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Nonstimulant Therapy and Other ADHD Drugs

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What Are the Side Effects of Nonstimulants?

Atomoxetine might cause:

Other, less-common risks include:

  • Jaundice and liver problems. Call your doctor right away if you get yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes.
  • Suicidal thinking. There’s a possibility that atomoxetine, like many antidepressant drugs, may slightly raise the risk of these thoughts in teenagers.
  • Erections that last more than 4 hours.
  • Serious allergic reactions. Some people get rashes, hives, or swelling, although this is rare.

Clonidine (Kapvay) side effectsinclude:

  • Sleepiness, fatigue, sedation
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

Since it can cause drowsiness, make sure you know how it affects you before you drive or use heavy machinery.

Rarer and more serious side effects include:

Guanfacine (Intuniv) can cause:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness, sleepiness, and sedation

Rarer and more serious side effects include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Heart rhythm changes

Who Shouldn't Take Nonstimulants?

Talk to your doctor about your medical history and go over all the risks.

You should probably not take atomoxetine (Strattera) if you:

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

Don't take clonidine (Kapvay) if you're allergic to it.

You should probably not take guanfacine (Intuniv) if you:

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

Nonstimulants: Tips and Things to Be Aware Of

Before you take this type of medicine, be sure to tell your doctor if you:

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

If you and your doctor decide nonstimulants are right for you, take your medicine exactly as prescribed. Your doctor may order some lab tests once in a while to make sure the drug is working well and not causing you any problems.

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