Read these 14 ADHD ADD Medications Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about ADD-ADHD tips and hundreds of other topics.
ADHD-Strattera (atomoxetine)- Side Effects!
Strattera is a selective norepinephine reuptake inhibitor, a new class of treatment that works differently from the other attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder medications available.
Strattera is not a stimulant under the Controlled Substance Act.
Strattera is an oral capsule and can be taken once or twice a day. Capsules are supplied in 5, 10, 18, 25, 40, and 60-mg strengths.
Although Strattera (atomoxetine) is a non-stimulant ADHD medication, it still poses many side effects consistent with the side effects of other ADHD medications - and a few new ones that adults might find less than pleasant.
Common Strattera (atomoxetine) Side Effects Include (But Not Limited To):
Dry mouth, Decreased appetite, Weight loss,
Upset stomach, Nausea and/or vomiting, Constipation,
Dizziness, Tiredness, Mood swings, Influenza, & Irritability
Strattera is also reported to cause Problems sleeping/Insomnia.
Sexual side effects (in adults studied):
Ejaculatory problems Urination problems
Decreased libido Impotence
Painful menstrual periods
The following, though rare, have also been reported:
Strattera (atomoxetine) can cause potentially serious allergic reactions.
Strattera (atomoxetine) can increase heart rate and blood pressure.
Strattera (atomoxetine) can also worsen the conditions of high blood pressure and heart disease.
Strattera (atomoxetine) should not be taken at the same time as, or within two weeks of taking, a monoamine oxidase inhibitor.
Patients with narrow angle glaucoma should not take Strattera (atomoxetine).
You should alert the prescribing physician of the following condition before beginning Strattera (atomoxetine);
Current or past depression, psychosis or other mental conditions:
Alcohol or drug abuse
High blood pressure
Epilepsy or seizure disorders
Liver disease or kidney disease
Pregnancy, nursing or plans to become pregnant
Prozac: Anxiety, restlessness, mania/hypomania, seizures, suicide, impaired judgment, agitation, amnesia, confusion, emotional lability, apathy, depersonalization, hallucinations, hostility, paranoid reaction, personality disorder, delusions.
Cardiac side effects: hemorrhage, hypertension, angina, arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, heart attack, rapid heart beat, atrial fibrillation, cerebral embolism, heart block.
When you discuss medications with your doctor, make sure that you insist on one that will last a minimum of 6 hours. You want your child to be able to get through a full school day without a second dose. Nothing is worse for a child's self-esteem than lining up at the office at lunchtime to get their meds. Everyone knows why they are there, and they are often labelled as "bad" or "dumb" kids.
Paxil: Mania/hypomania, impaired judgment, agitation, depression, anxiety, drugged feeling, depersonalization, amnesia, emotional lability, abnormal thinking, hallucinations, lack of emotion, hostility, manic reaction, neurosis, paranoid reaction, antisocial reaction, delirium, delusions, drug dependence, stupor.
Cardiac side effects: hypertension, rapid heartbeat, syncope; EKG abnormalities, angina, heart attack.
Catapres: Adult high blood pressure drug: delirium, mental depression, visual and auditory hallucinations, restlessness, anxiety, agitation, irritability, other behavioral changes, drowsiness.
Cardiac side-effects: congestive heart failure, cerebrovascular accident (stroke), EKG abnormalities, arrhythmias, chest pain, syncope, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat and palpitations.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding medication for ADD ADHD children. Many parents are uncomfortable with the idea, afraid of how it will affect their child. The truth is medication should be a very last resort after all posibilities such as food allergies, learning disabilities & enviromental allergies have been ruled out. The medical proffesion is to quick to give children mind altering substances without looking further into other causes.
Ritalin (Methylphenidate) Side Effects
The drug has become such a common element of schooling that the New Yorker magazine listed it as one of the three R's . . .
“Readin - Ritin - Ritalin” . . .
on its cover.
We begin with a quote from this report on a Congressional Investigation into the use of Ritalin and other drugs given today's children.
Peter R. Breggin M.D. Testimony September 29, 2000
Before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
Committee on Education and the Workforce
U.S. House of Representatives.
" Parents throughout the country are being pressured and coerced by schools to give psychiatric drugs to their children. Teachers, school psychologists, and administrators commonly make dire threats about their inability to teach children without medicating them. They sometimes suggest that only medication can stave off a bleak future of delinquency and occupational failure. They even call child protective services to investigate parents for child neglect and they sometimes testify against parents in court. Often the schools recommend particular physicians who favor the use of stimulant drugs to control behavior. These stimulant drugs include methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, and Metadate) or forms of amphetamine (Dexedrine and Adderall)."
Side Effects of Ritalin!
Insomnia, Nervousness, Insomnia Skin Rash,
Hypersensitivity, anorexia, Nausea, Dizziness,
Palpitations, Headache, Dyskinesia, Drowsiness,
Blood Pressure, Pulse Changes, Tachycardia, Weight Loss, Angina, Cardiac Arrhythmia, abdominal pain And More
The following side effects have also been reported in patients taking this drug:
Instances of abnormal liver function ranging from transaminase elevation to hepatic coma.
Isolated cases of cerebral arteritis and/or occlusion; leukopenia and/or anemia.
Transient depressed mood
And a few instances of scalp hair loss.
In children, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, weight loss during prolonged therapy, insomnia, and tachycardia may occur more frequently; however, any of the other adverse reactions listed above may also occur.
There have been reports of Tourette's syndrome.
Toxic psychosis has also been reported.
Zoloft: Mania/hypomania, suicide, agitation, anxiety, emotional lability, apathy, paranoid reactions, hallucinations, aggressive reactions, delusions, illusion.
Cardiac side effects: heart palpitations, chest pain, hypertension, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, syncope, fluid retention, heart attack.
Wellbutrin: Agitation, anxiety, restlessness, delusions, hallucinations, psychotic episodes, confusion, paranoia, mania, seizures, hostility, depression, depersonalization, mood instability, thought disorder, suicidal ideation.
Cardiac side effects: edema, chest pain, EKG abnormalities, shortness of breath, heart attack.
Dexedrine: Amphetamine with high potential for abuse, controlled substance, may lead to drug dependence, may exacerbate behavior disturbances and thought disorders and psychotic episodes.
Cardiac side effects: palpitations, rapid heartbeat, hypertension, cardiomyopathy with chronic amphetamine use.
Three general classes of FDA-approved medication exist for treating ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactive disorder) subtypes. These include stimulants, norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (NRIs) and the suspected alpha-2 adrenergic agonist clonidine.
Stimulants such as Adderall (mixed amphetamine salts) and Dextrostat (amphetamine sulfate) are used to increase concentration. These drugs work by increasing release of norepinephrine, a catecholamine vital to concentration. Desoxyn (methamphetamine) is used rarely, and affects dopamine (reward) receptor more than amphetamine. Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a stimulant similar to the aforementioned drugs, and blocks both reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine and enhances their release.
Straterra (atomoxetine) is a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. It has no addictive potential and is offered as non-controlled alternative for ADHD. Clonidine is a recent addition to the ADHD arsenal, and works by blocking the potentially stimulating norepinephrine. Due to possible sedation, it is often taken in the evening.
The most effective medication should be discovered through guided therapy, or trial and error. Certain subtypes of ADHD may respond better to stimulants (inattentive) and others to clonidine (impulsive and oppositional behavior).
When it comes to medication for ADD/ADHD, as with so many other conditions, there is a huge range of available drugs. They come in different doses and forms. A drug may come in an extended release formula, a long acting formula, slow release formula and other variations.
Once a drug company loses the patent for a particular drug, then different companies are allowed to manufacture that drug in a generic form. This is what happens with many drugs for ADHD symptoms, and there is a huge difference between brand name drugs and their generic equivalents.
Consistent Blood Levels
One commonality among all drugs which ADD/ADHD diagnosed people discover is that the key to the drug's success lies in finding that exact dose that works for them. Once a doctor finds that right dose, the next obstacle is figuring out how to keep blood levels consistent.
When it comes to generic drugs, your pharmacy is stuck with whatever is available, and lately, there has been a shortage of many ADD/ADHD drugs. That means that, at any given time, the pharmacist may have generic equivalents of one drug from several different manufacturers.
It also means that when you go to get a new prescription every month, you may wind up getting a generic drug from a different manufacturer. Since stimulant ADHD drugs are schedule II drugs, you have to take a paper prescription to the pharmacy each time you need a refill.
The variation in formula between generic and brand name equivalents isn't supposed to vary more than about 15 percent. Since the consistency of the dose is so crucial for people with ADHD, that variation can make a huge difference, especially when you're taking a drug more than once a day.
If you start to feel as though your ADHD medication isn't working as effectively as it should, and you've been taking a generic equivalent, consider talking to your doctor and requesting that he/she indicates that the brand name drug is medically necessary next time you go to get a prescription.
Instead of increasing the dose of a generic equivalent, the solution may be as simple as going back to the brand name drug. If you have prescription coverage, the company will have to pay for the brand name, as long as your doctor specifically orders it. Although the co-payment will undoubtedly be slightly higher, it will be well worth the expense.