Appetite & Weight Loss From Strattera & Adderall

Strattera and Adderall are prescription drugs used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in kids and adults. Like other medications, these drugs can sometimes cause unwanted side effects in some users. Low appetite and weight loss are relatively common in people taking Strattera and Adderall. While weight loss may be welcome for some people, it can be dangerous for others. If you're concerned about appetite or weight loss with Strattera and Adderall, talk to your doctor.

Adderall and Strattera are sometimes prescribed to treat obesity. (Image: Sean Prior/Hemera/Getty Images)

Pharmacology

Strattera belongs to a class of drugs known as selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). It works by increasing norepinephrine — a brain chemical that helps regulate mood and cognition. Adderall is a stimulant containing a mixture of amphetamine salts that increases dopamine and norephinephrine in the brain. Strattera and Adderall may be used individually or combined for the treatment of ADHD.

Side Effects/Risks

Appetite reduction and weight loss are common side effects of both Strattera and Adderall. According to eMedTV, up to 16 percent of kids and 11 percent of adults experienced appetite loss while taking Strattera, with about 3 percent actually losing weight. Like other stimulants, Adderall can also cause loss of appetite and weight loss and is sometimes prescribed with diet and exercise as a short-term weight loss aid. Drug Information Online lists weight loss, appetite loss, nausea and stomach pain as potential side effects of Adderall.

Prevention/Solution

If you experience unwanted or excessive weight loss while taking Strattera or Adderall, consult your doctor. Together, you can determine the medication and dosage that's right for you. You may find that eating smaller meals frequently throughout the day helps prevent weight loss due to appetite suppression. Don't stop taking Strattera or Adderall abruptly, as this can result in withdrawal-like symptoms. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience rapid heartbeat, chest pain or other troubling symptoms while taking Strattera or Adderall. To prevent life-threatening complications, never take Strattera or Adderall that was not prescribed to you by a doctor.

Considerations

Because they act on the central nervous system, Strattera and Adderall are capable of causing abuse and dependence. While both medications are sometimes prescribed for weight loss, they are not a substitute for diet and exercise for long-term weight management. Before taking Strattera or Adderall for weight loss, discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

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