Strattera (Atomoxetine) is a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (NRI) which acts as an inhibitor of norepinephrine transport into the cells which consequently leads to higher levels of norepinephrine in the extracellular section (including blood) which means it will have its effects expressed at a stronger level. It has an impact on a cortical region of the brain, stimulating cognitive functions which are the reason Strattera is being used as an ADHD drug of choice. It helps with concentration and focus increase and it has a stimulating effect on the body as a whole.
There are other effects which come with this drug, which can be a reason for using this drug as an off-label medicine, such as for refractory depression. Although it can be a better choice over some other drugs for ADHD, it has its side effects, were among those can be weight loss.
How Does Strattera Cause Weight Loss?
Strattera is not considered a drug which will positively influence on everyone’s weight scale. Opposite to Adderall or Vyvanse which are more likely going to result in weight loss, Strattera could be considered “weight neutral”. It reacts differently than amphetamine salt mixture and it does not affect dopamine levels, thus, it rarely influences food cravings, appetite, and eating habits. But it does affect norepinephrine level changes, which can result in quicker metabolism and eventually weight loss.
Strattera improves cognitive function by affecting cortical cortex of the brain and that way it can also have an impact on the people taking it. Those individuals may have better choices when it comes to food, they can have a healthier lifestyle, may not eat so many junk food and fast food. It can have an impact on their exercise routine as well, leading to better motivation and more results.
Increased Speed Of Metabolism
When your norepinephrine is high, it speeds up the metabolism leading to faster fat burning processes, faster metabolism of every substance in the body which can result in weight loss. It stimulates the body in general and makes a person lose weight even if they don’t change their exercise plan or diet.
Fight-or-flight is a specific reaction of the body to the stress. It causes sympathetic nervous system stimulation which can be present in some situation where we are scared or when we have to make a quick decision. It does stimulate the reflexes and cause the body to aim the blood to important regions. This is why one can have reduced appetite and can burn fat faster due to stress hormonal levels. It can result in weight loss effects.
Boost Of Energy
People taking Strattera can feel like they have extra energy. This is due to norepinephrine boost which affects your energy levels and it can make you more active and can make you do some physical activity and move around which can result in weight loss.
When norepinephrine levels get high in the extracellular portion, it affects alertness, energy boost and improves cognitive functions. It is also stimulating neurotransmitter which affects hormonal levels change and among those, stress hormones, such as adrenaline, ACTH, cortisol, T3, and T4. They all can have an impact on the body which can speed up metabolism, reduce appetite and get you start losing weight.
Since it can have an impact on your cortical cortex and make you more focused and motivated, you can start caring more about your health. You can start your daily routine including fitness routine, diet regimen, and healthy choices. It can be the long term effect if you start seeing results which will motivate you further.
When suffering from ADHD, you can struggle to control yourself and even sometimes when it comes to food and overeating. When you are on Strattera, you can feel a lot more organized, motivated and you can start to control your impulsive behavior such as taking junk food and making some healthy habits.
Even though this medication is not considered to have a great influence on appetite, about 1/6 people noticed appetite changes during Strattera therapy. They sensed appetite decrease and they were not as hungry as before. It was sometimes combined with a side effect of feeling nausea which additionally reduced the appetite. It can be due to norepinephrine effects on the brain and fight-or-flight response.
Factors That Can Influence Weight Loss While Taking Strattera
There are a lot of things which ca differ from person to person. Not all of the patients taking Strattera noticed weight changes. Some had different individual characteristics, some had higher doses and others were taking some other drugs simultaneously. These are some of the factors.
Strattera is usually prescribed based on a body weight of a person getting it. For the children up to 70 kg of body weight, it is initiated with a dosage of approximately 0.5 mg/kg. It gets up to 1,2mg/kg a day. For children above 70 kg and adults, it can be dosed at 40 mg per day to 80 and 100 mg with no response with lesser doses. It comes in hard pills equivalent to 10mg, 18mg, 25mg, 40mg, 60mg, 80mg or 100mg of atomoxetine. Those who are on a higher dosage therapy will more likely experience weight loss side effect. Due to a higher dose, the higher levels or norepinephrine will have a greater effect on a body. It is advised to take the minimal effective dose.
It is important to state the longevity of a drug intake. Those who are on a drug therapy for a longer period of time will more likely experience weight changes. Those who are on a drug prescription short-term can go without any symptoms concerning their weight.
When taking other drugs, it is important to get informed about their interaction with Strattera. If you’re on a Strattera therapy prescription, it is advised not to combine it with other antidepressants like SSRI or antipsychotics, since it can result in weight loss. Some other drugs can also stimulate the Strattera effects and make it more expressed leading to greater weight loss.
When someone experiences certain side effect and the other doesn’t, while both on the same therapy dosage, time span, and other factors, it can be due to individual factors such as genetics. Some may express different genes which can lead to a different reaction of the body to a drug. There is a technology called GeneSight which can analyze your genetic code in order to predict the body’s response to drug effects.
For most people, even when not on a drug prescription, it is crucial to have a healthy lifestyle in order to obtain the optimal weight. That being said, you need to intake all of the ingredients, including proteins, carbs, lipids, vitamins and minerals and water as well. For those who don’t eat enough or do not intake all of the good food while having a lot of stress and moving around a lot, it can have an impact on their weight. It is also important to have enough sleep, to reduce the stress in order to reduce the levels of stress hormones in the body which can lead to metabolism speed rate increase and it can outcome in weight loss in the end. You can lose up to 30 lbs in 2 months of use, according to some patients experiences.