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Strattera (Atomoxetine) Withdrawal Symptoms + Duration

Strattera (Atomoxetine) is a unique drug that was created to treat ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder). Unlike common stimulants, it works by inhibiting the reuptake of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. It is important to understand that this is not the same as an SNRI medication that is used for depression. This is a drug that is considered an “NRI” which aims strictly to inhibit norepinephrine reuptake. Many people have had success with this medication for managing ADHD symptoms and have found that it has pretty minimal side effects.

It is approved for treating ADHD in people of all ages including children, adolescents, and adults. Most doctors will prescribe this medication to someone with ADHD simply because it has a relatively low potential for abuse. With that said, some people have discovered that the drug tends to quit working after awhile. Others that end up trying it never get any benefit for managing their symptoms.

The good news is that even if you were on Strattera for a relatively long period of time, the withdrawal symptoms are pretty minimal compared to other medications. In fact, there are no documented discontinuation effects from having taken Strattera. With that said, there are still some individuals that experience various withdrawal symptoms after quitting this medication “cold turkey” or from coming off of a high dosage. If you are noticing some symptoms when you quit this particular drug, you may want to read below.

Factors that influence Strattera (Atomoxetine) withdrawal

There are many factors that influence withdrawal from various medications. With Strattera, the most important factors are the dose and the time you took the medication. If you were on a high dose and took it for a long term – you will likely experience more withdrawal symptoms. It should also be noted that everyone reacts uniquely to medications – physiology can have a big influence on whether you notice any symptoms.

1. Dosage (18 mg, 25 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg, 80 mg, 100 mg)

Strattera comes in a variety of dosages. Typically a doctor will work with a patient to work their way up to a dose that proves effective at eliminating symptoms of ADHD. If you are withdrawing from the drug and were up to a high dose, it may be wise to consider cutting the dose and tapering rather than quitting cold turkey.

Individuals that take higher dosages (e.g. above 60 mg) tend to report more withdrawal effects. At higher doses there is more reuptake inhibition of norepinephrine and when you quit, your brain may take longer to re-establish natural production.

2. Time Span

Most people that experience withdrawal symptoms from Strattera tend to have taken the drug for an extended period of time at a high dose. If you only took this medication for a month or two, you may quit taking it and not notice much at all in regards to withdrawal. On the other hand, if you were someone that took 80 mg for multiple years, you will likely experience some sort of
“discontinuation” reaction when you stop taking it.

3. Cold turkey vs. tapering

In general, many people experience very minimal withdrawal with Strattera even if they do quit cold turkey. The primary effect that the drug has is on the norepinephrine neurotransmitter. In comparison to serotonin or dopamine, this tends to have less side effects if you were to quit cold turkey.

If you are experiencing some sort of withdrawal symptoms, it is recommended to gradually taper off of the medication. The process affects everyone differently – some can quit Strattera cold turkey without any noticeable side effects and others have trouble. Work with your doctor to conduct a gradual taper if you are struggling to quit cold turkey.

4. Individual physiology

The last element that can influence withdrawal is that of your individual physiology and circumstances. If you are very sensitive to the effects of medications, you may notice more withdrawal symptoms than someone who is less sensitive. Your nervous system is unique and therefore may have a different reaction when you come off of a medication like Strattera.

Strattera Withdrawal Symptoms

It should be noted that many people do not report any withdrawal effects associated with Strattera. There is no official documented withdrawal syndrome and of the individuals that do experience withdrawal effects, most symptoms do not last longer than a few days.  With that said, this is still a psychoactive drug that has an impact on the way neurotransmitters are working in the brain. Most people that experience withdrawal symptoms tend to report minor things such as: anxiety, cognition impairment, dizziness, and headaches.

  • Anxiety: This is a common symptom associated with Strattera withdrawal. You may feel more stressed than usual. Usually this is because your brain is trying to reset its natural functioning without chemical influence.
  • Concentration problems: It makes sense that people may experience poor concentration when they quit Strattera. It is a medication to treat ADHD, and when you stop taking it, your norepinephrine levels could be lower – making it tougher to focus.
  • Confusion: Some people have reported that they feel “confused” and that they cannot think clearly. This could simply be ADHD returning, but if it’s worse than normal, your brain may be trying to re-establish its default activity.
  • Depression: Lower than average levels of norepinephrine are thought to contribute to depression. Some individuals have become depressed for a short term after they quit taking Strattera. This may be due to lack of arousal that the medication provided.
  • Dizziness: You may feel dizzy when you initially quit taking Strattera. Your body and brain are used to being given the medication for functioning. When you take away the drug, they initially don’t know how to react.
  • Fatigue: Since this drug tends to provide a stimulating effect, when you come off it, you may notice that you have less energy. Some people report feelings of fatigue, tiredness, sleepiness, and exhaustion for a few days after discontinuation.
  • Foggy thinking: With most stimulating medications, you will experience the opposite effect while coming off of them. If it sharpened your thinking and improved ADHD symptoms, you may notice that your thinking is clouded or foggy upon drug stoppage.
  • Headaches: During withdrawal from most medications, headaches is a very commonly reported symptom. Various individuals have reported headaches and in some cases, pretty severe ones (e.g. migraines). In most cases these were significantly reduced within a few days.
  • Insomnia: This is another common symptom that is experienced upon withdrawal. You may find it especially difficult to sleep at night.
  • Irritability: Certain people have self-reports of becoming increasingly irritable when they initially quit Strattera. Some state that the irritability caused them to become angry and teetering on the verge of rage.
  • Memory problems: While on the medication, you may experience a boost in mental performance – this is why it’s prescribed to treat ADHD. When stopping this drug, some have noticed that they have a poorer short-term memory. Any memory problems should improve as time passes.

Strattera Withdrawal Duration: How long does it last?

For most people, withdrawal from Strattera does not last more than a week. A majority of individuals report that they experience symptoms for a few days, and then nothing bothers them. Other individuals notice absolutely nothing when they quit taking this particular drug. It is usually found that people exhibiting the most “withdrawal symptoms” when they quit Strattera tend to quit cold turkey from high doses after being on the drug for an extended period.

If you were only on Strattera for a few months at a lower dose, you probably don’t have anything major to worry about regarding a “withdrawal.” If you are currently experiencing some sort of discontinuation symptoms, feel free to share it in the comments section. There are reports of individuals experiencing symptoms, but most symptoms are relatively minor and subside within a week or two.

The bottom line is that Strattera is a relatively easy medication to withdraw from compared to others. You shouldn’t experience much of anything other than the fact that you may notice a resurgence of your ADHD. In some people the drug tends to be very energizing and mood boosting – in these cases people may experience reduced energy and stabilization of mood upon discontinuation.

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{ 80 comments… add one }
  • Jason April 21, 2018, 7:03 pm

    I took Strattera 40mg for 6 days and had doctors appt. and they noticed I had a high heart rate. I stopped taking it 2 days ago and I still seem to have a high heart rate problem. Is this common or unusual?

    • Nick May 13, 2018, 7:59 pm

      I’ve been off a strattera for a long time and still have long-term issues. Heart rate was raised all the time in the beginning, but it’s pretty much gone away now. How are you now?

  • Steven January 10, 2018, 3:50 pm

    I have been on strattera since 2007 @100mg a day. About 2010 I started getting anxiety attacks and my heart rate went up to about 115bpm just sitting. I have been on a gradual decrease from 100 to 80 to 60 to 40. And now on 25mg a day. I have noticed no heart palpitations anymore my heart rate is not around 77-88 bpm sitting.

    But I seem to get high blood pressure when I got down to 40mg. They believe it is the meds. Even on a low dose of blood pressure meds it is still high. Anyone notice blood pressure issues with coming off this med? I find this med to be poison to my body. Thanks in advance.

    • Elmar March 1, 2018, 12:25 pm

      Hi Steven, I stopped using Strattera (after 8 years) because of the high blood pressure it gave me. The high blood pressure when you’re tapering off is “normal” – I had the same effect. (I had high blood pressure when I was tapering and it vanished after 2 weeks or so).

      Strettera is very nasty… that’s for sure. I could easily handle a dose of 80mg a day before, but I can’t handle 40mg dose for some reason. (I was extremely fatigued, stressed, irregular heartbeat, trouble sleeping). I’m now at 3mg a day. I’m stopping completely next week.

  • Troy January 5, 2018, 11:03 pm

    This really helps, I’ve been taking Strattera for almost my entire life. For 12 years I’ve been on it and for the past year my dosage has been 120mg and for a few years prior was 100mg. Since I’ve been wanting to join the Military they don’t allow ADD or ADHD medication.

    I talked to the doctor who said to try going off for a week and watch how it goes. This was day 2 of going cold turkey and I’ve experienced anxiety, confusion, difficulty focusing, shaking/tremoring, and have been very foggy. This has cleared up a lot of the symptoms I was worried about (I’ll still be getting to my doc though for safety).

  • Amber March 14, 2017, 9:39 pm

    I am typically sensitive to medications, but this one really f***s me up. My doctor only put me on 25 mg for one month after having anxiety attacks on Ritalin – it was my fault, one of the worst mistakes of my life… under-sleeping, extreme stress, little food and doubling dosages for a couple days to get through midterms. Stopped having anxiety after stopping medication, but wanted to try an non-stimulant.

    I quit halfway because even on it I was experiencing frightening side effects, such as anxiety, dizziness, paranoia, headaches, eventually my thyroid problems reemerged and at that, I quit cold turkey. The first full day I was experiencing extremely emotional ups and downs. The second and third days I started having crippling anxiety attacks, and when it wasn’t an attack, I was nervous and dizzy.

    Day 4 I felt nervous. Today is day 5 and I feel extremely lightheaded and I have a headache, but I am much less anxious and nervous. I am hoping that all side effects will subside by day seven. For a while there with the constant anxiety attacks I thought I was losing my mind and would be anxious for forever. I had suicidal thoughts. I am trying natural ADD managing techniques from now on.

  • Robert Merkin February 10, 2017, 8:30 pm

    I have taken 80mg of Strattera for many years, 40mg upon waking and 40 before dinner. My current doctor thinks its effects are redundant given other meds in my regimen & wants me off it. I went one week taking only the morning dose with no discernible side effect. Then I stopped it altogether.

    Within days my heart was racing, feeling like it was in my throat. I even had occasional skipped beats. I recognized the physical similarity to symptoms of anxiety, but wasn’t anxious. After about a week, the intensity and frequency of the symptoms began to diminish.

    Unfortunately by this time I’d begun to feel anxious in anticipation of symptom onsets. This created a feedback loop in which I was anxious in advance of symptoms and the anxiety, in turn, triggered the symptoms, which increased the anxiety, etc. In addition, one of my usual stress-reducers, exercise, stopped being effective, because even a walk brisk enough to raise my heart rate appropriately triggered racing.

    This is my third week. My doctor suggested that after so many years, my body is taking its time to readjust. She has proposed going back on the medicine at only 18mg a day, hopefully enough to quiet my heart, and then mapping out a longer term plan for tapering off.

  • Barbara January 24, 2017, 3:46 pm

    Has anyone experienced fever and nausea?

  • Kim October 30, 2016, 5:38 pm

    My son was on 25mg for two days, only two days… Today is a full week without it, and he is still not himself. His tummy is messed up and he’s aggressive as all heck.

  • Pauline October 20, 2016, 7:53 pm

    On my third try to stay off this drug, was given to treat depression. I never felt it help that, but it did help me loose some weight about 25lbs. Now that I have stopped taking, I cannot seem to stop eating, and have put on 30 lbs and no end in sight.

    I am tempted to go back on because I now have trouble with minimal exercise and walking. The extra weight is really hurting my knee and back. On top of the weight gain, always being hungry, I am also tired after 8 hour day. Will try bumping up supplements I have read about on this page. This is criminal what is being done to us all.

    • Nick October 31, 2016, 12:03 pm

      I agree. It’s ruined my life since I’ve been off of it. Have you have any improvements?

    • Sarita September 19, 2018, 10:49 pm

      I have been taking 100mg of Strattera for years and for some crappy situation with my lame health insurance I now have been off of the med for 4 days waiting for approval of insurance. I CAN’T STOP EATING, I REALLY CAN’T! This is horrible and I am moody & tired and sad! I have come to think that everything happens for a reason and I think I will ride this out and STOP taking this medicine and deal with ADD whatever natural way I can.

  • Nick October 16, 2016, 4:18 pm

    Does anyone know what the longest time to wait is until withdrawal stops? I’m a twenty five year old male, and I was taking strattera for 5 months when it wasn’t doing anything for me so I decided to taper off. The first five months or so after stopping were unbearable.

    I couldn’t think, couldn’t follow conversations, and relied on exercise to get through anxiety. Since I’ve stopped this drug, I’ve also found that I can’t have anything with Caffeine, can’t have too much sugar, or take vitamin supplements such as Vitamin B or D to boost energy. All these give me anxiety, dry mouth, worse than usual dehydration, and insomnia.

    So far it’s been almost 9 months, I’m still having symptoms – mainly fatigue and insomnia, but I can follow conversations and don’t have to exercise to the extreme to manage anxiety. Has anyone else had any experience withdrawing this long? I’m waiting to get my life back, and regret ever having started this medication.

    • Elmo November 3, 2016, 1:54 pm

      Hi Nick, I’m a 26 year old male and after 12 months I’m still struggling. Went from 80mg to 40mg. Luckily I tapered 4mg every 2 weeks. But yes… I can confirm the fatigue and insomnia. I have to use melatonin 3mg 90min before I go to bed. But I still wake up a few times at night. I’m currently tapering again from 40mg to 25mg. I’m very curious how it will develop.

      Things that helped for me (Tips):
      -Don’t drink any alcohol (Alcohol made the fatigue the days after worse)
      -Try to stay active on the days that you feel a little stronger (Go to gym or something)
      -Don’t give into naps in the afternoon (This makes the insomnia worse)

      Good luck! Let me know how you’re doing.

      • Nick November 14, 2016, 5:48 pm

        Thanks for the advice! I don’t seem to have much trouble with alcohol unless I have consumed anything with caffeine which makes me dehydrated, and then I get a hangover from one drink. It’s weird how different things affect different people. I still have the dry mouth and insomnia. Going to the gym has always helped.

        Still frustrated though – I feel like I’m no fun to be around because I’m so sluggish. I wish I could go back in time and say don’t take strattera to myself. I also went to the doctor and told him about my symptoms. He said there are no case studies where people were withdrawing this long. None! He explained it by saying with brain drugs that side affects are more varied than traditional drugs – for brain drugs people having side effects are 1% rather than say 20% of the group with other drugs, making them harder to predict.

        But I found it hard to believe that there’s no evidence of endless withdrawing!!! Maybe the drug companies are covering it up. Who knows. I hope I haven’t done permanent damage by taking this drug. So far it’s been 9.5 months, will keep you updated as time goes by.

        • Elmo December 12, 2016, 8:44 am

          Thanks for your update Nick! About the Caffeine. Maybe you could try to drink some water during the day. (But I can imagine that you are already doing that). I came to the conclusion that there’s no magic cure/medicine that is able to pull me through this strattera withdrawal. So I have to try a few small things and hope for improvement.

          I switched doctors and I have one now that is really trying to help and think with me. He also noticed that I first needed to get my sleep in order. Now I’m able to sleep better at night and that obviously improves the fatigue a lot!

          Quote: He said, “There are no case studies where people were withdrawing this long.” Ya, well thats a “normal” reaction of a doctor that doesn’t know what is going on, and is probably not able to help you with this withdrawal. I was talking to my uncle about my withdrawal last week.

          He had about the same experience with an antidepressant. He took it when his job stressed him to much. His withdrawal lasted 2 years! He wanted to go to the doctor every morning… but he pulled through. Drinking one beer before going to work helped him pull through. (Crazy isn’t it?).

          • Nick December 19, 2016, 3:13 am

            Wow two years is a long time but that gives me some hope that even though it’s been taking a long time it won’t last forever. Interesting how he managed it with beer… I think I’ve gotten a little better (at 10.5 months) but the holidays are stressful and I have to tread lightly on stress levels. Otherwise I get knocked down.

            Been having good days every now and then too. They happen when I get enough sleep and exercise and then I’m almost back to my normal self. (But it’s a tease because I work myself again and stay up late and I’m back to insomnia land, gotta work within my limits). I wonder how to go about finding a doctor.

            My current doctor also seemed to brush off my withdrawal as too much stress, needing to take more time for myself – I work full time and part time jobs. However I can’t just stop working. What should I ask or how should I approach a healthcare provider to get proper help? Thanks again for your response it’s nice to have the support and dialogue on this slow road to recovery.

        • Aja April 7, 2018, 10:59 am

          How are you doing now? It’s been a while since your last update. Was interested in knowing if your withdrawal symptoms have disappeared. Here’s to hoping so.

          • Nick May 13, 2018, 7:56 pm

            Hey Aja, thanks for checking no unfortunately they haven’t disappeared, and I’m at 2 years & 3 months. They have improved I will say that. I still have the insomnia, that’s the biggest thing, triggered by stress. If I’m not stressed I can sleep six to seven hours.

            If I am I sleep three to four then wake up, fall back asleep and then wake up later unrefreshed. Still get a little dry mouth and anxiety but those have lightened up. I’m doing a lot of things I couldn’t do before though, so I’m hopeful my symptoms get a better with another year.

            I guess I have a unique physiology that doesn’t like to recover quickly, but I’m taking it one day at a time.

  • Adam October 13, 2016, 3:14 pm

    I have found strattera to be VERY effective at helping to reduce my anxiety, mood problems, ADHD symptoms. It has had a remarkable effect on my asperger syndrome by helping me to “connect” with my emotions. The benefits of strattera have been formidable. It has changed my life and the changes are permanent. That said, I cannot tolerate doses past 25mg, which is very low.

    When trying to go past this dose I had to discontinue cold turkey after 18 months on the medication. I have certainly not suffered anything worse than fatigue and the withdrawal effects last a very short time. This is not a poisonous antidepressant, it is effective, it is not unpleasant and it has helped me turn my life around.

  • Shannon Spoler August 9, 2016, 6:26 pm

    Ah, thank goodness. My -NOW FORMER- NP put me on a Strattera sample pack while I’m still taking lorazepam. Yeah, it was terrible. I became a dehydrated, confused mess who would crash into exhaustion at 12 in the afternoon. Then today, when my sample pack was completed, I looked up how much Strattera cost.

    I cannot afford it in my current situation and, incidentally, my former NP never wrote me a prescription for it even though I thought she had. Thankfully I have an actual psychiatrist now who will be helping me wean off the benzos and get me on more appropriate medications.

  • Charles Athanasion July 27, 2016, 9:08 am

    I had been on 80mg for almost a year now. I had recently been dealing with extreme itching over my body especially my lower legs. The itching was so extreme my legs were covered in open sores from scratching so deep and drawing blood. It’s easy to say don’t itch it but it was nearly impossible. I tried every antihistamine, cream, everything!

    For some reason I never even thought to mention it to my prescriber. I thought it may be another med from my PCP or something simple such as laundry detergent, I just never considered the Strattera. Well, one day I had just had it as it was consuming me and affecting my social life, didn’t dare wear shorts in 90 degree weather because I was embarrassed by the look of my legs so I looked up the side effects of the Strattera after others had been ruled out.

    Bingo, there is saw that this was a side effect if not an allergic reaction in my case. I stopped and within two days the itching stopped immediately. I felt like a complete idiot for not considering it in the past, but was thrilled that I figured it out. I have left my legs so scarred I hope they lighten up over time. As far as side effects go, the major one I have experienced is irritability.

    Getting very angry when dealing with multiple issues at home, or just something as simple as being cut off in traffic. This is not me and I hate it, but I’d trade it over the itching in a heartbeat. I have experienced other side effects like “being out to lunch” all the time, and literally out to lunch and supper all the time (increased appetite) not being engaged in what is happening in my surroundings but that is about it.

    I encourage anyone reading this to not be stupid like me and talk to your doctor about all changes incurred while on meds. Best of luck to all of you.

  • SoraRail July 13, 2016, 6:25 am

    No withdrawal? I was stupid enough to believe this. Insomnia, brain zaps, nausea, extreme fatigue, muscle weakness, headache, etc. THEY LIE!!

  • Carla May 10, 2016, 11:23 pm

    My 9 year old son has been on 60 mg of Strattera for about a month and he seems to be having all the same symptoms as people coming off it. I’m considering stopping the medicine because he has been super emotional and nothing has changed at school, which was the entire reason for trying it. Thanks, these comments have been helpful.

  • Kaylo May 6, 2016, 5:33 am

    Hello I’m 26 and I am a dude LOL. I was on strattera for 2 months 40mg. Side effects were bad, constipation and no sexual desire on the daily so I asked my doctor if I could try something different. Well she recommended vyvanse and my insurance declined, so then she went with Concerta and once again my insurance declined!!

    And keep in my mind I never asked for a refill for my strattera while waiting for something else. I tried taking what I had left of the 40mg every other day, but now I’m out and I feel like I’m seriously going crazy, irritated, anxiety and cried like a little b#tch today. I wanna pull my hair out and my heart is racing 😢.

    Worst withdrawal symptoms ever especially cause I am an addict. I honestly don’t wanna take anything, but these withdrawals symptoms make me wanna kill my self. I wish I had never taking any medicine to begin with! I feel my ADHD is worse!! And I’m also clean and sober, but it’s so hard and being on the medication helped so much focus. Now I Just feel like IDK confused and I just wanna cry.

    • Miranda September 2, 2016, 7:50 pm

      Are you feeling better?

  • Vince March 23, 2016, 11:29 pm

    Took strattera 40mg for 6 months, stopped cold turkey 3 days ago, started taking vyvanse 20mg 2 days ago (going up 10mg every week to reach and stay at 50mg). So this is my 3rd day without strattera, cold/flu-like symptoms popped up today, my head hurts, I cough and my nose is hurts in the back, not really any snot. As the evening goes I’m more and more confused and can’t stand myself.

    I’m pretty sure the vyvanse has helped me cope with the last 2 days. Will update if it gets worse, if I don’t, things probably stayed the same for awhile then calmed down a bit, as it should.

  • John January 27, 2016, 4:08 am

    I was on it for 13 years. I was on 80mg and tapered it down to 60, then I decided to stop raking it since I can not afford it anymore. I have been very dizzy when I walk, and I have been very tired. We will see how long it lasts!

    • Alex Morgan November 20, 2016, 10:42 pm

      I’ve been taking for 11 years! 60mg. I just wanted to know if you got through it because I had severe brain zaps/dizziness, weakness, migraines, sickness, loss of focus, vivid dreams and even sleep paralysis. I almost felt like I was going to collapse a couple of times. That was only after 4 days of withdrawal. :L How long did your side effects last? Did you make it?

  • Stacey January 11, 2016, 10:20 am

    I tried to quit Strattera 80 mg (2 years) cold turkey. By the third night my pulse was racing, horrible headache and my blood pressure was spiking. I take in the A.M., but last night I took it at 11 P.M. just to go to sleep and stop some of these side effects. I’ll try with my Drs help next time to taper slowly after reading this thread. Thank you for the great information!

  • Jack Fitzer December 14, 2015, 1:26 pm

    Hi. I use to take Strattera 9 years down the line I’m ill. Constant bad stomach, heavy head, tiredness, feeling spaced-out. The long-term symptoms people don’t know about is what I’ve got… I’m pretty sure it is because when I gave up the strattera, I felt the way I do now.

    • Nick October 31, 2016, 12:05 pm

      Is this happening 9 years after you stopped taking the strattera?

  • Elmar December 2, 2015, 8:43 am

    Hi everybody, I managed to cut my Strattera medication from 80mg to 40mg (50%) within 5 months without any serious withdrawal symptoms. Step by step around 5mg at the time, every 2 weeks. For Example the first cut on the strattera dose was: 1 capsule of 40mg 1 of 25mg and 1 of 10mg. This made it costly… because it triplet the cost of the medication (3 Capsules instead of 1).

    I have to admit that my approach was costly and my parents pretty much paid for it. Quitting Cold Turkey with strattera was in my cause no option. I tried to lower the dose from 80mg to 70mg…. and OMG. Seriousss withdrawal symptoms! I wasn’t able to go to work anymore. My parents ordered a package from: ‘The road back program’ on their website. So I took some of those pills. Only one type really worked and that were the: “JNK-Capsules”.

    The JNK-Capsules didnt solve all the withdrawal symptoms but it did make it more bearable for me. I’m planning to cut down the remaining 40mg of strattera very soon. I feel no difference at all now all the withdrawal symptoms are gone, and my blood pressure is lowering (what is a good thing in my cause). It feels like I was poisoned by strattera…

  • Kat November 24, 2015, 6:46 pm

    I had to stop taking Strattera because of an insurance switch and not being able to afford it any longer. It should be noted that I do suffer from an anxiety disorder. I’ve been taking Strattera for around 2 years at 80mg, and had to quit ‘cold turkey’ 3 days ago. I feel like I have a cold most the day, with very minor aches and the feeling of being too hot.

    I feel far more anxious than usual during the day, but at night is when it gets bad. Every night for these 3 days when I attempt to go to sleep, as I feel exhausted, I can’t sleep, as it feels like a terrible panic attack has set in. I still get the chills and feel too warm, but the worst is the tightness in my chest, a tingly feeling in both of my arms, discomfort in my stomach (like churning), racing thoughts, and I’m hyper aware of my own heartbeat that sounds like it’s racing.

    I’m incredibly exhausted, to the point of frustrated tears, I just want to sleep. This started the same time I quit Strattera, so I don’t know what else to attribute it to. Has this happened to anyone else? Any suggestions on what to do to help?

  • Eleni November 18, 2015, 10:42 pm

    My dr gave me Xanax to help me to stop taking strattera 80mg. He didn’t recommend me tapering off slowly but to take one Xanax at night and quit the strattera cold turkey. I went to work today extremely tired and groggy and unable to function. Went to the toilet to break down in tears. I just feel like crap! Had to tell my boss that I can’t work like this because I work in a busy customer service shop that customers were asking me if I’d had any sleep the night before.

    Makes me feel anxious. The meds were helping me a lot at first but then after about five months of taking them and sticking at 80mg for another five months id say that the effectiveness of the medication had decreased a lot!!! Still it felt better than being without them. The only reason why I’m doing this is because my dr left the town and no one else here will touch ADHD without a psychiatric evaluation that was within the past few years (am 27 was diagnosed at 14) interested to see if when re testing they decide that I do indeed have ADHD.

    I believe That GPs find it hard to even understand how the symptoms can be and are real! Stupid GP won’t give me my medication but that’s ok, his opinion is only making me unable to go to work and pay my rent and potentially messing up my mental state of mind!! Go him!!

  • Mary November 8, 2015, 1:58 am

    Hi Lynn, are you feeling better? My son stopped taking strattera about 5 weeks ago and he is now experiencing severe shaking and brain zaps as well. I hope you are feeling better!

  • Patrick November 3, 2015, 2:35 pm

    I have issues with constipation something horrible with this medication. I am down to 40mg and I don’t take it on the weekends. Currently I haven’t taken it for 4 days and have been dizzy for 3 days. I have problems with my occipital nerve damage in my cervical spine though and was trying to figure out what’s making me dizzy. Just took a 40mg pill because of this website. We’ll see how I am this afternoon. I sit all day and work on excel spreadsheets. Concentration is required.

  • John October 9, 2015, 3:41 pm

    I went on vacation & forgot to put my straterra in my trays. I have noticed that I am getting headaches & the typical sweats as though I was going cold turkey. I did not realize it at first that I forgot to tray the straterra, and couldn’t figure out why I was breaking out into the “sweats” until I inventoried the meds in my tray. I wan on vacation and did not have my Rx bottle. I was to begin tapering down from straterra the following week. As it turns out I had no choice but to deal weth the symptoms of withdrawal until they subsided.

  • Lynn September 30, 2015, 7:27 pm

    I am withdrawing after only 5 weeks (60 mg). I have horrible brain zaps and have been waking up with a fever and shaking.

  • Jason August 11, 2015, 3:01 am

    I have Paresthesia mostly at night, which is insane sensitivity of the skin. Sheets feel like sandpaper and glass. I think it is from strattera withdrawal. I took 40mg 1x a day for 4 years. I have been going through this itchy hell for over 6 weeks. Has anyone else gone through this?

  • Diana June 27, 2015, 1:05 am

    I stopped taking Straterra, 40 mg/day, a week ago, after 7 years, because of cost/insurance issues. I should have planned better, but too late now! I expected fogginess, forgetfulness, and fatigue, and yes, of course, I’ve experienced them. I’ve also experienced unexpected dizziness–now I’m hoping it will go away soon.

  • anonymous June 15, 2015, 5:32 am

    I am 15 years old. I have been taking strattera for the past couple of years due to ADHD. I also have tourrete’s syndrome. I never really thought much of the strattera. just some pills my mum gave me in a morning. When she told me I might have some withdrawal symptoms I thought nothing of it. I have been through short term recreational drug withdrawal many times. However, this cannot be compared to that. Strattera withdrawal is much, MUCH different. I am on the morning of my fourth day having had my second sleepless night.

    This makes me even more agitated than the initial agitation the withdrawal brought me. When I was taking strattera, I had little appetite. Now I am hungry most of the day and when I eat it doesn’t fill me up it just makes me feel sick. I am restless, I daydream and I am now very antisocial. Any other drug withdrawal I’ve had, or ‘comedown’ as commonly referred to, has only lasted 24 hours MAX!! This just gets worse with time. Please will someone tell me how much more of this I must endure?

    • Miranda September 2, 2016, 7:46 pm

      How are you?

  • Elmar Bakker June 8, 2015, 7:38 pm

    Almost every comment sounds very familiar to me… The withdrawal symptoms of Strattera are serious. Watch out if your tapering. I wasn’t able to do my job anymore because of the withdrawal symptoms. I now tempering 4mg every 2 weeks, even such a small change is giving me withdrawal symptoms. (Have been on Strattera 80mg for almost 10 years). My withdrawal symptoms:

    -Not able to concentrate
    -Uninterested in my normal hobbies

    • Bob September 4, 2016, 2:24 am

      Been on it for more than 10 years… Maybe 15 years… I’m down from 100m to 20m after a year of tapering. I getting ready to stop all together. But, I’m so scared to stop cuz of all the stuff you wrote about. I am very sensitive to medications… Put it this way, I get a buzz off Ibuprofen. My question for you is, now that it’s been about a year, how are you feeling. Any problems now or are you back to normal?

      • Elmar December 15, 2016, 9:02 am

        Hi Bob, Sorry for my late reply. I’m doing better, but it took a few more months. I’m only experiencing fatigue and dizziness (but that is improving now, my doctor gave me proper instructions when to take my melatonin). I stopped tapering when I was at 40mg and I’m now at 25. Will see how that goes for a while. Let me know how you’re doing.

  • Missy June 2, 2015, 2:47 pm

    This article is so helpful. My 11 year old daughter is attempting to switch to Concerta from Strattera. We were told there were no side effects of coming off Strattera and that she could wean in three days on a half dose. We did the three day wean and then BAM it hits – bouts of tears, extreme irritability, fatigue, defiance, hitting, rage and depression for three days so far. You can’t tell me that there are not withdraw symptoms when coming off Strattera. This isn’t normal. God help us.

    • Miranda September 2, 2016, 7:44 pm

      My son is 7 and has been on 35mg for a few months. He HATES it and last week began to blatantly refuse to take it. So I have stopped giving it to him. His behavior is horrendous. Erratic… intense anger, defiance, mood swings, tears, intense tantrum lasting A LONG TIME. I don’t know what to do. :(

  • Chris Coleman May 10, 2015, 2:06 am

    I haven’t even taken Strattera for a month and tried to stop taking it due to the high price I have to pay for it. Since I quit it, I have been TERRIBLY sick. Nauseated, sweating, and cold while sweating. When I start sweating, I get cold like I have the flu a.d I am physically drained. I take 60mgs and after a week of not taking it I took it and within 4 hrs I pulled a 360 in the way I felt. Can’t financially afford it but had rather be dead as to feel the way I have. Don’t know what to do now. Thanks Strattera.

  • Matt April 30, 2015, 6:19 pm

    I have been on 80mg Strattera since the Jan 5 2015. I was off from the beg of july 2014 until Jan 5 2015 when I started. Prior to that I was on strattera for several years and Adderall for ADD before that. A couple of weeks ago (4/14) I went for my a follow up with my physician and we determined that strattera was no longer working and that my zoloft was taking care of my ruminating thoughts and anxiety. The next day I went down to 40mg for 7 days and went off completely last Tuesday.

    I immediately noticed a general feeling of malaise and actually took off work thinking i had to the flu. I slept all day which is very rare for me. I also noticed heightened anxiety which at first I attributed to the abundance of things I have going on currently. However, the anxiety has continued for almost 9 days now. I spoke with my physician who said this is a common of withdrawals and should subside within another week or so. Has anyone else experienced heightened anxiety during your withdrawal? Thank you guys!

    • Frances Maria MacDonald September 6, 2016, 2:20 pm

      Yes I have noticed that since I came off my anxiety is bad but it was getting bad before I came off. I think I suffer an anxiety disorder, and maybe I was misdiagnosed.

  • Adam April 15, 2015, 12:56 pm

    Dammit. Great stuff, thanks so much for this article. Here’s my story. I did not do the most intelligent thing a person can. I turn 20 this year. I have ADHD, OCD, and Tourette’s. I took Strattera for years, then quit cold turkey after taking the 60mg dosage for a while. I felt fantastic for a whole month, due to the fact that the medication was making me feel a little robotic and I wanted that to end. BUT THEN my withdrawal kicked in like a mofo, and I experience 90% of the symptoms discussed in the article NOW FOR MORE THAN FOUR MONTHS.

    This will sound exaggerated to a lot of people but it’s known that my nervous system is extremely sensitive since I was a child. I could explain using many examples but I prefer just letting people decide for themselves what they believe. God help me that this may end gradually. It’s up and down, but the good thing is I’m optimistic about it. I do not want to start any medication ever again for many reasons so please people, don’t tell me I don’t know what I’m doing. There’s a lot of detail I have not expressed. But I’m open to discussion if anybody would like to talk.

    • Karen August 26, 2015, 6:37 am

      This sounds like my son (age 10). He’s been off two weeks and I’m worried. He is having 6-8 SEVERE violent mood swings a day now, which started about 3 days after he stopped taking it. I am wondering how long this will last? I am worried it won’t go away. He also has a very sensitive neurological system. Did you have violent mood swings? When did your withdrawal symptoms stop? Four months sounds like a horribly long time :( I hope you are doing better.

      • Donna January 13, 2016, 12:20 pm

        My son is 10 also and we aren’t giving him this medicine today due to the crazy price. Just can’t afford it. Today will be his first day off of 25 mg, so apparently it’s low dose. What was the dosage your son was on? My son also has ODD and SPD.

        • Shane January 26, 2016, 12:39 am

          Go to the Strattera website and download their coupon. If you have insurance coverage you will pay no more than $25 per refill with up to 12 per year. The only problem we had was that our insurance wanted my son to try Adderall first before authorizing Strattera.

  • Carlo April 14, 2015, 10:30 am

    I’m off for 4 days now. I must say it’s starting to feel better now. I was on 80mg for two and a half years, but suddenly started getting itchy all over and then stomach pains started. I read up and saw that it could be liver damage, so the doctor recommended I get off immediately. I still have dizziness and fogginess right now, but not as bad as the first two days. I’ve had a headache every day since stopping (quite severe) and I can feel one coming up again, but the problems really only start after lunch (the time my body is used to it’s “fix”).

    I am getting the flu now, and I’m pretty sure that it’s because my body is suffering right now. Like Gregory said, it feels like brain zapping at times. If I look down to the the corners of my eyes, it feels like my heart wants to jump out of my chest. I know this all sounds bad, but compared to other medications I had to get off late last year, this is a walk in the park.

    • Stacey January 30, 2016, 2:20 pm

      Thank you, this helped me.

    • Victoria February 1, 2016, 5:53 pm

      How was it a walk in the park? What were your other medication withdrawal symptoms like?

  • jim March 14, 2015, 5:00 am

    The withdrawal, even if done slowly can be horrible. I am currently going down to 40mg from 80mg because of the myriad side effects. The withdrawal is even cancelling out the amphetamines that I also take. Concerta works very well for me and I can choose to take it (on days I need the pep and focus) or not (watching football or things of the like when I don’t need to be sharp). Stupid drug abusers make the psychiatrists want to try strattera before a stimulant.

  • Gregory Hanzel March 9, 2015, 4:03 pm

    I am on my 4th day without taking my strattera. The way I feel is: I get a lot of brain zapping, it feels like I smoked weed and feel very odd. I do go to the gym and it does help a lot with the foggy feeling. The reason I stopped taking this is that I do not want to depend on something. I also have mood swings and my sex drive went down when I was on strattera. When coming off strattera it is returning to its normal state. If anyone else has this problem, you’re not the only one.

    • Frances Maria MacDonald September 6, 2016, 2:16 pm

      Yes I too noticed my sex drive diminished, my bowels were constantly suffering too (too much info), and my anxiety actually became worse, so I stopped taking it a week ago.

      • SithSnoopy November 24, 2016, 10:06 pm

        Out of practical (not morbid) curiosity, how were your bowels suffering? I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome ages ago. Been on Prozac and Straterra for ages. Doc added Atarax for anxiety and sleep. Works great for sleep, but very very hard to shake off. Also, started having bad constipation. With IBS, you’d think I’d be grateful… but it was bad enough that I preferred the alternative!

        Noticed improvement with reduced Atarax, but of course harder to sleep. Went cold turkey off of Straterra due in part to price and tired of so many drugs, and experienced flu like symptoms, and headaches. But also came down with strep throat at same time, so not sure how much is strep and how much is withdrawal. But now my IBS seems to have returned. Granted antibiotics maybe messing with my “gut flora”, so…

        Short story, anyone notice Straterra making them constipated? I guess I won’t know for sure what my body is trying to do until I’m off antibiotics for strep. :P

  • Erin February 16, 2015, 9:59 am

    I have been tapering off from 100mg a day that I’ve been taking for a year now, the previous year I was taking 80mg. About 4 days ago I took my last dose of 25mg. My body seems to be very sensitive to medications, judging from previous issues to them and now this one. So far I have experienced all of the withdrawal symptoms especially dizziness and fatigue. On top of it I seem to be getting a cold and my body is aching. I can’t wait to start feeling better.

    • Victoria February 1, 2016, 5:51 pm

      Good luck, Erin! :/

    • Elmo September 22, 2016, 10:33 am

      How are you doing right now Erin? It has been 8 months since I halved my dose from 80mg to 40mg but I’m still experiencing dizziness and fatigue.

  • Valerie January 30, 2015, 3:37 am

    I am on day three of not taking it due to changing insurance and have been experiencing frequent headaches, distraction, and constant hunger. I almost got in a car accident yesterday after watching a cute dog cross the street and then forgetting to check again before entering the intersection. I also am very forgetful lately. As for the appetite, it’s like I just can’t get enough food! I’m eating all day long. I did lose about 7 lbs on Strattera over a long period of time (I’ve been on it about 2 years). On the flip-side, I do feel more like my old self. That is nice as a change but perhaps not for the long term! I hope to get back on it or find an alternative soon.

    • Orpheous July 8, 2015, 2:09 pm

      Forgot to take it today and I’m having extreme hunger as well!

  • Mawy January 22, 2015, 10:39 pm

    My daughter takes this medication and I ran out and did not give it to her in the morning. I didn’t think anything bad could happen just for missing it for a day. I was so wrong, I got a call from the school nurse telling me my daughter was having difficulty breathing and felt dizzy. Once I got there she seemed confused and sick. It was so scary I never thought this was due to me not giving her the med.

  • Buffie King December 16, 2014, 1:24 pm

    Couldn’t fill my prescription after mx up at the pharmacy. Today was the second day without. ..was hit with an enormous headache and flu like symptoms. Also strange and vivid dreams. Pharmacy says it should be ready by 11. This drug has been a great help to me….i do not however, want to experience withdrawal again.

  • maegan October 31, 2014, 7:33 am

    I have been on 60 mg for about a year and a half, just stopped taking it today. Its always the worst after a few hours of missing it, I get really bad headaches, I feel super anxious and emotional, hot, and can’t focus on anything. So far it hasn’t been much worse than that, and it seems to be getting better by the hours! I’m hoping tomorrow I’ll feel more normal again. Wish me luck! :)

    • Victoria February 1, 2016, 5:50 pm

      I experience the same symptoms!! Yay :-) I’m not alone!

  • daniel October 15, 2014, 4:29 am

    I am currently in the process of quitting Strattera. I once too 120mg per day. I’ve been on 40mg per day for the past 9 months and have experimented with half dosages. Last week I decided to just quit. I am on the evening of day 4. This sucks. However a few things have made my transition bearable so I thought I would share them with the world so that perhaps my experience may help other people. Note: I am a 165 lb man in fairly good shape. Research your own dosages – don’t trust mine. I am just going by gut, and what my acupuncturist suggests to me.

    I expect to decrease or stop most of these supplements and herbs once I complete my withdrawal.

    Omega-3 Fish Oil – 3000mg in the morning. 2000-3000 mg toward evening. This keeps my brain humming and helps the transition.

    Magnesium Malate – This is supposed to help decrease the Brain Zap effect. It seems to work fairly well for me. I take 1000 to 2000 gm 2 or 3 times a day depending on how I feel.

    B12, B6, Folic Acid – I don’t know what this does, however, it certainly doesn’t hurt. I take 3000 – 6000mg per day.

    Here is where it gets interesting.

    Powdered Ginger and Powdered Turmeric – These two act as anti-inflammatory agents. Changing subjects here (as people with ADD are prone to do) it has been researched that flu symptoms and hangover symptoms are actually quite similar. Both can be improved with anti-inflammatory medication (Reference: European study recently discussed on NPR). I realized this morning that my withdrawal symptoms are very similar to flu/hangover symptoms. Went to the store, bought some powdered ginger and turmeric and guess what!!!! My symptoms reduced dramatically. Dosage – about a 1/4 teaspoon of each 3 times a day. I mix it into a paste and slam it down with water or juice.

    Advil – Gotta love that old favorite.

    That’s it folks. I’m going to beat this damn drug and I hope you do too. Best wishes.

    • Carri August 31, 2016, 5:12 pm

      I could kiss you for this information! I get the side effects even if I’m an hour late taking my meds, this time I ran out of meds and this morning 12 hours after my dose was due and after a night of night sweats and terrors I felt just dreadful this morning. I read your post and improvised, I juiced about 2 inches of ginger with a couple of apples and drank it straight down.

      Within in 20 minutes I went from experiencing every side effect mentioned to feeling just dandy! Thank you! I’m going cold turkey I can’t wait to get them out my system I’m all for the natural approach and plan on getting myself to a naturopath ASAP! Thanks again for sharing this.

  • Evan September 14, 2014, 3:45 am

    I’ve quit cold turkey after building up from 25mg to 80mg over SIX YEARS. I’m 16 years old and i’ve been on 80mg for about 1-2years and my doctor said she was shocked that my previous doctors never advised me to have a break from my medication as she thinks it may have stunted my growth. I’m having few withdrawal symptoms but nothing extreme, this article helped, thanks :)

    • Victoria February 1, 2016, 5:48 pm

      Wow, Evan. Were you scared when you discovered about it stunting your growth? How is the medication going now? I’ve been on 100mg of Strattera for 3 years now and experience withdrawal symptoms if I take it later than the exact same daily time each day.

    • Charlie December 8, 2016, 9:51 pm

      I’m surprised the Dr’s never mentioned it but it is very clear in the leaflet that this can happen. You shouldn’t take medication without reading the information that comes with it.

  • Greyson August 9, 2014, 4:14 am

    I take 80mg per day and currently one day without and I have a migraine. This has happened before when I forget. However I am somewhat prone to migraine.

    • Chloe January 5, 2015, 3:32 am

      Oh my goodness, yes! I will accidentally forget to take it for only one night (I take it in the evening to reduce the nausea side effect) and the next morning I’m miserably tired, confused, groggy, and can’t seem to remember or pay attention to anything! Most friends say its how all ADD meds work but Strattera is not a stimulant! My guess is that it’s because I’ve been taking it for 6 years now. I must be becoming mentally dependent on it…

  • Maria July 9, 2014, 2:12 am

    This article was very helpful to me. I am day three of not taking Strattera after slowly reducing my dosage – from 80mg to 18mg. I have experienced to what seems to me like extreme tiredness over the last few days . Today I have a headache, feel very foggy, confused and dizzy most of the time. I also feel like I could easily break into tears. When I am not feeling fuzzy I feel like a sale rack in a record store as thoughts do a very quick sort through me head. It is making me very anxious about waiting the symptoms out or returning to taking Straterra again.

    • Frances Maria MacDonald September 6, 2016, 2:10 pm

      I too have the same symptoms. I stopped taking mine a week ago as they were making my anxiety worse, this week I have a headache, almost like flu symptoms, just hope they subside soon.

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