What is this medication?
ATOMOXETINE (AT oh mox e teen) treats attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It works by improving focus and reducing impulsive behavior. It belongs to a group of medications called SNRIs.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Strattera
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- High or low blood pressure
- History of stroke
- Irregular heartbeat or other cardiac disease
- Liver disease
- Mania or bipolar disorder
- Suicidal thoughts
- An unusual or allergic reaction to atomoxetine, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. If you have difficulty sleeping, and you take more than 1 dose per day, take your last dose before 6 PM. Take your medication at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your care team's advice.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your care team regarding the use of this medication in children. While this medication may be prescribed for children as young as 6 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
Do not take this medication with any of the following:
- MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
This medication may also interact with the following:
- Certain medications for blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heart beat
- Certain medications for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
- Certain medications for lung disease like albuterol
- Cold or allergy medications
- Medications that increase blood pressure like dopamine, dobutamine, or ephedrine
- Other medications that prolong the QT interval (cause an abnormal heart rhythm)
- Stimulant medications for attention disorders, weight loss, or to stay awake
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
It may take a week or more for this medication to take effect. This is why it is very important to continue taking the medication and not miss any doses. If you have been taking this medication regularly for some time, do not suddenly stop taking it. Ask your care team for advice.
Rarely, this medication may increase thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts in children and teenagers. Call your child's health care professional right away if your child or teenager has new or increased thoughts of suicide or has changes in mood or behavior like becoming irritable or anxious. Regularly monitor your child for these behavioral changes.
For males, contact you care team right away if you have an erection that lasts longer than 4 hours or if it becomes painful. This may be a sign of serious problem and must be treated right away to prevent permanent damage.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medication affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol can make you more drowsy and dizzy. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds or allergies without asking your care team for advice. Some ingredients can increase possible side effects.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water will help.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
- Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Heart rhythm changes—fast or irregular heartbeat, dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, chest pain, trouble breathing
- Increase in blood pressure
- Liver injury— right upper belly pain, loss of appetite, nausea, light-colored stool, dark yellow or brown urine, yellowing skin or eyes, unusual weakness or fatigue
- Mood and behavior changes—anxiety, nervousness, confusion, hallucinations, irritability, hostility, thoughts of suicide or self-harm, worsening mood, feelings of depression
- Painful or prolonged erection
- Stroke in adults—sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, trouble speaking, confusion, trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination, dizziness, severe headache, change in vision
- Trouble passing urine
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
- Change in sex drive or performance
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
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