How Does Strattera Help ADHD

Medical Disclaimer
The medications listed on this website are provided for informational purposes only. Their inclusion does not guarantee that they will be prescribed to any individual, as treatment decisions are ultimately at the discretion of healthcare providers. This list is not exhaustive, and healthcare providers may prescribe other medications, including non-stimulant options, based on the patient's unique health circumstances and needs.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in children and adults. Although ADHD is mainly diagnosed in childhood; however, there are cases of this condition where the symptoms become evident when one is an adult. Adult ADHD can cause impulsive behaviors and choices, making it challenging for patients to create and foster healthy relationships and friendships and concentrate at work, often leading to low self-esteem.

There are several treatments administered to ADHD patients, such as medications and psychotherapy. The treatments can work separately, or at times psychiatrists will recommend medication to go with therapy. One of the most common and effective medications administered to ADHD patients is Strattera (atomoxetine), a non-stimulant drug approved for treating the disorder.

This article highlights the symptoms of ADHD, the uses and side effects of Strattera, and general information on how Strattera helps with ADHD.

Consult a doctor to know if you have ADHD and get a personalized treatment plan.

Symptoms of ADHD in Adults

Some ADHD symptoms may lessen as people grow, while others may show up as people get into adulthood. ADHD symptoms affect the patient’s daily functioning. Some of the most common ADHD symptoms in adults are:

  • Poor time management
  • Hot temper
  • Restlessness
  • Inability to multitask
  • Impulsiveness
  • Problems prioritizing
  • Inability to cope with stress
  • Disorganization
  • Poor planning
  • Unpredictable mood swings
  • Challenges in completing tasks
  • Inattentiveness

How Does Strattera Work?

Strattera is a non-stimulant that increases the amounts of norepinephrine. Also known as noradrenaline, norepinephrine is a hormone and a neurotransmitter responsible for the fight-or-flight response in the body. Increasing this chemical in the brain will boost the attention span and minimize the impulse behavior and hyperactivity of ADHD patients.

By altering the fight-or-flight response, Strattera is responsible for improving the patient’s mental health

Is Strattera a Controlled Substance?

Unlike stimulant medications used in treating ADHD, Strattera is not a controlled substance. Non-stimulants such as Strattera are considered second and third-line drugs since they are often considered less effective than psychostimulants. One of the main reasons why Strattera is usually recommended despite it’s not a first-line medication is due to the lack of extreme side effects. Therefore, patients using this drug are less likely to become addicted and abuse it. Despite having mild effects, patients should still take Strattera once a day.

Precautions for Taking Strattera for Adult ADHD

ADHD patients with the following conditions are not suitable for taking Strattera:

  • Allergy to components of Strattera
  • Taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  • Adrenal tumor (Pheochromocytoma)
  • Narrow-angle glaucoma
  • Acute heart problems
  • Liver impairment (Jaundice)

Tell the doctor about your symptoms, health history, and medications you take to get the right medication prescribed.

Strattera Side Effects

As with other drugs, there is the good and the bad part of the medication. Although Strattera does not have severe side effects, there are still some side effects associated with it. The most common are:

  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Painful menstruation
  • Urinary tract troubles
  • Insomnia
  • Hot flashes

It is rare to find a patient being discontinued from the medication. However, there are cases where a patient might develop an allergic reaction to the drug. The most common symptoms of Strattera are hives and body swelling. Doctors advise patients to notify them immediately if they notice any allergic reaction.

Other Non-Stimulant ADHD Medications

Besides Strattera, there are two other drugs that are used to treat ADHD. They are Kapvay and Intuniv. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the two to be used alone or combined with stimulant drugs to achieve the same results. Intuniv and Kapvay offer calming effects on parts of the brain responsible for the fight-or-flight response. As a result, the medications decrease impulsiveness and promote mental functioning in someone with ADHD. Intuniv and Kapvay are generally prescribed if the patient has resistance against Strattera and stimulation drugs. Doctors cannot prescribe Kapvay to patients allergic to Clonidine, whereas patients allergic to guanfacine should not use Intuniv.


Addressing mental illnesses such as ADHD is a process that may require both medication and therapy. Any of these treatment methods can be used separately or together, depending on the diagnosis given by the medical experts. Although there are several free materials online to help patients cope with mental illnesses, doctors advise anyone suspecting mental illness against self-diagnosis or self-medication. Doctors advise people to get a proper evaluation from medical professionals if they note any symptoms of ADHD.


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