How safe and effective is atomoxetine (Strattera) in patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

Updated: Sep 09, 2021
  • Author: Maggie A Wilkes, MD; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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Answer

Atomoxetine (Strattera), a nonstimulant selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), has been effective in many people with ADHD (ADD). This relatively new medication has the advantages of qd-to-bid dosing and unscheduled status with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). However, cases of reversible hepatic failure have been directly attributed to atomoxetine, and an evaluation of other long-term adverse effects has been limited to data from a few years.

Patients may significantly benefit more from stimulants than from atomoxetine, but some may have untenable adverse effects with any stimulant product or dose. In the experience of numerous subspecialists, these patients may benefit from a combination of atomoxetine and a stimulant. For many patients, atomoxetine appears to augment the clinical effects of the stimulant, allowing for clinical efficacy with a low dose and decreasing the likelihood of adverse effects.


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