Generic name: Atomoxetine
Other brand names: Strattera
Atomoxetine is in a class of medications called selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. It works by increasing the levels of norepinephrine, a natural substance in the brain.
How should this medicine be used?
Atomoxetine comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or
without food either once a day in the morning, or twice a day in the morning and
late afternoon or early evening. To help you remember to take atomoxetine, take
it around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription
label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do
not understand. Take atomoxetine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less
of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of atomoxetine and increase
your dose after 3 days.
Atomoxetine controls ADHD but does not cure it. Do not stop taking
atomoxetine without talking to your doctor.
Before taking atomoxetine, ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the
manufacturer's information for the patient and read it carefully.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or
pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking atomoxetine,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to atomoxetine or
any other medications.
- do not take atomoxetine if you are taking monoamine oxidase (MAO)
inhibitors, including phenelzine (Nardil) and tranylcypromine (Parnate), or
have stopped taking them within the past 2 weeks.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and
nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal
products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: albuterol
syrup or tablets (Proventil, Ventolin), amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone),
bupropion (Wellbutrin), celecoxib (Celebrex), chlorpromazine (Thorazine),
cimetidine (Tagamet), clomipramine (Anafranil), doxorubicin (Adriamycin),
fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), metaproterenol syrup or tablets (Metaprel),
metoclopramide (Reglan), methadone (Dolophine), paroxetine (Paxil),
quinidine (Cardioquin, Quinaglute, Quinidex), ranitidine (Zantac), ritonavir
(Norvir), sertraline (Zoloft), and terbinafine (Lamisil). Your doctor may
need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had glaucoma, high blood
pressure, rapid heart beat, a stroke, a mini-stroke, or heart or liver
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are
breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking atomoxetine, call your
- you should know that atomoxetine may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car
or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this
- you should know that atomoxetine may cause dizziness, lightheadedness,
and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. To avoid
this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a
few minutes before standing up.
- you should know that atomoxetine should be used as part of a total
treatment program for ADHD, which may include counseling and special
education. Make sure to follow all of your doctor's and/or therapist's
What side effects can this medication cause?
Atomoxetine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms
are severe or do not go away:
- upset stomach
- loss of appetite
- stomach pain
- dry mouth
- excessive tiredness
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- mood swings
- weight loss
- decreased sex drive or ability
- difficulty urinating
- painful menstrual periods
- runny nose
- violent behavior
- muscle pain
- hot flashes
Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if
you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:
- pounding heartbeat
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles,
or lower legs
- difficulty swallowing or breathing
Atomoxetine may slow down children's growth or weight gain. Talk to your
child's doctor about the risks of taking this medication.
Atomoxetine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any
unusual problems while taking this medication.
Found on MedLinePlus (National Library of Medicine & National Institute of