August 8, 2011

Help for Adult ADHD

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Reviewed by: 
Joseph V. Madia, MD By:

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ADHD in adults improved with use of amphetamines

(dailyRx News) While attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is most commonly associated with children, adults suffer from it too. New research shows certain medications improve adult ADHD symptoms.

The same medications used to treat ADHD in children are also effective in treating the disorder in adults. Short-term use of amphetamines improves symptoms, according to a recently published research analysis.

"Ask your doctor about the best medicines to help with ADHD."

Most often, ADHD is diagnosed in childhood. The problems, though, can last into adulthood. ADHD symptoms are the same for kids and adults and can range from difficulty focusing and emotional irritability to problems with organization and mood swings.

Xavier Castells,  who works in the Unit of Clinical Pharmacology at University of Girona, led a study to see if amphetamines could successfully treat and reverse the neurological problems that ADHD causes. He and his colleagues anaylzed seven clinical trials that involved 1,091 participants.

The medications studied included those that are commonly used to treat ADHD in children - Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine), Vyvanse (lisdexamphetamine) and Adderall (mixed amphetamine salts).

Researchers found that all of these medications are effective with adults, and that there was no difference between dosages and rapid- and sustained-release formulations. The trials lasted between two and seven weeks, so no conclusions could be drawn in terms of long-term safety and efficacy (effectiveness).

Castells says it would be interesting to compare amphetamines against other medications that are known to treat adult ADHD symtoms, including Strattera (atomoxetine) and Concerta (methylphenidate).

This research was published in Cochrane Systematic Review.

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Reviewed by: 
Joseph V. Madia, MD
Review Date: 
August 8, 2011

Last Updated:
September 23, 2011