Antidepressants in the treatment of adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a systematic review

  title={Antidepressants in the treatment of adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a systematic review},
  author={Wim Verbeeck and Siegfried Tuinier and Geertruida E. Bekkering},
  journal={Advances in Therapy},
IntroductionStimulant medications are the most effective drugs in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and in adults. However, some patients do not respond to this treatment and other patients suffer from adverse effects. Very often there are also comorbid disorders that warrant treatment or there is somatic comorbidity that precludes the prescription of stimulants. As a result, alternative treatments for the treatment of ADHD have been explored, such as… 

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The aggregate literature shows that the stimulants and catecholaminergic nonstimulants investigated had a clinically significant beneficial effect on treating ADHD in adults.

Psychopharmacology and psychotherapy for the treatment of adults with ADHD—a systematic review of available meta-analyses

The available meta-analytic literature does not cover questions of essential clinical relevance for adults with ADHD, and results suggest that stimulants are effective in decreasing ADHD symptoms on a short-term basis with a medium to large effect size (ES).

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Methylphenidate hydrochloride, a stimulant that acts through the dopaminergic and adrenergic pathways, has shown more than 75% efficacy in controlling the symptoms of adult ADHD and has shown benefits in preventing substance use disorders in patients with adult ADHD.

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Guideline for Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD in Adults with Substance Use Disorders

Currently there is no guideline for the screening, diagnosis and treatment of adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in patients with a substance use disorder (SUD). The aim was to

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This review attempts to clarify where these disorders overlap, both symptomatically and epidemiologically, and where they diverge, to help clinicians increase the accuracy of their diagnoses.

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  • H. RobertsonG. Feng
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    Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines
  • 2011
The strength and weakness of various transgenic mouse models proposed for each of the common childhood-onset psychiatric disorders are compared, and future directions for the study of these disorders using cutting-edge genetic tools are discussed.

Evaluation of Bupropion and Venlafaxine in Children with ADHD

It is shown that venlafaxine and bupropion are both effective on decreasing symptoms of ADHD and the response rates are the same in the two groups.



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The results suggest a therapeutic role for bupropion in the armamentarium of agents for ADHD in adults, while further validating the continuity of pharmacological responsivity of ADHD across the lifespan.

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Under controlled conditions, the aggregate literature shows that the stimulants and noradrenergic antidepressants had a clinically and statistically significant beneficial effect on treating ADHD in adults.

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    The Journal of clinical psychiatry
  • 1997
Antidepressants differ in their effectiveness for treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults and children, and psychostimulants remain the treatment of choice because of their unique effect on attention.

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The available literature indicates the important role of psychopharmacological agents in the reduction of the core symptoms of ADHD and associated impairments.

Six-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of desipramine for adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Results in adults with ADHD indicate that desipramine is effective in the treatment of ADHD in adults, similar to findings in children and adolescents with ADHD.

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Meta-Analysis of the Efficacy of Methylphenidate for Treating Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Strong support is found for the assertion that MPH is efficacious for treating adult ADHD and provides further assurance to clinicians that the diagnosis of ADHD can be validly applied in adulthood.

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More research is needed on alternative pharmacological treatments and to further evaluate established therapeutics beyond school-aged Caucasian boys on the efficacy of psychopharmacological agents in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Present and future pharmacotherapeutic options for adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

  • J. Horrigan
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    Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy
  • 2001
The findings from this study have been generalised to adults that also have ADHD, particularly in cases where there is a well-defined longitudinal history dating back to early childhood.