Current pharmacotherapy of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
- Additional Document Info
- View All
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral developmental disorder in children and adults characterized by a persistent pattern of impulsiveness, inattention and hyperactivity. It affects about 3-10% of children and 2-5% of adolescents and adults and occurs about four times more commonly in boys than girls. The cause of ADHD is unknown, but it has strong genetic and environment components. The first-line treatment options for ADHD include behavioral therapy, pharmacotherapy with stimulants or both. Methylphenidate and amphetamine salts are the stimulant drugs of choice for ADHD treatment. Amphetamines act by increasing presynaptic release of dopamine and other biogenic amines in the brain. Methylphenidate inhibits the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine and therefore its pharmacology is identical to that of amphetamines. Lisdex-amfetamine is a prodrug of dextroamphetamine with low feasibility for abuse. Atomoxetine, a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, is an alternative, non-stimulant drug for ADHD but it is less efficacious than stimulants. Stimulants are generally safe but are associated with adverse effects including headache, insomnia, anorexia and weight loss. There is increased awareness about serious cardiovascular and psychiatric adverse events with ADHD drugs including concern for growth suppression in children. Stimulants have a high potential for abuse and dependence, and should be handled safely to prevent misuse and abuse.
author list (cited authors)
complete list of authors