Signs, Symptoms & Side Effects of Strattera (Atomoxetine) Abuse

Strattera is a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It helps a person control impulsive behavior and hyperactivity.

Even though Strattera has a low addiction rate, substance misuse is still a possibility because it stimulates the central nervous system (CNS).

Strattera (a brand name of Atomoxetine) is an SNRI that is prescribed to people with ADHD. The drug restores natural chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. When taken as directed, Strattera can help a person by increasing focus, attention span and decreasing hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Although Strattera does stimulate the CNS, it works differently from other ADHD medications since it is classified as an SNRI. SNRIs stabilize serotonin and norepinephrine by blocking reuptake (absorption).

CNS stimulants like Strattera are easy to misuse. Someone with a Strattera prescription should take it as instructed to avoid misuse.
A person is likely to experience some side effects while taking Strattera. These side effects might include:

  • Stomach issues (upset stomach, diarrhea)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia (inability to fall or stay asleep)
  • Suppressed appetite
  • Menstrual cramps and/or irregular periods in women.

Strattera can cause severe side effects, although it is rare. Severe side effects include:

  • Chest pain
  • Aggression
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased blood pressure (blurred vision, severe headaches)
  • Numbness or burning/tingling feeling in the skin

As previously mentioned, Strattera alters chemicals in the brain. Because of this alteration, absence of the drug can cause withdrawal symptoms as well as recurring use for its effects. A person misusing Strattera will develop a tolerance, and their body will need a much larger dose to produce the same effects, which over time, can lead to a substance use disorder.

There are common behavioral signs when a person is struggling with addiction. They may constantly seek the medication for uses other than medical. If Strattera is not readily available, a person might become irritable or aggressive, due to withdrawal symptoms.

Some withdrawal symptoms from Strattera are:

  • Anxiety
  • Impulsiveness
  • Hostility
  • Panic attacks
  • Insomnia
  • Mania

Finding the right treatment program early on is the best way for someone struggling with addiction to prevent any long-term effects and ease withdrawal symptoms.

The side effects of Strattera can be difficult for some, however, if substance misuse continues, the long-term effects can make the road to recovery much more difficult.

Since Strattera prevents a person’s brain from absorbing neurotransmitters, long-term use can make it complicated for the brain to begin producing the neurotransmitters naturally, without the assistance of the drug.

The Recovery Village offers inpatient and outpatient plans to help you or a loved one avoid recurring use. Our goal is to help you achieve a substance-free life and teach you how to cope with the stresses that often lead to substance misuse.

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.