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  • Strattera / guinea pigs/ report side effects

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    Old 06-06-2003, 02:22 PM   #16
    radiohead1's Avatar
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    Another quick reply to ksjhwk's post:

    Strattera is probably more benign than you worried about. It is related to Prozac - but only in the sense that it came out of Lilly's antidepression program in the 1980's. It has a totally different way of acting on the brain than Prozac does (Prozac modulates Serotonin, while Strattera modulates norepinephrine).

    It's interesting that Remeron works for you (I've thought if trying that combination myself!...:-). Remeron does something interesting - it supports your serotonin levels, but stops it from blocking a key pathway in the brain that relates to sexual dysfunction. It also boosts your norepinephrine levels, in a slightly different way than Strattera does.

    If you switch Adderall for Strattera, you'll lose some of the boosting you get of dopamine (one of the neurotransmitters modulated by Adderall by not by Strattera). Dopamine is known to increase libido, and aid in erections. So, switching to Strattera might lower your ability to "perform" in the short term. But you might recover that ability after you wean off adderall (takes a 1-2 weeks). But I would be very surprised if Strattera was as bad for as Prozac - prozac's serotonin reuptake features is known to cause lots of sexual issues, and again, Strattera works in a totally different fashion.

    Please note - I'm totally speculating here - don't take my words as a rule - everyone responds very differently to medications, and you should talk to your doctor for sure. As you'll see on the side effects label on any medication, there are millions of people who have totally unpredicatable responses.

    Best of luck,


    Originally posted by ksjhwk:
    Hello All I am a NEWBY to the board but I need help!!
    I am a 40 yrs old male and have known about my ADHD since I was 6. The thing I didn't know until I was in my early 30's was that it can and often does follow you into adulthood. I found out this bit of information after recieving treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. It wasn't surprising to learn that people with ADHD have addiction problems. SO I began exploring options of treatment about 8 yrs ago. First I was put on Effexor (BAD experience), so then they tried Prozac (REALLY BAD experience)and finally Ritalin. Not good experience with that either. After three bad experiences with treatment for ADHD I quit all treatment til about a year ago. I was put on Adderall last summer and changed over to the Adderall XR over the winter. I had problems with sleep so I now take 45 mg ofRemeron Solutabs every nite before bed. It acts as a sleep aid at nite and acts as an antidepressant the following day. I have had great results with these two combinations. I don't want to mess up a good thing and good balance that is working for me. Especially after having such horrible experience in the passed with treatments for this disorder.
    Strattera has peaked my curiosity lately so, yesterday I did several web searches on this new drug. Still wasn't enough information to help decide whether I should leave Adderall XR and Remeron and check out Strattera. All the information out there was either in terms that I can't really comprehend. I understood I just didn't find any solid answers. Or the information was so vague and general that I didn't get anything out of it. Today I started searching message boards some of what I have read is frightening some of it good. So I'm still undecided.
    Actually one of the primary side effects that concerns me is sexual in nature. My wife and I are trying to have children and after experiencing impotence for the last three yrs (Unknown cause and really don't want to get into that) I don't know if I'm willing to try a medication that may bring back my impotence. when I was on prozac for a brief time I experienced sexual difficulties. One of the websites I found yesteday said that Strattera was a cousin of Prozac although it didn't act on the brain quite the same way as Prozac so that scares me too. Prozac for the brief three months I was on it turned me into a raging lunatic and a pathetic lover in bed.
    I was hoping Strattera was the answer to me getting off stimulants but I just don't know now. I am 6'3 and struggle with maintaining my weight of 150 lbs. I have a fast metabolism and have never been able to gain the recommended weight for my height. IF there was something out there not as harsh as stimulants I was willing to look into it.
    My next appt with my Dr is June 25 I was hoping to have enough information gathered by then to make an informed decision.
    If anyone has been on it a significant amount of time (like three to four months and their male I would love to hear from them)
    Just sign me confused in KC!

    [This message has been edited by ksjhwk (edited 06-06-2003).]

    [This message has been edited by ksjhwk (edited 06-06-2003).]

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    Old 06-06-2003, 04:08 PM   #17
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    WOW Radiohead!!
    What an informative response you gave to all of my concerns. Thank you VERY much!! It was extremely helpful.
    Before I go on let me give you more information about my present combo of Remeron/Adderall XR. I went to one of my appts last winter and complained about difficulty with not sleeping through the night and lack of appetite at times. I had lost 10 lbs since I had started the XR and on a 6'3 frame trust me that doesn't look good. So thats when we added the Remeron. One to aid in sleep two it can have the effect of an increased appetite and third that it acts as a mood stablizer the following day after your dosage. It started out as one month on 15 mg then we went to 30 mg. I stayed on that level until probably a couple of months ago. Waking during the night returned so we raised it to 45 mg. Remeron is a wonderful drug. You place it on your tongue and let it dissolve two hrs before bedtime. Then by the time you get to bed your ready to sleep. The most interesting part to me is the next day it acts as a mood stabilizer. Smoothing out the rough edges of Adderall and making for a rather pleasant theraputic effect. After all the trouble I been through with medications I was relieved to find something that worked. I take my adderall once a day and they have me at 30 mg on that.
    Weight is still a major concern for me though and that is why I became interested in finding out more about Strattera. I do have another question for you or anyone who may know. What effect if any does cigarette smoking (pack and half a day) and drinking caffiene have on Strattera? I drink probably two to three cokes a day, and maybe two to three cups of coffee in the morning. If anyone can help please let me know.
    Radiohead are you presently taking strattera? If you are how long and what has your experience been with the drug. I understand that all people are different and react differently to drugs but I was just curious to see what you have thought of Strattera if you are taking it.

    Old 06-06-2003, 09:30 PM   #18
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    Glad to hear that Remeron helped you sleep better! I've been using Trazadone for the same purpose. Trazadone and Remeron share the ability to enhance slow wave sleep (the kind that supposedly restores you). But I'm thinking of switching to Remeron because of the very reasons it helped you.....thanks for sharing your experience!

    I'm not presently taking Strattera, but because of my work, I've learned alot about its background. I have a very open mind to Strattera. In theory, the stimulants should work better for ADD....but I'm willing to believe there is a big subset of people for which Strattera is really effective. I'm interested to see if its particularily effective for people that get distracted by their own internal thoughts and dialog - in theory, Strattera should help you "externalize" better....

    So, another small technical diversion on coffee and smoking. Each one of these drugs works on different brain systems. Coffee works on a system called "the adenosine system". And smoking works on the "acetylcholine system". Strattera works on the "norepinephrine system". Each of these has different roles and purposes in the working brain.

    Adenosine is nature's way of tracking how long we've been up and alert. As we go through the day, adenosine builds up in our brains, and tells us to get sleepy. Caffeine blocks adenosine, and thus keeps us alert. Caffeine is especially good at helping us resist accumulated sleep deprivation. Chronic use of coffee supposedly makes you tolerant to its diuretic and other effects, but should still have some efficacy in helping you resist sleep. It should be synergistic with strattera (i.e. they should work together). One small issue: the combination may actually make you jittery, since they are both very alerting. There are about 200mg of caffeine in a cup of coffee, which works for about 3-4 hours in your body. To gauge the effects, take your strattera, and after 2 hours, drink your coffee. Compare how you felt before the coffee and after the coffee....this is a kinda rough way to check out how the mingle together.

    Acetylcholine does a lot of different things in the body. In the brain, it's closely tied to cognition, and is thought to help us encode new memories. It's also implicated in mood, and other stuff. Nicotine stimulates our acetylcholine system. In the short term (first day), it makes us feel smart and alert. But in the long term, it actually hurts your cognition! Your brain's acetylcholine gets rapidly desensitized by all that nicotine, and ends up acting like it's not there anymore. So, after a couple of weeks of smoking, you need to smoke to keep feeling smart. The data I've seen shows that your baseline of cognition actually goes down w/long term smoking, and you end up having to smoke to bring yourself back up to a level that's slightly below normal. But, given that you have ADD, your brain may react differently to smoking (e.g. schizophrenic patients often smoke to help them think clearer - the nicotine actually helps them). It's hard to know exactly how strattera will interact with should be synergistic.

    So, my guess is that strattera + caffeine + nicotine = more attentive. It may also make you feel more jittery. Let us know how it goes!


    Old 06-15-2003, 04:26 PM   #19
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    REPLY TO ksjhwk:

    i have posted on another thread, but, basically, I would consider very strongly whether to start on Strattera if you are trying to have a baby.

    I have gone from fairly decent performance sexually to a man who cannot achieve orgasm, but who does now ejaculate in under one minute (yes, I have discovered that ejaculation and orgasm are two different things since I started taking Strattera one month ago.)

    I'm not a doctor, but I can say with certainty that there are negative sexual side effects.

    There is another thread on this site (don't know how to find it other than looking on google with "strattera side effects") that has some other anecdotes from other men. I suggest you look for it and read it.

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