What is atomoxetine?
Atomoxetine affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.
Atomoxetine is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Atomoxetine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to atomoxetine or if you have glaucoma.
Do not take atomoxetine if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), or selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam) within the past 14 days. Serious, life-threatening side effects can occur if you use atomoxetine before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.
Some ADHD medicines have caused sudden death in children and adolescents with serious heart problems or congenital heart defects.
If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take atomoxetine. Before taking atomoxetine, tell your doctor if you have:
- a congenital heart defect;
- heart disease, a heart rhythm disorder, or recent heart attack;
- coronary artery disease;
- a history of stroke, blood clots, or heart attack;
- high or low blood pressure;
- liver disease;
- problems with urination;
- a personal or family history of mental illness, psychotic disorder, bipolar illness, depression, or suicide attempt; or
- if anyone in your family has died suddenly from a heart problem.
You may have suicidal thoughts or behavior while taking atomoxetine. Watch for symptoms of depression, unusual behavior, or thoughts of hurting yourself. Your doctor may need to check you at regular visits while you are taking this medication.
In addition to you watching for changes in your mood or behavior, your family or caregivers should be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether atomoxetine is harmful to an unborn baby. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether atomoxetine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Atomoxetine is not meant for long-term use. Because ADHD may be a long-term condition, especially in children and young adults, your doctor may recommend another ADHD medication after you stop taking atomoxetine.
Long-term use of atomoxetine can slow a child’s growth. Tell your doctor if the child using this medication is not growing or gaining weight properly.
Do not give atomoxetine to a child younger than 6 years old without the advice of a doctor.
Avoid using or handling an open or broken capsule. If the medicine from inside the capsule gets in your eyes, rinse them thoroughly with water and call your doctor.
Atomoxetine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.
Overdose symptoms may include drowsiness, agitation, hyperactivity, unusual behavior, stomach problems, blurred vision, dry mouth, and fast heartbeat.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose. Take the medication only one time per day.
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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop taking atomoxetine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- chest pain, shortness of breath, fast or uneven heartbeats;
- feeling light-headed or fainting;
- unusual thoughts or behavior, aggression, hallucinations (seeing things that are not there);
- nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- increased blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, trouble concentrating, chest pain, numbness, seizure); or
- urinating less than usual or not at all.
Less serious side effects may include:
- feeling irritable;
- feeling dizzy or drowsy;
- cough, dry mouth;
- skin rash or itching;
- sleep problems (insomnia);
- increased menstrual cramps; or
- impotence, loss of interest in sex, or trouble having an orgasm.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Before taking atomoxetine, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
- albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin);
- amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone);
- bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban);
- celecoxib (Celebrex);
- cimetidine (Tagamet);
- doxorubicin (Adriamycin);
- methadone (Dolophine, Methadose);
- metoclopramide (Reglan);
- quinidine (Cardioquin, Quinaglute, Quinidex);
- ritonavir (Norvir);
- ranitidine (Zantac);
- terbinafine (Lamisil);
- antidepressants such as citalopram (Celexa), clomipramine (Anafranil); escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), or sertraline (Zoloft); or
- antihistamines or sleep medicine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl, Unisom, and others) or chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton and others).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with atomoxetine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
Strattera and atomoxetine
Available Strengths & Dosages
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Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04