Benefits and adverse effects of Strattera for the treatment of ADHD
Strattera is a relatively young drug but it has already become the second most widely used medication to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children. It is a non-stimulant drug that inhibits the reuptake of noradrenaline in the brain, helping to reduce the most severe symptoms of this disorder.
In fact, in some cases psychiatrists even recommend it as a drug of choice over methylphenidate, which is because Strattera has proven effective in the treatment of children with ADHD associated with anxiety. In addition, it is also a good alternative when it is suspected that there may be substance abuse because it does not contain the risk of addiction.
Strattera is also recommended for children with ADHD and tics because it has been found that, unlike methylphenidate, reduces these involuntary movements. However, these are not the only benefits of Strattera, there are many more.
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The advantages of Strattera
The latest scientific findings not only suggest that the use of Strattera is effective in reducing the symptoms of ADHD but it is also a fairly safe drug. The experiments carried out with this drug have found a decrease in the symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity with only 8 weeks of treatment. However, the most interesting thing is that these benefits are maintained practically throughout the day, resorting to a single dose of Strattera.
It has also been shown that children with ADHD who are under treatment with Strattera manage to perform better in social environments and have a better quality of life, compared to those who do not take this medication. A study conducted in Europe, Australia, South Africa and Israel found that 56.7% of children with ADHD who used Strattera showed a significant reduction in the severity of symptoms and a substantial improvement in their social performance.
Side effects of Strattera
Strattera is a medication and, as such, also produces some adverse effects, although these are usually mild and usually disappear as the body gets used to the treatment. However, the most common problems associated with its use are digestive disorders such as: nausea, abdominal pain, weight loss, hyporexia and epigastralgia. It is also common for children who take Strattera to have drowsiness, dyspepsia, dizziness, headaches and fatigue.
Although it is a less frequent adverse effect, a delay in the growth of children has also been appreciated. This problem is due to the effect of Strattera on the child’s metabolism but it is usually reversible after 18 months of treatment. Even so, experts recommend keeping the size and height of the children who follow this treatment under observation, in order to reduce the dose if necessary.
Another side effect of this drug may be irritability. In fact, scientific evidence states that about 8% of children with ADHD who undergo this treatment tend to show irritability and, to a lesser extent, mood swings and aggression.
Occasionally, other allergic-type complications have also been reported, such as skin rash, angioneurotic edema and urticaria; as well as isolated cases of hepatotoxicity. In adolescents there has been an increase in depressive episodes and even the appearance of suicidal ideas.
However, it should be clarified that most children react very well to Strattera and that cases of adverse effects are rare. Still, it is recommended to keep the child under observation and refer any change in their health status psychiatrist, this will assess whether it is necessary to reduce the dose or use another drug.
Important note: The information you have read in this article is for guidance only so before using any medication you should always go to your doctor to alert you exactly according to your particular case. This information should under no circumstances be taken as medical advice.