Q. My son's behavior has become worst due to Strattera. What to do?

Answered by
Dr. Sadaf Mustafa
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 30, 2016 and last reviewed on: Feb 13, 2020

Hi doctor,

My son is 6 years old and has been diagnosed with ADHD, ODD and sensory integration disorder. He had Adderall XR 5 mg for a while and recently was changed to Strattera 27 mg. My son has been experiencing major insomnia, high aggressive behaviors which involved throwing objects at people, hitting, punching people, kicking and biting especially adults. As his mother I do not believe that he has ADHD. Although he has ODD, it is a normal thing in a 6 year old. However, the behavior is not becoming better and it has actually become worst to the point where he is on the verge of being kicked out of everything. I want to take him away from all medications, because I do not want my 6 year old on them to begin with. However, I am out of ideas and it scares me because my son could be really wonderful, but currently he is not at all. Can you help me with any suggestions?



Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • I would suggest not to discontinue Strattera (Atomoxetine) abruptly without supervision. However, I do think that your son is having side effects due to Strattera (insomnia, high aggressive behavior).
  • Please discuss it with his psychiatrist as soon as possible and discuss tapering it off. Also, I would suggest getting a second opinion by another psychiatrist who has a chance to interview your son face to face.
  • In order to characterize which DSM criteria (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder) would he fits in; I need to know about his symptoms when he is not on medications.
  • Was he still aggressive? Did he have repetitive behavior?
  • How was he doing at school? How long he had been on medicines? Please answer these questions so that we can go on further assistance.
  • Remember you are not alone. Please hang in there, get him to another psychiatrist.

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