The Forums Forums Ask The Community Non-stimulant Medication

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  • Anonymous
    Inactive
    #88139 |

    How do the non-stimulant medications work? I hear there’s a whole bunch of new ones that aren’t stimulants. What do they do?

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    #91528 |

    Non-stimulant medications (e.g. Strattera-atomoxetine; Wellbutrin-buproprion) mainly work on the noradrenaline neurotransmitter and are great at focusing and the problems of inattention. Because the typically have a blood level, they are more likely to have a continuous effect (e.g. you wake up with it and go to sleep with it). They are safe. See the http://www.caddra.ca site for information related to medications. Go to the Canadian ADHD Practice Guidelines (button on the left) and go to the Appendicies to learn about the meds. Keep looking at the Tips and Treatment section and there will be a new one on meds soon.

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    #91529 |

    I just started taking Strattera less than a month ago. I’m not sure if it is helping yet. I’ve been on an SSNRI before for many years for my bipolar disorder. I was just diagnosed with ADHD (predominatly inattentive)Nov 25th. I started the Strattera on the 27th of November. I have SVT (supra-ventrical tachacardia) which limits my ablitlity for medical treatment with stiimulants. I’m feeling a little less irritable and quick to anger. I’m also feeling happier and not totally irriated by my partner. How will I know if the medication is working? What should I watch for? My psychiatrist said I should ask the people around me if they notice a change. Any advice Dr. J?

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    #91530 |

    Strattera was worthless for me-if you’re going to medicate, do it with the stuff that’s been around over 70 years. It has been proven. I just wish I’d tried it when I tried Strattera b/c I would have been better 5 years earlier. Instead, because Strattera didn’t work for me and I was being seen by a MD who truly didn’t understand ADHD, I was mistakenly told I didn’t have ADHD and began a trial of numerous other meds and diagnoses.

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    #91531 |

    Serenity, unfortunately, all the meds that are specific for ADHD have problems with possible CV effects. Strattera is no exception. However, don’t panic. Having regular follow-up with a cardiologist is the best advice and they can direct you safely. I find that the ADD (Predominantly Inattentive Subtype) person does get a good response with atomoxetine. I don’t think it is an exceptionally good drug for people with impulse control issues but for core symptoms of inattention, it does work, albeit really really really slowly ( i didn’t stutter. There were three really’s there. Really). But, be patient. ADHD treatment is about changing your lifestyle so having a medication take a while to show full treatment effect is consistent with the overall treatment agenda anyway.

    Sometimes people augment the Strattera with just a little bit of psychostimulant to get the combo effect.

    I think the best attributes of Strattera is that it doesn’t feel like you are on the meds. With psychostimulants, you definitely feel the meds. Again, that has advantages and disadvantages.

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    #91532 |

    i am on strattera two months only and i too only feel bit less iratable and less annoyed at my partner, my anger flares up less..but i dont notice anytihin other than that, i still hop form one topic to the next and find it hard to finish any task ..my life is still verry disfunctioanl, but it is early days i guess..im on antidepressants too and have been on them for longer, nearly a year..im ex drug addict too so am cuatious of stimulant meds and i am hopeing strattera works for me.

    MK
    Member
    #91533 |

    I had less positive effects with Strattera than with the psycho-stimulant family of ADHD medications. The nicest part about it is that, as a non-psycho-stimulant, it can be PHONED IN! Instead of HAVING to physically pick up the prescription… Quite frankly I have heard some of the most notable psychopharmacologists (ok, psychiatrists who really know their meds) praise Vyvanse highly. So far so good with me – but NOTHING gets rid of ALL your symptoms!!! If you don’t use your strategies daily, you’ve the potential for disaster, meds or not.

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    #91534 |

    strategies? are you talking about behavoiur therepy strategies? i guess your right, i got an explanaiton today that meds slow you down so you can have space to make better decisions and threfor take the right action and also to follow through on activities i would imagine.. i am also getting bdp therepy too. so if thats what your talkin about then yes i agree taht meds combined with coping plans and behaviour awareness that progress will be made, but not just meds alone

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    #91535 |

    Dr. J.

    What is the theraputic dose of Strattera? I was started on 60mg. What stimulant might you suggest be augmented with Strattera? I am also on Lamotrigine 150mg and Seroquel 125mg.

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    #91536 |

    1 mg/kg/day to a max of 100 mg though I have gone as high as 160 mg. Some people have gone even higher but the fact is that Health Canada guidelines suggest max 100 mg.

    Here is the link for the information that you seek including off label dosing.

    http://www.caddra.ca/cms4/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=79&Itemid=124&lang=en

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    #91537 |

    thank you dr J! i just looked at the linc, i understand now the doses. my doctor started me on a high dose to start with then so hopefully is a case of just too much too quick and that my system witll get used to it..bit of a shock when i realse dthe correct startin dose, i am a small frame too so i surprised he started me on such big dose, it would explain such extreme side efects im having, thankyou for your advice and informantion, chips

    Mica
    Member
    #91538 |

    I have a strong family history of Bi-polar II and of a negative reaction to SSRI’s (extreme anxiety and suicidal thoughts from two different generations on my mom’s side and I’m like a carbon copy of her). It has made me very reluctant to try anything other than stimulants and yet I hear a lot of good things about Strattera. Are my fears warrented or should I not be ruling anything out at this point? My Dr. keeps telling me that it’s my choice but I’d like an informed opinion first.

    Any comments would be appreciated.

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    #91539 |

    hey Mica,

    im on strattera for few months now and i still on 25mg, i started on 18mg at first. i am still struggling to be honest and i have read lots of scary reports (i found site that reveals what doesnt get printed on the regular side effects list)and some good ones so i am tryin to stick with it, but all the negatives i read describe exactly how it makes me feel.

    i am worried becasue when i voice this to my physcologist he says that it up to me if want to contine if the side effects outway the benefits and he implys that if i dont like the side effects of stratera that it will be the same for all meds for adhd, but i get the impression that its different meds suit different people? so i hope that if i decide to get off stratera he lets me try stimulant meds…

    its quite hard to describe but i will try my best..i have really bad bouts of intiense deep depression- i have had depression for years and am on anti depressants too but it feels different on strattera , it feels verry verry verry black and verry agitated and i physically feel sick too, i also tremble i have verry violent thinking with it too,murderous thinking of others and harm to myslef and panick rushes over me real hard and fast..

    i have becoume frustrated and intolerant to people again . but im way more harder and harsher towards others than when not on adhd meds.

    but i also feel more slowed down at times, which is the only good part, though that is pushed aside when the nagative stuff is forced over me.

    my doctoer keeps sayin this is bound to be how i feel now i my brain is being slowed down. but like i said i have had depression over the years but it just feels verry differnt with strattera and i find it hard to explain .. im being verry carefull and im askin my partner to keep close eye on me because it is freakin me out a bit and am at piont of deciding to come off them all together.

    its a dificult one because there are good reviews out there and this is what is keepin me on them with the hope that it passes. this is my experience anyhow and im really almost at the piont of making some sort of decision.

    i guesss it is about trial and error. i just hope for the oppertunity to try stimulants but as i had history of drink and drug abuse my docter maybe reluctant, but i can garuntee that i do not want to abuse them, i just want some sort of qaulity of life !!!!! with out this mess i am in otherwise.. best of luck to you, chips

    Patte Rosebank
    Participant
    #91540 |

    @chips:

    If the Strattera is causing you to have thoughts of harming yourself or others (what you describe as “very violent thinking” and “murderous thinking of others and harm to myself”), then it is definitely NOT a medicine that you should be taking.

    All medications for mental conditions come with pages and pages of warnings, and there’s always a section that says, “If you experience any of the following symptoms, see your doctor immediately”. And thoughts of suicide or causing harm to others, are right up there at the top of the “see your doctor immediately” list.

    Don’t be afraid of stimulant medications for ADHD. Especially Ritalin, which has been around since the 1930s, which is proof that it works, and that it’s safe. Based on what I’ve seen here and elsewhere, being on stimulant medication to treat your ADHD actually makes you far less likely to abuse it or anything else. In fact, people with undiagnosed and/or untreated ADHD will often self-medicate with alcohol, illicit drugs, caffeine… anything to deliver the necessary bit of stimulation to the parts of their brains that need extra stimulation to function properly.

    And remember, a mental condition isn’t like a broken leg, where there’s just one way that works to treat it in all people. Finding the right medication or combination of meds is a matter of trial-and-error.

    If Strattera is causing you such dangerous side effects, then clearly, it’s not the medication for you, so you need to ask your doctor to try something else.

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