Atomoxetine Synthesis

(-)-N-methyl-3-phenyl-3-(o-tolyloxy)-propylamine hydrochloride (AKA atomoxetine AKA Strattera) can be synthesized via the reactions shown above. The first step, a Mannich reaction between acetophenone, paraformaldehyde and dimethylamine is not shown.

Strattera, otherwise known as atomoxetine, is a non-stimulant drug that can be used to treat ADHDSpecifically, it is a selective norepinephrine (noradrenaline) reuptake inhibitor. This type of drug is also used as an antidepressant in other forms. This means the drug works by affecting the nerve cells in the brain and inhibiting the reuse of specific neurotransmitters. Strattera focuses on the level of norepinephrine in the brain while its stimulant counterparts focus on the levels of that and dopamine. Its exact mechanism is currently unclear. It is the only non-stimulant ADHD drug sold in the U.S. and is approved for adults as well as children over 6 and teenagers. Like many ADHD drugs, it is in the form of a capsule to be taken with water. You can opt to take one pill or two evenly divided pills in a day.

As with all drugs, Strattera has a list of side effects:

  • Upset stomach
  • Decreased appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Mood swings
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Constipation
  • Dry Mouth
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Trouble passing urine
  • Sexual side effects

Now, with those side effects in mind, let’s discuss the overall pros and cons of Strattera. A big pro  is that research has found it to be safe and effective for long term use besides growth possibly being slightly stunted for children. As you may recall, in our previous posts, we have noted significant problems over the long term including addiction. Strattera is not a U.S. controlled drug because of this. If you are at risk for abuse, this might be a good option to consider. The lack of focus on dopamine is what allows this drug to be nonaddictive. Dopamine is involved in happiness or pleasure, so messing with dopamine levels may lead the body to crave a certain drug to be happy. This is why taking Ritalin or Adderall to concentrate is a BAD IDEA unless of course, you would like to be hooked and deal with the side effects for the remainder of your possibly shortened life. The downside of Strattera, on the other hand, as it works similarly to antidepressants, it can also cause an increase risk of suicide in the young.  It is also not quite as quick acting as a stimulant drug would be. It is significantly less efficient than some stimulant medications available such as methylphenidate (Ritalin). To give you an idea of its effecitveness, in a 2008 study published in the Journal of Attention Disorders, for almost 400 adults who took Strattera for four years, the general trend was over a 30% reduction of ADHD symptoms with no unexpected side effects. Although these statistics are not quite as impressive as those of some other alternative drugs would be, this is still pretty significant and the benefits may outweigh the costs depending on the situation. Once again, with the facts presented, I leave it up to you to form your own personal opinion on the drug.

Author: Maggie Martinez

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s