Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 133458

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Re: Straterra - patience involved jrbecker

Posted by ZeeZee on January 13, 2003, at 17:58:46

In reply to Re: Straterra - patience involved, posted by jrbecker on January 13, 2003, at 13:29:36

If you don't mind, I'd like to pick your brain. My son who has ADD has been using Dex since age 9, he is now 19. We just got back from seeing my internist (he's in from college) because his blood pressure has been running high normal to high (mid 130-'s to high 130's sometimes low 140's over mid 70's to high 80's). The doc says this is a result of his 10 years of stimulant use and recommends a change in medication. My son has an appt. with his pdoc in a few weeks (he never took his b/p). Do you happen to know if Straterra avoids this type of internal stimulation or is it basically doing the same thing?
Thanks

 

Re: Straterra - patience involved jrbecker

Posted by zenclear on January 13, 2003, at 19:21:27

In reply to Re: Straterra - patience involved, posted by jrbecker on January 13, 2003, at 13:29:36

Well, that makes sense, to a degree. I am concerned that according to the PI, water retention, consitpation, etc, were much more prevalent than placebo. And I assume these side effects were not merely ones that disappeared after treatment initiation.

During my brief exposure, I did indeed experience terrible water retention, urinary hestiancy, and constipation-like symtoms. If those go away after 3-4 weeks, I would be impressed. And I hope you report back, saying they do go away!

Meanwhile, I'm just not up for a month of that, with no promise that they will indeed disappear. Or the fear that it would decrease my desire to do rigourous daily cardio exercise, which I am currently doing.

I was pleased with the results -- alertness, etc -- but I would not be able to tolerate the AEs for long. And I do worry about the potential sexual AEs, as the PI indicates. At least Wellbutrin improves sexual function, rather than dampening it.

I do hope you consistently report good news and prove me wrong! I look forward to daily reports. :)

 

Re: Straterra - patience involved

Posted by jodie on January 13, 2003, at 19:43:26

In reply to Re: Straterra - patience involved (nm), posted by jodie on January 13, 2003, at 19:26:53

I'm now on day 4 of Strattera. I'm now on 80 mg's. I still feel I could cry for no reason at any minute. I have the " typical side effects" dry eyes, dry mouth. I have been really lethargic the past couple of days. I'm still waiting to feel the benefits, I know its still a little early, but I've noticed nothing. I'm also wondering why my pdoc took me off my lexapro. She said she wanted to see what med is doing what. Since I have problems with depression shouldn't I still be taking something. She also took me off Klonopin, which I have been on for quite a while to control my severe aggitation that I get. I was taking .5 mg's everyday. I'm wondering if I should have been tapered off it a little, instead of quitting cold turkey. So now, I'm just on the Strattera, thats it. Yes, I can do w/o the klonopin, but still wonder if its normal that I was taken off my A/D. Any ideas, suggestions?

 

Re: Straterra - patience involved jodie

Posted by zenclear on January 13, 2003, at 19:46:11

In reply to Re: Straterra - patience involved, posted by jodie on January 13, 2003, at 19:43:26

That's a bit too high, 80 mg, for starters. Why not try less in the beginning?

I was on 10 mg, and THAT was certainly enough for me!

 

Re: Straterra - patience involved

Posted by zenclear on January 13, 2003, at 21:19:08

In reply to Re: Straterra - patience involved jrbecker, posted by zenclear on January 13, 2003, at 19:21:27

Oh yes, I also had nightmares. I dreamed -- incredibly vividly -- that I subjected my little dog to medical experimentation. They cut him open, put tubes in him, and then placed him in a plastic bag. When I saw the plastic bag I was horified, and only then realized the enormity of my mistake in letting that happen. It was a very disturbing dream! No kidding.

 

Re: Straterra - patience involved zenclear

Posted by jodie on January 14, 2003, at 9:24:20

In reply to Re: Straterra - patience involved jodie, posted by zenclear on January 13, 2003, at 19:46:11

> That's a bit too high, 80 mg, for starters. Why not try less in the beginning?
>
> I was on 10 mg, and THAT was certainly enough for me!


My pdoc took the paper out that came with the sample bottle of Strattera 40 mg. It stated for adults or adolescents over 70 kg: "dose should be initiated at 40 mg and increased after a minimum of 3 days to a target total daily dose of 80mg administered either as a single daily dose in the morning or as evenly divided doses in the morning and late afternoon." That is what my pdoc went by. I also looked up on Strattera website, which gave me the same info. I still thought it sounded high. I went as far as to call a Pharmacist, he said Strattera is still very new, but the dose was not unusual for my age and weight (27...120lbs), even for beginners. The dose I'm taking now hasn't benefited me yet (now on my 5th day). I'm just still concerned as to why she took me off of my antiD. I know she likes to try one med at a time, but I thought that was a little strange. Oh well, maybe I just need to shut up and keep giving it a chance. I have a problem with finding the negative in everything.

 

Re: Straterra - patience involved ZeeZee

Posted by jrbecker on January 14, 2003, at 10:29:08

In reply to Re: Straterra - patience involved jrbecker, posted by ZeeZee on January 13, 2003, at 17:58:46

ZeeZee,

Strattera is a quite potent NARI (noradrenergic reuptake inhibitor). Meaning it works both on the the CNS and peripheral nervous system of epinephrine receptors. This would indeed mean that it causes rapid heart rate and the like amongst its core effects on the body.

I am somewhat like your son in his situation. I am only 26 but suffer from slightly elevated blood pressure. I believe this is due more to the stress of my atypical depression than anything else. In trying stimulants in the past, they had a very acute effect on my heartrate, blood pressure, as well as other effects such as sweating, muscle tension. Moreover, they usually worsened my depressive symptoms and made me quite irritable.

My psychiatrist mentioned that Strattera only causes a moderate increase in heart rate (an average of 3-4 beats more per minute above normal). This would of course mean a rise in blood pressure as well. Unfortunately, I do not have any data handy for comparison about the heart rate effects of dex and methylphenidate. I tend to believe they would be quite comparable though. Stimulants work on both dopamine and norepinephrine receptors, but it is now believed that they work more on NE than on dopamine itself. So biochemically, Strattera is not extremely different.

Here's the real difference with Strattera, however, by exerting its affects over a longer duration it is much more smooth than the stimulants. Similarly, by only affecting NE, it has been shown to cause much less behavioral issues and irritability than the stimulants. This can mean that the onset and rebound effects are much less jarring, mentally, as well as physically.

This is only my second day on Strattera. 1st day I was a little spacy as expected, with bouts of tiredness at the end of the day (all as expected). Today, so far so good. Expecting a logarithic improvement of efficacy and a lessesing of side effects throughout the week. I feel much more "calmer," focused, and even more cheery, than I ever did on a stim. As for the physical effects, I noticed that my heart rate is a little elevated -- just as it was on the stims -- but I am definitely not sweating as much and it causes a lot less muscle tension.

I never make early conclusions though, so stay tuned to hear how it's working by the week's end.

If the peripheral effects turn out to be a problem, my doc and I have already discussed adding a beta-blocker to the mix to control heart rate. I don't know if this will be necessary at this point.

I would suggest you discuss the same options with your son's doctor.

Good luck and let me know how it goes.


 

Re: Straterra - patience involved-JODIE

Posted by nmk on January 14, 2003, at 11:47:50

In reply to Re: Straterra - patience involved zenclear, posted by jodie on January 14, 2003, at 9:24:20

>
> My pdoc took the paper out that came with the sample bottle of Strattera 40 mg. It stated for adults or adolescents over 70 kg: "dose should be initiated at 40 mg and increased after a minimum of 3 days to a target total daily dose of 80mg administered either as a single daily dose in the morning or as evenly divided doses in the morning and late afternoon." That is what my pdoc went by. I also looked up on Strattera website, which gave me the same info. I still thought it sounded high. I went as far as to call a Pharmacist, he said Strattera is still very new, but the dose was not unusual for my age and weight (27...120lbs), even for beginners. The dose I'm taking now hasn't benefited me yet (now on my 5th day). I'm just still concerned as to why she took me off of my antiD. I know she likes to try one med at a time, but I thought that was a little strange. Oh well, maybe I just need to shut up and keep giving it a chance. I have a problem with finding the negative in everything.

Jodie,

I would question a doctor who has to read the prescribing info. out of the sample bottle. Like you, I do not have ADD but have been diagnosed with postpartum depression/anxiety. I am on day 7 of Strattera 18 mg and have not felt this good in 8 months. I had some dizziness and spaceyness the first few days, which eventually subsided. I can't imagine starting at a dose of 80 mgs...I don't think I would be able to walk. If you read Jim Boardman's posts, he started at a lower dose and titrated up. I also read in another post that although Strattera is being marketed as an ADD med, it is used as an antidepressant. The dosages listed on the prescribing information may not reflect accurate dosages for those with depression only. Maybe someone out there has some answers about therapeutic dosage recommendations for various diagnoses.

 

Re: Straterra - patience involved-JODIE

Posted by jrbecker on January 14, 2003, at 12:42:09

In reply to Re: Straterra - patience involved-JODIE, posted by nmk on January 14, 2003, at 11:47:50

I agree with Nicole. Start low and the side effects won't be so overwhelming. I am a 6'1'' 180 lb male and I have started at 18mg dosing. I am already feeling an effect. I plan on titrating up only every 3-4 days to find the window that's appropriate for me.

If you have a mood disorder dx and take other meds along with the Strattera, it's more likley you're going to be all the more susceptible to all the SEs involved. Equally, having a borderline ADHD diagnosis means that you might not need the 80 mg as your final dosage level.

Too many doctors are too eagar to get you up there too fast. Start low, take it slow, and reserve making any conclusions until a week or two down the line.

Good luck

 

Re: Straterra - patience involved ZeeZee jrbecker

Posted by ZeeZee on January 14, 2003, at 13:44:14

In reply to Re: Straterra - patience involved ZeeZee, posted by jrbecker on January 14, 2003, at 10:29:08

Thank you so much for all your help!

We did a test to see if my son's b/p goes up after taking his dose of Dex and in fact it did not. But his pulse shoots up from the 70's to the high 90's and above 100. He complains of severe muscle tension in his jaw after days of continuous use, but has never experienced the sweating. He hates the overall effect of the Dex; the flattening of his personality, sleep disturbance, anorexia and sex. dysfunction.
I will definitly inquire about the Strattera and I too thought a beta blocker would be helpful in addition.

I just really worry, he's so young to be bothered with "middle age" health problems. As a college sudent he doesn't take the best care of himself so I worry about him damaging his health even futher.

Thank you again. Hope this drug works well for you and I'll keep you posted on my son.

Regards,
ZeeZee

 

Re: Straterra - patience involved

Posted by Noa on January 14, 2003, at 15:35:32

In reply to Re: Straterra - patience involved zenclear, posted by jodie on January 14, 2003, at 9:24:20

I agree with the others about starting slow. No matter what the insert says, my experience for myself is that it is often a good idea to start slower, because some people (like myself) need time to adjust to the med. Also, since this med is so new and doctors don't have experience with it, it would make sense to start slow, in case someone had a reaction to it.

A second possibility, as you've mentioned is that at the same time you are adjusting to a new med, you are also adjusting to not being on your previous AD. It could be hard to separate out the effects.

But also (and I am not sure how much it matters), but when I saw the weight info, I had to pull out my calculator because it didn't look right to me--I believe 120 lbs is the equivalent of about 54 kilos, which puts you well under 70 kilos. 70 kilos is equivalent to more than 150 lbs.

 

Re: Straterra - patience involved

Posted by Jim Boardman on January 15, 2003, at 8:26:42

In reply to Re: Straterra - patience involved, posted by Noa on January 14, 2003, at 15:35:32

I'm on the 14th day of Straterra, 80 mg in the morning along with 12mg per day gabitril, lexapro 10 mg and remeron (one at night). I am feeling better and am more focused than I have in years. The side effects aren't bothersome enough to outweigh the way I feel. Dry eyes, a bit of constipation, dry throat... all I can handle. This stuff is so much better than the stims.

 

Re: Straterra - patience involved

Posted by jodie on January 15, 2003, at 9:37:25

In reply to Re: Straterra - patience involved, posted by Jim Boardman on January 15, 2003, at 8:26:42

Well this morning I only took my 40 mg pill. I think that is all I will take for today, and call my pdoc. If she still says I should continue w/ the 80, then maybe I should get a 2nd opinion. I actually started out on 40, then on my 3rd day, I started taking 80. Thanks for all of the input. I was diagnosed as being bipolar in the past, I tried many mood stabilizers, including depakote and lithium, but had awful side effects. My new pdoc believes I have ADHD. I have an 8 yr old son who was diagnosed with it almost 3 yrs ago. He has tried Dex, adderall, and now on Ritalin, which seems to be working best for him. But "best" does not mean I'm pleased with it. He has several tics, aggitation, and severe bouts of depression. He is on Wellbutrin for the depression, and clonodine as needed for sleep. I would really like to try Strattera on him, but I wanted to see if I had any probs with it first. I want to get him off of the stimulants. Well I'm getting ready to call my doc, once again, thanks. Oh, one more thing, a little off the subject, but has anyone read books by Dr. Amen? I recently read his book about the 6 different types of ADD. It's I book I would recommend to everyone!!!

 

Re: Straterra - patience involved

Posted by jodie on January 15, 2003, at 10:27:45

In reply to Re: Straterra - patience involved, posted by jodie on January 15, 2003, at 9:37:25

Well, I just spoke with my pdoc. She said the dosage I am taking is ok for me. She stated the "over 70 kg" applies to the children and adolescents only. She said a typical adult dosage on the 3rd day and after is 80 mg, and if not working after 2 to 4 weeks, the norm would be to bump up to 100 mg. I told her I just don't feel comfortable taking the 80. She said maybe I should go back down to 40, for a few days, then back to 80. If I am still having probs with it after a week or so, she is taking me off of Strattera.

 

anyone know if straterra can cause mania ? (nm)

Posted by cybercafe on January 15, 2003, at 11:32:45

In reply to Re: Straterra - patience involved, posted by jodie on January 15, 2003, at 10:27:45

 

Re: anyone know if straterra can cause mania ?

Posted by jodie on January 15, 2003, at 12:24:12

In reply to anyone know if straterra can cause mania ? (nm), posted by cybercafe on January 15, 2003, at 11:32:45

I don't know about mania, but heard it can cause severe mood swings. I have had lots of probs w/ mood swings. Lots of highs and lows, impulsive behavior, aggitation, guess thats how they came up with a diagnosis of BP in the past with me. So far I haven't noticed any "highs" mainly just lows, I have been lethargic and crying for no reason often. I looked up adverse reactions for Strattera, and read only "mood swings" nothing about mania.

 

Re: anyone know if straterra can cause mania ?

Posted by Jim Boardman on January 15, 2003, at 13:18:34

In reply to Re: anyone know if straterra can cause mania ?, posted by jodie on January 15, 2003, at 12:24:12

but Jodie, you QUIT taking lots of other meds. I don't understand why the pdoc took you off the others, which were also anti-depression meds. My doc does meds one at a time, but when he tries something new, he doesn't just quit me on everything else. He fine tunes... took me off the Concerta and added the Straterra, while maintaining me on the gabitril, remeron and lexapro. Having you QUIT everything but the Straterra seems to be a pretty Machiavellian move. But again, I'm an attorney, not a pdoc.

 

Re: anyone know if straterra can cause mania ?

Posted by jodie on January 15, 2003, at 13:51:30

In reply to Re: anyone know if straterra can cause mania ?, posted by Jim Boardman on January 15, 2003, at 13:18:34

> but Jodie, you QUIT taking lots of other meds. I don't understand why the pdoc took you off the others, which were also anti-depression meds. My doc does meds one at a time, but when he tries something new, he doesn't just quit me on everything else. He fine tunes... took me off the Concerta and added the Straterra, while maintaining me on the gabitril, remeron and lexapro. Having you QUIT everything but the Straterra seems to be a pretty Machiavellian move. But again, I'm an attorney, not a pdoc.
>
>
Jim, I completely agree. I don't understand it either. When I went in for my appointment last week, my pdoc asked how my lexapro was working. I told her that I haven't noticed any benefits from it so far, but I was only on 10 mg a day for a month. So she said since I haven't noticed anything, she would just take me off it, and the Klonopin. She said that since I may have ADD, the Klonopin can actually make it worse. She said she likes to try one med at a time, period. But like I had stated b4, I've been on Klonopin for a little while, so I think I should have been tapered off it. Actually I did this myself since I had Klonopin left, but according to her, I was supposed to just stop cold turkey. Since I have probs with severe depression, I don't understand why she stopped the lexapro. It should have been increased in my opinion. My doc said that Strattera should help with the depression, since it has antiD properties in it. I was her first patient to get Strattera samples, so I kind of feel like a lab animal or something. Oh well I guess in a way, we all are.

 

Re: Straterra - No other takers?

Posted by zenclear on January 15, 2003, at 21:40:31

In reply to Re: Straterra - patience involved, posted by zenclear on January 13, 2003, at 21:19:08

So no one else in all of PB land is taking Strattera?

Come now, others, please report in on your experience, no matter if it's early in the game.

As for me, I did give it a couple more tries; the stuff is murder on my skin, and now I'm broken out all over. It's not an allergy, but rather, an irritation rash from the dryness that it causes me.

This makes my Ritalin rash look tame!

 

Re: Straterra - No other takers? zenclear

Posted by Ritch on January 15, 2003, at 23:09:19

In reply to Re: Straterra - No other takers?, posted by zenclear on January 15, 2003, at 21:40:31

> So no one else in all of PB land is taking Strattera?
>
> Come now, others, please report in on your experience, no matter if it's early in the game.
>
> As for me, I did give it a couple more tries; the stuff is murder on my skin, and now I'm broken out all over. It's not an allergy, but rather, an irritation rash from the dryness that it causes me.
>
> This makes my Ritalin rash look tame!

Hi, when I see my pdoc soon I will try it IF I get a bag of samples to play with (that will last me a month). I am not spending the $$$ without a *dramatic* response to it (and knowing it before I lay out any money to find out).

 

Re: Straterra - No other takers?

Posted by jodie on January 16, 2003, at 0:35:32

In reply to Re: Straterra - No other takers?, posted by zenclear on January 15, 2003, at 21:40:31

I have been on Strattera now for almost a week, and I have noticed dry everything. Dry skin, eyes, mouth, you name it, and its dry!!! I'm going through lotion like crazy. Thats not helping. My face is really dry. Around my eyes are really dry and irritated. I hope it goes away soon. Does anyone know, can Strattera cause acne? I'm not usually one to break out, but I've had a few blemishes since I've started it. What about taste perversion? I've noticed everything I eat and drink has been really bland.

 

Re: Straterra - No other takers?

Posted by zenclear on January 16, 2003, at 8:01:09

In reply to Re: Straterra - No other takers?, posted by jodie on January 16, 2003, at 0:35:32

My verdict is -- due to MY side effects -- low-dose Wellbutrin is a more favorable option. Effects are somewhat similar, for me, but Wellbutrin is easier for me to tolerate.

Unfortunately, Wellbutrin makes my hair fall out, so it's not really an option.

 

Re: Straterra - No other takers?

Posted by jodie on January 16, 2003, at 11:26:09

In reply to Re: Straterra - No other takers?, posted by zenclear on January 16, 2003, at 8:01:09

I was on wellbutrin for about a year b4 for depression. That was b4 I was ever diagnosed w/ ADD (just diagnosed last week), even though I had self diagnosed myself with it a couple of yrs ago. When I was on Wellbutrin, I didn't notice it do much for my ADD symptoms. It helped w/ depression, but also caused severe insomnia, which wouldn't go away. So I don't think Wellbutrin would be an option for my ADD. If this Strattera doesn't do the trick, then I may have to go on a true psycho-stimulant. I have also notice severe itching all over with strattera, no rash just itching. Probably because of the dry skin. All I know is, I'm getting really frustrated w/ this drug!!!

 

Re: Straterra - No other takers?

Posted by nmk on January 16, 2003, at 12:27:15

In reply to Re: Straterra - No other takers?, posted by zenclear on January 15, 2003, at 21:40:31

> So no one else in all of PB land is taking Strattera?
>


Hi All,

I am still here. It is day 10 for me and I can't believe I am feeling this well. After 7 months of depression, I no longer dread facing the day. I am still waking up earlier than I would like, but find that I don't miss the sleep. IMO, whomever developed this med should win the Nobel prize.

Nicole

 

Re: Straterra - No other takers?

Posted by Jim Boardman on January 16, 2003, at 13:46:35

In reply to Re: Straterra - No other takers?, posted by nmk on January 16, 2003, at 12:27:15

I'm with you Nicole. I'm on my third week and I feel top notch. I saw my pdoc yesterday and he suggested that I drop to 40 mg per day to see what happens. I'm not sure I want to try that, but I guess if I stay feeling this way and can lessen the dryness, that would be good. He also put my 31 son on the gabitril/straterra cocktail and took him off the Adderall. I will be interested to see if my son has good luck with this combo.

Jim


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