Safety and Tolerability of Medications for ADHD

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPharmacovigilance in Psychiatry
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783319247410
ISBN (Print)9783319247397
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Amphetamines
  • Atomoxetine
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Methylphenidate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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