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Strattera (Atomoxetine HCI)

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Old 04-29-05, 05:25 PM
barbie5716 barbie5716 is offline

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My doc is a cheerleader for Strattera...

I am going on my fourth week of this so-called miracle drug, Strattera, and I don't think it has done anything for me.

I was diagnosed with ADD as a child and took Ritalin for years. When I went to college I switched to Adderral which did wonders for me. After I graduated I stopped taking meds for my ADD because I didn't think that I would need them anymore, boy was I wrong. The first few months were OK but then I noticed that I was back to my old ways; no motivation, unable to do mundane tasks, feeling worthless due to lack of accomplishment, etc. I moved to a different state so I had to get a new doctor, one who I found on an AdultADD website. I explained my history and he immediately suggested that I try Strattera. I took 25mg for 4 days and I have been taking 40mg since then. My doctor went on and on and on about how wonderful Strattera was and how he didn't want to prescribe me any Adderral because Strattera was so much better. He said that if the 40mg didn't help he would up my dosage to 60 mg.

For the past month I have been a zombie. I have no energy, I feel tired and lethargic all day long, I have no emotions and I have seen no improvements in my ADD. I am also easily irritated. I don't feel like myself at all and I do not like feeling this way. My follow-up is next Wednesday but I am afraid that if I tell my doctor that I am unhappy and that I have seen no improvements he is just going to up my dosage. I don't think that I can take much more of this. I would almost rather be untreated than to feel this way. My doctor was raving about this medicine like it was the best thing since penecillin. He said that he only had two patients who discontinued use and it was due to severe nausea. I even started taking my prescription at night but I am still exhausted all day long. Do Dr's get kick-backs for prescribing this stuff? That is the only thing that I can think of that would cause him to be such a "Strattera Crusader". From reading this forum and a few others I have run across very few people who have said that Strattera actually worked for them. Maybe it is because the people who have success are actually out accomplishing things instead of scouring the Internet for explainations!

I guess that all I can do is be honest with the Doctor and ask him to let me go back to Adderral because it worked a lot better than Strattera. If he won't listen to me maybe I should find a new doctor. It is so hard to move away from the same Doctor you have had all of your life and start seeing someone new who has no record of your medical history. My doctor retired and I cannot find my medical reocrds anywhere. I have already invested a month into Strattera and I am to the point of pure frustration because I really want to be normal again.

I am so confused about what to do! I hope that someone has some advice. I can't take feeling so down all the time and if I don't get my ADD under control I will probably lose my job soon. This whole thing seems so hopeless.

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Old 04-29-05, 05:38 PM
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scuro scuro is offline
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One drug does not work for everyone. Your Dr. is wrong.
"Time's glory is to calm kings, to unmask falsehood, and bring truth to light". - William Shakespeare
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Old 04-29-05, 07:07 PM
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If it is to the point where you're fearing you'll lose your job, you probably have to do something drastic, such as find another doc.

Doctors are, fortunately and unfortunately, human, too. This particular doctor might really have had overwhelmingly positive experiences prescribing Strattera to his patients. (BTW, I am one of those for whom it worked very well, in combination with Wellbutrin.) He's not getting any kickbacks for prescribing it, I'm sure.

If you have an appointment scheduled with this doc soon, I'd go in and, as firmly as possible, tell him it isn't working, you feel like a zombie, and you might lose your job soon if you don't get ADD under control. Even if you do have another appointment with this guy somewhat soon, I'd still go looking for a new doc.
Scary thought of the day: 50% of people are dumber than average.

Just tell your doctor what's going on. That's what they're there for, and I'm sure they've heard it all, your not alone in what's going on. -- jazzper
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Old 07-31-06, 02:14 AM
Captain Ron Captain Ron is offline
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I experienced the same thing on Strattera. I posted a similar thread in this forum. Succinctly, I experienced wonders for the first year, then moved into what you're talking about. I want to try Adderral next. I'm on nothing now, which is better than Strattera. Your doc should want what's best for you. Remember, you're in control of the appt, not the doc. The doc is there to help you. I think some docs might actually get something out of prescribing one thing or another...speaking from someone who has sold meds...

Remember, you are in control of your life and treatment. Be firm with the doc and tell him/her you're going to quit the med and why. Tell him you did well on the Adderral and you want to try that again. Good luck!

Captain Ron:soapbox:
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Old 07-31-06, 10:03 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

How long have you been taking Strattera? It usually takes about 2 to 3 months at the target dosage to notice positive results. Target dose is usually based on weight, but not limited to weight if you are a fast metabolizer.

I take my dose at 8am (50mg) and then another at 2pm (25mg). If I don't take the PM dose I do get sleepy. It took me over a year to find the correct dosage and schedule.

Take a look at some of the 'sticky' threads. They may help you understand that Strattera is a different med than the traditional stims.

Thanks for posting.

- "Tim's incessant talking is wearing on all of us." (comment on 4th grade report card)

Cocktail : Adderall XR (10mg AM), Lexapro (10mg), Strattera (40mg AM/40mg PM)

Last edited by timh; 07-31-06 at 11:18 AM..
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Old 07-31-06, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by barbie5716
Do Dr's get kick-backs for prescribing this stuff?
Unfortunately yes.

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
~ Dr. Seuss

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Old 07-31-06, 10:31 AM
addinjapan addinjapan is offline

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hi barbie, i just posted something similar elsewhere in the strattera forum, but wanted to reply to your post also, as I too experienced pretty much the same from taking Strattera. My doc praised it to no end (I think they love it because its not a stimulant and is uncontrolled). It had no positive effects for me, only negative.
My emotions went on holiday for a month and left me generally zombified, and finished up with a threat to my liver in the form of an all-over body itch - so I had to stop immediately. I didnt get my liver checked yet though, but I think I probably will, just to be sure.

Our range of meds for ADD is very limited here in Japan, and if I were back in the States again I'm sure I'd probably have a better doctor and more options. Here the only thing thats approved is the really old short-term (4 hour) Ritalin, so I have to take 20mg, 3 times a day just to maintain some organization. Hopefully soon these guys will let Ritalin SR in, and I might have a few more options then. But I'm definitely done with Strattera - nightmare experience.
I think doctors need to recognise what all us ADD folks recognise - Strattera like Ritalin,Concerta,Adderall etc is an ADD drug that works for some and not for others. I dont think that there's any one ADD drug out there that works for everyone - and they need to stop singing and dancing about it.
best of luck with your ongoing treatment
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Old 08-14-06, 10:44 AM
nature nature is offline
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Don't know if it makes sense to share my specifics in a long post but wanted to say I really empathize based on my current experiences with my ADHD specialist and that a lot of the things said by others here have been useful to me in similar situations.

Good luck!
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Old 08-14-06, 10:49 AM
mguffey31 mguffey31 is offline

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Lars is absolutely right! And very nice kickbacks some of them are! Not necessarily money but may come in forms of trips to Europe/Hawaii etc.. based on # of scripts/loyalty. Find a new doc.
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