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Medically Approved

Atomoxetine oral capsule dosage: A detailed guide

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Form and strengthsDosageFAQHow it's takenCouponOverdoseAsk your doctorBoxed warning
Doctors prescribe atomoxetine oral capsule for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). You take it by mouth one to two times per day.
Medically reviewed by Elizabeth Scheffel, PharmD
Updated on

This article describes atomoxetine oral capsule’s dosages and strengths and gives details on how to take it. You’ll also find information on cost savings and coupon options for atomoxetine. If you want to know more about atomoxetine oral capsule, see this overview article. It covers details about the drug’s uses and side effects, ways to save on cost, and more.

Atomoxetine oral capsule is a generic version of the brand-name drug Strattera.

Boxed warning: Risk of suicidal thoughts in children

Atomoxetine has a boxed warning for the risk of suicidal thoughts in children. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

See the end of this article for more information about this warning.

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Form and strengths of atomoxetine

Atomoxetine oral capsule comes as follows:

  • Form: capsule that you swallow
  • Strengths: 10 milligrams (mg), 18 mg, 25 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg, 80 mg, 100 mg

Dosage of atomoxetine

This article describes the recommended dosages for atomoxetine oral capsule. The drugmaker provides these dosages.

If your doctor prescribes this medication, you should follow the dosage they prescribe. Your doctor will determine the dosage that best meets your needs. Do not change your dosage of atomoxetine oral capsule without your doctor’s recommendation.

Usual recommended dosages of atomoxetine in adults

Usually, doctors start by prescribing a low dosage of atomoxetine oral capsule. Then, they’ll adjust it over time until the right dosage is reached. Ultimately, your doctor will prescribe the smallest dosage of atomoxetine oral capsule that gives the desired outcome for ADHD treatment.

The following table shows the recommended dosages of atomoxetine oral capsule for treatment of ADHD in adults. Doses are in milligrams (mg).

ConditionStarting dosageTarget dosageMaximum dosage
ADHD in adults40 mg per day80 mg per day100 mg per day

Dosages of atomoxetine in children

The recommended dosage of atomoxetine oral capsule for treatment of ADHD in children and adolescents depends on your child’s body weight. The following table shows the recommended dosages of atomoxetine oral capsule for children. Doses are in mg per kilogram (kg) of body weight (mg/kg) or mg.

Body weight in kilograms (kg)Approximate body weight in pounds (lb)Starting dosage*Target dosage*Maximum dosage
up to 70 kg*up to 154 lb0.5 mg/kg per day1.2 mg/kg per day1.4 mg/kg per day or 100 mg per day (whichever is less)
more than 70 kg*more than 154 lb40 mg per day80 mg per day100 mg per day

* 1 kilogram (kg) = 2.2 pounds (lb)

Dosage adjustments for atomoxetine

Your doctor will prescribe a dosage of atomoxetine oral capsule based on several factors. These include:

  • the specific condition being treated and how severe it is
  • your age
  • your weight, if you’re a child or adolescent
  • other health conditions you may have

Missed dose of atomoxetine

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist right away if you realize you forgot to take a dose of atomoxetine oral capsule. They may advise you to take the missed dose. Or they may advise you to skip it and take your next dose as scheduled.

For tips on how to plan your doses of atomoxetine oral capsule and avoid missing a dose, read this article. You could also try:

  • downloading a reminder app on your phone
  • setting an alarm
  • putting a note where you’ll see it, such as on your calendar, bathroom mirror, or bedside table

Frequently asked questions

Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about atomoxetine oral capsule and its dosage.

Is atomoxetine taken long term?

Yes, doctors typically prescribe atomoxetine oral capsule as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that it’s safe and effective for your condition, you’ll likely take it long term.

If you have questions about how long you should take atomoxetine oral capsule, talk with your doctor.

Is there a risk of withdrawal with atomoxetine?

Typically, no. Atomoxetine is a non-stimulant ADHD drug. Non-stimulant ADHD drugs have a lower risk of drug dependence or withdrawal compared with stimulant ADHD drugs. However, compared to stimulant drugs, atomoxetine may take longer to work.

If you have more questions about this, talk with your doctor.

How atomoxetine is taken

You’ll swallow atomoxetine oral capsule 1–2 times per day, as prescribed by your doctor. If you’re taking it once per day, take your dose in the morning. If you’re taking it twice per day, take the first dose in the morning and the second dose in the late afternoon or early evening. You can take it with or without food.

Your doctor may advise that you take this medication around the same time each day. This helps keep a consistent amount of the drug in your body. And that can help the drug work more effectively.

You should not open atomoxetine oral capsules. Swallow them whole. If it’s hard for you to swallow capsules, view this article. It provides suggestions on how to swallow medications that come in pill form.

Also, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you’re having difficulty taking your medication. They can offer recommendations about taking it.

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Overdose of atomoxetine

It’s important that you do not take more atomoxetine oral capsule than your doctor prescribes. Doing so can lead to harmful effects.

Symptoms of atomoxetine overdose

Symptoms of an overdose can include:

What to do if you take too much atomoxetine

If you think you’ve taken too much atomoxetine, call your doctor or pharmacist right away. Or you could call 800-222-1222 to speak with someone at America’s Poison Centers. You can also use its online resource. If you have severe symptoms, call 911 or a local emergency number immediately. You can also go to the closest emergency room.

What to ask your doctor

This article describes the usual recommended dosages for atomoxetine oral capsule. If your doctor prescribes this medication, they’ll determine the dosage that’s best for you.

Do not change your dosage of atomoxetine oral capsule without your doctor’s recommendation. You should take atomoxetine oral capsule exactly as your doctor prescribes it. Let your doctor know if you have concerns or questions about your treatment plan.

Here’s a list of some possible questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • Will my dosage of atomoxetine change if I take other drugs with it?
  • How does the dosage of atomoxetine compare with dosages of stimulant drugs used for my condition?
  • How long will I take atomoxetine?

Boxed warning for atomoxetine

Atomoxetine has a boxed warning for the risk of suicidal thoughts in children. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the FDA.

Atomoxetine oral capsule may cause your child to have suicidal thoughts and behaviors. The risk may be higher early on during atomoxetine treatment.

Because of this risk, doctors will monitor your child closely for suicidal behavior and unusual changes in behavior.

Symptoms may include:

If you notice any of the symptoms above in your child after treatment with atomoxetine oral capsule has begun, talk with your child’s doctor right away.

For details, see the “Dosage of atomoxetine” section above. You can also talk with your doctor to learn more.

Disclaimer: Optum Perks has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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