How does strattera make you feel?



How does strattera make you feel is a common question for those considering this medication to treat ADHD or other conditions. Strattera (atomoxetine) works differently than stimulant medications, so its effects may feel different as well. This article outlines what to expect when taking strattera, including potential side effects and how does strattera make you feel emotionally or physically.





What is Strattera?

How does strattera make you feel depends first on understanding what exactly strattera is and how it works.

    • Strattera is the brand name for the generic drug atomoxetine, which is a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). Unlike stimulants that are commonly prescribed for ADHD, strattera is non-stimulant.
    • It works by increasing and regulating norepinephrine in the brain, which plays a role in attention and response control.



  • Strattera was approved by the FDA in 2002 to treat ADHD symptoms in children, adolescents, and adults. However, it may also be prescribed off-label for other conditions like anxiety or depression.

So in summary, strattera is an SNRI medication that works differently than stimulants by altering norepinephrine activity rather than dopamine. Understanding this mechanism of action helps explain how does strattera make you feel.

Common Side Effects

As with any medication, strattera may cause some side effects. It’s important to understand the common side effects associated with strattera to know what to potentially expect when starting this medication.

Some of the more common side effects of strattera can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Problems sleeping or trouble waking in the mornings
  • Decreased appetite or mild weight loss
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Potential for suicidal thoughts in children and teens

Most side effects are mild and tend to resolve within the first 1-2 months of treatment. However, if any side effects persist or seem to get worse over time, be sure to notify your doctor right away.

There are also less common serious side effects possible in some cases, like serious allergic reactions, liver damage, heart related issues, or suicidal thoughts. Though rare, let your doctor know of any unusual symptoms after starting this medication. Monitoring health while on strattera can help detect concerning reactions quickly.

What to Expect: Feeling Better or Worse?

So what does strattera actually feel like once you start taking it? Does it make you feel better or worse?

The effects can be highly variable from person to person. Some key things to expect include:




Feeling Better:

  • Improved focus and concentration
  • Increased motivation
  • More organized thoughts
  • Calmer overall mood
  • Less impulsivity and hyperactivity

For most people, the goal of strattera is to alleviate core ADHD symptoms. So they may feel improvements in being able to pay attention, stay on task, control behaviors, and manage emotions.

However, for some people strattera may:

Feel Worse:

  • Increase anxiety, irritability, aggressiveness
  • Trigger depressive feelings or mood swings
  • Cause fatigue so severe they can’t function
  • Make pre-existing tics worse through agitation

Strattera may also simply feel like it’s not working well enough compared to desired effects.

So while many see benefits on strattera, others feel no change, and some may even feel worse. Working closely with your doctor can help determine if it’s still the right medication for your case.

Timeline of Improvements

Another key aspect in how does strattera make you feel is when you may expect to feel effects kicking in.

Unlike stimulants that offer rapid relief almost instantly, strattera can take 4-6 weeks for full results.

The timeline may go as follows:

Week Effects
1 Early side effects like nausea, fatigue. Little positive effect yet.
2 Side effects diminish over time. Subtle focus improvements noticed.
4 Feel motivation increase. Concentration gets easier over hours.
6+ Experience full effects if working. Symptoms greatly improved.

So waiting patiently through an adjustment period is crucial with strattera. Prematurely stopping medication could mean missing the eventual benefits after your body adjusts.

However, if several weeks go by with persisting intolerable side effects or worsening of symptoms, consult your doctor about the risks vs payoffs of continuing.

Emotional Impacts

Along with physical effects, considering how does strattera make you feel emotionally is important too. Does it negatively impact mood or change your personality?

Potential emotional effects include:


  • Happier, calmer mood overall
  • Reduced frustration and anger issues
  • Less anxious or worried frequently
  • Improved self-esteem and social confidence


  • New onset depression or numb emotions (“emotional flatness”)
  • Aggressive outbursts and irritability
  • Increased stress and restlessness
  • Too focused leading to ignoring people’s feelings
  • Lack empathy, detachment from relationships

For most, unwanted emotional effects ease up with dose changes or adding supplemental medication. But personality shifts on ADHD meds can be an adjustment for kids and adults alike along with family members.

Monitoring feelings while on treatment enables finding the best medication balance. Report concerning changes like depression, detachment from loved ones, or worsened anxiety to your prescribing doctor promptly. Getting needed support aids handling the emotional rollercoaster these medications may rarely cause.

Final Thoughts

Knowing what to expect with how does strattera make you feel allows anticipating and handling benefits along with potential side effects appropriately. Be aware it may take 4-6 weeks to feel full effects. Monitor both physical and emotional wellbeing closely and report concerns to optimize treatment. Finding the most tolerable effective dose tailored to your needs takes some trial-and-error but offers great relief of ADHD symptoms for many patients.



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