Strattera ® (atomoxetine)

This information is intended for UK registered healthcare professionals only as a scientific exchange in response to your search for information. Please refer to the link for full prescribing information: Strattera Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC)

Strattera® (atomoxetine): Mechanism of action

Atomoxetine is not a psychostimulant and is not an amphetamine derivative

In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, abuse-potential study in adults comparing effects of atomoxetine and placebo, atomoxetine was not associated with a pattern of response that suggested stimulant or euphoriant properties.

Pharmacotherapeutic group: Psychoanaleptics, centrally acting sympathomimetics. ATC code: N06BA09.

Mechanism of action and Pharmacodynamic effects

Atomoxetine is a highly selective and potent inhibitor of the pre-synaptic noradrenaline transporter, its presumed mechanism of action, without directly affecting the serotonin or dopamine transporters. Atomoxetine has minimal affinity for other noradrenergic receptors or for other neurotransmitter transporters or receptors. Atomoxetine has two major oxidative metabolites: 4-hydroxyatomoxetine and N-desmethylatomoxetine.

4-hydroxyatomoxetine is equipotent to atomoxetine as an inhibitor of the noradrenaline transporter but, unlike atomoxetine, this metabolite also exerts some inhibitory activity at the serotonin transporter. However, any effect on this transporter is likely to be minimal, as the majority of 4-hydroxyatomoxetine is further metabolised such that it circulates in plasma at much lower concentrations (1% of atomoxetine concentration in extensive metabolisers and 0.1% of atomoxetine concentration in poor metabolisers).

N-desmethylatomoxetine has substantially less pharmacological activity compared with atomoxetine. It circulates in plasma at lower concentrations in extensive metabolisers and at comparable concentrations to the parent drug in poor metabolisers at steady-state.


Strattera Summary of Product Characteristics

Date of Last Review: November 02, 2018

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