Psychopharmacology of ADHD: Children and Adolescents

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Medications can provide significant salutary effects for children and adolescents with attentiondeficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Due to their well-established safety and efficacy, psychostimulants are generally considered first-line pharmacotherapy for most young patients with ADHD. Since psychostimulant treatment often requires frequent dosing and may be associated with unacceptable side effects and risks, other classes of medication have been studied as possible treatment alternatives. The most extensively researched nonstimulant medications are the tricyclic antidepressants. In addition, α2 agonists have also been shown to reduce symptoms of ADHD. However, concerns regarding potential cardiotoxicity have tempered the enthusiasm for both of these classes of medication. Newer antidepressants such as bupropion and venlafaxine may hold promise as treatments for ADHD.

J Clin Psychiatry 1998;59(suppl 7):42–49