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Strattera

Last reviewed on RxList: 6/1/2017
Strattera Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Strattera

Generic Name: atomoxetine (Pronunciation: AT oh mox e teen)

What is atomoxetine (Strattera)?

Atomoxetine affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.

Atomoxetine is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Atomoxetine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of atomoxetine (Strattera)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking atomoxetine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • chest pain, shortness of breath, fast or uneven heartbeats;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • unusual thoughts or behavior, aggression, hallucinations (seeing things that are not there);
  • nausea, pain in your upper stomach, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • increased blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, seizure);
  • urinating less than usual or not at all; or
  • numbness, burning pain, or tingly feeling.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • feeling irritable;
  • feeling dizzy or drowsy;
  • constipation;
  • cough, dry mouth;
  • skin rash or itching;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • increased menstrual cramps; or
  • impotence, loss of interest in sex, or trouble having an orgasm.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about atomoxetine (Strattera)?

Do not use atomoxetine if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

You should not use atomoxetine if you are allergic to it, or if you have glaucoma or pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland).

Some ADHD medicines have caused sudden death in children and adolescents with serious heart problems or congenital heart defects. Tell your doctor if you have any heart problems.

You may have suicidal thoughts or behavior while taking atomoxetine. Watch for symptoms of depression, unusual behavior, or thoughts of hurting yourself. Your doctor may need to check you at regular visits while you are taking this medication.

In addition to you watching for changes in your mood or behavior, your family or caregivers should be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

Do not use an open or broken capsule. If the medicine from inside the capsule gets into your eyes, rinse thoroughly with water and call your doctor.

Atomoxetine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Strattera Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking atomoxetine (Strattera)?

You should not use atomoxetine if you are allergic to it, or if you have glaucoma or pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland).

Do not use atomoxetine if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

Some ADHD medicines have caused sudden death in children and adolescents with serious heart problems or congenital heart defects.

To make sure you can safely take atomoxetine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • a congenital heart defect;
  • heart disease, a heart rhythm disorder, or recent heart attack;
  • coronary artery disease;
  • a history of stroke, blood clots, or heart attack;
  • high or low blood pressure;
  • liver disease;
  • problems with urination;
  • a personal or family history of mental illness, psychotic disorder, bipolar illness, depression, or suicide attempt; or
  • if anyone in your family has died suddenly from a heart problem.

You may have suicidal thoughts or behavior while taking atomoxetine. Watch for symptoms of depression, unusual behavior, or thoughts of hurting yourself. Your doctor may need to check you at regular visits while you are taking this medication.

In addition to you watching for changes in your mood or behavior, your family or caregivers should be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether atomoxetine is harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

It is not known whether atomoxetine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Atomoxetine is not meant for long-term use. Because ADHD may be a long-term condition, especially in children and young adults, your doctor may recommend another ADHD medication after you stop taking atomoxetine.

Long-term use of atomoxetine can slow a child's growth. Tell your doctor if the child using this medication is not growing or gaining weight properly.

Do not give atomoxetine to a child younger than 6 years old without the advice of a doctor.

How should I take atomoxetine (Strattera)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Take this medicine with a full glass of water.

Atomoxetine is usually taken once daily, but it may be taken in the morning and late afternoon. Follow your doctor's instructions.

It is important to use atomoxetine regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Do not use a capsule that has been opened or accidentally broken. The medicine from inside the capsule can be dangerous if it gets in your eyes. If you must handle a broken capsule, ask your doctor or pharmacist how to safely handle and dispose of the tablet.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Strattera Patient Information including If I Miss a Dose

What happens if I miss a dose (Strattera)?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose (Strattera)?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include drowsiness, agitation, hyperactivity, unusual behavior, stomach problems, blurred vision, dry mouth, and fast heartbeat.

What should I avoid while taking atomoxetine (Strattera)?

Avoid using or handling an open or broken capsule. If the medicine from inside the capsule gets in your eyes, rinse them thoroughly with water and call your doctor.

Atomoxetine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

What other drugs will affect atomoxetine (Strattera)?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin);
  • amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone);
  • bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban);
  • celecoxib (Celebrex);
  • cimetidine (Tagamet);
  • doxorubicin (Adriamycin);
  • methadone (Dolophine, Methadose);
  • metoclopramide (Reglan);
  • quinidine (Quin-G);
  • ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra);
  • ranitidine (Zantac);
  • terbinafine (Lamisil);
  • an antidepressant such as citalopram (Celexa), clomipramine (Anafranil); escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), or sertraline (Zoloft); or
  • antihistamines or sleep medicine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl, Unisom, and others) or chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton and others).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with atomoxetine. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about atomoxetine.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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