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Strattera (Atomoxetine HCI)

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Old 09-22-12, 02:55 PM
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Straterra Experience

Hey guys,
I've observed a lot of negative feedback on Eli Lilly's Straterra, not just at this forum, but from colleagues of mine who've taken the medication in the past. In fact, in the entire time I've known about Straterra, I've never heard of anyone benefiting from it enough to stay on it. And that upsets me a lot, because it's worked extremely well for me.
So, I felt an objective opinion is pertinent at this point.
I was diagnosed with ADHD Type PI (after the DSM IV's reclassification of Adult ADD) five years ago, when I was 25. The doctor was one of the "good ol' boy", country doctor types and didn't use TOVA testing, which was a popular diagnostic test even in adults at the time. Of course, most doctors now believe that TOVA results are almost entirely unreliable diagnostic indicators in adults.
Anyway, since then, I've tried many different flavors of prescription and OTC treatments for the ADHD. Adderall, Adderall XR (both generic and name-brand), vyvanse, wellbutrin, Dexetrin, Claritin 12-hour (the behind-the-counter-but-still-OTC-because-it's-used-to-cut-meth variety), ginko biloba, l-DOPA, combination l-DOPA/Condensed EGCG, combinartion l-Tyrosine/B-12, caffeine (don't ever try this as a treatment for ADHD - I suffered from prolongued tachycardia when I experimented with it). Eventually, I settled with Adderall IR ("mixed amphetamine salts") - and I say "settled with" because the benefits only very slightly outweighed the side effects and derivative side effects (that is, side-effects not explicitly related to the chemistry of the drug, such as social withdrawal).
I went through my Adderall phase until about 4 or months ago, when prolongued and deepening abuse of the medication finally convinced me to move away from narcotic medications.
Enter Straterra.
I actually tried it twice - the first time, a colleague of mine had an old presciption he was never able to finish due to nausea. It gave me nausea too, but I suffered through it and found the stuff to work, eventually. Unfortunately, I didn't have insurance at the time and couldn't afford a real prescription. So, only one month of Straterra the first time. But, it was a good month.
The second time, I finally had insurance and was no longer willing to put up with the side-effects of and addiction to adderall. 55 bucks after insurance made Straterra afforable for me and it's been incredibly effective since I started it the second time.
Now for the side-effects. When Itried Straterra the first time, I did have serious but acute nausea for about an hour starting about 30 minutes after I took it in the mornings. But, I didn't titrate onto it. When I observed Eli-Lilly's official titration protocol the second time I started Straterra (Something like 5 days @ 20mg, 5 days @ 40 mg, 5 days @ 60 mg, 15 days @ 80 mg), I didn't experience any nausea at all. I do get really nasty stomach acid for about an hour after I take it in the mornings if I do any kind of exercise, including brisk walking. But, if I take it an hour before I get out, that doesn't happen either.
But, I did experience extreme insomnia. Interestingly, although I couldn't sleep, I didn't really feel tired during the day. To remedy the insomnia, my psychiatrist prescribed trazodone, which I found to work very well, as long as I always take it at the same time every night.
Overall, the result of taking Straterra has been absolutely amazing. I can focus without hesitation or effort almost all the time. But, I'm not "compelled" to focus, like I was on aderall - staying on task or focusing is now a choice rather than an obsession. If I need to stop, I stop. I finally feel hunger again, so I don't have problems like malnutrition. I do get dehydrated, but I'm not so obsessed with what I'm doing that I forget to drink something. I even exercise more and interact socially.
I don't know any way of describing my experience other than: I feel normal. I feel like this is the way everybody else operates in their daily lives.
Well, there it is. I felt Straterra has earned some praise, at least for my experience. For anyone who's having trouble with any other medcation or wants to try a non-stimulant treatment for ADHD, I can't recommend strongly enough that you give Straterra a shot. It'll take about 2 weeks to feel the full effect - but, dammit, it's well worth the wait. And though I don't feel it's worth the 250 dollar price tag if you don't have insurance, if you can get it for around 60 like I do, it's worth the money.
Anyway, I just wanted to throw my story into the pile. I hope somebody finds it useful.

-- Allen
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Old 09-22-12, 03:04 PM
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Re: Straterra Experience

I can't read your wall-o-text post (please use line breaks between paragraphs)

but as far as Strattera experiences, my granddaughter did pretty well on a

combination of 80 mg Strattera and 5 mg Adderall XR last year in middle school.

She took a meds break over the summer and chose to go with just Adderall

this year as a high school freshman, at a higher dose than last year.

She had no bad side effects on Strattera, and it helped level out her moods.

It didn't do anything for her anxiety, the next thing to look into.
ADD is not a problem of knowing what to do; it is a problem of doing what you know.

As far as I know, there is nothing positive about ADHD that people can't have w out ADHD. ~ ADD me
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