ADHD Home > Strattera and Weight Loss

Weight loss and loss of appetite are possible side effects of Strattera. In clinical trials, up to 16 percent of children and teens reported loss of appetite while taking Strattera. Weight loss occurred less commonly than loss of appetite (in only 2 percent of children, teens, and adults). If your child experiences weight loss with this drug, talk with your healthcare provider.

Does Strattera Cause Weight Loss?

Strattera® (atomoxetine hydrochloride) is a prescription medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There are a number of possible side effects with Strattera, and weight loss is one that appears to occur commonly. For some people, this may be a good thing. For many people, however, unintended weight loss can be a problem. For example, weight loss can be a problem in growing children.
 

Understanding Side Effects and Clinical Trials

Before medicines are approved, they must go through several clinical studies in which thousands of people are given a particular medicine and compared to a group of people not given the medicine. In these studies, side effects are always carefully documented.
 
This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine. Side effects are then usually separated into those that occur in more than 1 percent of people (common side effects) and those that occur in less than 1 percent of people (rare side effects).
 
In previous studies, up to 16 percent of children and teens (and up to 11 percent of adults) reported a decrease in appetite as a side effect of Strattera. However, only 3 percent of children and teens (and 2 percent of adults) actually lost weight. Although weight loss may be a desirable side effect for some children and teens, too much weight loss can be a problem for growing bodies.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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