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Strattera (Atomoxetine HCI)

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Old 06-27-12, 02:59 AM
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How long have you been on Strattera?

I've been on it since 2002. 6th grade. Has anyone been on it longer? Additionally I'd like to share my experience with this drug. I saw the "success stories" thread but I thought i'd make my own.

Dosage just increased as my weight did. We got a baseline dosage by balancing side effects(see below). Once we had a good idea of how much mg/lb i need, if i gained weight between visits it would be easy to estimate a new dosage.

I've read on here that strattera needs time to work, and you should take it for 2 weeks to a month before seeing any kind of improvements. I don't understand that because I see differences right away as soon as I take the medicine, and nothing really changes after a solid month or two of consistent doses.

10mg starting
40 + 10 + 10(they only made 40s and 10s back then i think, maybe there was a 20 but i don't think so)
60mg came out!
60 + 10 + 10
60 + 40
100mg came out like 5 years after i started taking it.

I've been taking 100mg since I have been 150lbs. I'm about 165 now(6'2 if you are curious).

FYI the 10s are white, 40 are blue, 60 blue/yellow halves, 100 is reddish.

I took 10mg zoloft when i first started out on strattera, took that for a year. man that drug has the WORST withdrawal ever. i turned into a zombie, you could almost describe it as catatonic. I can't really remember if it made a difference but i think it made me happier. Withdrawal stopped after 5 days.

Before going any further I want to say that you should only do what your doctor says, and not skip doses or experiment with doses etc. take them on time with food etc.(i get super bad heartburn if i dont eat before i take it). I've been given some leeway by my doc and he outlined things to try simply to see what happens. Like dosage amount, timing, and if i miss/skip a dose(most of these observations are from times when i've forgotten to pack straterra for a trip/vacation).

My side effects:
-loss of appetite - i really don't get hungry. One big meal(usually dinner) every day
-less outgoing/colder personality. More reserved and less expressive. Less enthusiastic about stuff. I think zoloft could fix this
-no sex drive(plus ED). literally none. idk how much detail i can go into about this sort of thing on this forum.
-less hyperfocus

ADD things that go away(i'm inattentive, btw):
-Forgetting where i put things. If i try working on something or putting something together, i literally forget where i put stuff down 15 seconds after I do. My brain doesn't make a note that i put this screwdriver somewhere etc. I'll spend half my time looking for something in front of me

This goes away for me. I don't actually make any effort to remember where i put stuff, but when I go to seek it, I know where it is. It's weird and cool.

-High stress situations(lots of things need to get done and you feel cluttered). without strattera I end up getting nothing done, and i can't think things through if there are a lot of high priority time sensitive tasks that need to be done.

This gets a ton better. I can actually plan things out and look at the big picture. without strattera i get hung up on the little details and it overwhelms me when there are so many things to do.

-Getting distracted/mind wandering
i stay focused on the task and my thoughts don't get easily interrupted. This is not the same as "hyperfocus". When I hyperfocus without strattera I won't hear someone or something even if they call my name. usually they have to tap me or make a loud sound, or put their hand in front of the computer screen(lol).

Unfortunately i can't hyperfocus nearly as intensely while on strattera. I'd get tunnel vision if i was hard at work with something i'm interested in. That's the big part though. Without strattera I'd get badly distracted from things i need to do that i don't want to do(chores, homework, etc). That goes away too.

Those are the big troubles I had with ADD. I might have missed a few things but I can add those later.

The next part is about what I've noticed about missing doses.

22-23 hours after I take the dose I'll start feeling jumpy, sort of anxious. I'll be super hungry, eat everything in sight. I could eat 2 or 3 times the amount of food I normally do in a single meal. It's hard to control the hunger.

you can call "miss" 22 hours after I have taken my last dose.

3-4 hours after miss my personality changes. I'm more outgoing and enthusiastic(i guess you could call this "normal" if you look at my side effects). Sex drive goes up 100x. increased heart rate(may be dangerous, don't have any energy drinks)

12 hours after miss, hunger starts dying down.

18 hours after, i am not as outgoing but still a lot more than when i'm on the medicine.

36 hours after miss, sex drive returns to "normal" - still a lot more than when on the meds, but not nearly like when i just miss the dose

48 hours - start ADD forgetful symptoms and become my old ADD self by 72 hours.

Going back on the medicine
If you take your dose during the 12-24 hour period after you miss, some doctors would suggest you start off with 40, then go back to your regular dose but i just start with 100mg.

During this time I'm at the complete opposite end of the spectrum, so hitting my brain with 100mg has a huge effect. 30 minutes to an hour after I take it, i become super calm and reserved again. Hunger goes away. Very slow heart rate.

If you are starting on the medicine again in the 48-72 hour window then it isn't as big of a change. I stop being forgetful almost immediately.

So that's what happens to me if I miss a dose and what it's like to go back on strattera. It is probably different for everyone. If you don't have bad side effects it really is best to just do what the doctor says.

I have not had experience with a lot of alcohol during "miss time", i just turned 21. Alcohol has a magnified effect for me with strattera.
I usually take the strattera around 6pm every day after dinner. This works out nicely because if i want to go out on a friday or on the weekend, I can skip the dose and be outgoing, fun, have a sex drive and not show most ADD symptoms. But then I take it as soon as possible after I've had fun . My doc says for me, in my particular situation, doing this is ok. But it might not be for everyone.

I think all this stuff is interesting so I though I would share it.
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Old 06-27-12, 03:12 AM
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Re: How long have you been on Strattera?

Oh I forgot to mention that if I am about to miss a dose and I am sleeping, it is very hard for me to wake up. I'll usually sleep through ANY alarm. A few times I have gotten "sleep paralysis". It only lasts 2 minutes but it feels like an hour.

It was very scary the first time and is still frustrating, but I obviously prevent needing to worry about this by taking the dose at dinner time or before bed.

I also normally have tics(tourettes like) and they get a lot better with this medicine. That's the reason I can't take a stimulant. Unless I'm REALLY REALLY stressed out I usually don't even "need" to tic while on strattera. You won't really understand this unless you have tics.
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Old 06-28-12, 06:14 AM
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Re: How long have you been on Strattera?

I've only been on it since April of this year, but believe that 60 mg is my 'target' dose... anything less makes me feel just blah, anything higher, my temper flares and I hate the world
"Maybe NOW you're hurting normally...."
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Old 07-06-12, 08:24 PM
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Re: How long have you been on Strattera?

Hey Sir,
Thanks on giving us your story. Its interesting to see someone who has been on it for so long.

May I ask, did you have any breaks from it? I mean, you mention 72hrs laterÖ so you mustíve reset it at least once. Did you find any side-effects leave when you went back on it?

On your physical notes/misses: itís unsurprising your hunger returns with such ferocity when you Ďmissí for 22-24 hours. This to me is simple chemistry given the fact you stated you donít eat whilst on it, and I do not think at all unusual for most. Its like being hungry after a workout. In addition, my Ďticsí (essential tremor) get worse with taking it. Considerably so. As does my HR. But then again, Iím also 100lbs heavier for the same height, so no surprise there!

My experience:
When I started: Iím now 24. I tried it for the first time two years ago. But due to lots of stress and a lack of sleep at the time, I stopped after four months. I tried it twice in the time between now and then and had to stop due to insurance changes. Iím now on my 4th time. And the following are my main points.

Sociability: For sure, Iíve gotten better at being not so Ďin my headí and more Ďwith people/in the momentí. Sure it still happens. But Iím comparatively self-conscious without Strattera. By contrast, however, I find that reserved quality comes from stimulant medication, not the Strattera.

Short-term Memory: Pre-Strattera, I would always be going through everything I had on me before I left. Now, when I put keys in my bag I know they are there and donít have to check 2-3x before I leave, once more asking myself at the door.

Attention: Whereas previously I would get distracted midway through an Economist article, now I can read several sections without trouble. Before, I would really have to push myself to get through one and it would almost be like lifting weights. Also, when letís say cleaning up my room or writing an email, I can do that without a half-dozen things occurring to me while I write it or while I do it; Iím more efficient. However, arguably something could be said to be lost in the loss of spontaneity I exhibit. I mean, will these things just occur to me later or do I have to be more deliberate than before?

Mood: Strattera gives me the best base-line to date. Whereas previously Iíd tried Wellbutrin XL and Aplenzin, I donít get that numbness I got with them. Iím much more easily able to Ďget goingí or be excited about going out somewhere. Either way, a negative part of this is that with the linear thinking comes a loss in creativity. Or, even, in humor. For instance, if I were having a rough day in the past I would find my distraction to deliver me with maybe a funny inside-joke that would pop in my head. Now, I cannot really say much Ďpopsí in to my head.

Dose: Iím currently on 100mg. I previously have, for sustained periods tried 25, 40, 60, and 80. I found 25 to only really help with memory and nothing else. At 40, no change. At 80, I found it too much at once and would make me anxious. At 60, my mood was elevated but I did not have the motivation impact Iíd had before. Now at 100 Ė 60 plus a later dose of 40 Ė I find optimal of above.

Verdict: Strattera DOES take weeks to get a true effect on you. Therefore (from experience), it will be impacted significantly by changes in a personís lifestyle or interpersonal relationships. However, that can also mean the experience is more regular than with others. For now, Iím staying with it. For the long-term, I still am unsure.
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