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Old 11-05-04, 12:33 PM
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Exclamation Strattera side effects and next steps...seeing doc today

I'm new here but very glad I found this board. I've been on Strattera for about 2 and a half months now but just had my dose raised from 40 mg to 80 mg 2 weeks ago. Before it was raised, it did nothing but make me not able to sleep. My doc recommended Valerian Root (herb) to help me sleep and it's worked like a charm. Obviously he raised the dose because nothing was happening. Since I've been on 80 mg I've had a whole world of bothersome and some scary side effects. I'm studying to be a personal trainer so I work out every single day and this is my passion. Now when I exercise (even for 10 minutes) I feel like my heart is going to pound out of my chest. I can't breathe and it takes forever to catch my breath and for my pulse to slow back down. This is not normal AT ALL. I swim 60 some laps a day (or did before this). Now I can't work out at all. My blood pressure has been higher than it's ever been (still not high but certainly high for me). I have a headache every afternoon. I feel like throwing up every day shortly after taking the stuff even if I eat with it. I'm tired in the afternoons every single day but can't sleep and don't want to. I'm getting nothing done and have noticed no improvements in my focus. I've had horrible experiences in the past with antidepressants (SSRIs) and this isn't turning out any better. I know now that depression is not my problem but I'm wondering what the next step will be since I don't think I can tolerate these side effects. Has anyone else had the BP and heart rate problems? If so, what did your doc recommend? Just curious and will appreciate any input...

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Old 11-06-04, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXRebelGrrrl
I'm new here but very glad I found this board. We are glad to have you with us as well. WELCOME!!I've been on Strattera for about 2 and a half months now but just had my dose raised from 40 mg to 80 mg 2 weeks ago. Before it was raised, it did nothing but make me not able to sleep. My doc recommended Valerian Root (herb) to help me sleep and it's worked like a charm.My son experianced the same difficulty what we did was play with his dosing schedule a little. Since he only takes it once a day we found that giving the med a night before bed didn't affect his ability to fall asleep or to acheive the level of deep sleep he needed, he also slept thru other adverse side effects such as nervousness and nausea. Obviously he raised the dose because nothing was happening. Since I've been on 80 mg I've had a whole world of bothersome and some scary side effects. I'm studying to be a personal trainer so I work out every single day and this is my passion. Now when I exercise (even for 10 minutes) I feel like my heart is going to pound out of my chest. I can't breathe and it takes forever to catch my breath and for my pulse to slow back down. This is not normal AT ALL. I swim 60 some laps a day (or did before this). Now I can't work out at all. My blood pressure has been higher than it's ever been (still not high but certainly high for me). I have a headache every afternoon. I feel like throwing up every day shortly after taking the stuff even if I eat with it. I'm tired in the afternoons every single day but can't sleep and don't want to. I'm getting nothing done and have noticed no improvements in my focus. I've had horrible experiences in the past with antidepressants (SSRIs) and this isn't turning out any better. I know now that depression is not my problem but I'm wondering what the next step will be since I don't think I can tolerate these side effects. Has anyone else had the BP and heart rate problems? If so, what did your doc recommend? Just curious and will appreciate any input...My son experianced these issue's during football practice. We had the doctor lower his dosage and got him more involved in talk therapy and a new ADD coach. The med helped him concentrate on behavioural modification's we had implemented. But, these are definatly issue's you need to bring up with your doctor and discuss alternative methods of treatment with him/her. There is more to living with ADD/ADHD then meds and I'm a firm believer in everyone having talk therapy, I think we would have far less depression in the world but then that's just MY personal belief.

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Old 11-06-04, 04:27 PM
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If it's only been 2 weeks, I would say give it a week or 2 more. A lot of times, the side effects of meds will go away in a few weeks. If it's just too intolerable to let it go that long, then you can call your doc back and talk to him about it. He might suggest a dosage reduction for now (40 to 80 mg in 1 jump can be quite a lot), or take you off it entirely and try something else.

I'm also on 80 mg Strattera as well as 150 mg Wellbutrin. I haven't really had any cardiac problems with the meds. My BP might have gone up a tiny bit, but no more than 5 points or so... it was 126/85 or something when my primary doc checked it at my physical about 3 weeks ago.
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Old 11-06-04, 06:11 PM
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I'm having the blood pressure and heart problems also (on 40mg), as well as severe drowsiness. I just started two days ago and it's worried me, but I'm determined to make sure that these side effects aren't temporary.
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Old 11-08-04, 05:13 PM
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Well, I spoke to the doc on Friday and he told me to go back down to the 40 mg. for the weekend and then stop totally on Monday (today). I will see him tomorrow and he thinks changing to something else is the way to go. He asked me about Wellbutrin but I've tried that in the past and had intolerable headaches even after being on it for months. He says the next step is a stimulant. I'm just afraid with anything like that I won't be able to sleep. We'll see...
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Old 11-08-04, 09:05 PM
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Cool I hope this stuff works.

I am currently taking 40mg of Strattera per day going on my 6th day. So far I think it is working a little bit. I sat at my pc and did research for like 3 hours straight without getting up. I would usually get bored within five minutes and have to get up for something. Onwe thing is for sure is that I can definitely tell that I am on a under the influence of a drug. Sometimes I just don't feel right. The only side effect that stands out most is the dry mouth. I just chew gum to resolve that one. Has anyone had any chest pain in the area of their heart while on this medication? Sometimes I feel a little bit of pressure just above my heart and wonder if it just me buggin out. I try to stay away from drugs so this is kind of new to me. I always knew I had ADD but it took me until now (that I am 38) to do something about it. I hope this works. I am afraid to go up to 80 mg a day from 40 because I am afraid I will never sleep. I am just going to stay with 40mg every morning and see if it helps. If anyone has had the chest pain, please repy and let me know if it's not just me. Thanks.

Last edited by JimmyTag; 11-08-04 at 09:09 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-09-04, 12:22 AM
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JimmyTag please contact the prescriber of your med or your pharmacist and bring up the issue of pressure and chest pain right away. While it may be the med it can also be something of a more serious nature irritated by the med. My mother experianced the samething on a different kind of med and the end result could have been a tragedy had she not sought medical advice.

I am not trying to scare you away from meds or your med; but, perhaps this one med isn't the right one for your body. It never hurts to ask.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out
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Old 11-09-04, 06:40 PM
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Jimmy, I've had that, along w/ pangs in my right lung and along my trachea down past the middle of my chest. It's really annoying and has started to make me nauseated. Also today I got motion sick from playing a video game (NEVER happened before). It seems like a different side effect every few days and it's getting annoying.
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Old 11-10-04, 09:24 AM
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Cool Re:side effects

I thought I would share my personal experience w/ straterra for what it is worth.
The tired feelings and nausea went away after taking them a few weeks. It helped me to not have coffee with them (I know dumb hey) and to eat a little something. Everytime I forget a dose or two side effects will come back so I can't stress enough the importance for me to take them regularly. A pill minder and my husband help. I have even been unsure if I took them and them took another dose... yeah that sucked I was pretty sick. As far as sleeping problems I use to take a 2 pills w/ breakfest and 2 w/ dinner. Now I take my second dose w/ lunch. By then I don't get sick to my stomach yet I still sleep well.
Now I am doing well on the Straterra, both myself and my husband notice a difference in my daily tasks. For those of you with chest pain... please call your Dr. that is not something you wan't to mess around with.
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Old 11-10-04, 12:17 PM
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With all the side effects from Strattera, it amazes me that Doctors are so keen to try it first. Stimulant have much milder, more predicatable and more "livable" side effects. I use a regular release version and time taking it so that it doesn't affect my sleep, and as for side effects, I can't say I've really been bothered by ANY. My BP and pulse rate are higher when I take them, but it's not bothersome, even when I excersize, which I do everyday now.
I'd almost say that prescribing Strattera first - before trying a stimulant - is an indication that your Doctor isn't an expert on ADHD.
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Old 11-10-04, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Gregster
I'd almost say that prescribing Strattera first - before trying a stimulant - is an indication that your Doctor isn't an expert on ADHD.
Or that he doesn't like prescribing controlled substances to adults before he sees they're serious about treatment. There are plenty of reasons to try Strattera first, most notable being that it isn't a stimulant and the doctor can offer refills.

Strattera doesn't seem to have any more side effects than any other med. It's just that it stays in the body for longer than a stim would, so those side effects tend to be more chronic. I'm sure we also hear more complaining about the side effects than raving about the benefits just because it's human nature to want to complain.
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Old 11-10-04, 01:47 PM
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Why should it make any difference - and especially why should it be preferable - that a drug isn't a stimulant? Other than for the ease of filling prescriptions, which I agree, can be a pain, but once the doctor and pharmacist get to know you, it's not so bad.
And as far as a doctor trying something before he sees a patient is serious - I'd say he/she shouldn't be trying anything with a patient who doesn't seem serious about a solution or someone without a firm diagnosis.
I suspect that doctors do try Strattera first to see if a patient is serious - i.e. not seeking stimulants for recreational use or to re-sell. If the patient is willing to give Strattera a try, and it doesn't work, then they switch to stimulants. My problem with this is that stimulants are know to be more effective overall - they help a greater percentage of people and they do a slightly better job overall - so using another, less effective drug, with more side effects, who's long term use is something of an unknown as a "hurdle" to judge the sincerity of a patient seems unethical to me.
And I do think that Strattera has more side effects - people complain about stimulants too, but they seem to do it less often and less vociferously than for Strattera. This is anicdotal, of course, I haven't seen any statistics on this.
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Old 11-10-04, 03:39 PM
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One good reason to prefer a non-stimulant drug is if the patient has a cardiac condition.
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Old 11-10-04, 04:15 PM
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exeter is so right. So, I'm not going to post a complaint but a few words of gratitude for what this med has done for my son. After a few mild setbacks with side effects which went away after about two weeks we saw on average 1/3 the physical outbursts, his grades went up to were he's been placed back in the advanced classes, his personal attitude is much more positive, he's not so dreamy and tired all the time, he's actually taken up an instrument and is actually learning to play it without fighting about practice times, he's joined in several organizations at school by his own choice and does not have to be reminded to take certain equipment or projects on the right days, his number of friends that call him regularly or come over to visit and play have multiplied themselves that I have given up trying to keep track of them all. I don't know a few stomach aches and a few days of being sleepy seem like a great pay off.
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Old 11-11-04, 01:12 AM
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I'm starting to think that perhaps my condition is an allergic reaction to Strattera. I've never been known to be allergic to meds, but I guess there is a first time for everything. I finally realized that what I'm feeling in my chest and neck is the swelling of my esphogas(spelling?). It's uncomfortable, but not anywhere near life threatening (so far). So I'm going to try and get in to see the doc tomorrow.
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