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ADHD, Strattera linked to increased risk of suicidal thinking

FDA ( Food and Drug Administration ) has received reports of suicidal thinking in children and adolescents associated with Strattera ( Atomoxetine ), a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor approved to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ).

FDA is advising health care providers and caregivers that children and adolescents being treated with Strattera should be closely monitored for clinical worsening, as well as agitation, irritability, suicidal thinking or behaviors, and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of therapy or when the dose is changed ( either increased or decreased ).

FDA’action follows a review and analysis of 11 clinical trials conducted in children with ADHD and one trial in children with enuresis that identified an increased risk of suicidal thinking for Strattera.
There was one suicide attempt by a patient who received Strattera among the approximately 2,200 patients in the trial.

As part of a larger evaluation of psychiatric drugs and suicidality, FDA had requested that the manufacturer conduct a review of its database and clinical trials, which included more than 2200 patients--1350 patients receiving Strattera and 851 receiving a placebo.
The analysis showed that 0.4% of children treated with Strattera reported suicidal thinking compared to no cases in children treated with the placebo.

Strattera, manufactured by Eli Lilly, has been on the market since 2002 and has been used in more than two million patients.

The most common side effects of Strattera are: upset stomach, decreased appetite, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, tiredness, and mood swings.
In short-term clinical trials with children and adolescents, a modest decrease in appetite was the most common side effect. Some children may experience a loss of weight when starting treatment with Strattera. As with all ADHD medications, growth should be monitored during treatment.
In rare cases, Strattera can cause allergic reactions, such as swelling or hives, which can be serious.

Source: FDA, 2005