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Strattera (Atomoxetine HCI)

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  #1  
Old 02-03-08, 05:21 PM
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Cool Strattera vs. Adderall

I was told that I have "many ADD symptoms" but not a "classic case." (Doc said I should have trouble focusing in all my subjects in college, but I have no issue in my writing classes..) My doctor recommended Strattera.

I just took my first dose of Strattera last night before bed, it was 18 mg. My psychiatrist told me to take it before bed to avoid the side effects... but wow, that was the worst night of sleep I've EVER had. I woke up about every 30 minutes and had to change positions, roll over, etc, to get comfortable. I usually have trouble sleeping but never that bad. I had really strange dreams that actually frightened be a bit. I felt a little nauseous even though I'd eaten beforehand.

I have a week of the 18 mg and then up to 25 next week, then a follow up visit with my doctor. I'm really anxious to know whether I should continue taking this or ask about Adderall. I would like to take Adderall just so that I can take one AS NEEDED. I have a lot of trouble on days when I have a science lab or a math lab, and it varies day to day. Most days I just CANNOT make myself pay attention or sit still - it's these days that I'd like to just take one pill to help even me out through the day. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with taking Strattera every day to feel the extended effects. I don't like having to "build up" to a certain dosage. Does anyone else feel the same way?

I've taken Adderall about three times since I've gotten to school - and it really did help me get my stuff done in class and I felt very capable of understanding concepts that are ordinarily completely out of my grasp. I had no negative side affects when I took it, other than loss of appetite.

I do feel, though, that since my Doctor also specializes in Addictive Diseases that he'd be wary if I brought up Adderall instead of this. I don't want him to think I'm a college drug addict who's wanting a fix, know what I mean? I'm just reading all of the negative side affects of Strattera and I can't help but think it won't be worth it.

Just wondering if you guys could give me some advice, seeing as I've JUST been diagnosed and I have no idea about any kinds of medications at all.
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Old 02-05-08, 01:01 AM
bdavid bdavid is offline
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Re: Strattera vs. Adderall

yeah i'm all with you on that "as needed" thing you said. I was thinking exactly like you when i went to get diagnosed. adderall is a controlled substance tho, and they like it when you are taking it all the time, and run out only when you can legally get some more, so there aren't a lot of extra adderalls floating around out there for the junkies. I wouldn't mention that you want to take them as needed to your doc, but do it anyway when you get a scrip. i did the stratera thing first too, at the request of my doc because it is not able to be abused. it sucked. that stuff is really weird. i went in there and told them what went down for me and it was something like this: had hellacious side effects, just about all of them, the first week or so, but they stopped for the most part after that. for the rest of the 3 weeks, i had a pretty zombie demeanor. didn't have any motivation whatsoever. none. couldn't wash a dish or take out the trash or hardly wash clothes or bathe. when i told them that they perked up on it pretty quick, evidently that's a major side effect that doesn't fade away after time. i told them all this time i could see very little if any good it was doing me. i was drinking tons of caffein to counteract the drowsiness, which lessened over time, but didn't go away, and i think that was helping me more than strattera. i said that, and the doc says "well, caffein is a stimulant." (like adderall). if any of this ends up sounding like you, i think it's reasonable to ask for "something else" (which is adderall or one of its cousins) along the same lines. they will probably give you the new adderall XR version that's 1 a day, so you aren't popping pills all day. i'm on that now. it has an 8 or so hour release. that may not be long enough for you for a full day of struggling with college. (or you may not want to be on speed for that long when you take one.) but then if you go for 2 of those a day, you probably can't sleep come night time. along that reasoning, eventually you can probably get the instant release, 4 hour doses, eventually. my advice is take the **** they give you so you know what you're talking about when you explain why you don't like it. oh, and you have to give it 3 or 4 weeks, if you don't have a follow up visit scheduled already. it takes that long before you have any chance of starting to improve your add condition, supposedly. you may get called out as a junkie if you just try to read some testimonials and act like thats what happened to you on strattera, and say may i please now have some speed? just let them think you are very add as opposed to mildly add, they you can dose yourself how you like. doctors are just people, and we're all smart....
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Old 02-07-08, 01:29 AM
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Re: Strattera vs. Adderall

I'm not going to say I have symptoms if I don't - if it will work for me then I'm willing to take it, I just don't like these nasty side effects I'm getting.
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Old 02-11-08, 05:25 PM
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Re: Strattera vs. Adderall

In my state I had to see a psychologist twice before being properly diagnosed and in order to get a script for an ADHD med.

I have taken Adderall for about 6 months now and it works very well.

I don't know why that doctor told you to take it prior to going to bed. This stuf (ADHD meds) are meant to be taken in the morning and not prior to sleeping.

Don't be afraid to ask about Adderall. After all its not like you are asking for an illegal drug or something,

I haven't taken Strattera so im not sure of the efffects or which one is better.
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Old 02-11-08, 09:38 PM
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Re: Strattera vs. Adderall

Taking it at night can work with Strattera when it causes drowsiness.
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Old 02-12-08, 12:00 AM
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Re: Strattera vs. Adderall

i think Strattera's a non-stim and works differently than adderall or another stim-type med. that may be why the nighttime dose was recommended. for what it's worth, i'm on conerta now but it's no good for me. Adderall is pretty much straight "speed" and i'd be careful on that one. i know that rit's similar but man that adderall seems to be a step up.

some people get hooked and others don't. for me, the stim-med (methylphenidate as "Concerta") only works for a day or so and then my tolerance goes up. i'm at my max dosage now and it may as well be a sugar pill. i'm actually looking to try strattera. the "building up" is to minimize side-effects as your body gets used to it. does caffeine help you? before med's, i used to drink a couple cups of coffee and then about a liter of water per two hours (roughly). many people can't do this cuz they'd be in the bathroom all the time, though. I'm not sure why but water/coffee always seemed to perk me up. the coffee really did a number on my stomach, though.

i got a neuropsyc eval to confirm the ADHD diag and maybe it would be good to look into getting one. it will identify your learning strengths / weaknesses and give you an IQ rating. even though IQ isn't indicative of success, you'll know where you stand against the majority and also what your strengths/weaknesses are. that helps to put a face on the issue and then helps to find the right way to take action.

good luck.
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Old 02-12-08, 12:00 AM
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Re: Strattera vs. Adderall

I know exactly what you mean, shesgotmoxie.
My first pdoc had an almost religious aversion against stimulants because she was so afraid of addiction - even though I never even looked at street drugs. So she put me on strattera. I did not like the idea of having to build up a dose in weeks and weeks either, but I had no choice. After 7 weeks it had only succeeded in making me nearly fall down a staircase of drowsiness, and then she wanted me to try efexor. She did indeed make me feel like a potential junkie every time I tried to discuss meds. In the end I got so fed up with her patronising and sometimes outright nasty behaviour that asked my GP to be referred to another pdoc, one that I had heard was the ADD specialist for the area.

That has been a good decision. This one made me try out ritalin, dexedrine and adderall to find out the best one for me. He's a wonderful and relaxed guy, and while he has taught me about the possible danger of stimulant meds (never go above the amount that I prescribe .. don't lose that bottle of pills because I'd get in trouble), he's realistic and takes me seriously.

I've been on stimulants for nearly 3 months now and they work really well. And no tolerance at all.
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Last edited by Luthien; 02-12-08 at 12:03 AM.. Reason: editing a reason for editing, edit ditto.
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Old 02-12-08, 01:00 AM
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Re: Strattera vs. Adderall

i've wondered why some docs take that immediate stance. i'd bet it's frustrating to go to the doc, who's supposed to be unbiased, only to have them act that way.

if there's meds that can help a patient and they fit the bill health-wise, then why not see what works right?

is the dexidrine better for you? Adderall trial go ok? i've just always been a more paranoid type when it comes to med's and perhaps am a bit too cautious.

i've heard similar situations about stratterra that you've had and the fact that it is still establishing a track record has me wondering if i should try it or not.
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Old 02-12-08, 02:46 AM
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Re: Strattera vs. Adderall

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Originally Posted by UnitCircle View Post
if there's meds that can help a patient and they fit the bill health-wise, then why not see what works right?
That would seem like the logical thing to do. Maybe some docs have just seen too much suffering caused by addiction. Or they are from a culture that has a certain bias against these meds. But they should indeed try to remain objective.
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wandering, woven with deeper spell / than songs wherewith in ancient dell
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Old 02-12-08, 05:44 PM
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Re: Strattera vs. Adderall

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Originally Posted by UnitCircle View Post
i've wondered why some docs take that immediate stance. i'd bet it's frustrating to go to the doc, who's supposed to be unbiased, only to have them act that way.

if there's meds that can help a patient and they fit the bill health-wise, then why not see what works right?

is the dexidrine better for you? Adderall trial go ok? i've just always been a more paranoid type when it comes to med's and perhaps am a bit too cautious.

i've heard similar situations about stratterra that you've had and the fact that it is still establishing a track record has me wondering if i should try it or not.
I've been on it for a little over a week now and I'm up to 25 mg. now and I feel like crap all the time. It's giving me horrible heartburn so bad that I haven't been able to sleep - and it makes me incredibly lethargic. So, lethargy all day, heartburn, goosebumps constantly... I dunno about this.

I haven't done any trials other than with the Strattera right now. I've got an appointment this coming Friday to discuss how I like it so far... and I really don't. These side effects are horrible.
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Old 02-12-08, 05:45 PM
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Re: Strattera vs. Adderall

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Originally Posted by Luthien View Post
I know exactly what you mean, shesgotmoxie.
My first pdoc had an almost religious aversion against stimulants because she was so afraid of addiction - even though I never even looked at street drugs. So she put me on strattera. I did not like the idea of having to build up a dose in weeks and weeks either, but I had no choice. After 7 weeks it had only succeeded in making me nearly fall down a staircase of drowsiness, and then she wanted me to try efexor. She did indeed make me feel like a potential junkie every time I tried to discuss meds. In the end I got so fed up with her patronising and sometimes outright nasty behaviour that asked my GP to be referred to another pdoc, one that I had heard was the ADD specialist for the area.

That has been a good decision. This one made me try out ritalin, dexedrine and adderall to find out the best one for me. He's a wonderful and relaxed guy, and while he has taught me about the possible danger of stimulant meds (never go above the amount that I prescribe .. don't lose that bottle of pills because I'd get in trouble), he's realistic and takes me seriously.

I've been on stimulants for nearly 3 months now and they work really well. And no tolerance at all.
I understand the stigma... I don't like the thought of docs just throwing meds at people when they may not be sick. But I also don't like a doctor prescribing me medication with a lot of negative side effects just because he doesn't want me on a stimulant.
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Old 02-13-08, 12:02 AM
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Re: Strattera vs. Adderall

can you not just stay on a very low dose and let your body adjust? I wonder if it is that the drug has to build up or whether the body has to adjust.
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Old 03-11-08, 07:59 AM
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Re: Strattera vs. Adderall

ahhhh, suck.

i've been on adderall for about 18 months. i started at 20mg/day (2 rounds, morning and afternoon; 10mg each) and then the steady dosage worked up to 40 mg/day 2 rounds of 20mg. In a handful of months, i had a serious hit one night. wicked bad depression, anger, ADD symptoms. i stayed up all night drinking a bottle of wine with my IM friends keeping a vigil...

The doc and i talked and he OK'd a third round per day... 60 mg/ day. I did this for a loooong time. And now, my tolerance crept up on me and i didn't really notice until i was totally non-functional at work again. like before all of this started. thankfully, without the incredible depression from when it started (thank you wellbutrin).

We talked. he ok'd me to try 30mg for the 1st 2 rounds per day and then the same 20mg at the 3rd round. this brought back some funcionality, but i still have a lot of the distractability. and now i feel kinda "speedy". i never did street drugs, but i kinda liken where i'm at now to tweaking.

my doc mentioned we'd try strattera next. :|

all i know is that i'm about done with adderall and it scares me. i've cried hard over this 3 times in the last few weeks. i love my ability to work and churn through e-mails but the rest of what's going on in my life isn't worth it. must try something else...


... see part of the adderall is The Crash. you're going along ok and then you're SO TIRED. dead. like i look at the floor and think "mmmm, concrete. i bet it'd be so comfy to lat there and pass the F out...." after a few months of this, i'd learned to associate thoughts of comfortable sleep on concrete to needing to investigate if i'm due for another round of speed.

good luck ... and if the adderall works ... take it and get the most productivity you can from it.

more thoughts:
- my insurace won't cover adderall XR. would cost me $300/month. not!
- some people reported instant release working for them but XR not. And vice-versa.
- sooooo, try what they suggest. be brutally honest about how you feel and what happens. take a friend, too, if they really know you and watch you. i just took my gf in with me and she was able to tell the doc things about me that i didn't know...
- i got one of those locking tab 7 day pill organizers or i'd not know if i did round 2.


chris //// smashedagainst in the LJ.
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Old 03-11-08, 01:12 PM
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Re: Strattera vs. Adderall

I'm facing a similar situation. I'm going to a new Psychiatrist. I've been on Wellbutrin XL 300mg for about 6 months. I tried going up to 450 mg but I felt weird and like I was going to have a seizure but I've never had one so I'm not sure. Anyway, I backed down to 300mg and now he wants me to try Strattera but I don't want that I want Adderall. I am a medical writer and medical research is part of my job. Yes there are pros and cons to all medications but after weighing the side effects and efficacy (and some testimonial on here), I think Adderall is the best overall choice. I have history of an eating disorder but hell I am on Wellbutrin and I am fine. I would be better with the Adderall I know it. I have 2 cups of coffee on top of my Wellbutrin - which people without ADD could probably not handle. This is my way of self-medicating I guess. But I also have GI issues and would like to cut down on my coffee/caffeine. So here I am seeking Adderall but not sure if I will get what I need. I have an appt today and I told my doc I would research Strattera and we would talk at my next visit. I have a lot of research to show him I just hope it doesn't come across as desperation to get Adderall.
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Old 03-11-08, 10:18 PM
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Re: Strattera vs. Adderall

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- i got one of those locking tab 7 day pill organizers or i'd not know if i did round 2.
Careful, you might be braking the law by doing that. Seriously.
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