Atomoxetine (By mouth)


Atomoxetine (a-toe-MOX-e-teen)

Treats attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Brand Name(s)


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to atomoxetine, or if you have narrow-angle glaucoma, severe heart disease, or an adrenal problem called pheochromocytoma. Do not use this medicine at the same time or within 14 days of using an MAOI, such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate®.

How to Use This Medicine


  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.
  • Swallow the capsule whole. Do not crush, break, chew, or open it.
  • Do not touch a broken or opened capsule. Wash your hands with water if you touch an opened capsule. If this medicine gets in your eyes, rinse them with water and call your doctor right away.
  • This medicine is used as part of a treatment program that also includes social, educational, and psychologic treatment. Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about all treatment procedures.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using dobutamine (Dobutrex®), dopamine (Intropin®), an asthma medicine (such as albuterol, Ventolin®), blood pressure medicine (such as amlodipine, atenolol, clonidine, hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), lisinopril, metoprolol, Benicar®, Cozaar®, Diovan®), or a heart rhythm medicine (such as quinidine, Cardioquin®, Quinaglute®). Tell your doctor if you are also using medicine for depression (such as fluoxetine, paroxetine, Luvox®, Paxil®, Prozac®, Sarafem®).
  • Do not use this medicine if you take MAOIs such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate®. Wait at least 14 days after you stop taking MAOIs before you take this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have liver, kidney, heart, or blood vessel disease; heart rhythm problems; high or low blood pressure; or problems with urination. Tell your doctor if you have a genetic condition called CYP2D6 poor metabolizer.
  • Tell your doctor if you have a history of emotional problems, such as depression. For some children, teenagers, and young adults, this medicine may increase thoughts of suicide. Tell the doctor right away if you start to feel more depressed or have thoughts about hurting yourself. Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you, especially if they are new or get worse quickly. Tell the doctor if you have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, feel very energetic, or start to act reckless. Also report if you suddenly feel nervous, angry, restless, violent, or scared. Make sure the doctor knows if you have a family history of bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder or suicide.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you have a skin rash, dark urine, loss of appetite, yellow skin or eyes, flu-like symptoms, or pain in your upper right side. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
  • This medicine may cause serious heart or blood vessel problems. This is more likely in patients who have heart problems or a family history of heart rhythm problems. Tell your doctor right away if you have chest pain, trouble breathing, or fainting while taking this medicine.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Tell your doctor right away If you have a prolonged or painful erection of the penis that lasts more than 4 hours.
  • This medicine may slow a child's growth. Your doctor will need to keep track of your child's height and weight.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chest pain, trouble breathing
  • Dark-colored urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, upper stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
  • Decrease in how much or how often you urinate
  • Fast, pounding, uneven heartbeat
  • Headache, lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
  • Mood changes, aggressiveness, irritability, depression
  • Painful, prolonged erection of the penis that lasts longer than 4 hours
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there, believing things that are not true
  • Seizures or tremors
  • Thoughts or plans of suicide
  • Weight changes, slowed growth (children)

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Painful menstrual cramps
  • Constipation, heartburn, stomach pain or upset
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of interest in sex, trouble having sex
  • Unusual drowsiness, tiredness

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

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