Can You Snort Strattera Safely? What Are the Dangers?

Strattera is not a typical drug of abuse. It is not likely to produce any kind of euphoria, and it has a low potential for abuse. Attempts to snort the drug will be largely ineffective and can result in adverse effects, such as burns and overdose. Snorting Strattera is not safe.


How Strattera Works

Medications used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are typically stimulants, but Strattera (atomoxetine) is different.

Strattera is a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) that works by elevating levels of norepinephrine in the brain. This is one of the brain’s chemical messengers that is involved in the stress response. It also helps to control behaviors and hone focus and attention.

Strattera is not a controlled substance. The journal Psychopharmacology reports that it has a low potential for abuse as it does not increase levels of the pleasure-inducing neurotransmitter dopamine or interact with the anxiety-quelling chemical messenger GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid), the way that other drugs of abuse generally do.



Attempts at Abuse

Unlike many other medications for ADHD, Strattera is not a controlled substance. It is, therefore, unlikely to be habit-forming and lead to drug dependence.

As an SNRI, it can take some time for Strattera to work in the body and brain the way it is intended. According to Psycom, it can take Strattera up to a month or two to work the way it is intended for the treatment of ADHD. This may lead someone to try to take it in a way other than it is intended.

Strattera is administered in capsule form. It should be swallowed to be metabolized through the gastrointestinal system. Any other method of administration is abuse. Crushing Strattera to snort it can cause the nose to burn. As it is not even likely to produce a euphoric high, snorting the drug is often ineffective.

Risk for Overdose

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) publishes that in 2017, around 18 million Americans reported misusing a prescription medication in the previous year.

When Strattera capsules are not taken as prescribed and instead snorted, this is considered prescription drug abuse. Snorting the drug comes with a multitude of risk factors, not the least of which is the chance for toxic poisoning or overdose.

The prescribing information for Strattera from its manufacturer Eli Lilly reports the following as potential signs of an overdose:

  • Stomach upset
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Irregular and fast heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Agitation
  • Hyperactivity
  • Tremors
  • Abnormal behaviors
  • Dilated pupils
  • Possible seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorientation

Other Short-Term Hazards of Snorting Strattera

Snorting Strattera can cause an extreme burning sensation in the nose immediately. It will amplify some of the functions of the central nervous system such as heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure and also cause changes in behavior. Psychosis, thoughts, and actions that are out of character may be side effects of snorting Strattera.

The Mayo Clinic publishes that the following are additional potential side effects of using Strattera:

  • Sour stomach
  • Irregular menstruation
  • Sexual dysfunction and lack of interest in sex
  • Constipation and trouble urinating
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Decreased appetite
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Pain in the face
  • Lightheadedness, especially when getting up from a prone position
  • Aggression and hostility
  • Suicidal ideation

Snorting Strattera sends the entire dosage into the bloodstream at once, which can increase the odds for an overdose and also elevate all of the potential risk factors. Mixing Strattera with other drugs or alcohol can exacerbate the potential hazards and complications as well.

It is never safe to use a medication in a way other than it was intended, as it has not been tested or approved for this method of ingestion. Strattera may not cause the euphoric high that many other drugs do when snorting them, but this method of use can still have a wide range of complications and unpredictable side effects. It should, therefore, be avoided.

Long-Term Effects of Use

Strattera works by interacting with neurotransmitters in the brain, which changes its chemical makeup. Levels of norepinephrine are altered by Strattera use. Chronic use may make it more difficult for the brain to regulate the levels of this neurotransmitter on its own as it gets used to Strattera doing this.

Norepinephrine puts the body in a state of hyper-alertness. On a long-term basis, this can be damaging to internal organs, including the heart, lungs, and cardiovascular system in general.

Regular abuse of Strattera may lead to heart and blood vessel issues as well as liver damage, sleep disorders, and unhealthy weight loss. The drug may also inhibit regular growth in children.

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Dangers of Snorting Strattera

Snorting Strattera changes the way the drug enters the bloodstream. This may interact with its effectiveness and the manipulation of the chemical messengers and balance in the brain.

Strattera has been shown to cause increased rates of suicidal thoughts in children, and snorting the drug may increase depressive thoughts. Strattera abuse can also increase anxiety and other mental illness symptoms.

Snorting drugs can damage the sinus and nasal cavities and the mucus membranes in the nose. Regularly abusing the drug in this manner can cause chronic nosebleeds and runny nose. It can potentially damage the sense of smell and lead to respiratory infections and lung complications.

Snort Strattera

Potential for Addiction

While the drug itself is not deemed to be habit-forming, and, therefore, is not likely to be physically addictive, it is still possible to struggle with addiction when taking Strattera long term.

Addiction is a compulsive behavior disorder and brain disease. When someone battles addiction, they can’t stop taking the drug and will often continue to take it even when they know it will be harmful to do so.

Individuals struggling with addiction will often put the drug use first and stop attending to regular obligations related to daily life such as school, work, and family.

More and more time will be spent obtaining or figuring how to get Strattera, using the drug, and coming down from it. Recreational activities and other things that were important before just aren’t anymore, and Strattera use becomes the No. 1 priority.

Personality shifts, mood swings, irregular sleep patterns, changes in appetite, and a decline in physical appearance can all be signs of addiction.

Recreational use of Strattera and using it in a manner other than as intended, such as snorting it, increases the odds for addiction.

Strattera cannot be snorted safely. Such use comes with too many associated risks.

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