The drug Strattera is used to treat attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder. The medication is approved for use in children after six years of age under the supervision of a physician. It can be used as an independent agent, and be part of complex therapy. The effect of Strattera can be supplemented by psychological and social methods of treatment.
The active ingredient of the drug and the form of release
Strattera is a capsule for oral administration. The proportion of the active ingredient in each tablet is 10 mg. One carton pack contains 14 capsules.
The active ingredient of the drug is atomoxetine in the form of hydrochloride. Earlier in the USA, the component was known as tomoxetine. According to its physical properties, it is a white solid. By its chemical nature, it is an amine. According to its pharmacological properties, atomoxetine belongs to the group of sympathomimetics - substances indirectly affecting the functioning of the CNS and the transmission of nerve impulses. Amphetamine and ephedrine have similar effects.
Pharmacokinetics of Strattera
The active ingredient of the drug is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream through the gastrointestinal tract. The maximum concentration of atomoxetine is registered already in 1-2 hours after oral administration. The substance is characterized by increased bioavailability. The minimum indicator is 63%, the maximum is 94%. Due to this feature, doctors prefer to prescribe Strattera rather than other sympathomimetics with a different composition.
The active ingredient binds to plasma proteins, mainly to albumin. It is rapidly distributed throughout the body and takes effect from the first day of treatment. Atomoxetine hydrochloride is metabolized by liver enzymes. The spent drug is eliminated from the body mainly with the urine.
Mechanism of action of the substance in the body
Rapidly distributed throughout the tissues of the body, atomoxetine hydrochloride reaches the cells of the nervous system. The substance selectively blocks the presynaptic membrane proteins. Normally, their function is the reuptake of the hormones dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. As a result of taking the capsules, the concentration of dopamine and noradrenaline in the cortex of the large hemispheres increases. Their quantity in the basal nuclei and pleasure center remains at the same level.
The effect of taking the drug
Capsules Strattera indirectly by blocking the reuptake of proteins and correction of the hormonal background affect nervous activity. Against the background of taking it is noted:
increased concentration of attention;
improvement of cognitive functions;
support of perseverance;
the elimination of impulsivity, irritability, anxiety;
normalization of sleep.
The drug helps children, adolescents, and adults to become calmer. It allows better control of their actions, not to be distracted during work or study. The treatment eliminates the somatic signs of the condition - hyperkinesia (involuntary movements arising due to erroneous commands of the brain).
The drug Strattera is recommended in cases where there is no positive response to treatment with psychostimulants. It is milder and gentler, without causing dependence in patients.
Indications for taking Strattera
The drug with atomoxetine in its composition was originally used for the treatment of depression, but a stable result could not be achieved. A pronounced antidepressant effect was observed only when combined with other drugs of the same pharmacological group.
Further, atomoxetine was clinically tested for effectiveness against attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder. The substance helped patients manage their symptoms for a short period of time. At the same time, the health risks were minimal.
ADHD most often manifests itself in childhood and adolescence. The syndrome is accompanied by restlessness, impatience, and poor concentration. Children diagnosed with ADHD are often distracted, cannot focus on one activity for long periods of time, have difficulty organizing themselves, often lose personal belongings, and intentionally avoid difficult tasks. They have difficulty waiting, staying in one place. Their speech is confused, hurried. They often interrupt their interlocutors and interfere in other people's conversations.
Attention deficit disorder in adults is different. Symptoms may hardly be expressed. ADHD patients complain about boring, uninteresting work. They find it difficult to be engrossed in anything. They tend to get distracted from obligatory tasks, looking for reasons to refuse to do them. Many people are diagnosed with sleep disorders, mood swings, and increased anxiety.
Atomoxetine has been proven effective not only for ADHD but also for psychogenic overeating. This is a compulsive disorder that leads to rapid weight gain. The person is trying to get rid of stress with food. Neither exercise nor diets help to cope with obesity. In this case, it is possible to prescribe Strattera Atomoxetine capsules in a short course.
Dosing regimen and administration rules
The drug is taken strictly under the supervision of the attending physician. It is possible to take once or twice a day depending on the intensity of symptoms and the presence of side effects. Capsules are swallowed whole, without chewing, with a glass of water. Food intake does not affect the rate of absorption of the active component.
The therapeutic dose is chosen individually for each patient. Daily volume depends on age and body weight. Treatment begins with minimum doses. Their increase to the maximum is possible after 2-4 weeks of therapy. This approach reduces the risk of side effects. After completion of basic treatment, it is necessary to switch to a reduced, maintenance dose. It remains until the drug is completely withdrawn.
Treatment with Strattera is usually prolonged. The minimum course is 6-8 weeks, but no more than 1.5 years. The safety of use for more than two years has not been studied.
Contraindications for use
Capsules containing atomoxetine are not prescribed for the following conditions:
Relative contraindications include arterial hypertension and hypotension, tachycardia, cerebral blood disorders. In these diagnoses, the drug is prescribed with caution.
Possibility of use during pregnancy
Appointment of Strattera capsules during the period of expectation of a child is possible if the potential benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the fetus. There is no conclusive information about the safety of the drug. If possible, it is better to cancel the medication and resume taking it after the end of lactation.
During treatment with the drug with atomoxetine in its composition, negative reactions from different organ systems are possible. The most common side effects are:
Against the background of taking Strattera capsules, there is an increase in heart rate and a slight increase in blood pressure. The risk of side effects is higher in children and adolescents, as well as in patients with chronic liver and kidney pathologies.
As a rule, the undesirable effects persist during the first month of treatment. Then they disappear on their own. Symptomatic therapy is not required. With pronounced side effects that worsen the quality of life, it is possible to reduce the daily dose.
Effect on the ability to drive vehicles
Against the background of taking capsules, irritability, impulsivity, somnolence are possible. The reaction rate is usually not slowed down. It is acceptable to drive a car or work with complex mechanisms during treatment, provided that the drug does not cause side effects.
Overdose of the drug
If the therapeutic dose is exceeded, poisoning with atomoxetine is possible. Signs of acute intoxication:
drying of the mucous membranes of the mouth;
pain in the epigastrium - the upper part of the abdomen;
digestive disorders - vomiting, heartburn;
In severe cases, when Strattera is combined with other drugs or when the therapeutic dose is exceeded several times, a lethal outcome is possible due to respiratory center depression.
A patient with signs of intoxication with atomoxetine requires emergency treatment. The first step is gastric emptying by inducing vomiting. This measure is used, provided that the victim is conscious, and less than two hours have passed since the capsules were taken. Then the patient is given adsorbents to absorb and remove poisons from the body. His heart activity and blood pressure are monitored.
If the patient is not breathing on his own, artificial lung ventilation is necessary. Dialysis is not used because of the lack of therapeutic effect. This method does not work because the active substance is almost completely bound to plasma proteins.
Combination of Strattera with other medications
Drugs with atomoxetine in the composition are prohibited to take simultaneously with MAO inhibitors. The minimum interval between courses of these drugs should be 14 days. This is necessary for complete elimination of the active components from tissues and body fluids.
when combined with beta-adrenergic stimulants, there is an increased risk of side effects from the heart and blood vessels;
when combined with vasoconstrictors, blood pressure increases;
when combined with drugs for norepinephrine secretion, the pharmacological effects of both drugs increase;
in combination with hypotensive drugs, a slight decrease in their effectiveness is possible.
Safety of Use
Atomoxetine, although acting similarly to amphetamine, is not considered a drug derivative. According to studies, the potential for abuse is rated as moderate to low. Atomoxetine is not addictive for patients, so it is approved even for children. The substance corrects the CNS, improves concentration, increases performance, but has no psychostimulant effect.