Nonstimulant Therapy, Strattera: Other ADHD Drugs (cont.)

Other, less common risks from Strattera include:

  • Jaundice and liver problems. If you develop yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, contact your doctor right away.
  • Suicidal thinking. There's a possibility that Strattera -- like many antidepressantdrugs -- may slightly increase the risk of suicidal thinking in teenagers.
  • Slowed growth in children. Your doctor will probably keep a close eye on your child's height and weight.
  • Priapism, or erections that last more than four hours.
  • Serious allergic reactions. While rare, some people develop rashes, hives, or swelling.

Intuniv Side Effects include:

Since Intuniv can cause drowsiness, make sure you know how it affects you before you try driving or operating heavy machinery.

Rarer and more serious side effects include:

Kapvay contains the same active ingredients seen in some types of blood pressure medications known as clonidine. These medications work on the brain to help control heart rate and blood pressure.

Kapvay's common side effects include sleepiness and tiredness. Side effects may also include symptoms of upper respiratory infection, such as:

Who Shouldn't Take Nonstimulants?

Nonstimulants are not the right medication for everybody with ADHD. You should probably not take Strattera if you:

  • Have been diagnosed with narrow angle glaucoma (a condition that causes increased pressure in the eyes and can lead to blindness)
  • Use a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) for depression, like Nardil or Parnate
  • Have an allergy to any of the ingredients in Strattera
  • Have jaundice or liver problems

You should probably not take Intuniv if you:

  • Have an allergy to any of the ingredients in Intuniv
  • Take other products containing guanfacine, like the blood pressure medicine Tenex

Do not take Kapvay if you are allergic to clonidine in Kapvay.

Before starting treatment with a nonstimulant medication, talk to your doctor about your medical history and go over all the risks.

Nonstimulants: Tips and Precautions

If you've been prescribed a nonstimulant for ADHD, be sure to tell your doctor:

  • If you are nursing, pregnant, or plan to become pregnant.
  • If you take any prescription medications for other conditions, like blood pressure drugs, antidepressants, sedatives, or antipsychotics.
  • If you take any dietary supplements, herbal medicines, or over-the-counter medications.
  • If you have any medical problems, including high or low blood pressure, seizures, heart disease, glaucoma, mental health issues, liver disease or jaundice, or kidney problems.
  • If you have had an allergic reaction to any medications in the past.
  • If you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse or dependency.
  • If you become agitated or irritable, or develop suicidal thoughts.

Like any medication, Strattera Intuniv, and Kapvay should always be taken exactly as prescribed. Strattera is usually taken once or twice a day and Kapvay is taken twice a day. Intuniv is a once-a-day drug. Your doctor will probably want you to check in periodically. He or she may order some lab tests to make sure that the drug is working and not causing any problems.

Antidepressant Drugs for ADHD

Several types of antidepressant drugs can be used to treat ADHD. Antidepressant therapy for ADHD is sometimes used as the treatment of choice for children or adults who have ADHD and depression.

Antidepressants, however, are generally not as effective as stimulants or nonstimulants at improving attention span and concentration.

Antidepressants used for treating ADHD include the following:

  • Tricyclic antidepressants, such as Pamelor, Aventyl, Tofranil and Norpramin, have been shown to be helpful in children and adults with ADHD, but they can cause some unpleasant side effects, such as dry mouth, constipation, or urinary problems. They are also relatively inexpensive.
  • Wellbutrin is a different type of antidepressant that is very effective in treating ADHD in adults and children. It is generally well-tolerated, but it also has some side effects that may be a problem for some people who have anxiety or seizures.
  • Effexor and Effexor XR are newer antidepressants that increase the levels of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain. The drugs are effective at improving mood and concentration in adults as well as children and teens. Effexor can be used to treat ADHD, but not commonly.
  • Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors are a group of antidepressants that can treat ADHD with some benefit, but are rarely used because they have significant and sometimes dangerous side effects and can dangerously interact with foods and other medications. They may be of benefit in people where other medications have failed. Examples include Nardil or Parnate.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors