Strattera, or atomoxetine HCl, is a unique medication. It was the first non-stimulant drug that was approved by the FDA for the treatment of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). It is a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (NRI) that works by increasing the availability of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. Unlike other ADHD medications, Strattera is not a controlled substance and does not have the risk of abuse or addiction. Strattera may be able to:
- Decrease hyperactivity
- Improve attention
- Reduce impulsive behaviors
Strattera is an immediate-release drug that must be titrated for the full effect. Depending on the dosage recommended, patients may take it once or twice a day. If only taken once, Strattera must be done in the morning to achieve the best results. If you need to take a second dosage, it should be before 6 pm so that the medication does not interfere with sleep.
Straterra Side Effects
Strattera can cause unwanted side effects like most other medications such as:
- Abdominal pain
- Aggressive behavior
- Decreased appetite, weight loss
- Decreased sex drive
- Dry mouth
- Excessive sweating
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Nausea, vomiting
- Vision changes
- Erectile dysfunction
- Thoughts of suicide
What is ADHD?
ADHD is a mental condition that affects approximately 4% of adults in America. It is characterized by inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. While the effects are sometimes obvious in children, it can manifest differently in adults. It is also possible for patients to be diagnosed for the first time in adulthood, even though ADHD is a life-long condition that is always present. Some high-functioning children are able to mask the symptoms of this disorder until they reach a point in their family or work lives that they are unaccustomed to, which causes the symptoms to become more noticeable.
Although researchers have not been able to determine the causes of ADHD, it is believed that certain environmental conditions such as exposure to toxic elements, brain injury, alcohol or tobacco use during pregnancy or genetics pose significant risks.
Symptoms of adult ADHD are primarily the same as those in children with the exception that as we grow older, the ability to sit still and not squirm may be hard but not impossible. Common symptoms include:
- Poor time management skills
- Trouble multitasking
- Excessive activity or restlessness
- Poor planning
- Low frustration tolerance
- Frequent mood swings
- Hot temper
- Trouble coping with stress
ADHD Treatment Options
Getting diagnosed with ADHD is not the end of the world, but it can be very confusing. Do not let the disorder define who you are or make you feel inadequate. Your physician will create an ADHD management plan that will include medications, educational support, cognitive behavioral therapy, and support groups.
Taking the prescribed medications may be the first step to an effective treatment but dealing with the emotions that can come with being diagnosed with something that can affect every aspect of your life can be just as important. Typically, doctors will refer patients to a knowledgeable therapist. Many therapists will often suggest becoming involved with an active support group so that individuals can find others with the same experiences.
ADHD affects not only the patient but also those closest to them. Support groups can also be found that can help friends and family members learn how to help the patient manage their symptoms. Living a normal life can be achieved with understanding, support, and the right diagnosis.
Help With Your ADHD in San Francisco
ADHD can be a complicated process when getting a diagnosis and beginning treatment. Some individuals can be helped by therapy and behavior changes alone, but most require medication as well. Most medicines used to treat ADHD are stimulants that can have some serious side effects of their own, including addition. Strattera is the first medication of its kind that is a non-stimulant, and when used as prescribed will not cause addiction.
EZCare Clinic in San Francisco should be your first choice when concerned about ADHD symptoms. On staff, there are caring and dedicated physicians and therapists who can work with you to manage ADHD as well as any other health condition. Once you have been prescribed the appropriate medication, we will periodically review the effectiveness and make adjustments as needed. If desired, our doctors can refer you to one of our therapy groups to aid in dealing with any emotions associated with diagnosis as well as teaching you how to combat the symptoms of ADHD with behavioral modification techniques. If at any time during treatment you feel that your medication is not working, or is not as effective as it once was, we will work with you.
Controlling your ADHD and making it possible to live a normal life is the goal of EZCare Clinic. Call us today at (415) 966-0848 for an appointment, or schedule online.