Pharmacotherapy for child and adolescent attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Department of Psychiatry, Hoboken University Medical Center, Hoboken, NJ 07030, USA.
Pediatric Clinics of North America (Impact Factor: 2.2). 02/2011; 58(1):99-120, xi. DOI: 10.1016/j.pcl.2010.10.009
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Research in the past 2 decades showed that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a frequently occurring psychiatric disorder that causes considerable suffering to patients and their families. This article outlines current pharmacologic ADHD treatment options and focuses on their safety profile and efficacy. In addition, it addresses treatment selection, guidelines for monitoring treatment, and recent controversies in the field.

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    ABSTRACT: a b s t r a c t Preliminary evidence suggests a possible association between Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Restless Legs Syndrome with or without Periodic Limb Movements during Sleep. When comorbid, Restless Legs Syndrome/Periodic Limb Movements during Sleep might aggravate Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms. Pharmacological treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disor-der may be associated, at least in some cases, with adverse cardiovascular events, including clinically sig-nificant elevation in heart rate and systemic blood pressure. However, the characteristics of patients with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder at risk for cardiovascular events during pharmacological treat-ment are poorly understood. Here, we hypothesize that Restless Legs Syndrome and/or Periodic Limb Movements during Sleep comorbid with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder increase cardiovascular risk via imbalance in activity of the autonomic nervous system. Such an imbalance of the could be related to alterations of sleep microarchitecture also detected by cyclic alternating pattern analysis. If empirical studies confirm our hypothesis, the clinician would be advised to systematically screen for and effectively treat Restless Legs Syndrome/Periodic Limb Movements during Sleep even before starting treatment with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder drugs. The management of Restless Legs Syndrome/Periodic Limb Movements during Sleep might reduce cardiovascular risk during pharmacological treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
    Medical Hypotheses 11/2012; 80(1). DOI:10.1016/j.mehy.2012.10.004
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    ABSTRACT: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood-onset neuropsychiatric conditions. Despite extensive research, the etiopathophysiological factors underlying ADHD are not completely understood. It has been suggested that iron deficiency may contribute to ADHD symptoms severity. Whereas evidence from studies based on serum ferritin measures, a marker of peripheral iron status, is somewhat mixed, preliminary recent evidence suggests a deficiency of brain iron in individuals with ADHD. Therefore, it has been proposed that either a deficiency of peripheral iron or a dysfunction of the blood-brain barrier, in the presence of normal peripheral iron levels, may contribute to low brain iron levels, which, in turn, would increase the risk for ADHD symptoms in a subgroup of individuals with this disorder. It has also been found that individuals with ADHD may be at increased risk of severe cardiovascular events during treatment with ADHD drugs, although the extent to which this occurs in ADHD patients compared to non-ADHD individuals is still matter of investigation. Since iron depletion has been recently reported as a risk factor for adverse prognosis in heart failure, iron deficiency might contribute both to ADHD symptoms severity before treatment and to increased risk of severe cardiovascular events during treatment with ADHD drugs in a selected subgroup of patients. Therefore, we hypothesize that the effective treatment of iron deficiency might lead both to improvement of ADHD symptoms severity and to a decrease of the risk of cardiovascular events during treatment with ADHD drugs. If empirical studies confirm this hypothesis, the clinician would be advised to systematically check iron status and effectively treat iron deficiency before starting a pharmacological treatment with ADHD drugs.
    Medical Hypotheses 05/2012; 79(2):246-9. DOI:10.1016/j.mehy.2012.04.049
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    ABSTRACT: Tourette's disorder (TD) in children and adolescents is frequently co-morbid with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Dopamine-blockers are the first line treatment for TD, whereas dopamine-agonists, such as stimulants, are the gold-standard in the treatment of ADHD. These contrasting effects supported concerns about the risk that stimulants for treating ADHD may trigger or worsen co-morbid tics. Aripiprazole, a partial dopamine agonist, acts as an antagonist at dopamine D2 receptors in hyperdopaminergic conditions and displays agonist properties under hypodopaminergic conditions. The present study describes the use of aripiprazole (10.0 ± 4.8 mg/day) in a consecutive group of 28 patients with a primary diagnosis of TD and co-morbid ADHD, combined subtype. The Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS) and the ADHD-Rating Scale (ADHD-RS-IV) were used as primary outcome measures and both significantly improved (p<0.001) after the treatment. Global measures of severity (Clinical Global Impressions-Severity) and of functional impairment (Children's Global Assessment Scale) also significantly improved during the treatment (p<0.001). At the YGTSS there was a reduction of 42.5%, in motor tics, of 47.9% in phonic tics (44.7% for the combined scores), and of 32.3% in tic impairment. Nineteen patients (67.9%) had a reduction of at least 50% of the YGTSS score (motor+phonic tics). The improvement at the ADHD-RS-IV score was 22.5%, 12 patients (42.8%) presented an improvement of 30%, but only 2 (7.1%) an improvement greater than 50%. Using a logistic regression model, a reduction of at least 30% in ADHD-RS-IV score was more likely to occur in the obsessive-compulsive disorder co-morbid group. Aripiprazole was well tolerated and none of the patients discontinued medication because of side effects. In summary, aripiprazole resulted in an effective treatment for TD, but it was only moderately effective on co-occurring ADHD symptomatology. Our preliminary data suggest that aripiprazole may represent a possible therapeutic option, among other possible monotherapies addressing both tics and ADHD.
    Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology 02/2012; 22(2):120-5. DOI:10.1089/cap.2011.0081