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Strattera Withdrawal Symptoms & Treatment

Strattera is the brand name of the medication atomoxetine, a medication that helps treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Strattera is designed to address ADHD patients, like paying attention, staying focused, concentrating, and controlling impulsive behaviors. While this medication is relatively safe to take when taken as directed by a doctor, it’s important to speak to the prescribing doctor when stopping. Strattera withdrawal is a common side effect of suddenly quitting the drug, which can lead to uncomfortable symptoms. 

How Does Strattera Work?

Strattera is the first non-stimulant medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of ADHD. While Strattera and other non-stimulant medications are considered to be less effective than psychostimulants in treating ADHD, they could be a safer alternative for some patients. For this reason, atomoxetine is considered a second or third-line medication. 

Strattera works by increasing the amount of norepinephrine in the central nervous system. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter and hormone that plays an important role in your body’s fight-or-flight response. This response appears to help alleviate ADHD symptoms such as impulsivity and hyperactivity. 

Strattera comes in capsules and different doses, including 10, 18, 25, 40, and 60 mg strengths. It’s intended to be taken orally, usually twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening. The dosage and frequency of use are determined by the doctor and decided based on the individual’s symptoms, medical history, and other factors. 

It can take a few weeks for a person’s body to become accustomed to taking Strattera. Common side effects that patients may experience in the beginning include: 

  • Decreased appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Upset stomach

These side effects usually dissipate as more time passes and the person’s body gets into the rhythm of taking the medication. 

How does Strattera work to treat ADHD, and what sets it apart from other ADHD medications like Ritalin and Adderall?

Strattera works by increasing the amount of norepinephrine in the central nervous system. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter and hormone that plays an important role in your body's fight-or-flight response. This response appears to help alleviate ADHD symptoms such as impulsivity and hyperactivity. Strattera is the first non-stimulant medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of ADHD.

In the brain, norepinephrine, a key player in regulating attention and impulse control, is crucial for managing ADHD symptoms. By boosting norepinephrine levels, Strattera aids in improving focus and reducing impulsivity and hyperactive behaviors associated with ADHD.

While Strattera and other non-stimulant medications are considered to be less effective than psychostimulants in treating ADHD, they could be a safer alternative for some patients. For this reason, atomoxetine is considered a second or third-line medication. It is important to note that individual responses to ADHD medications may vary, and consulting with a healthcare provider is essential to determine the most suitable treatment approach for each patient.

Understanding Withdrawal From Strattera

Although Strattera isn’t addictive like stimulant medications such as Ritalin and Adderall, patients should always set up a meeting with a doctor if they’re no longer interested in taking it. It’s important to follow the schedule provided by a doctor when taking any prescription medication to prevent a reaction known as withdrawal. 

However, while this reaction is common with medications that impact chemicals like dopamine and serotonin, they’re rare if non-existent with medications like Strattera. Atomoxetine withdrawal is rare and typically doesn’t occur.

Unlike other medications that cause withdrawals when a person who’s been taking it for a long time suddenly stops or cuts back, Strattera doesn’t result in a “crash.” Normally, withdrawal symptoms are the result of physical dependence, which is when the body becomes accustomed to a substance to the point where it needs it to function normally. 

Physical drug dependence develops over time and occurs with most medications, whether or not they can lead to a substance use disorder. When someone who’s developed a physical dependence on a substance, they may experience withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stop using them. For this reason, it’s important to discuss a tapering schedule with your doctor should you choose to stop taking this medication.

What Are The Potential Withdrawal Symptoms of Strattera, and How Do They Compare to Stimulant Medications?

Withdrawal symptoms associated with Strattera are relatively mild compared to stimulant medications used for ADHD treatment. Since Strattera affects the norepinephrine neurotransmitter rather than dopamine or serotonin, its withdrawal symptoms are less severe. Some potential Strattera withdrawal symptoms include rebound ADHD symptoms, irritability, fatigue, sleep disturbances, nausea, and headaches. Unlike stimulant medications like Ritalin and Adderall, Strattera users are less likely to experience a crash when the effects wear off. This distinction emphasizes that Strattera withdrawal is less intense due to its impact on neurotransmitters different from stimulant medications.

How Long Do Strattera Withdrawal Symptoms Last, and What Factors Can Affect Their Duration and Severity?

Strattera withdrawal symptoms can last from several days to a few weeks. The duration and severity of these symptoms can be influenced by several key factors. These factors include the dosage of Strattera taken by the individual, how frequently the medication was used, the duration over which it was taken, as well as the person's overall health condition. Different individuals may experience variations in the length and intensity of Strattera withdrawal symptoms based on these factors.

Is Strattera Addictive, and What Are The Risks Associated With It's Use in Terms of Dependency and Tolerance?

Strattera, a medication used to treat ADHD, is classified as a non-stimulant drug and is believed to have a low potential for addiction. Unlike some ADHD medications that can be addictive, Strattera does not create feelings of euphoria or pleasure typically associated with addictive substances. Therefore, the risk of developing a dependency on Strattera is relatively low. While the drug itself may not lead to addiction, there is a possibility of developing a tolerance to Strattera. If an individual takes higher doses or uses the medication beyond the prescribed duration, they may build up a tolerance to its effects. This could result in the need for a higher dosage to achieve the same therapeutic benefits. It is important to note that the misuse or abuse of Strattera can still have serious consequences. Taking higher doses than recommended can increase the risk of overdose and other adverse effects. Additionally, even though Strattera is not classified as a controlled substance with a high potential for abuse, misusing the medication could potentially lead to risky drug-taking behavior or serve as a gateway to more addictive substances. In summary, while Strattera itself is not considered highly addictive, it is still crucial to follow the prescribed dosage and consult with healthcare professionals to minimize the risks of tolerance and dependency associated with its use.

Help for Prescription Drug Abuse 

Although atomoxetine withdrawal symptoms, as well as addiction, aren’t common, it is possible to become psychologically and emotionally reliant on any substance, including this one. Strattera can be effective for people with ADHD, some of whom may begin misusing their medication because they believe it will aid in their school or work performance. Additionally, many people believe that ADHD medications can help them study or work more effectively, which isn’t the case. As a result, many individuals become engaged in prescription drug abuse. 

If you or someone you know is addicted to a medication or other substance, our residential Christian drug rehab can help. We offer prescription drug addiction treatment that incorporates detox and therapy to help clients recover from physical and psychological symptoms. 

For more information about our Christ-centered addiction treatment, call Faith in Recovery at 888-280-4763or give us your contact information, and one of our team members will reach out to you. 

Related Reading: 

Effects of Depressants on the Central Nervous System

Does Adderall Cause Depression?