Strattera is the brand name for Atomoxetine – a non-stimulant ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) medication used to treat symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. It is FDA-approved for treating ADHD in children as young as six years old and can be used to treat adults. It is an alternative option to stimulants like Adderall, Vyvanse, and Ritalin.

How does Strattera treat ADHD?

Strattera is different from stimulant ADHD medications in that it is primarily a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). While stimulants tend to increase dopamine and norepinephrine availability in one’s brain, Strattera focuses primarily on norepinephrine.

Strattera vs Adderall for ADHD

Stimulants like Adderall are the first-line treatment for ADHD and are highly effective, but some individuals may want different treatment options for various reasons.

About 15% of individuals don’t tolerate stimulants well, as stimulant medications can cause a decrease in appetite, which could impact a growing child or be a concern for someone with an eating disorder. Some find Strattera works much better for them.

Strattera is also not a controlled substance, and many patients do not want a medication that is labeled a controlled substance. Stimulants can be addictive and habit-forming and may need to be avoided in someone with a history of substance use disorders.

Strattera has been shown to have properties like antidepressants used to treat depression and anxiety disorders and may be an excellent choice for people with a history of depression, anxiety, or symptoms of ADHD.

How often do I need to take Strattera?

Strattera needs to be taken every day to be effective. This is different than some other medications used to treat ADHD, including stimulants like Adderall. Strattera must be administered daily, preferably around the same time, to reach appropriate levels in the bloodstream.

How long does Strattera take to work?

A person will begin to experience improvement within two or three weeks, but it can take four to six weeks for the medication to achieve its full potential.

What side effects can Strattera cause?

Strattera tends to be well-tolerated but there are potential side effects to be aware of. Potential side effects include:

  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Upset stomach and nausea
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Decreased libido
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Difficulty urinating

Find your treatment path

If you are experiencing ADHD symptoms, Strattera or Atomoxetine may be an effective form of treatment. Call 855-501-1004 or visit Appointments to start your mental health journey.

Want to learn more about your mental health? Visit our Patient Resources for articles, tips, and education from Mindpath Health’s expert clinicians.

Zishan Khan, MD

Frisco, TX

Dr. Zishan Khan is board-certified in child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry. Dr. Khan primarily treats children, adolescents, and young adults suffering from ADHD, anxiety, depression, and behavioral issues that cause hindrances. He works with patients of various cultural and professional backgrounds to help them improve their lives and conquer their struggles. Dr. Khan’s focus is to treat the whole person, ... Read Full Bio »

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