With so many products on the market promising to help people diagnosed with ADHD, it’s sometimes hard to know which way to turn. No medication is perfect. There is no miracle cure for ADHD. But as this Strattera review demonstrates, often it’s a case of finding what works best for you or your child.
Clinical trials have shown that some people respond better to treatments than others. So even if the ADHD is under control, it’s a good idea to stay informed. The thoughts and opinions of experts and parents are always in motion.
And when it comes to choosing a treatment, seeking reviews is just plain a good idea. That's probably why you are looking for a Strattera review, gathering data from as wide a range of sources as possible can only be a good thing.
After all, with over 2 million Strattera prescriptions are filled every year in the U.S alone, there are a lot of people out there trying to learn about it. For some at least, Strattera is an effective way of managing ADHD. But what about in your case, or that of your child?
First, we need to cover the basics.
What Is ADHD?
ADHD – or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder – is a learning disability that affects around six million Americans. Although the condition often remains on into adulthood, it is principally diagnosed in children.
According to a 2016 Center for Disease Control and Prevention report, approximately 9.4% of children aged 2-17 years have an ADHD diagnosis. In cases where people are diagnosed in adulthood, it's commonly referred to as Adult ADHD.
People with ADHD often face several challenges in their day to day life. Impaired time management, difficulties with multitasking, mood swings, and low frustration tolerance are just some of the symptoms.
The Types of ADHD
No two ADHD diagnosis are identical, but for clinical purposes, ADHD exists in three types. Though there are around six subtypes identified by brain scans. For this article, we're going to discuss the three broader categories.
Patients struggling with attentiveness are generally considered to have ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder. As the name suggests, such people have a hard time concentrating on specific tasks but show no signs of hyperactivity or impulsiveness.
The term ADHD is most commonly used to refer to those who exhibit hyperactive and impulsive behavior but are not necessarily inattentive or easily distracted.
When a person shows signs of hyperactivity and compulsiveness in tandem with inattentiveness, they might have combined ADHD.
How Is ADHD Treated?
Treatment for ADHD usually involves medication or therapy, but a combination of the two yields the best result. Medication falls into five distinct categories. Three of these, Methylphenidate, Lisdexamfetamine, and Dexamfetamine are stimulants. A fourth type, Atomoxetine, the focus of this Strattera review, works in a different way.
What Is Straterra?
Straterra is the brand name for Atomoxetine (ATX,) a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor or SNRI. In jargon-free terms, Staterra works by increasing the amount of norepinephrine in the brain. This chemical is one of several neurotransmitters tasked with readying the body for action. Essentially, it acts as a courier delivering information from one brain cell to the next.
Increasing the presence of norepinephrine in the brain aids concentration and reduces impulsiveness. For that reason, it is often seen as an excellent way of combatting ADHD.
The Straterra Review
Any review of medication begins with two all-important questions. First, how effective is it as a treatment? Second, what, if any, are the side-effects.
The answers to these question are often far from straightforward. After all, the effectiveness of different medications often varies from patient to patient. Where one person might experience mild side effects another may face a severe reaction.
Such initial queries mark only the beginning of the investigative process. Other factors need to be considered. Does the medication interact with anything else you might be taking? Do you have any pre-existing conditions susceptible to aggravation by certain drugs?
As always, you should consult a medical professional before embarking on any course of medication.
How We Reviewed
Any review of medication carries with it a certain responsibility. Sources need checking and cross-referencing. User reviews must reflect a wide range of experiences. And that goes doubly so for this Strattera review. With ADHD primarily affecting children, recommending a product carries a far greater sense of responsibility than your typical consumer review piece.
To maintain the integrity of this Strattera review, we opted for a tried and tested methodology. First, we referenced data from reputable, medical journals. we supplemented our findings with expert opinion as expressed by organizations such as the CDC and Additude. Lastly, we sought out user-reviews from a variety of sources, and then carefully curated them into a comprehensive overview of the product in question.
According to a 2016 study, Strattera is an effective and safe treatment for ADHD. As such, it represents a viable alternative to stimulants, a group of drugs that some think might be doing more harm than good. Indeed, according to the study’s lead author, Dr. M.M. Naveen, of the University of Maryland, Atomoxetine:
“Demonstrates comparable safety and tolerability to stimulant medications and should be considered a valid treatment alternative for those who do not tolerate or respond to stimulants.”
A clinical trial in 2006 had already arrived at similar conclusions. The study also found that Strattera lacked human abuse potential noting that stimulant drug abusers showed no preference for Atomoxetine over placebos. Absent any associated euphoria, the potential for abuse is low.
The study also found that Strattera worked equally well in both children and adults.
The medical consensus then is straightforward. Atomoxetine is not better than stimulant-based medications. However, in cases where patients can't take stimulants or they just don't work, it remains a viable and effective alternative.
Since some patients -- especially children -- have reported increased rates of suicide and suicidal ideation, this drug might not be suitable for everyone. Indeed, those diagnosed with anxiety, mood disorder, or other comorbid conditions would do well to steer clear of it altogether.
Even so, the risk seems slight. In terms of raw data, according to the 2016 report, suicidal ideation occurred 0.37% for those taking ATX vs. 0.07% for those on a placebo. In adults, the variation was 0.11% for ATX treatment and 0.12% for the control group.
Other side effects mentioned by users throughout this Straterra review included insomnia, constipation, irritability, and an increase in the intensity of menstrual cramps. In some cases, the drug also suppressed appetites, caused rashes, decreased libido, and led to cases of impotence, and dizziness.
When should I call the Doctor about Strattera side effects?:
- 1Fast or irregular heartbeats
- 2Difficulty urinating
- 4Numbness or tingling
Who Should Avoid Using Strattera?
An honest discussion with a medical professional is essential before you embark on any new medication is vital to your well-being.
In addition to some concerns surrounding suicide, Strattera has been known to cause liver injury in some patients. Anyone with existing liver conditions should steer clear of ATX altogether. Even those with no history of liver complications should be on the lookout for warning signs when taking Straterra.
Common signs of liver problems include dark urine, right upper belly pain, and yellowing of the skin or eyes.
In addition, patients with a history or family history of heart or blood pressure complications need to be monitored by doctors during treatment. In some cases, patients with prior cardiac problems have experienced strokes, high blood pressure, and heart attacks while taking Straterra.
Although the number of medications used to treat symptoms of ADHD continues to grow, several brands dominate. As with most medications, side effects persist, and some carry more significant risks than others.
The substituted amphetamine, Lisdexamfetamine launched in 2007 under the brand name of Vyvanse. Although primarily used to combat ADHD in some cases, Vyvanse has shown some effectiveness in reducing health risks associated with binge eating disorders.
Although proven to improve cognition, side effects include hypertension, erectile dysfunction, gastrointestinal problems, and appetite loss and psychotic or manic symptoms.
As with the other stimulant products mentioned in this Straterra review, dependency risk is high, although addiction liability is only moderate.
Ritalin, also known by its generic name, Methylphenidate, has been around for quite some time. Synthesized in 1944 it was approved for medical use in 1955. Today, it finds application in the treatment of ADHD, depression, and, bipolar disorder.
As noted earlier in this Strattera review, amphetamine-based medications such as Ritalin carry certain risks. Addiction and psychological dependence are likely at high doses, especially if used recreationally. Other side effects include appetite loss, anxiety, hypertension, and increased sweating.
Adderall is the third amphetamine-based medication mentioned in this Straterra review. The usual caveats regarding addiction and habituation apply here although Adderall has more of a reputation for recreational abuse than some of the other drugs on this list.
As a result, although the dependency liability is considered to be moderate, addiction risk is listed as high.
Although considered safe for use at prescribed doses, the side effects of Adderall are sometimes quite severe. Increased, heart rate, appetite loss, and abdominal pain are just some of the more common adverse effects.
Not everyone needs to deal with their ADD or ADHD by taking medication. Throughout this Strattera review, we found numerous instances of patients who managed symptoms in a variety of interesting ways.
Fidget spinners, herbal remedies, and Revibe wristbands have all shown some ability to combat ADHD.
While useful for very mild instances of ADHD, these stop-gap measures are often not as effective long-term or in severe cases.
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Pros And Cons
Staterra is one of the few ADHD medications on the market that does not fall under the umbrella of the Controlled Substances Act. As such, there is no black market for the product, and although it remains a prescription-only product, possession of Straterra is legal.
Positives experiences of Strattera use are relatively easy to find although as with all medications, individual experiences vary.
Still, no medication is perfect. In addition to the side effects covered in this Straterra review, some common problems with the drug include:
Is Straterra The Right Medication For You Or Your Child?
For anyone interested in trying Strattera, the starting point is always the same. Consult a health care professional.
If your physician has not mentioned ATX, it might be a good idea to bring it up during a consultation. Medical staff can check over your medical records and raise and underlying concerns with you. If, after that, they feel that it might be worth a trial run, you can proceed.
Some patients reacted badly to this medication in the past. Cited side effects ranged from uncontrollable anger, dry mouth, joint pains, heart palpitations, and so on. Others noted a considerable improvement in their ability to concentrate.
In many cases, if the side effects are manageable, it might be advisable to keep on taking Strattera for a few weeks at least. Studies suggest that improvements in mood and concentration won’t kick in until around the four-week mark, so sticking with it might be a good idea.
Some of the user comments uncovered during this Strattera review highlighted just how different experiences from person to person can get. Some described it as a godsend, for others, acute side effects appeared from the very first dose.
Ultimately then, whether Strattera works for you or not is going to depend on several factors. In some cases, certain caveats only surface after you have given it a reasonable trial.
If a trusted physician thinks it's worth a shot then as long as you stick to the correct dosage and monitor the effects closely, Strattera might be the answer you've been looking for. Treatment for ADHD without having to resort to stimulants.