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Strattera (Atomoxetine HCI)

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  #1  
Old 06-13-11, 10:15 AM
mishella mishella is offline
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Experience with nausea/tiredness & trying to quell these side effects?

A few details:
Female, 18
140 pounds with a ratio of muscle:fat of probably 5:1, so I'm mostly muscle - I only add this in case that might effect anything I can do in terms of stopping these effects (sad face sad face sad face )
I eat mostly non processed food, and mostly meat/veggies - occasionally some starches, but only whole-weat, etc

So I started taking 18mg strattera on May 24, and took that every morning with a whole bunch of supplements (e.g. vitamins, cod liver oil, flaxseed, etc) and had no side effects - no dry mouth, no tiredness, no nausea, no appetite loss - but also had no "benefits" ... like, you know, being able to focus better (and I was taking the lowest dose and for only two weeks, so to be expected). Then last Wedneday, my psych upped my dosage to 25mg. I took my 18mg pill in the morning, and then around 2pm took my first 25mg, and I felt fine all day.

Thursday morning I took the 25mg pill alone for the first time, with the supplements, with breakfast, and about 2 hours later I was overcome with a nauseous feeling - actually, it wasn't necessarily nausea. My stomach hurt, but not in an "I feel like vomiting" way. But my stomach hurting made my head hurt, and it felt like I had a hangover in my head, which was what made me actually feel like puking. After about 45 minutes of just sitting on the couch waiting for the sick feeling to go away, I got absolutely mentally exhausted, like I had been up until 4am and woken up at 7am. I lied down on the couch and fell into a half-awake state of illness - unable to sleep because of how ill I felt, but unable to keep my eyes open. (To be honest, the stomach pain/headache aren't THAT bad, but I'm pretty much incapacitated once I start to feel ill in any way. Meh.)
Anyway, the next day I took my pill at about 9am and two hours later it was even worse than the day before - I actually felt like vomiting even without the headache. I fell back in to the half-awake slumber from about 11am until 2pm, when my mom made me get up. The stomach ache was gone, but I was still tired. I drank a lot of Red Bull and was up late that night.
Saturday I woke up at 10, took my pills with breakfast, and was asleep again by noon. We had family coming over and I convinced my cousins/sisters to play Wii downstairs so I could fall asleep. I felt less nauseous, but very tired, I was dazed until about 2. I had friends come over Saturday night and still, for whatever reason, was able to stay up late - maybe because I had been sleeping all day, but I still felt tired.
Sunday I woke up at about 10 with a little hangover, so I took some ibuprofen and my supplements and went back to sleep until 11, when I took my strattera with some yogurt (which I couldn't finish, I just wasn't hungry). I cleaned up the mess we made the night before and then fell asleep from 12:30 until 5, and my mom got me up for dinner. I was still tired though, and felt like I could have slept all night. At dinner I was really hungry, and ate a piece of steak, a whole pepper, half a zucchini, and then had like half a gluten free pizza (yuck) about an hour later, plus some homemade salsa and chips. So it seems the appetite suppressing aspect of it changes throughout the day.
Today I took my supplements with breakfast and then about 45 minutes later took my strattera on the way to work. Basically as soon as I got to work, my stomach started to hurt and I got exhausted, even though I drank a whole medium Dunkins coffee, which usually turns me in to a slightly jittery AWAKE person. Sunday when I took the supplements/strattera separately, I only got tired, not nauseous, so I thought that was the solution - but I tried it again today and it didn't work. I've also tried taking it with/without breakfast and with/without coffee. None of it seems to help.

I was wondering if this lines up with other people's experiences with Strattera? But more importantly I was wondering if anyone else who has experienced this (or just anyone in general) has any advice on what to do about it? Is the solution just to take it at night? I'm just worried about doing that since it seems to send me in to a not-quite-asleep state, and I have enough trouble staying asleep the whole night, I don't need to be lucid half the night too. So... what to do?!

Any anyone else who has experiences with the side effects, please please feel free to post about it here!!
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Old 06-13-11, 01:32 PM
jmale jmale is offline
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Re: Experience with nausea/tiredness & trying to quell these side effects?

I was on 40mg, then 80mg. I actually stopped strattera at 4 weeks due to nausea and tried ritalin, but I switched back to strattera.. I could definitely see the benefits from strattera once I was off it, which made me want to give it another chance... plus i'd rather not be on stims multiple times a day.

This go around I am taking them at night, with much better results. I take them right before laying down to bed, and i've yet to wake up from any type of nausea. I never really have been a deep sleeper, so I do wake up a few times during the night, but all in all I feel my sleep patterns are about the same, if not better by taking strattera at night. Mornings do feel a bit tougher to get up sometimes, but i've always been one to hit the snooze button a few times.


When taking it in the morning, I'd take it right after eating breakfast. If I took the pill first, then tried to eat afterwards I couldn't hardly force myself. The motion of swallowing felt like gagging, and I did actually puke the first time I took it without food, then ate a biscuit an hour later. I'd take it with the same breakfast and glass of water each morning, some mornings i'd be fine, others i'd camp out in my office at work for the first couple hours, I'd also always notice tiredness in the afternoon.

I'd definitely suggest try switching to taking it at night. I forgot to take my medicine home, and ran out of the sample 40mg pack he gave me to titrate up with this time around.. so I had to take it one morning after having taken it at night for a week.. it was a very very rough morning, and made me really realize how much better it was taking it at night!

I'm 24, 5'11 and 194lbs.
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Old 07-21-11, 07:12 PM
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Re: Experience with nausea/tiredness & trying to quell these side effects?

Does the medication make you constipated? Constipation can cause those symptoms too.
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Old 07-22-11, 08:32 AM
aarondev aarondev is offline
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Re: Experience with nausea/tiredness & trying to quell these side effects?

Hey,

I've had a lot of experience with this drug. I'm 23, male. Not as muscular as the OP, though =)

To summarize what I've read extensively on here, lots of people find that drowziness you experience. When the drug first came out, taking it at night was advised against. But as you can see from other posters the standard has somewhat changed. When I took it, I too had that - and bad. Within about 2-5 hours I'd be so tired. I wouldn't be able to keep my eyes open on a book and ended up just laying down in study halls.

The positive effects are manifold and I think the side-effects are even fewer for females. But with respect, that may be also because the vast majority of posters on here have been male so those of your side of the genome who have posted aren't representative.

Anyway, that nausea, too, many have reported on here. I remeber distinctly that a lot of people found it helpful to take Strattera AFTER a meal, especially a meal that was protein-heavy. I don't know why this would be (scientifically speaking). They also said it helped with duration and smoothness. Personally, I remember that if I took it on an empty stomach my stomach would feel awful. And there was a nausea feeling, too. I just sort of tried to get through it as best I could: taking water, easing into activities and doing ones that were simpler & easier to begin with.

In sum, I stopped Strattera because I wanted to see if I could find an alternative SNRI that didn't cause as much SD as this did. You should note that what EVERYONE reports is that side-effects will abate the longer you are on a certain dose. Yet they typically WILL resurface, albeit not necessarily all of the previous ones; new ones can come up, too. An example would be that when I went from 25 to 40, one side-effect was absent, but when I went from 40 to 80, the 'random crying'/effusiveness would come on.

In sum, I liked it a lot because it provides the best short-term memory boost of any drug I've tried. Plus, it helped with socializing. And gave me an extra motivation. 'To get things done' is how I've seen other posters express that last one. To put it in proper terms, it helped reduce Distractability and some Impulsiveness, but less great for any restlessness/hyperactivity.

(Again, I've only written here where my experiences crosses over to most people's; if you want primary sources take an hour and read the thread 'Strattera Success Stories'; its really helpful.)

Finally, may I ask why you took Strattera? Is this the first ADD medicine you got? Or are you being given it because it treats other things, too, like depression, etc.? Have you considered/done other meds and if so, which ones and/or when?

Regards,
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Old 07-22-11, 08:37 AM
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Re: Experience with nausea/tiredness & trying to quell these side effects?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilroy View Post
Does the medication make you constipated? Constipation can cause those symptoms too.

Yes, it causes this although I believe primarily just for #1 of the toilet scene. This isn't actually the most unhelpful and it never formed unpleasantness for myself. What I've seen others post is that they didn't totally appreciate the change. But I can't say I remember a scathing comment about this aspect.

This side-effect was prevalent for me all the way through the 3 times I tried the medicine. From the starting to the highest doses.
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Old 08-20-11, 02:57 PM
arboles89 arboles89 is offline
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Re: Experience with nausea/tiredness & trying to quell these side effects?

My pdoc told me to take it in the morning, and i was like, "IN THE MORNING?" because anything I take in the AM (including vitamins) makes me wanna throw up. Then she recommended taking it the same time everyday.

The first day I took it was after my lunch hour and I started feeling tired. Work became harder. The third day I took it after dinner...I felt SO sleepy, it was difficult to stay awake but at least I was at home after work. That night I slept well for the first time in awhile.

Still, I hate, hate, HATE that it makes me this drowsy when I've always struggled with low energy levels. I have low BP and I've heard Strattera increases BP, but I'm still so TIRED. The only reason I feel my ADHD symptoms have diminished is because I'm simply too drained.
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Old 08-26-11, 09:32 PM
Twiggy487 Twiggy487 is offline
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Re: Experience with nausea/tiredness & trying to quell these side effects?

I was on 25 mg of Strattera and I felt nauseous and drowsy most of the time. I took it in the morning and napped when I got home from school. I was too tired to focus on my homework but I was wide awake when I tried to sleep. I had stomachaches, no appetite, and was socially withdrawn because I was exhausted. The dose was lowered but it didn't help much and eventually I went off it. My appetite has never fully returned; I think my eating habits changed because I was on it so long.

As far as nausea and stomachaches go, it helped me to drink hot lemon tea with lots of honey. A high protein diet in small portions and lots of water were moderately helpful for my constant fatigue, but not enough to completely suppress it.

Good luck. I hope this helps.
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Old 08-28-11, 05:46 PM
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Re: Experience with nausea/tiredness & trying to quell these side effects?

Hi all. I'm a female, 26, 130 lbs., primarily inattentive with some hyperactivity and impulsiveness and I've been taking Strattera for 26 days now. I've had little trouble from upset stomach from the medication, so I thought I would share my daily routine in hopes it might help others.

I started out on 18 mg once a day, and tritrated up every five days from 25 mg, to 40 mg, to 60, which I am still at.

Every morning I eat plain instant oatmeal with various ingredients mixed in, but ALWAYS at least one protein, usually a small handful of raw mixed nuts or a spoonful of peanut butter. I take my Strattera and fish oil immediately afterwards with water. I then take a small handful of mixed nuts with applesauce to work every morning and eat it about 2 and a half hours after breakfast to ward off an empty stomach before lunchtime, and eat it whether I feel like it or not.

As soon as I started Strattera, I made it a point to drop caffeine cold turkey (except as a treat a few times a week) and always carry a full bottle of water around with me, refilling it any time it got close to running out. I also try very hard to stick to a regular sleep schedule and get at least 6 or 7 hours of sleep every night, and exercise by running up and down the stairwell at work for 15 minutes every other day. I try to walk around on my breaks at work to keep my blood pumping and help speed digestion after my morning snack.

With this routine, I've only had mild problems with nausea on maybe 3 occasions.

I don't think anything but getting plenty of sleep has done much for the tiredness, though, which I absolutely hate, but then again, I've also never felt so tired that I actually went to take a nap (and this is from someone who has to sit quietly at a computer all day for work), so maybe the routine is helping a little. I've noticed constipation, but it hasn't been extreme on any but maybe one occasion. A constant supply of water is probably key.

The two side effects that I can't seem to do anything about are the dry mouth and profuse sweating when I try to get any kind of exercise. I haven't noticed either of these taper off at all with time. I also got extremely irritated during the day around week 2, but that seems to have passed.

The downside is that I haven't really noticed any obvious improvement in my ADHD symptoms yet, and I'm halfway through Week 4. I still bounce my leg like mad when I'm working at my computer except the small window mid-morning that I've always been at my peak, I still make just as many small mistakes as ever, I haven't noticed any improvement in my listening and reading skills (being that foreign language is key to my college major, this is one of the primary reasons I broke down to go see a specialist), I still procrastinate a lot, I still lose my keys and forget to pack parts of my lunch, I still can't sit down and research long enough to prepare a proper application, and still can't read more than half a chapter of a book at a time.

I MAY have gotten a boost in focus, feel sharper after fewer hours of sleep, and have far fewer experiences of mental exasperation, but feeling so tired and unmotivated during the day barely makes it seem worth it. I've heard that it can take 6-8 weeks to really see the benefits of this medication, however, so I intend to stick with it. Getting 24 hours of relief would be my optimal treatment, so I'm really hoping Strattera works for me.

Last edited by Marzipan; 08-28-11 at 05:57 PM..
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Old 08-29-11, 09:51 AM
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Re: Experience with nausea/tiredness & trying to quell these side effects?

I stopped taking Strattera due to the nausea, switched to ritalin, then decided to go back on strattera with the approach to take it at night.

Taking it at night the nausea is not an issue, and until recently had no issues at all. I've had some odd indigestion/heartburn like things after taking the pill. The second I take the pill I get a metallic taste, then this feeling of something in my lower throat. It's weird.

I would try it at night, I take it right before I lay down to sleep.
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