Next up: Strattera

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I'll be picking it up this afternoon, we'll possibly try it this weekend.
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good luck! It is a medication that has to build up - it is not quick in, quick out like the other ADHD medications (the stimulants).
    I hope it helps!
  3. Bugsy

    Bugsy New Member

    We had a very bad experience with strattera. My son has tried SOO many medications but we believe that strattera is what caused him to be hospitalized. My cousin's son did very poorly on it and so did another child in my son's class. All three children went downhill between 2 and 3 months.

    I do not mean to scare you. Every child is different and react differently but I must say this is the one medication out of tons that I have not heard of true success with.

    Good Luck
  4. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Good luck - although - remember Strattera is a SSRI so it could activate difficult child 2 and make him more impulsive and aggressive. Keep your eyes open, and start slow.
  5. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Strattera is an SNRI antidepressant. It acts primarily on norepinephrine rather than serotonin. (There are no pure SNRIs approved to treat depression in the US but Effexor, Cymbalta and the newly approved Pristiq are SSRI/SNRI combination antidepressants). Strattera has the same warnings as any other antidepressant -- suicidal ideation, hostility aggression...
  6. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Thanks Sara - interesting. So is Strattera the only SNRI approved in the US?
  7. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Yeah, and it's not approved as an antidepressant. Some SNRIs are approved as antidepressants in other countries.
  8. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Shortly after my husband died, a psychiatrist prescribed Strattera as she thought that my anxiety driven "ADHD" symptoms might be helped by it.

    Not only did Strattera make the sx worse, it threw me into a full blown manic episode.

    Worse yet, the bipolar sx did not go away once I was weaned off of Strattera. Five years later I am on mood stabilizer and AP to deal with sx.

    My (new) psychiatrist tells me this actually is not uncommon with ADs and people with BiPolar (BP) "tendencies". They can set off full blown sx and once the sx are set off you are stuck with them.

    Basically I went from unipolar depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) to having BPII, and while I do have the family history; it was the Strattera that set it off for me.

    Not only that, Strattera does not have a great track record in treating ADHD. Sara would likely know better, but I think it's less than a 40% success rate.

    Not only that, unlike the usual ADHD medications/stims, which are 'fast in/fast out' (you know if they are going to work right away, and they wear off right away), Strattera has to be titrated up, takes a good while to show if it's going to work or not, and requires weaning off.

    Just some things to think about.
  9. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    GoingNorth's memory is on the mark. Our neuro told us that Strattera only works in 40 percent of ADHD cases. The neuro and our pediatrician are completely underwhelmed with its efficacy.

    My son only took Strattera for 3 days because it gave him migraines. I think it was a fortunate turn of events because every other AD he's ever taken has thrown him into mania.
  10. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    My difficult child took strattera, and it did nothing. Did not control symptoms, but did not cause problems. Good luck, and I hope it helps. Which kiddo is it for and how old are they? (not sure if your sig is up to date)
  11. Holliewho

    Holliewho New Member

    Sara your so right. When my difficult child#1 tried it OMG! She was so tired all the time ... she would lay down on the floor in school by her desk.... She also got extremely agressive. Because her teacher knew she had switched medications she gave me the courtesy of calling me instead of sending difficult child to the office (which would have meant suspending a 3rd grader). I called her psychiatrist and he said do not give her another pill there will be a new scrip for Ritalin at the front desk in an hour. I had the new scrip filled and ready for the next morning.

    It didnt help her in any way at all. It aggravated the situation and made things 100 x worse.
  12. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    This is for difficult child 2.

    I gave him the first dose at 4pm yesterday. He was basically a really whiney lump on a log the rest of the night and was crashed by 8. Made a couple comments that he didn't feel good, so....we'll see.

    I didn't realize it was a capsule. I was hoping it was a pill I could cut in half and start with an even lower "lowest" dose given his reaction to all the other medications.

    When I talked with the pharmacist, he was not for the straterra. I just don't know...I really feel cornered into this option...he's falling behind in school and already has self esteem issues.

    Thanks for the input. Will think this thru more today.
  13. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Nausea is a very common reaction when starting Strattera. It usually goes away eventually.
  14. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    My difficult child tried Strattera too. The first few days he was a tired, and then it was like a miracle. He was an entirely different person for about a month. Then, it was like he wasn't taking anything at all. We upped the dose and nothing. He took it the entire summer but we had to supplement with Ritalin because it was really doing nothing. We kept upping the dose until it reached "therapeutic levels" but still it was like he was taking nothing. After about 6 months, we weaned him off.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I concur that, as an antidepressant, Stratterra can cause more harm than good, but it often takes 4-8 weeks for full blown mania to kick in, if that's what it's going to cause. It can incite anything from aggression to psychosis.
  16. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    He, husband, and I went to a couple of garage sales this morning, which he loves to do with husband (its their thing). He was afraid to go look at them by himself, which is something he has NEVER done before. Every one we went to, he would start up the drive, then run back and grab my hand and kinda cower beside me while he walked and looked. He has never done anything close to this before, and it was every sale we stopped at. Definitely not the norm.

    He's still complaining of being tired and wanting to go to bed. In 2 hours, it will be "time" to give him another dose...I'm afraid its going to knock him out for the time the in-home is here.

    I guess I'm going to keep going with it, but try as I might, I'm not optimistic about this.

    I hope I'm wrong.

    I just hope it doesn't make him worse. But my eyes are peeled.
  17. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member


    Stattera did nothing for either of my kids. Adderall works wonders for #1, but Strattera didn't help and seemed to make his appetite much worse. In #2, it made him extremely tired, flat, didn't help ADHD and actually triggered his tics.

    psychiatrist here is equally underwhelmed with it in her practice.

    We started I think with the 18 mg dose and then went up to the weight appropriate dose, rather than start at the weight appropriate dose.

    good luck. Hope you are one of the ones it works for!
  18. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Miss KT was on Strattera for a little over a year. She had maxed out on the dosage, and I wasn't seeing a lot of improvement, so we went back to the stims.

    When Hubby was diagnosis'd about 6 years ago, his doctor started him out with Strattera, even though I told him not to! Hubby was diagnosis'd unipolar depressive, and I was afraid of the effect on him. Even when I ramped it up to a weight-appropriate dosage, he was wigging out, alternating between anger (wanting to punch walls) and the most heartbreaking crying (just so SAD). I tracked his dosage and behaviors and took to the doctor. Hubby's now on Ritalin and doing very very well.
  19. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    So far, I'm still giving it to him. I'm not sure if what I'm seeing is worse than normal or not, but beleive me, eyes are peeled.
    Impulse control is definitely down. Normal progression of difficult child or Strattera induced, I can't say at this point. I do know I've seen him do several things the past weekend, most actually yesterday, that he doesn't normally do anymore. However, impulse control is a come and go kinda thing, anyway.
    Just yesterday, he...
    ...was playing with a toy hoe in the sandbox and had the coon out. The coon headed for a tree and difficult child flung the hoe towards him to stop him.
    ...had his dog on a leash last night and they were running around the yard playing. He joined the dog in a game of chase the cats and chickens.
    ...threw a toy for the young dog right at the feet of the old dog, which, of course, makes the old dog grumpy when the young dog comes bounding by to get it.
    ...he repeatedly threw the ball over the fence, where the dog couldn't get it.
    ...was bouncing himself on the bed, and bounced hard enough to kick me while I was standing at the other end of a full sized bed while he was putting his pj's on.
    And when its time for his afternoon medications, you know its time for his afternoon medications. He talks and wiggles non-stop, more so than what is "typical", but again, this is a "come and go" thing, too, so I'm not sure if its the Straterra, or just his normal progression of whatever it is that makes him be like this. Again, a couple of years ago, this kinda stuff was common all day every day, now we see it just once in a while. All this was yesterday. None of it terrible, but not the norm, either.
    And it isn't like he really thinks about this stuff, its more like it just pops in his head and he acts on it. Its not calculated (tho he is capable).
  20. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member

    I know that all children handle medication differently but I wish someone had told me this before I put my son on Straterra.

    My friend's nine year old was commited because he tried to kill himself while on Straterra. He was on it about three months when this happened.

    My son (at age eight when he was put on Straterra) started talking about "not wanting to live, I wish I was dead, and he should have never been born" after about four months on Straterra. He was very down and depressed. As soon as we took him off he stopped talking like that (he is 12 now).

    Good luck.