Atomoxetine is used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as part of a total treatment plan, including psychological, social, and other treatments. It may help to increase the ability to pay attention, concentrate, stay focused, and stop fidgeting. It is thought to work by restoring the balance of certain natural substances (neurotransmitters) in the brain.
A small number of people (especially children/teenagers) who take atomoxetine for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may experience worsening of their condition, other mental/mood symptoms, or suicidal thoughts/attempts. It is very important to talk with the doctor about the risks and benefits of Atomoxetine (especially for children/teenagers). Tell the doctor right away if you notice worsening of your condition/other psychiatric conditions, unusual behavior changes (including possible suicidal thoughts/attempts), or other mental/mood changes (including new/worsening anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, hostile/angry feelings, hallucinations, delusions, impulsive actions, severe restlessness, very rapid speech). Be especially watchful for these symptoms when you first start Atomoxetine or when the dose is changed.
How to Use Atomoxetine
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using atomoxetine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Take Atomoxetine with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually 1 to 2 times a day. The first dose is usually taken when you wake up in the morning. If a second dose is prescribed, take it as directed by your doctor, usually in the late afternoon/early evening. Taking Atomoxetine late in the day may cause trouble sleeping (insomnia). Swallow the capsules whole. Do not crush, chew, or open the capsules. If the capsule is accidentally opened or broken, avoid contact with the powder and wash away any loose powder as soon as possible with water. If the powder gets in your eyes, flush with plenty of water right away and contact your doctor. The Dosage of Atomoxetine is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other drugs you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). Do not increase your dose or take Atomoxetine more often than directed. Use Atomoxetine regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Before taking atomoxetine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. Atomoxetine may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using Atomoxetine, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history,a certain adrenal problem (pheochromocytoma), bladder or prostate problems, glaucoma, heart problems (such as irregular heartbeat, heart failure, previous heart attack, problems with heart structure), family history of heart problems (such as sudden cardiac death, irregular heartbeat), high blood pressure, liver disease, personal/family history of mental/mood disorders (such as bipolar disorder, depression, psychosis, suicidal thoughts), stroke. Atomoxetine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis). Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). If used for a long time, Atomoxetine may affect a child's growth rate, weight, and final adult height. To reduce the risk, the doctor may recommend briefly stopping the medication from time to time. Check the child's weight and height regularly, and consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details. During pregnancy, Atomoxetine should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is unknown if Atomoxetine passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
If you miss a dose of Atomoxetine, take it as soon as you remember if it is the same day. If it is the next day, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Taking MAO inhibitors with Atomoxetine may cause a serious (possibly fatal) drug interaction. Avoid taking MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, metaxalone, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, safinamide, selegiline, tranylcypromine) during treatment with Atomoxetine. Most MAO inhibitors should also not be taken for two weeks before and after treatment with Atomoxetine. Ask your doctor when to start or stop taking Atomoxetine. Some products have ingredients that could raise your heart rate or blood pressure. Tell your pharmacist what products you are using, and ask how to use them safely (especially cough-and-cold products or diet aids).
Atomoxetine Side Effects
Stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, constipation, tiredness, loss of appetite/weight loss, dry mouth, dizziness, drowsiness, trouble sleeping, or decrease in sexual ability/desire may occur. In women, menstrual cramps or missed/irregular periods may also occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. To lessen the chance of dizziness, get up slowly from a sitting or lying position. Remember that Atomoxetine has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using Atomoxetine do not have serious side effects. Atomoxetine may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects,difficulty urinating, unusually fast/irregular heartbeat, fainting, numbness/tingling. Atomoxetine may rarely cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of liver damage,nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, loss of appetite, dark urine, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin. Atomoxetine may rarely cause serious problems such as a heart attack or stroke.chest/jaw/left arm pain, shortness of breath, unusual sweating, weakness on one side of the body, confusion, trouble speaking, sudden vision changes. Rarely, males (including young boys and teens) may have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours while using Atomoxetine. Caregivers/parents should also be watchful for this serious side effect in boys. If a painful or prolonged erection occurs, stop using Atomoxetine and get medical help right away, or permanent problems could occur. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details. A very serious allergic reaction to Atomoxetine is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction,rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard Atomoxetine when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
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