If you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), your doctor may prescribe Qelbree for you. It’s a prescription drug used to treat ADHD in adults and some children. (To learn more about this condition, see the “Is Qelbree used for ADHD?” section below.)

Qelbree basics

Qelbree contains the active ingredient viloxazine. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) It belongs to a group of drugs called selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.

Qelbree comes as an extended-release (ER) capsule that you swallow. ER means the drug slowly releases the active ingredient into your system over a period of time. Qelbree is not available in generic form.

Read on to learn more about Qelbree’s side effects, uses, and more.

Like most drugs, Qelbree may cause mild to serious side effects. The lists below describe some of the more common side effects the drug may cause when used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These lists don’t include all possible side effects.

Keep in mind that side effects of a drug can depend on:

  • your age
  • other health conditions you have
  • other medications you take

Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about the potential side effects of Qelbree. They can also suggest ways to help reduce them.

Mild side effects

Below is a list of some of the mild side effects that Qelbree can cause. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or read the drug’s prescribing information.

Mild side effects of Qelbree that have been reported include:

Mild side effects of many drugs may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. But if they become bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Allergic reaction” section below.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Qelbree can occur, but they aren’t common. If you have serious side effects from Qelbree, call your doctor right away. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

Serious side effects of Qelbree that have been reported include:

* For more information, see the “What should be considered before taking Qelbree?” section below.
† To learn more about this side effect, see the “Allergic reaction” section just below.

Allergic reaction

Some people may have an allergic reaction to Qelbree. While allergic reaction wasn’t reported in studies of Qelbree, it can still happen.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include swelling under your skin, usually in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet. They can also include swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat, which can cause trouble breathing.

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Qelbree. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.

Help is out there

If you or someone you know is in crisis and considering suicide or self-harm, please seek support:

If you’re calling on behalf of someone else, stay with them until help arrives. You may remove weapons or substances that can cause harm if you can do so safely.

If you are not in the same household, stay on the phone with them until help arrives.

Find answers to some commonly asked questions about Qelbree.

How does Qelbree compare with Strattera, Adderall, and other ADHD medications?

Qelbree is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Other medications are also available to treat this condition. Examples include atomoxetine (Strattera), amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (Adderall), and lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse).

Adderall and Vyvanse are stimulant drugs, but Qelbree and Strattera are not. Stimulants treat ADHD by activating your central nervous system (CNS). (The CNS regulates functions such as thinking, moving, and feeling.)

Qelbree and Strattera work differently from stimulants. They’re thought to affect levels of a brain chemical called norepinephrine, which may ease the symptoms of ADHD. To learn more, see “What is Qelbree’s mechanism of action (how it works)?” just below.

Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about how Qelbree compares with other ADHD drugs. They’ll advise you on the treatment option that’s right for you.

What is Qelbree’s mechanism of action (how it works)?

The way Qelbree works to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) isn’t known for sure. It belongs to a group of drugs called selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. It’s thought to increase levels of a brain chemical called norepinephrine. Higher levels of this chemical are thought to ease the symptoms of ADHD by improving attention and alertness.

If you have other questions about how Qelbree works, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

What drug class does Qelbree belong to? Is it a controlled substance?

Qelbree belongs to a class of drugs called selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. (A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way.) Qelbree is not a controlled substance.

Controlled substances are drugs with a high risk of misuse or dependence. (With misuse, a drug is taken in a way other than how a doctor prescribes it. With dependence, your body needs a drug to function as usual.)

Due to these risks, controlled substances are closely regulated by the government. And doctors must follow special rules when prescribing them. But Qelbree isn’t known to have these risks, so it’s not a controlled substance.

Will stopping Qelbree treatment suddenly cause withdrawal symptoms?

No, stopping Qelbree suddenly should not cause withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms are side effects that can happen when you stop taking a drug your body was used to having. Withdrawal wasn’t reported in studies of Qelbree.

But after you stop taking Qelbree, the symptoms of the condition you were taking it for may come back. This means you may have symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) after the drug is stopped.

For this reason, it’s important not to stop taking Qelbree without first talking with your doctor. They can tell you whether it’s safe to quit taking the drug. They may recommend switching you to a different treatment option to keep your ADHD symptoms from returning.

Qelbree is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It’s used for this purpose in adults and children ages 6 years and older.

With ADHD, you have hyperactive behaviors. You may also have trouble focusing on a task or sitting still for long periods of time. Other common symptoms of ADHD include:

  • being easily distracted
  • being forgetful about completing a task
  • interrupting others while they’re talking

Qelbree belongs to a group of drugs called selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. The way it works to treat ADHD isn’t known for sure. To learn more, see “What is Qelbree’s mechanism of action (how it works)?” in “What are some frequently asked questions about Qelbree?” above.

If you have questions about the effectiveness of Qelbree for treating ADHD, talk with your doctor.

Costs of prescription drugs can vary depending on many factors, including what your insurance plan covers and which pharmacy you use.

The manufacturer of Qelbree does not currently offer a discount coupon for the drug. But you may be eligible for a program called Supernus Support that might lower your price for Qelbree. For more information, see the program website for adults or children.

You can also check out this article to learn more about saving money on prescriptions.

If you have other questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Qelbree that’s right for you. Below are commonly used dosages, but always take the dosage your doctor prescribes.

Form and strengths

Qelbree comes as an extended-release (ER) capsule that you swallow. ER means the drug slowly releases the active ingredient into your system over a period of time. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)

Qelbree comes in three strengths: 100 milligrams (mg), 150 mg, and 200 mg.

Recommended dosages

Your doctor will likely start you on a low dose of Qelbree. Then they’ll adjust it over time until you reach the dose that treats your condition without causing bothersome side effects.

Your Qelbree dosage will be based on several factors, including:

  • your age
  • the severity of the condition you’re taking it to treat
  • other medical conditions you have, such as severe kidney problems
  • other drugs you take

Qelbree is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults and children ages 6 years and older.

The usual starting dosage of Qelbree for adults is 200 mg once per day. The highest recommended dosage of Qelbree is 600 mg once per day.

The usual starting dosage of Qelbree for children ages 6 to 11 years old is 100 mg once per day. For children ages 12 to 17 years, it’s 200 mg once per day. For children of any age, the highest recommended dosage of Qelbree is 400 mg once per day.

Questions about Qelbree’s dosing

Below are some common questions about Qelbree’s dosing.

  • What if I miss a dose of Qelbree? If you miss a dose of Qelbree, talk with your doctor. They can advise you on whether to take the missed dose or skip it.
  • Will I need to use Qelbree long term? Possibly. If Qelbree is working well for your condition without causing bothersome side effects, you’ll likely take it long term.
  • How long does Qelbree take to work? Qelbree starts working in your body as soon as you take it. But it may be several weeks before the symptoms of your condition start to ease. If you have questions about what to expect with Qelbree treatment, talk with your doctor.

Before taking Qelbree, it’s important to talk with your doctor. Tell them about your overall health and any medical conditions you have. Also discuss with them other medications you take. These and other factors are described in more detail below.

Interactions

Taking a medication with certain vaccines, foods, and other things can affect how the medication works. These effects are called interactions.

Before taking Qelbree, be sure to tell your doctor about all drugs you take, including prescription and over-the-counter kinds. Also describe any vitamins, herbs, or supplements you use. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you about any interactions these items may cause with Qelbree.

For information about drug-condition interactions, see the “Other warnings” section below.

Interactions with drugs or supplements

Qelbree can interact with several kinds of drugs. These include:

This list does not include all kinds of drugs that may interact with Qelbree. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about these interactions and any others that may occur with this drug.

Boxed warning

Qelbree has a boxed warning for the risk of suicidal behaviors and thoughts. A boxed warning is a serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Qelbree may increase the risk of suicidal behaviors and thoughts in adults and children. But this side effect was rare in studies of the drug.

While you’re taking Qelbree, it’s important to watch for the following symptoms:

Your doctor may monitor you most closely for these symptoms when your first start taking Qelbree or any time your dosage is changed.

If you have symptoms of suicidal behaviors or thoughts while taking Qelbree, tell your doctor right away. They may adjust your treatment plan or prescribe a different treatment for you. But if you have thoughts of harming yourself, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

Other warnings

Qelbree can sometimes cause harmful effects in people who have certain conditions. (This is known as a drug-condition interaction.) Other factors may also affect whether Qelbree is a good treatment option for you. Talk with your doctor about your health history before starting this drug. Factors to consider include those described below.

Mental health conditions, including bipolar disorder. Before taking Qelbree, tell your doctor if you or a family member has a mental health condition. Examples include bipolar disorder and depression. Also tell them if you or a family member has attempted suicide in the past.

Qelbree can increase the risk of mania or hypomania (moments of high excitement and energy). The risk may be higher in people who already have a mental health condition. Your doctor can talk with you about the risk of these side effects before you start taking Qelbree.

Severe kidney problems. If you have severe kidney problems, such as kidney failure, talk with your doctor before taking Qelbree. They may give you a lower dosage of the drug than is usually prescribed.

Heart rate or blood pressure problems. Before starting Qelbree, tell your doctor if you have a high heart rate or high blood pressure. This drug may cause or worsen these conditions. And your risk for serious side effects may be higher if you already have these conditions before starting Qelbree treatment.

If you have heart or blood pressure problems, your doctor will determine whether this drug is safe for you.

Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Qelbree or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe it for you. Ask them about other medications that might be better options.

Qelbree and alcohol

Your doctor may recommend that you limit or avoid alcohol while taking Qelbree. This is because studies have shown that this drug may interact with high concentrations of alcohol. So drinking certain kinds of alcohol with Qelbree could increase your risk of side effects from the drug.

If you have questions about drinking alcohol during treatment with Qelbree, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

It’s not known whether Qelbree is safe to take while pregnant or breastfeeding. If you have questions about taking this drug during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, talk with your doctor.

If you do take Qelbree while you’re pregnant, consider enrolling in the National Pregnancy Registry for Psychiatric Medications. This registry collects information about the safety of certain drugs, such as Qelbree, when used during pregnancy.

For more information, talk with your doctor. You can also call 866-961-2388 or visit the registry’s website.

Your doctor will explain how you should take Qelbree. They’ll also explain how much to take and how often. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.

Taking Qelbree

Qelbree comes as an extended-release (ER) capsule that you swallow. ER means the drug slowly releases the active ingredient into your system over a period of time. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)

Accessible medication containers and labels

If it’s hard for you to read the label on your prescription, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Certain pharmacies may provide medication labels that:

  • have large print
  • use braille
  • contain a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio

Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend a pharmacy that offers these options if your current pharmacy doesn’t.

Also, if you’re having trouble opening your medication bottles, let your pharmacist know. They may be able to put Qelbree in an easy-open container. Your pharmacist may also recommend tools to help make it simpler to open the drug’s container.

Questions about taking Qelbree

Below are some common questions about taking Qelbree.

Can Qelbree be chewed, crushed, or split? You should not chew or crush Qelbree capsules. If possible, you should swallow the capsules whole.

If you have trouble swallowing capsules, check out this article or talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may suggest you open the capsules and sprinkle their contents onto a spoonful of applesauce or pudding. You’ll swallow this mixture without chewing.

If you use applesauce, it’s important to swallow the mixture within 2 hours of making it. If you use pudding, be sure to swallow the mixture within 15 minutes. Do not store the mixture for later use.

Should I take Qelbree with food? You can take Qelbree with food or without it.

Is there a best time of day to take Qelbree? Can I take it at night? No, there’s not a best time of day to take Qelbree. You can take the drug any time of day. But it’s best to take your dose at the same time every day.

Keep in mind Qelbree may cause sleep problems as a side effect. These problems include both sleepiness and insomnia (trouble sleeping).

If you have sleepiness with Qelbree, your doctor may suggest you take it at night. But if you have insomnia with Qelbree, they may suggest you take it in the morning instead. If you have questions about when to take this medication, talk with your doctor.

Questions for your doctor

You may have questions about Qelbree and your treatment plan. It’s important to discuss all your concerns with your doctor.

Here are a few tips that might help guide your discussion:

  • Before your appointment, write down questions such as:
    • How will Qelbree affect my body, mood, or lifestyle?
  • Bring someone with you to your appointment if doing so will help you feel more comfortable.
  • If you don’t understand something related to your condition or treatment, ask your doctor to explain it to you.

Remember, your doctor and other healthcare professionals are available to help you. And they want you to get the best care possible. So don’t be afraid to ask questions or offer feedback on your treatment.

Do not take more Qelbree than your doctor prescribes, as this can lead to serious side effects.

Symptoms of overdose

Symptoms caused by an overdose can include:

What to do in case you take too much Qelbree

Call your doctor if you think you’ve taken too much Qelbree. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number. Or go to the nearest emergency room.

If you have questions about taking Qelbree for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Questions you may want to ask include:

  • How is Qelbree different from other drugs that treat ADHD?
  • Will any of the medications I take interact with Qelbree?
  • Will Qelbree cure my condition?

You may want to ask your doctor about other treatments for ADHD. Below are a few articles you may find helpful:

To get information on different conditions and tips for improving your health, subscribe to any of Healthline’s newsletters. You may also want to check out the online communities at Bezzy. It’s a place where people with certain conditions can find support and connect with others.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.