Q. I was off my Strattera ADHD medication and suddenly started laughing and crying. Why?

Answered by
Dr. Navajith A. Mani
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sushrutha Muralidharan
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 10, 2021

Hello doctor,

I am a 14-year-old of height 5’8” and weight probably like 120 lbs. One day I was off my Strattera ADHD medication and was kind of depressed. I was thinking about this one girl and how she does not like me. Then one of my friends came over, and she asked if I was fine. I just started to laugh and cry at the same time. I then felt really weird and just lay down on the ground and was continuously spazzing on the ground uncontrollably. As I was doing that, I was laughing and crying at the same time. I had to be held down by another friend so that I did not kick anything and hurt myself. It lasted about ten minutes. None of us knew what was going on. Kindly help me.



Welcome to

ADHD (Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a dysfunction of executive functioning, predominantly a frontal lobe activity. Therefore, you are showing symptoms not only in attention and focus but also in decision-making and emotional regulation. You are presently on Atomoxetine, which is the standard medication for ADHD.

The treatment of this disorder is mostly related to stimulants and psychotherapy, which should not be stopped at any time without clearance from your psychiatrist. As you see, It can have large consequences without proper medication, including social interactions and difficulties in school. I suggest you restart your medication and not stop it without proper consultation. Kindly review with your psychiatrist and restart the medication immediately. I hope this was helpful. Please review two weeks after restarting the medication.

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