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Strattera (Atomoxetine HCI)

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Old 09-08-04, 10:11 PM
CryForHelp CryForHelp is offline
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Has Straterra REALLY worked out for anyone? Can you give feedback?

I'm really interested to know if Straterra has been a good switch for anyone. My 9 yr old just started it and I havent seem to have found very many people who've taken it and had great results from it. It definately doesnt seem those who've taken Straterra have had as many posotives to say as those on Adderall or Ritalin. I thought maybe here someone could tell me more.
THANKS!!!
Jake's mom
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Old 09-10-04, 03:29 AM
Confused Parent Confused Parent is offline
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When my 8yo daughter first started taking Strattera 25mg (her first ADHD med), she became extremely moody and defiant. She also had some stomach aches, and said she didn't feel great. We started her in late June, and were ready to take her off and try something else by the end of July. However, after reading some posts here that says the side effects would pass, we kept her on it. Now I am happy to say that she is back to her old normal self, in terms of moods, but has been greatly helped by the drug in terms of focus and social improvement. She is happily making friends and completing tasks like never before. We switched her to morning doses, and as long as she has some breakfast, she doesn't have GI problems. We are concerned as well about the lasting effects of the drug, as well as the side effects coming back, but so far so good.
Best of luck!
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Old 09-10-04, 05:04 AM
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Had my eleven yr old son on it for 5 weeks, cured the hyperactivity but doubled his agression/depression and tearfulness, back on cipramil and he is happier but very hyper again. Unfortunately we can't give him stimulants as it stops him eating, so back to the drawing board for us.
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Old 09-10-04, 08:39 AM
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My first six weeks or so on Strattera were difficult. I don't know what a child goes through during that time, but I felt awful for awhile. I was very agitated at times, particularly six to eight hours after each dose. I had bad abdominal pain and got very tired - the tiredness is more common in teens and adults, but when the doctor switched me to Concerta the pain got worse, so I went back to the Strattera - I'm glad I did now. The Strattera calms me now and I have no more pain. I can focus and get more done than ever before. If you can stand it, it may be worth it to hang in there for awhile. Everybody's different so there's no guarantee, but I just wanted to let you know there's hope.
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Old 09-10-04, 03:25 PM
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Strattera does help many people, but judging from the percentage of people it helps, it's not as effective as stimulants. My own opinion, based on what I've heard people say, is that Strattera is not quite as effective at relieving symptoms either - on average, of course - there are some people for whom Stattera works very well!
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Old 09-10-04, 04:12 PM
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I have to say I have felt better takeing the stratara. My doctor started me on a very low dose. I have been takeing it for a month now. I am currently on 40 mg a day and I am going to 50. The low dose didn't seem to do much I didn't eat much but I guess that may have been a side effect. I did notice even on the low dose I slep much better, I wasn't as easially aggitated, but my memory is still onthe need improvement list. I did notice when it wore off that I got highly aggrivated, and aggitated. and after I took my medication it takes a few hours to get back to feeling normal again. I haven't been late to work since takeing the medication. The doctor yesterday also split my dose. 25mg in the morning and 25mg in the afternoon so I don't get the up and dow feeling. he said strattara is diffrent from ritilian because it isn't a stimulant. It has to gradually build up in your system. and when you get the right dosage at the right times you should feel normal all the time. at least that is what my doctor said. so far i feel better then I ever have.
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Old 09-10-04, 05:43 PM
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Drugs like Strattera reach a "steady state" after you take them for a while. Drugs have a "half life" in your body - meaning that after a certain period of time, the concentration in your blood stream will be half of what it was initially (there's a different 1/2 life for each drug, and often different 1/2 lives for different metabolites of the drug, if there is more than one!). After taking the drug for a while, there will be a certain level in your blood stream all the time - the level will go up when you take your pill, but as long as you take the same dose every day, the level won't drop below the "steady state" level - this is what your Doctor was talking about.
Stimulants don't really have much of a steady state because they're half life is very short - from 2 to 4 hours for methyphenidate (ritalin) and around 6 to 8 hours for amphetamines (Adderall, Dexedrine). Strattera has a "double" half life (there are two active metabolites, I believe) but the average half life will be something like 12 or 13 hours.
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Old 09-10-04, 10:50 PM
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So Gregster....what you are saying is that Strattera works just as well as Adderall or Ritalin as long as you take it as prescribed for a period of time. Then it will have the same affect as the other stimulants as long as you take it as prescribed. You won't have to raise it, if your doctor finds the right dose, as in the other stimulants if you take it for long periods of time? I studied pharmacuticals 4 years ago but I forgot most of it!!
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Old 09-11-04, 03:07 AM
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No, I don't think that, on average, Strattera works as well as stimulants, but I'm sure that in some people it works as well or better. It takes longer to become effective - anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, whereas stimulants, if they work for you, work right away.
Strattera doesn't work in the same way as stimulants - it's a reuptake inhibitor, while stimulants primarily increase the release of neurotransmitters, and it doesn't have the significant effect on dopamine that stimulants do (strattera works on noradrenaline and serotonin, mostly). The effective dosage may well change will time, probably far more than for stimulants, which don't really lose effectiveness long term (in the majority of people anyway).
I have even heard that Strattera can be a bit "spotty" in it's performance - working well one week and not so well the next - but I would think this type of problem would be fairly rare.
Given the info I've read and the stories I've heard, In my opinion anyway (and I am NOT medically trained or educated) Strattera isn't the first drug I would try for ADHD - but since it is not a controlled drug, is easy to prescribe (the FDA won't hassle your Doctor about giving out too many scrips for Strattera, but they sure will for Adderall!), and has no abuse potential, it seems to be a popular first choice drug for Doctors to try. I think parents are also more accepting of it due to the "stigma" attached to stimulants - most of which stems from crap like ignorant press reports and web sites using scare tactics.
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