Atomoxetine is used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). This is intended for use in children aged 6 years and over, adolescents, and adults. This is a prescription approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Atomoxetine is a type of medicine called a selective noradrenaline re-uptake inhibitor. This medication may help increase the ability to pay attention, stay focused, concentrate, and stop fidgeting. Atomoxetine is thought to work by restoring the balance of certain natural substances in the brain.
ADHD affects millions of children and frequently continues into childhood. This condition includes a combination of persistent problems like hyperactivity and impulsive behavior or difficulty sustaining attention. Children with ADHD may as well struggle with troubled relationships, low self-esteem, and poor performance in school. The symptoms at times lessen with age. But, some people never completely outgrow their ADHD symptoms. The symptoms start before the age of 12. In several children, the symptoms are obvious as early as 3 years old. ADHD symptoms can be moderate to severe that may continue into adulthood. This type of condition more often happens in males than in females. This can make life difficult for children. They may;
- Tend to have more accidents and injuries of all kinds
- Often struggle in the classroom that may lead to academic failure and judgment by other children and adults
- Tends to have poor self-esteem
- Are at increased risk of alcohol and drug abuse and other delinquent behavior
- Are more likely to have trouble interacting with and being accepted by other
Atomoxetine comes as a capsule for oral administration. Each capsule is available in the dosage strengths of 10 mg, 18 mg, 25 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg, 80 mg, and 100 mg.
How does Atomoxetine work?
Atomoxetine works in the brain. It increases the levels of a natural chemical called noradrenaline. The natural chemical is involved in passing messages between brain cells. Noradrenaline is considered to play a significant role in regulating impulsiveness, attention, and activity levels. There is no exact explanation of how it raises the levels of noradrenaline in the brain which helps with the condition. However, the medication has been shown to help control the symptoms of ADHD. Atomoxetine may improve behavior, self-esteem, and family functioning.
Various people report minor changes in impulse control and hyperactivity in 2 weeks. But, it might take four to eight weeks for the medication to achieve maximum effectiveness.
How to use Atomoxetine?
Atomoxetine is to be taken by mouth usually 1 to 2 times a day or as directed by your doctor. The first dose is usually taken when you wake up in the morning. The second is usually in the early evening or the late afternoon. Taking this medication late in the day may cause insomnia or trouble sleeping. The capsule should be swallowed as a whole with a full glass of water. Do not chew or open it. If by chance the capsule was broken or opened, avoid contact with it and wash away as soon as possible any loose powder with water. If the powder gets in the eyes, flush with lots of water right away and call your doctor.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to the treatment. Take Atomoxetine exactly as it is prescribed by your doctor. Do not increase your dose or take this drug more often than directed. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time and in the same way each day. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse.
Your doctor will probably start you on a lower dose of Atomoxetine and increase it after at least 3 days. Your doctor may increase your dose again after 2to 4 weeks. You may notice an improvement in your symptoms during the first week of your treatment, but it may take up until a month for you to feel the full benefit of Atomoxetine. If you missed a dose, call your doctor right away for instructions. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose. Atomoxetine may help to control the symptoms of ADHD but will not cure the condition. Continue to take this prescription even if you feel well.
What are the side effects of Atomoxetine?
Common side effects:
- Dry mouth
- Insomnia or trouble sleeping
- Decreased appetite
- Nausea or vomiting
- Upset stomach
- Skin rash
- Increased menstrual cramps
- Loss of interest in sex, impotence, or trouble having an orgasm
Call your doctor right away if these side effects occur:
- Unusually fast or irregular heartbeats
- Difficulty urinating
- Numbness or tingling
If these side effects persist or get worse, call for medical help right away.
Warnings and Precautions
- Inform your doctor if you are taking any other medications including vitamins, herbal or food supplements.
- Let your doctor know if you have an allergic reaction to Atomoxetine before or if you have any allergies. This drug may have any ingredient that causes an allergic reaction.
- If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding women talk with your doctor first before taking Atomoxetine. This drug might affect the development of an unborn baby and this may not be suitable for breast milk.
- Inform your doctor if anyone in your family has an irregular heartbeat. Tell as well if you have recently had a heart attack and if you ever had a heart defect. Your doctor will examine you to see if your heart and blood vessels are healthy.
- This can also cause drowsiness. For this reason, do not drive or operate any machinery, wait until you know how Atomoxetine affects you.
- Atomoxetine should not be used by children under 6 years old, people with closed-angle glaucoma, a severe disorder that affects the blood vessels in the brain, or severe disorder affecting the heart.
- This drug should be used with caution in people with decreased liver function, those with kidney failure, an abnormality in the structure of the heart, or high blood pressure.