Atomoxetine vs. Adderall: ADHD Drug Side Effects & Dosage

Atomoxetine vs. Adderall comparison

(Strattera) and Adderall
(amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) are both used to treat
deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD (Adderall can also treat narcolepsy).

Atomoxetine, however, is the first ADHD drug that is non-addictive, whereas
Adderall and other ADHD drugs (like Ritalin) are stimulants
with a high potential for abuse.

Although it is not known precisely how atomoxetine reduces the

symptoms of ADHD, scientists believe it works by affecting neurotransmitters
in the brain, chemicals that the nerves use for communicating with one another.
One neurotransmitter, norepinephrine, is considered important in regulating
impulsivity and activity levels, all of which are abnormal in ADHD.
Researcher believe atomoxetine affects the nerves’ reabsorption of neurotransmitters, making more
norepinephrine available.

Amphetamines like Adderall stimulate the brain by increasing the level of

dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Researchers are still unsure of
the exact mechanism that explains how Adderall relieves symptoms of ADHD

A few side effects of Adderall include:

Strattera, on the other hand, can cause gastrointestinal
problems and decreased appetite, among other
side effects, but does not have the potential
for addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

Neither Adderall nor Strattera should be
taken with MAO inhibitors. Adderall can also affect blood pressure medications,
among others.

What are atomoxetine and Adderall?

Atomoxetine is from a drug class called selective norepinephrine uptake
inhibitors (SNRIs). The fact that Strattera is non-addictive is the main
advantage of the medication over central nervous system stimulants like
amphetamines, dextroamphetamines (Dexedrine), lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse), and
methylphenidate (Ritalin) to treat ADHD.

Adderall contains both amphetamines and dextroamphetamines, and is therefore
highly addictive. Even Ritalin, though not physically addictive, can be dangerously habit-forming. All the
medications approved for ADHD treatment other than atomoxetine are covered by the U.S. Controlled Substances
Act because of their high potential for abuse.

What are the uses for atomoxetine and Adderall?

Atomoxetine is used for ADHD. Adderall also treats ADHD, as well as narcolepsy.

What are the side effects of atomoxetine and Adderall?

Both drugs can cause cardiovascular problems, insomnia and other sleep
problems. Rarely, both Adderall and atomoxetine can cause priapism in men, which
is an erection that lasts for more than four hours – a medical emergency if it

Strattera’s most common side effect includes upset stomach, decreased
appetite, vomiting, dizziness, mood swings, problems sleeping, dry mouth and
others. Rarer, but more serious side effects include serious allergic reaction
and liver failure.

Adderall’s most common side effects include excitability, anxiety, fear,
tremor and even seizures. More serious possible side effects include stroke,
heart attack, manic episodes, aggression, hostility, and growth suppression in
children resulting from long-term use.

This is not a complete list of side effects, and if you have been prescribed
either one of these drugs, ask your doctor for more information.

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Can I get addicted to atomoxetine and Adderall?

Strattera is not addictive. Adderall is physically addictive. Some signs of
addiction to Adderall or amphetamines in general include anxiety, restlessness,
aggression, manic episodes and even psychosis that mimics schizophrenia, among

What are the withdrawal symptoms of atomoxetine and Adderall?

Strattera has no withdrawal symptoms. A person who immediately stops usage of
Strattera will likely experience no bad effects and only a mild relapse in their
ADHD – according to one study, however, the ADHD symptoms that return after
stopping atomoxetine don’t reach their pre-treatment severity.

The withdrawal symptoms of Adderall and other amphetamines, however, can be
severe. Sleep problems, fatigue and depression are a few, as well as agitation
and intense craving for the drug.


The abbreviated term ADHD denotes the condition commonly known as:
See Answer

How should atomoxetine and Adderall be taken (dosage)?


  • Strattera is taken once or twice daily, with or without food. Never break
    open the pills to sprinkle on food, however; you’ve got to take them whole.
  • The recommended starting dose for and children weighing more than 70 kg
    is 40 mg once daily. The dose is increased after 3 days to 80 mg
    once daily or divided and given every 12 hours. The dose may be increased up
    to 100 mg daily to achieve the optimal response.
  • Children older than 6 years and weighing 70 kg or less should receive
    0.5 mg/kg once daily. The dose may be increased after 3 days to 1.2 mg/kg
    once daily or divided every 12 hours. The maximum daily dose should not to
    exceed 1.4 mg/kg or 100 mg, whichever is less.


  • People prescribed Adderall take it orally in pill form once or twice a day
    with doses separated by four to six hours. People receive 2.5 mg to 60 mg daily,
    depending on age and the condition being treated.
  • Adderall XR, the extended release version, is
    taken once daily. The recommended dose is 5 mg to 40 mg daily administered in
    the morning. The entire contents of the Adderall XR capsules may be sprinkled
    into food if desired.
  • Abstain from doses of Adderall or other amphetamines in
    the evening to avoid

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Which drugs interact with atomoxetine and Adderall?

Do not take either Strattera or Adderall within two weeks of your last dose
of any monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). These include phenelizine sulfate
(Nardil), and tranylcypromine sulfate (Parnate), among others.

Fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), quinidine and other medications can
increase incidence of Strattera side effects because they reduce the liver’s
ability to break down and remove atomoxetine from the blood stream.

People taking medicine for high blood pressure could lose control over their
hypertension when taking Adderall. Also, stomach antacids can increase the side
effects of Adderall because they cause the body to absorb more of the drug.

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Are atomoxetine and Adderall safe to take during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?

Adderall is a combination of two amphetamine drug types, and amphetamines are
directly linked to low birth weight and other complications. Adderall is also
passed on in breast milk, so pregnant or nursing mothers should not take it.

Research concerning atomoxetine is less complete regarding its use in
pregnant woman. In very high doses (six to 23 times what a doctor would
prescribe a human) pregnant rats and rabbits had pups and kits with low birth weight.
Atomoxetine was also found in the milk of these animals. There hasn’t been any
studies on pregnant women, so doctors need to decide whether it’s worth the risk
to prescribe Strattera to their pregnant or breastfeeding patients or advise
them to continue or discontinue use.

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