Atomoxetine Addiction and Abuse

Atomoxetine, which is also sold under the brand name of Strattera, is a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. It has been approved for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

In most cases, the medication is used as one part of a complete treatment plan, which usually includes social, psychological and other treatments. Doctors and experts claim the medication helps individuals who take it maintain concentration, pay attention, stop fidgeting and remain focused. It is believed it works by restoring the balance of specific neurotransmitters in the brain.

It is essential for those who are prescribed atomoxetine to read the entire medication guide given at the pharmacy before taking the medication. It can be taken with or without food and typically is taken one to two times per day. The initial dose is usually taken when a person wakes up in the morning, and if a second dose has been prescribed, it will be taken in the late afternoon or early evening. If the medication is taken too late, it may result in issues sleeping or insomnia.

When taking the pills, it is necessary to swallow the capsules whole. Never chew, open or crush the capsule prior to taking it.
To get the most benefits from this medication, a person needs to take it as prescribed by their doctor, and they need to take it at the same time each day.

While most sources claim that the risk of addiction when taking atomoxetine is low, it is important to understand there is the possibility of misuse with all drugs, regardless of what they are used for. Just like with other medications that are used for the treatment of ADHD, atomoxetine comes with unique risks and side effects, with misuse potential being one of them.

Because the medication affects the brain, behavior and mood, it also changes the way the brain communicates. As a result, it can cause the brain to make the person taking the medication to continue seeking it. This is what often leads to misuse and in the future — addiction.

If someone begins misusing atomoxetine, they may experience an array of side effects. Some of the most common include:

  • Agitation
  • Aggression
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Mania
  • Panic attacks

One of the most troubling side effects of misuse of this medication is that it can increase suicidal thoughts and the risk of suicide.

While the misuse of this medication is low, if a person does become addicted, the risk of recurrence of use after recovery is high. As a result, it is imperative to seek aftercare when recovering from this medication.

A strong, quality aftercare program is essential when fighting against recurrence of use. If you or someone you love is in this situation, then contact our team at The Recovery Village. We are a team of professionals who understand addiction, drug misuse, and other related issues. We can help you or your loved one find a life that is substance free.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.