down about anything, so in my mind this was clearly Strattera related on both occasions. Of course, like so many other doctors/psych's, mine told me that it 'couldnt possibly be Strattera, because its like the new wonder drug and its sooo cool' and I probably needed some depression medication instead. (this might be why I'm now in the market for a new psych

Anyway, to those for whom strattera works, I am truly joyous. unfortunately all it did for me was deaden my emotions and even send them to the depths a few times.

good luck with your treatment DB, we're all in this together.
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Old 07-31-06, 10:17 AM
addinjapan addinjapan is offline
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Strattera didnt help me a whole lot!

hi DB,

I just got done with a Strattera trial (one month - 75mg), and I can relate to your case. For the past month after starting Strattera, I felt totally blah, unmotivated.
I wouldnt say I was depressed, but I wasnt feeling happy at any point either. However - on two occasions during that month, I suffered two of what I can only describe as panic attacks or maybe sudden depressions that scared the ---- out of me. Both were simple,simple disagreements with family members that sent me through the floor, resulting in tears (from me - for the first time in as long as I can remember) and a terrible feeling of hopelessness. I am typically a very happy extroverted kind of guy who rarely gets down about anything, so in my mind this was clearly Strattera related on both occasions. Of course, like so many other doctors/psych's, mine told me that it 'couldnt possibly be Strattera, because its like the new wonder drug and its sooo cool' and I probably needed some depression medication instead. (this might be why I'm now in the market for a new psych

Anyway, to those for whom strattera works, I am truly joyous. unfortunately all it did for me was deaden my emotions and even send them to the depths a few times.

good luck with your treatment DB, we're all in this together.
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Old 05-13-07, 07:07 AM
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yes. i have a decent thread where we discussed this on this forum. not sure how you can find it--maybe search by my user name...? anyway, i started to go zombie and detached, too, after about 1 1/2 years of strattera at 80mg. i totally plateau-d and lost any sense of joy in life for kids, soccer, etc. i bailed and went over to adderall. only been on it for two days now, but it rocks. i'm really happy with my concentration, lust for life, and accomplishments instead of procrastinations. good luck!
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Old 05-13-07, 12:28 PM
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I am also more emotionally flat on stimulants.

However, that said, Prozac made me an extrovert, after years of serious shyness and inhibition.

"Listening to Prozac" describes all this "personality" and "emotion" stuff well.
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Old 05-25-07, 06:01 PM
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This is what the side effects were for my husband on Strattera................


My husband started taking Straterra on the 24th of April, and here I sit alone and in the process of a divorce........

One day he was fine.

The next a raging maniac that couldn't see the negative side effects this medication was doing to him.

On the 7th of May he moved out for good after a week of arguing. He was totally negative, angry, anxious and all he could say was it was me.

I have been there for him while he has been on and off meds, anti-depressants, etc. The doctor took him off Zoloft which worked very well for him the day he was put on Straterra. I believe this drug truly caused my marriage to come to an end.

He doesn't seem to care. It's as if he has had all his emotions other than anger blocked off from these meds and there was no reasoning with him. One day he is up and rev'd up angry, the next he wants to reconcile ONLY IF I CAN BE THE ONE to change!

I can't take these ups and downs anymore and he was the one that wanted out, moved out, and said hurry up and get this divorce going........I just can't believe how my life was ruined in a matter of days of him taking the meds.

UNREAL. I feel like I have been living in a total nightmare. I love him dearly, miss him terribly, but can't take the fact that he BLAMES ME when the changes occured AFTER he went off the Zoloft and onto this awful medication!
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Old 09-04-15, 03:39 AM
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Re: Anyone else have emotional changes with Strattera?

Am I wrong, I thought Stratterra (or any other serotonin boosting medication) could induce mania for bipolar people? Bipolar disorder is supposed to be really common with ADHD.
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