Monday, October 6, 2008

Medication with Atomoxetine for ADHD and Tourette's

ADHD medication

ADHD and Tourette's? Try Strattera (Atomoxetine)

One of the most difficult things about ADD and ADHD is that these disorders are often accompanied by other disorders (called comorbids). One of these disorders is Tourette's Syndrome. Tourette's is actually has a spectrum in and of itself, and can include behaviors such as twitches, tics, vocal "spurts", erratic movements, and in some cases, impulsive foul language. What makes Tourette's so interesting is that it tends to bridge the gap between disorders that are often found on opposite sides of the spectrum with regards to brain chemistry.


Over half of Tourette's individuals are also co-diagnosed with either ADD/ADHD or OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). For individuals seeking treatment, the number of individuals with Tourette's that also have ADD or ADHD may be as high as 80%, according to some studies. ADHD is typically associated with low levels of the brain chemical dopamine in the front part of the brain, and high levels of serotonin. The latter, OCD, is typically affiliated with low serotonin and higher dopamine levels. Tourette's fits somewhere in between these two, from both a chemical and symptom-based standpoint.

Although there are a number of treatment options out there for ADHD, finding one that is effective in also treating the comorbid symptoms and disorders is also crucial. One of the reasons is that stimulants (such as Ritalin, Dexedrine, Adderall, or Concerta) often make several of the Tourette's symptoms, such as motor or vocal tics, worse. However, non-stimulant ADHD medications show some potential for treating these comorbid disorders. A likely reason is a different underlying chemical mechanism than that of stimulants. Several studies have indicated that the non-stimulant ADHD medication Strattera (Atomoxetine) has also been an effective treatment for Tourette's.

Although other drugs, such as Clonidine, have been tried and displayed positive results for a number of studies. However, Clonidine has also shown side effects such as sedation (drowsiness) in several different cases. While stimulants still serve as the primary mode of treatment for ADHD, we must be careful when the disorder is accompanied by other comorbid disorders, such as Tourette's. If this is the case, then non-stimulant medications such as Atomoxetine must be considered as viable alternatives in the ADHD medication world.

ADHD medications

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5 comments:

Web Marketing Lies said...

More information about Atomoxetine can be found at:

http://www.adhdinfocentre.com/atomoxetine_abstracts.htm

or about ADHD in general at http://www.adhdinfocentre.com/

accompagnatrici roma said...

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Anonymous said...

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/EnforcementActivitiesbyFDA/WarningLettersandNoticeofViolationLetterstoPharmaceuticalCompanies/ucm054007.pdf

This is a warning letter from the FDA to the Eli Lilly Company that makes Strattera stating that Strattera is not a treatment for TS, and is not to be advertised as such. As a parent of a 12 year old with TS, ADHD, OCD, and anxiety, I can say that Strattera has had a negative effect on my son's tics.

Unknown said...

I have have first hand experience with this. My son is 12. For his first two years on medication for ADHD he was on strattera and things were going well. Then he got to age 7 when he stared having large growth spurts. we kept having to up the dose during then bring it back down after each spurt. His Dr decided we should try some other ones( some are listed above). Each caused different issues one caused racing heart one caused a sever chest grabbing tic and the last caused a stutter. We didn't realize the stutter was a symptom as it slowly came on over weeks. He was on it for 2 years until he took a med brake and he didn't stutter once in an entire week.( it was at least once in every conversation while medicated) so the Dr And us tried to let him go without medication the school sent him home and wouldn't allow him back unmedicated because he was too distracting to other students. Finally we went back to strattera and it was a game changer. He still has tics but their almost unnoticeable to most people daily now only when he's under stress do we see them.