adult adhd cylert

By Tammy Preston, MS

Brand Name: Strattera®

Generic Name: Atomoxetine Hydrochloride (HCl)

Manufacturer: Eli Lilly

What is Strattera®?

Strattera® is the brand name for a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (NRI) FDA approved for the treatment of childhood and adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is not addictive and is often chosen over other medications because there is no potential for its abuse.

How does Strattera® work?

Unlike most treatments for adult ADHD, Strattera® is not a stimulant. Instead, Strattera® selective blocks the reuptake of norepinephrine in the brain. This results in an improved ability to concentrate and reduced hyperactivity and impulsivity.

How do I take Strattera®?

The FDA recommends a starting dose of 40 mg per day, increasing to 80 mg per day after a few days if the initial dosage is not effective, and further increased to a maximum of 100 mg per day after a few weeks if needed to achieve an optimal effect. The effects last for a full 24 hours, so the medication only needs to be taken once per day. This medication can be discontinued at any time without tapering it or causing any withdrawal symptoms.

Atomoxetine comes in capsules containing 10 mg (white), 18 mg (gold), 25 mg (blue), 40 mg (blue), 60 mg (blue), 80 mg (brown) and 100 mg (brown).

Is Strattera® Effective for Adult ADHD?

There have been at least two major double-blind studies showing that this medication markedly improves the symptoms of attention deficity hyperactivity disorder in adults.

In about 3/4 of all cases Strattera® will improved adult ADHD symptoms, sometimes as quickly as one week after starting it, but more normally after about 4 weeks.

Strattera® Minor Side Effects

Common side effects include:
· Dry mouth
· Urinary retention
· Nausea
· Decreased appetite
· Irritability and restlessness

Strattera® Precautions

Strattera® can cause liver damage. It can also cause suicidal thoughts, so mood must be monitored closely while taking this medication. It can also impair sexual function in some people.

Pregnancy Category C

Strattera® is a pregancy category C medication and as such may be harmful to an unborn baby. It is not known yet whether this drug can pass into breast milk. If you plan on getting pregnant, be sure to inform your physician.

Total Treatment of Adult ADHD

Strattera® should be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes counseling, education, and support groups.

Strattera® Withdrawal
Unlike most adult ADHD medications, there normally are no withdrawal symptoms when one you stop taking Strattera®.


1. Strattera® official website

2. Indian Pediatrics, July 2006, p. 603.


  1. I was diagnosed with ADHD about 2 months ago and my doctor told me that he wants to put me on a nonstimulant (Strattera) instead of a stimulant. I have been taking it for a month now and it has not helped with my ADHD at all. I am extremely tired when I take it and has made my symptoms worse. However, I mentioned maybe trying a stimulant to him and he seemed to not want to budge and let me try some? What do I do? Should I try a different doctor?

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