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Atomoxetine: A nonstimulant therapeutic option for children and adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

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Atomoxetine, a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, is the first nonstimulant agent approved for the treatment of ADHD (Strattera, Lilly). It has been approved for use in pediatric and adult patients. Atomoxetine improves ADHD symptom severity versus placebo, as evaluated by the ADHD Rating Scale (ADHD RS), and its efficacy appears comparable to immediate-release methylphenidate. Atomoxetine requires dosage titration and may be administered once or twice daily. Common side effects seen in both pediatric and adult patients include nausea, decreased appetite, and dizziness. Dosage adjustments are necessary for patients receiving atomoxetine and cytochrome P450 2D6 inhibitors. Based on average wholesale price (AWP), atomoxetine is more costly than existing ADHD therapies. Atomoxetine provides an alternative ADHD therapy for patients who may fail or cannot tolerate conventional treatments.

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