Strattera (atomoxetine) is a prescription drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The drug comes as a capsule that you swallow and usually take daily.
Strattera is used in adults and some children to treat ADHD.
The active ingredient in Strattera is atomoxetine. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)
Strattera belongs to a group of drugs called selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.
This article describes the dosages of Strattera, as well as its strengths and how to take it. To learn more about Strattera, see this in-depth article.
The information provided below discusses typical dosages of Strattera. Always follow your doctor’s instructions on the specific dosage prescribed for you.
The table below highlights the basics of Strattera’s dosage. Keep reading for more detail.
Note: All doses below are listed in milligrams (mg). For children who require a weight-based dosage, the doses are listed in milligrams per kilogram of body weight (mg/kg).
|Strattera form||Strengths||Dosage for children who weigh up to 70 kg||Dosage for adults and for children who weigh more than 70 kg|
|Capsules||• 10 mg|
• 100 mg
|Starting dose per day: 0.5 mg/kg|
Maintenance (long-term) dose per day: 1.2 mg/kg
Maximum dose per day: 1.4 mg/kg
|Starting dose per day: 40 mg|
Maintenance dose per day: 80 mg
Maximum dose per day: 100 mg
What is Strattera’s form?
Strattera comes as capsules that you swallow.
What strengths does Strattera come in?
Strattera comes in strengths of 10 milligrams, 18 mg, 25 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg, 80 mg, and 100 mg.
What are the usual dosages of Strattera?
Your Strattera dosage is based on several factors. These include:
- your age
- other health conditions you may have
- whether you take other medications
- how severe your condition is
- for children, their body weight in kilograms (kg)
Your doctor will likely start you on a low dosage and adjust it over time to reach the right amount for you. They’ll ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The information below describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults
The starting dosage of Strattera to treat ADHD in adults is 40 milligrams (mg) taken once per day.
Your doctor will see how you respond to this dosage for at least 3 days. Then they will likely increase your dose to the recommended daily dose of 80 mg. This dosage may either be taken once per day or in two divided doses (morning and evening). Your doctor will prescribe a dosing schedule that’s right for you.
In some cases, your doctor may increase your Strattera dosage after 2 to 4 weeks of treatment to the maximum dosage of 100 mg per day. This may help better manage your symptoms.
What’s the dosage of Strattera for children?
Strattera can be used in children ages 6 years and older.
The dosage for children is based on weight.
The starting daily dosage for children who weigh up to 70 kg (about 154 pounds) is 0.5 mg/kg. Their doctor may then increase their dose after 3 days to the recommended maintenance (long-term) dose of 1.2 mg/kg per day.
In some cases, your child’s doctor may increase their dosage after 2 to 4 weeks to the maximum daily dose of Strattera. This is 1.4 mg/kg or 100 mg per day, whichever is lower.
Your child’s doctor will monitor how they respond to their current dosage and may adjust it as needed.
For children who weigh more than 70 kg, their dosage is the same as the adult dosage. (See the section directly above for more details.)
Is Strattera used long term?
Yes, Strattera is usually used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that it’s safe and effective for your condition, you’ll likely take it long term.
If you have questions about how long you’ll likely need to take Strattera, talk with your doctor.
If you have certain health conditions or factors, your doctor may prescribe a different dosage of Strattera for you. Examples include:
Serious liver disease. If you have serious liver disease, your doctor will likely need to lower your dosage of Strattera. This is because your body relies on your liver to help break down Strattera after you take a dose. Having a serious liver condition can affect how well your body breaks down Strattera. This can result in the drug building up in your body.
Problems with drug metabolism. Some people may have problems breaking down Strattera in their body. This is because they may have a genetic difference in a certain liver enzyme (protein) called CYP2D6. This enzyme helps break down the drug. People who don’t have this liver enzyme may need a lower dosage of Strattera to avoid the drug building up in the body.
Your doctor may check to see if you have problems metabolizing CYP2D6 before prescribing Strattera. They can then adjust your dose if needed.
The dosage of Strattera your doctor prescribes may depend on several factors. These include:
- the severity of your ADHD
- your age
- how you respond to treatment
- for children, their body weight
- other conditions you may have (see “Dosage adjustments” in the section above)
Strattera comes as capsules you swallow. You can take the medication with or without food.
If you take Strattera once per day, you’ll likely take your dose in the morning. If you take Strattera twice daily, you’ll take one dose in the morning and one in the afternoon or early evening.
Your doctor will determine the dosing schedule that’s right for you. Be sure to take the dosage exactly as your doctor prescribes to keep a steady level of the drug in your body. This helps the medication work effectively.
If you have trouble swallowing capsules, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication.
For information on Strattera’s expiration, storage, and disposal, see this article.
Accessible drug containers and labels
Some pharmacies provide medication labels that:
- have large print or use braille
- feature a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio
Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend pharmacies that offer these accessibility features if your current pharmacy doesn’t.
If you have trouble opening medication bottles, let your pharmacist know. They may be able to supply Strattera in an easy-open container. They may also have tips to help make it simpler to open the drug’s container.
If you miss a dose of Strattera, take it as soon as you remember. But if it’s almost time for your next dose, just skip the missed dose and take your next dose at its usual time. You should not take two doses at once to make up for a missed dose. Doing so could raise your risk of side effects.
If you’re unsure what to do about a missed dose, talk with your doctor. They can advise you on what to do.
If you need help remembering to take your dose of Strattera on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.
You should not take more Strattera than your doctor prescribes, as this can lead to serious side effects.
Symptoms of overdose
Symptoms caused by an overdose can include:
- fast heart rate
- raised blood pressure
- dry mouth
- digestive symptoms, including belly pain
- agitation or hyperactivity
In rare cases, an overdose may cause:
- changes in mental state, such as hallucinations or disorientation
- long QT syndrome (changes in the electrical activity of the heart)
What to do in case you take too much Strattera
Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Strattera. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison 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.
Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Strattera’s dosage.
Is Strattera’s dose calculated by weight?
In some cases, yes. Children who weigh 70 kilograms (kg) or less have a dose that’s based on body weight. For more information on weight-based dosing, see the “What’s the dosage of Strattera for children?” section above.
The dosage for children who weigh more than 70 kg is the same as that for adults.
To learn more, see the “What is Strattera’s dosage?” section above.
How can I tell if my dose of Strattera is too high?
To begin your Strattera treatment, your doctor will prescribe you a low dose. Then after 3 days, they’ll likely increase your dose to a maintenance (long-term) dose. Your dosage may also depend on your age, the severity of your condition, and other health conditions you have.
Your doctor will check in with you regularly to see how Strattera is working for you. If you experience side effects that are bothersome or serious, call your doctor. They can determine if you need a lower dose.
You should not take more Strattera than your doctor prescribes. This can lead to serious side effects or overdose. To learn about the symptoms of Strattera overdose, see the “What should be done in case of overdose?” section above.
If you think your dose of Strattera may be too high, talk with your doctor.
The sections above describe the usual dosages provided by the drugmaker. If your doctor recommends Strattera for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.
Remember, you should not change your dosage of Strattera without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Strattera exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage.
Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:
- Would I have more side effects with a higher dose of Strattera?
- Does my dosage depend on how severe my condition is?
- Will my dosage of Strattera stay the same throughout my treatment?
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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.