Pharmacologic treatment of ADHD: Road conditions in driving patients to successful outcomes

Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health, Pediatric Institute and Children's Hospital, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
Medscape journal of medicine 02/2008; 10(1):5.
Source: PubMed


The names assigned to attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder (ADHD) have changed over the years. ADHD cannot be cured, and the patient with ADHD journeys through life with a burden. Although ADHD is most commonly studied in school-aged children, it is a syndrome that spans the life cycle, through adolescence and into adulthood. Improvements in patient adherence to pharmacologic treatment, attributable to the launch of new formulations, the availability of new non-schedule II drugs, and the development of novel drugs in late-stage clinical trials, are transforming the treatment of ADHD. For example, atomoxetine is a nonstimulant treatment, and lisdexamfetamine was developed with the goal of providing an extended duration of effect with a reduced potential for abuse, overdose toxicity, and drug tampering. Known adverse effects of stimulant treatment of ADHD include appetite suppression and sleep disturbance. Other adverse effects, such as growth suppression and substance use disorder, are controversial. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a public health advisory for drugs approved for the treatment of ADHD to provide more information for patients about potential risks of ADHD medications. Additional research is needed on approaches for treating ADHD in adolescents transitioning into adulthood, as are studies on the relationships between ADHD and comorbidities such as substance use disorder.

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