Atomoxetine is the generic name of a medication that doctors prescribe to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children over the age of six years and adults. The brand name of this medication is Strattera, marketed by Eli Lilly.
While not a cure, doctors prescribe this medication to ADHD patients to treat the symptoms of inattention and hyperactive-impulsive behaviour, in order to improve self-esteem, relationships as well as performance at work and school.
Noradrenaline (or norepinephrine) is a chemical in the brain, which is thought to play an important role in regulating attention, impulsiveness and activity levels. Atomoxetine is a selective norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitor and works by increasing the levels of this chemical in the brain, thereby treating ADHD symptoms.
Generally, patients experience improvement in their symptoms within one to four weeks. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Your dosage depends on your particular condition. Take Atomoxetine 100mg orally with or without food. It is important not to open or chew the capsules.
In teenagers and children over six years of age:
These may not be all the side effects of Atomoxetine 100mg.
Do not take this medication if you have narrow angle glaucoma, cardiovascular disease, moderate to severe high blood pressure, advanced arteriosclerosis, uncontrolled hyperthyroidism or a tumour of the adrenal gland. You should not take Atomoxetine if you are taking an antidepressant medicine known as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI).
Suicidal thoughts and actions have been reported in children and teenagers using this medication. Your child or teenager may need to be closely watched for suicidal thoughts or unusual actions. Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have seizures, do strenuous exercise or have any heart problems. This medication may cause severe liver damage. Tell your doctor if you have dark urine, yellow skin or eyes or pain in the right upper belly pain.
These capsules should be stored at room temperature (15°C to 30°C) and out of the reach of children.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic brain disorder characterized by inattention and hyperactive-impulsive behaviour. There are three sub-types of ADHD, which are called 1) predominantly inattentive, 2) predominantly hyperactive-impulsive and 3) combined. Symptoms of inattention may include making careless mistakes in schoolwork, not following through on instructions and having problems organizing tasks. Symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity may include being in constant motion, fidgeting, squirming, talking constantly and having trouble waiting for a turn. While there is no specific test for ADHD, making a diagnosis may include a medical exam, interviews, reviewing school records, ADHD criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and ADHD rating scales. The doctor will also rule out other possible medical or psychiatric conditions. Most children with ADHD are diagnosed during the elementary school years. The symptoms of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity must be long-lasting (at least six months), impair daily functioning, and cause the child to fall behind normal development. While treatment won't cure ADHD, it can significantly help with the symptoms and improve the quality of life.
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