Mental Health Home > What Is Atomoxetine Used For?
Many people wonder, "What is atomoxetine used for?" Atomoxetine is used for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It can be used in adults and children as young as six years of age. The medicine has not been adequately studied in children younger than six years of age. There are currently no universally accepted off-label uses for atomoxetine.
Atomoxetine hydrochloride (Strattera®) is a prescription medicine that has been licensed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, teenagers, and adults.
ADHD is a condition involving difficulty paying attention, sitting still, and controlling behavior. In a person with ADHD, these problems are worse than would be expected for a typical child of the same age. Usually, the ADHD symptoms must be present before the age of seven to qualify as ADHD. The symptoms must also affect the person's school, work, or social life in a negative way to qualify as ADHD (see ADHD and School and Relationships and ADHD for more information).
Although ADHD is generally thought of as a problem in children, teenagers and adults can also have ADHD. Diagnosing ADHD in adults is different from diagnosing ADHD in children.
Large clinical trials have shown atomoxetine to help children, teenagers, and adults who have ADHD. Atomoxetine can improve the behavior of children with ADHD, as well as help them to sit still and pay attention in the classroom. The medicine is also effective at treating adult ADHD symptoms (see Adult ADHD). Atomoxetine is especially useful for treating ADHD in people with Tourette syndrome or anxiety disorders. Studies have shown that, unlike most ADHD medications, atomoxetine typically does not make these conditions worse.
Any behavioral change involves a well-balanced ADHD treatment plan, including social, educational, and mental therapy (see Behavior Therapy for ADHD). If lifestyle changes alone are not effective at changing ADHD behavior, ADHD medications (such as atomoxetine) may be necessary.