Attention defi cit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurobehavioral disorder in children and adolescents that comprises core symptoms of developmentally inappropriate levels of inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity. Current drug treatment approaches for ADHD comprise stimulant medications (methylphenidate, amphetamines) and non-stimulant medications (atomoxetine, clonidine and guanfacine). Drugs for ADHD appear to be safe and well tolerated, and most of the adverse events observed in randomised clinical trials were mild and temporary. Stimulants and atomoxetine are associated with decreased appetite and gastrointestinal pain. An increased risk of insomnia exists for stimulants, while atomoxetine and alpha-2 agonists are associated with somnolence. Long-term safety is poorly evaluated. Concerns regarding cardiovascular and psychiatric adverse events have been raised by regulatory authorities in the last decade. However, there is currently no proven association between ADHD medications and an increased risk of these events, and their incidence is extremely low.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
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