Atomoxetine is a prescribed oral medication used to treat, or as a part of a program to treat, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It is a non-stimulant drug that falls under the medication class called selective norepinephrine uptake inhibitors, which essentially means that it ups the brain’s levels of a behavior-controlling substance called norepinephrine. With Atomoxetine, attention span is frequently improved and behavior is often calmer. Its most popular brand name is Strattera, currently the only FDA-approved one in the USA.
If you are taking any monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, you should also inform your doctor beforehand. It is highly likely that he or she will not allow you to take both at the same time, as combining them is quite dangerous. Also inform your doctor if your family or you have a history of heart disease, glaucoma, or any depressive disorders.
While no harmful effects have been found in pregnant and breastfeeding women who are taking Atomoxetine, it would still be safest to check with a physician before beginning or continuing medication.
Atomoxetine is taken in the form of a whole capsule – it should never be opened and ingested in its powder form. It is often taken once or twice a day, but stick to the prescribed amount your doctor gives you. It is not required to take it after a meal, but ingesting Atomoxetine on an empty stomach may result in discomfort. If you forget to take a capsule, take it as soon as you remember unless it is already almost time for your next dosage. Do not take two capsules just to compensate either. Never ingest more than the required dosage of Atomoxetine in a span of 24 hours.
Atomoxetine is a known sleep-inducer, though not a potent one; however, to err on the side of safety do not drive, perform heavy machinery, or any other potentially dangerous tasks until you are certain of the drug’s effects on you. Be careful with making sudden movements as well, as Atomoxetine is known to cause dizziness. Do not take other medicines, even herbal ones, together with Atomoxetine without informing your doctor.
There is no need to worry about any special dietary precautions to be taken while on Atomoxetine.
It is extremely important to note that studies have shown that children and teenagers taking Atomoxetine have a tendency to become depressed and think suicidal thoughts than those who do not. Monitor their behavior very closely for any changes, especially at the beginning or when their dosages have just been changed.
These effects, however, do not seem to apply to adults, for whom the most common side effect is merely drowsiness. Other effects include nausea, heartburn, constipation, fatigue, and increased sweatiness. These are nothing to be worried about; only approach your doctor if they are quite severe. Immediately contact your physician, however, if you experience chest pain, sudden mood changes, stool or urine discoloration, or significantly lowered sexual ability.
Only take Atomoxetine for as long as prescribed. To continue taking the medicine, check with you doctor again. It must be stored at room temperature at a dry location. Once past the expiry date, get rid of it immediately.
Atomoxetine has the following structural formula:
• Molecular formula of atomoxetine is C17H21NO
• Chemical IUPAC Name is N-methyl-3-(2-methylphenoxy)-3-phenyl-propan-1-amine
• Molecular weight is 255.355 g/mol
• Atomoxetine available : 10mg capsules, 18mg capsules, 25mg capsules, 40mg capsules, 60mg capsules, 80mg capsules, 100mg capsules
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