The most common Strattera side effects in children are increased appetite, stomach upset, and lightheadedness.
In adults, however, the most common side effects tend to be insomnia, sexual side effects, and increased blood pressure.
However, it is important to note that these side effects tend to occur in only a small percentage of children and adults taking the medication.
What Is Strattera?
Strattera is used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, otherwise known as ADD or ADHD. It affects the chemicals in the brain that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.
This medication comes in 10mg, 18mg, 25mg, 40mg, and 60mg long acting capsules. Typically, the starting dose is 0.5 mg and then gradually increased, usually weekly, from that level.
It starts working within a few days to one week, but the full effect may not be evident for a month or two.
Decreased Appetite/Loss Of Appetite
This is relatively common among Strattera side effects. If it continues to be problematic, dosages and medication times can be adjusted. Often a large breakfast, small lunch and large supper can do the trick. Or a late evening snack can also help.
Rebound: Mood Shifts As Drug Wears Off
Rebound is the phenomenon where some experience irritability or depression for an hour as the drug wears off. One can avoid rebound by spacing the doses closer together, giving a smaller dose after the final larger dose, or by switching to a longer acting stimulant. Recently several new long-acting stimulant preparations have been released. Although the long-acting compounds often have less rebound, it may still occur in susceptible individuals.
Shakiness: "The Jitters"
In some users, Strattera may produce the jitters and the shakes. If you experience these symptoms try eliminating all caffeine and other stimulants. If it becomes too problematic, your doctor may prescribe a low dose of a beta-blocker (a type of blood pressure medication) that can block tremors, shakes and jitters. Be sure to eat regular meals and ingest some food.
Another common side effect. This may be alleviated by taking the
medication with meals or by eating smaller, more frequent meals.
Sometimes sleep disturbances such as insomnia can occur when taking Stattera. Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or remain asleep. Remember, such sleep disturbances can be the result of Attention Deficit, and not the medication. As a result, it is a good idea to take a sleep history before starting taking any stimulants in order to track sleep patterns.
If sleep disturbances are due to the medication, there are several options such as adjusting dosages and medication times.
Irritability: Mood Swings
Irritability or mood swings may be due to ADHD, but if it is due to the medication the dosage may be altered or another ADHD medication could be substituted. One way to tell is if the mood swings occur soon after taking the medication.
Immediately inform your doctor of any unusual or severe side effects or drug reactions. Only take Strattera as prescribed by your doctor; do not alter your dose, take excessive does, or take a double dose to make up for a missed dose without first consulting your prescribing doctor.