To Sleep or Not To Sleep: A Systematic Review of the Literature of Pharmacological Treatments of Insomnia in Children and Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

1 Cognition, Schizophrenia, & Imaging Laboratory, Department of Psychosis Studies, the Institute of Psychiatry , King's College, London, United Kingdom .
Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology (Impact Factor: 2.93). 11/2013; 23(10). DOI: 10.1089/cap.2013.0059
Source: PubMed


This systematic review assessed current evidence on sleep medication for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) patients, to establish appropriate guidance for clinicians faced with prescribing such medications.

Five articles (based on four pharmacological compounds) out of a total 337 were identified as evidence to guide pharmacological treatment of ADHD-related sleep disorders. Data regarding participant characteristics, measures of ADHD diagnosis, measures of sleep, and outcome data were extracted.

Zolpidem and L-theanine both displayed a poor response in reducing sleep latency and increasing total sleep time, however L-theanine did produce an increase in sleep efficiency. Zolpidem produced high levels of side effects, leading to the largest dropout rate of all five studies. Clonidine reduced insomnia; and melatonin also exhibited a positive response, with reduced sleep latency, higher total sleep time, and higher sleep efficiency.

There is a relative paucity of evidence for the pharmacological treatment of ADHD-related sleep disorders; therefore, further research should be conducted to replicate these findings and obtain reliable results.

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