Strattera Alternatives & Similar Natural Analogs

Last Updated: December 19, 2019

Authored by Roger Weiss, MD

There are a number of Strattera alternatives that are prescribed for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder(ADHD). Unlike Strattera (atomoxetine) which is a non-stimulant and non-controlled substance, some of the alternative meds to Strattera are stimulant drugs with a high potential for abuse and dependence. Conversely, there are also non-stimulant alternatives to Strattera. Therefore, many factors affect the most suitable prescription for ADHD patients.

Strattera Alternatives By Prescription

Doctors can choose from a wide variety of alternatives to Strattera medication in order to manage symptoms of ADHD (despite atomoxetine uses are not limited to ADHD). This choice is based on finding which medication works best for the patient. Being a non-controlled antidepressant, Strattera classification means the drug has far less potential for abuse compared to other antidepressants. The most commonly used alternative meds to Strattera may belong to the following classes.

Stimulants

Stimulant medications are the most recommended form of ADHD treatment and are normally given first-choice priority. This is true because the Strattera effectiveness is questioned and its use in patients may take a longer time to reach efficacy. There are two types of stimulants used as Strattera alternatives for adults and children, Methylphenidate and Amphetamine.

Methylphenidate Type Stimulants Amphetamine Type Stimulants
Short-acting Ritalin
Focalin
– Methylin Oral Solution
Methylin
Dexedrine
Adderall
– ProCentra Oral Solution
– Evekeo
– Zenzedi
Long-acting – Ritalin-SR
– Metadate-ER
– Methylin-ER
– Concerta
– Metadate-CD
– Ritalin-LA
– Focalin-XR
– Daytrana Patch
– Quillivant-XR
– QuilliChew-ER
– Aptensio-XR
– Dexedrine Spansule
– Adderall-XR
Vyvanse
– Dyanavel-XR

Other Antidepressants

There are also other antidepressant medications that may act as Strattera alternatives. Patients with ADHD may take antidepressants as an alternative medication to Strattera because they seem to improve attention span, impulse control, hyperactivity, and aggressiveness by raising the level of chemical neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine in the brain just like atomoxetine.

Despite the FDA has not specifically approved any antidepressant for the treatment of ADHD a doctor may prescribe the following ones off-label:

antihypertensive drugs as an alternative for Strattera

Antihypertensive Drugs

Antihypertensives are used as an alternative medication for Strattera to treat ADHD. They are often combined with stimulants for the most effective treatment regimen. Similar to atomoxetine, however, antihypertensive drugs like Intuniv are expensive. For those without insurance coverage, Intuniv or Strattera coupon may help cut down the cost of purchasing the drugs. The following drugs fall into antihypertensives for ADHD:

  • Clonidine (Kapvay, Catapres)
  • Guanfacine (Intuniv, Tenex)

Other Medications

Among other drugs, Provigil (modafinil) and anticonvulsants such as Tegretol also show effectiveness in ADHD treatment. The mentioned alternative medications for Strattera are used off-label as they are not FDA-approved. Patients should always consult with a doctor and use them by prescription only.

natural supplements and drugs which are similar to Strattera

Strattera Natural Alternatives

Apart from prescription based medications, there are also natural alternatives for Strattera that may be used for the treatment of ADHD. While it is true that these drugs are effective, a downside is the associated side effects that a patient experiences while using these drugs.

Here is a list of natural alternatives for atomoxetine:

  • Supplements such as melatonin, iron, magnesium, omega-3, vitamin C, and zinc
  • Herbal medications like Bacopa, Ningdog, and Ginseng
  • Food and diet regimen that includes eating a healthy and balanced diet and avoiding foods with additives
  • Some essential oils such as lavender, rosemary, and vetiver
  • Lifestyle changes that involve exercise and relaxation such as yoga, tai chi, and massage
  • Behavioral or parental therapy for children

Finding What Works Best

There are several alternatives to Strattera medication which belong to different drug classes and can be prescribed for ADHD treatment. Stimulants are normally considered first whenever a prescription is made because of their effectiveness.

Apart from prescription medications, there are also natural alternatives to Strattera like supplements, herbal medication, as well as some essential oils, which may be also used as complementary medicine. However, self-medication with alternative meds to Strattera is not advisable because natural alternatives may cause side effects to the patient, too. Without proper medical supervision, they may become severe enough to threaten a patient’s life. It is highly recommended to consult with a doctor before trying any alternative medication, OTC or prescription one.

In case of misuse, patients should find help in a center for addiction treatment. The substance abuse treatment and therapies such facilities offer always aim to reach a long-lasting effect and fast recovery.


Page Sources

  1. Ahn J, Ahn HS, Cheong JH, Dela Peña I. Natural Product-Derived Treatments for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Safety, Efficacy, and Therapeutic Potential of Combination Therapy. Neural Plasticity. 2016; 2016: 1320423. doi:10.1155/2016/1320423. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4757677/.
  2. Fava M. Weight gain and antidepressants. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2000; 61 Suppl 11: 37-41. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10926053.

Published on: November 13th, 2019

Updated on: December 19th, 2019

About Author

Roger Weiss, MD

Dr. Roger Weiss is a practicing mental health specialist at the hospital. Dr. Weiss combines his clinical practice and medical writing career since 2009. Apart from these activities, Dr. Weiss also delivers lectures for youth, former addicts, and everyone interested in topics such as substance abuse and treatment.

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