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Efficacy and safety of atomoxetine as add-on to psychoeducation in the treatment of attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder

[journal article]

Svanborg, Pär; Thernlund, Gunilla; Gustafsson, Per A.; Hägglöf, Bruno; Poole, Lynne; Kadesjö, Björn

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Abstract Objective: The primary objective of this study was to assess the impact of atomoxetine in combination with psychoeducation, compared with placebo and psychoeducation, on health-related quality of life (HRQL) in Swedish stimulant-naïve pediatric patients with attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). HRQL results will be presented elsewhere. Here, psychoeducation as well as efficacy and safety of the treatment are described. Patients and methods: A total of 99 pediatric ADHD patients were randomized to a 10-week double-blind treatment with atomoxetine (49 patients) or placebo (50 patients). Parents of all patients received four sessions of psychoeducation. Atomoxetine was dosed up to approximately 1.2 mg/kg day (≤70 kg) or 80 mg/day (>70 kg). Improvement of ADHD symptoms was evaluated using the ADHD rating scale (ADHD-RS) and clinical global impression (CGI) rating scales. Safety was assessed based on adverse events (AEs). Results: The study population was predominantly male (80.8%) and diagnosed with the combined ADHD subtype (77.8%). The least square mean (lsmean) change from baseline to endpoint in total ADHD-RS score was −19.0 for atomoxetine patients and −6.3 for placebo patients, resulting in an effect size (ES) of 1.3 at endpoint. Treatment response (reduction in ADHD-RS score of ≥25 or ≥40%) was achieved in 71.4 or 63.3% of atomoxetine patients and 28.6 or 14.3% of placebo patients. The lsmean change from baseline to endpoint in CGI-Severity was −1.8 in the atomoxetine group compared with −0.3 in the placebo group. The difference between treatments in CGI-Improvement at endpoint was −1.4 in favor of atomoxetine. No serious AEs occurred. The safety profile of atomoxetine was in line with the current label. Conclusions: Atomoxetine combined with psychoeducation was superior to placebo and psychoeducation in ADHD core symptoms improvement. The large ES might be a result of including stimulant-naïve patients only, but also may indicate a positive interaction between atomoxetine treatment and psychoeducation, possibly by increased compliance.
Classification Psychological Testing, Psychological Counseling, Psychological Methodology; Psychological Disorders, Mental Health Treatment and Prevention
Free Keywords ADHD; atomoxetine; clinical research/trial; parenting education; pharmacotherapy
Document language English
Publication Year 2009
Page/Pages p. 240-249
Journal European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 18 (2009) 4
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00787-008-0725-5
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)