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What Factors Affect a Sufficient Atomoxetine Dosage?

Atomoxetine can be used to treat attention deficit disorder.
Article Details
  • Written By: Erik J.J. Goserud
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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The factors affecting an adequate atomoxetine dosage depend on the patient and specific condition for which it is being prescribed. On the patient side, items such as weight, age, current medication prescriptions, and history all play a part in atomoxetine dosage. No two illnesses are exactly the same, even if they fall into the same diagnostic category. There is usually a sliding scale of duration and intensity that needs to be assessed by a provider. This is why situation specifics also affect the prescription of medicines.

Attention deficit disorder is a condition that affects a person's ability to have focus on a subject for an extended period of time. This may also be accompanied by hyperactivity, in which case ADD is known as ADHD, an acronym standing for attention deficit hyperactive disorder. These symptoms usually manifest themselves early in life, although people of all ages can have ADHD.

Many mental disorders are self-diagnosed incorrectly, and the diagnoses processes therefore should be left in the objective hands of a qualified professional. In many cases, alternative or experimental treatments that do not require a medicine may be prescribed to help a person acquire control of his or her attention span. Although this may be helpful in some cases, others require a simultaneous or independent use of a pharmaceutical agent. A doctor may prescribe a number of related drugs, including atomoxetine, to treat ADD and ADHD.

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Atomoxedine is a norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitor. This basically means it allows norepinephrine to remain in the synaptic gaps between neurons for a longer period of time, increasing its availability and utilization by neurons. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter associated with attention, which is why this drug is effective. It is marketed under many brand names throughout the world and possesses minor to severe side effects including dry mouth, irritability, nausea, and sexual dysfunction, among others. There are many dangerous effects involved with prescription drug use, so a medical professional should oversee any decisions made regarding their consumption.

A person who is taking this medication may receive a prescribed atomoxetine dosage based on his or her weight. The heavier a person is, the more medication is necessary to fill the blood with the desired medication concentration. Lighter people, intuitively, require lower doses in most cases. Age is also a factor, with most adults requiring a higher atomoxetine dosage than their miniature child counterparts.

An atomoxetine dosage may also be modified with time after a patient has acclimated to the drug and a reaction has been established. It is usually wise to begin with a low dose and work up until the desired effects become present. Starting with an ambitiously high dose can lead to dramatic problems if an adverse reaction occurs. The old adage "better safe than sorry" holds true under this example.

Other factors affecting atomoxetine dosage are medical and medication history. If a person is taking a drug that interacts with his or her ADHD treatment, a low dose may be used at first to avoid complications. A medical history of problems with atomoxetine may also call for little or no use of this drug. Any trained medical professional should conduct a detailed interview about all possible factors before prescribing an atomoxetine dosage.

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