Atomoxetine is FDA-approved as a treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in patients aged 6 years to adult. Among pediatric clinical trials of atomoxetine to date, six with a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design were used in this meta-analysis. The purpose of this article is to describe and compare the treatment response and tolerability of atomoxetine between younger children (6–7 years) and older children (8–12 years) with ADHD, as reported in these six acute treatment trials.
Data from six clinical trials of 6–9 weeks duration were pooled, yielding 280 subjects, ages 6–7 years, and 860 subjects, ages 8–12 years with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV)-diagnosed ADHD. Efficacy was analyzed using the ADHD Rating Scale-IV (ADHD-RS), Conners' Parent Rating Scale-revised (CPRS-R:S), and the Clinical Global Impression of ADHD Severity (CGI-ADHD-S).
Atomoxetine was superior to placebo in both age categories for mean (SD) change in ADHD-RS total, total T, and subscale scores; 3 CPRS-R:S subscales; and CGI-ADHD-S from baseline. Although there were no significant treatment differentials between the age groups for these efficacy measures, the age groups themselves, regardless of treatment, were significantly different for ADHD-RS total (younger: ATX = -14.2 [13.8], PBO = -4.6 [10.4]; older: ATX = -15.4 [13.2], PBO = -7.3 [12.0]; p = .001), total T (younger: ATX = -15.2 [14.8], PBO = -4.9 [11.2]; older: ATX = -16.4 [14.6], PBO = -7.9 [13.1]; p = .003), and subscale scores (Inattentive: younger: ATX = -7.2 [7.5], PBO = -2.4 [5.7]; older: ATX = -8.0 [7.4], PBO = -3.9 [6.7]; p = .043; Hyperactive/Impulsive: younger: ATX = -7.0 [7.2], PBO = -2.1 [5.4]; older: ATX = -7.3 [7.0], PBO = -3.4 [6.3]; p < .001), as well as the CGI-ADHD-S score (younger: ATX = -1.2 [1.3], PBO = -0.5 [0.9]; older: ATX = -1.4 [1.3], PBO = -0.7 [1.1]; p = .010). Although few subjects discontinued from either age group due to adverse events, a significant treatment-by-age-group interaction was observed for abdominal pain (younger: ATX = 19%, PBO = 6%; older: ATX = 15%, PBO = 13%; p = .044), vomiting (younger: ATX = 14%, PBO = 2%; older: ATX = 9%, PBO = 6%; p = .053), cough (younger: ATX = 10%, PBO = 6%; older: ATX = 3%, PBO = 9%; p = .007), and pyrexia (younger: ATX = 5%, PBO = 2%; older: ATX = 3%, PBO = 5%; p = .058).
Atomoxetine is an effective and generally well-tolerated treatment of ADHD in both younger and older children as assessed by three recognized measures of symptoms in six controlled clinical trials.
The objective of this study was to assess the effects of atomoxetine on treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), on reading performance, and on neurocognitive function in youth with ADHD and dyslexia (ADHD+D).
Patients with ADHD (n = 20) or ADHD+D (n = 36), aged 10-16 years, received open-label atomoxetine for 16 weeks. Data from the ADHD Rating Scale-IV (ADHDRS-IV), Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement (K-TEA), Working Memory Test Battery for Children (WMTB-C), and Life Participation Scale for ADHD-Child Version (LPS-C) were assessed.
Atomoxetine demonstrated significant improvement for both groups on the ADHDRS-IV, LPS-C, and K-TEA reading comprehension standard and composite scores. K-TEA spelling subtest improvement was significant for the ADHD group, whereas the ADHD+D group showed significant reading decoding improvements. Substantial K-TEA reading and spelling subtest age equivalence gains (in months) were achieved for both groups. The WMTB-C central executive score change was significantly greater for the ADHD group. Conversely, the ADHD+D group showed significant phonological loop score enhancement by visit over the ADHD group. Atomoxetine was well tolerated, and commonly reported adverse events were similar to those previously reported.
Atomoxetine reduced ADHD symptoms and improved reading scores in both groups. Conversely, different patterns and magnitude of improvement in working memory component scores existed between ADHD and ADHD+D patients. Though limited by small sample size, group differences in relation to the comparable changes in improvement in ADHD symptoms could suggest that brain systems related to the therapeutic benefit of atomoxetine in reducing ADHD symptoms may be different in individuals with ADHD+D and ADHD without dyslexia.
Clinical Trial Registry: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00191048
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioural disorder, affecting 3–6% of school age children and adolescents in Spain. Methylphenidate (MPH), a mild stimulant, had long been the only approved medication available for ADHD children in Spain. Atomoxetine is a non-stimulant alternative in the treatment of ADHD with once-a-day oral dosing. This study aims to estimate the cost-effectiveness of atomoxetine compared to MPH. In addition, atomoxetine is compared to 'no medication' for patient populations who are ineligible for MPH (i.e. having stimulant-failure experience or co-morbidities precluding stimulant medication).
An economic model with Markov processes was developed to estimate the costs and benefits of atomoxetine versus either MPH or 'no medication'. The incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) was calculated for atomoxetine relative to the comparators. The Markov process incorporated 14 health states, representing a range of outcomes associated with treatment options. Utility values were obtained from the utility valuation survey of 83 parents of children with ADHD. The clinical data were based on a thorough review of controlled clinical trials and other clinical literature, and validated by international experts. Costs and outcomes were estimated using Monte Carlo simulation over a 1-year duration, with costs estimated from the perspective of the National Health Service in Spain.
For stimulant-naïve patients without contra-indications to stimulants, the incremental costs per QALY gained for atomoxetine were € 34 308 (compared to an immediate-release MPH) and € 24 310 (compared to an extended-release MPH). For those patients who have stimulant-failure experience or contra-indications to stimulants, the incremental costs per QALY gained of atomoxetine compared to 'no medication' were € 23 820 and € 23 323, respectively.
The economic evaluation showed that atomoxetine is an effective alternative across a range of ADHD populations and offers value-for money in the treatment of ADHD.
The relatively short durations of the initial pivotal randomized placebo-controlled trials involving atomoxetine HCl for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) provided limited insight into the time courses of ADHD core symptom responses to this nonstimulant, selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. The aim of this analysis was to evaluate time courses of treatment responses or remission, as assessed by attainment of prespecified scores on the ADHD Rating Scale-IV-Parent Version: Investigator Administered and Scored (ADHDRS-IV-PI) and the Clinical Global Impressions-ADHD-Severity (CGI-ADHD-S) scales, during up to 1 year of atomoxetine treatment in children with ADHD.
Using pooled data from three Canadian open-label studies involving 338 children ages 6-11 years with ADHD who were treated with atomoxetine for 3, 6 and 12 months, and survival analysis methods for interval-censored data, we estimated the time to: 1) improvement and robust improvement defined by ≥25% and ≥40% reductions from baseline ADHDRS-IV-PI total scores, respectively; and 2) remission using two definitions: a final score of ADHDRS-IV-PI ≤18 or a final score of CGI-ADHD-S ≤2.
The median time to improvement was 3.7 weeks (~1 month), but remission of symptoms did not occur until a median of 14.3 weeks (~3.5 months) using the most stringent CGI-ADHD-S threshold. Probabilities of robust improvement were 47% at or before 4 weeks of treatment; 76% at 12 weeks; 85% at 26 weeks; and 96% at 52 weeks. Probabilities of remission at these corresponding time points were 30%, 59%, 77%, and 85% (using the ADHDRS-IV scale) and 8%, 47%, 67%, and 75% (using the CGI-ADHD-S scale). The change from atomoxetine treatment month 5 to month 12 of -1.01 (1.03) was not statistically significant (p = .33).
Reductions in core ADHD symptoms during atomoxetine treatment are gradual. Although approximately one-half of study participants showed improvement at 1 month of atomoxetine treatment, remission criteria were not met until about 3 months. Understanding the time course of children's responses to atomoxetine treatment may inform clinical decision making and also influence the durations of trials comparing the effects of this medication with other ADHD treatments.
clinicaltrials.gov: NCT00191633, NCT00216918, NCT00191880.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; atomoxetine; drug therapy; remission; response; treatment outcomes
This review examines and summarizes the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties, short- and longer-term efficacy, the moderating effect of comorbid disorders, as well as short- and long-term safety and tolerability of atomoxetine for the treatment of pediatric attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
A systematic literature search was performed to review the extant literature on articles pertaining to the pharmacological treatment with atomoxetine in pediatric and/or adolescent ADHD.
There is an extensive literature on atomoxetine; over 4000 children have participated in clinical trials of atomoxetine, demonstrating its short- and longer-term efficacy. In addition, studies have examined the moderating effect of comorbid disorders on atomoxetine response, as well as atomoxetine’s therapeutic potential for other psychiatric conditions. Short- and longer-term safety and tolerability continue to be reported.
Atomoxetine is indicated for both acute and maintenance/extended treatment of pediatric ADHD. Clinicians and families must be familiar with atomoxetine’s evidence base, including its profile of clinical response and its possible effectiveness in the presence of comorbidity.
ADHD; atomoxetine; pediatric
Our aim was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the generic quality of life (QoL) scale Child Health and Illness Profile-Child Edition (CHIP-CE) by means of a combined analysis of atomoxetine clinical trials in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Individual patient-level data from five clinical trials were included in the combined analysis. Psychometric properties of the CHIP-CE were explored in terms of internal consistency and structure. Patients (n = 794) aged between 6 and 15 years (mean 9.7) with mean baseline ADHD Rating Scale of 41.8 ± 8.04 were included. On average, 0.7 (SD 2.23) items were missing for the whole CHIP-CE. The internal consistency of the CHIP-CE assessed by Cronbach’s alpha was good for all sub-domains at baseline and at endpoint. Considerable ceiling effects were only observed for the “restricted activity” sub-domain. No considerable floor effects were seen. The factor analysis supported the 12-factor solution for the sub-domains, but not the 5-factor solution for the domains. Our analyses were based on a large sample of non-US patients which allowed the measurement of clear changes in QoL over time. The results support that the CHIP-CE scale is psychometrically robust over time in terms of internal consistency and structure.
Attention-deficit disorder with hyperactivity; Quality of life; Psychometrics; Factor analysis
To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of atomoxetine for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in 5- and 6-year-old children.
This was an 8-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial of atomoxetine in 101 children with ADHD. Atomoxetine or placebo was flexibly titrated to a maximum dose of 1.8 mg/kg per day. The pharmacotherapist reviewed psychoeducational material on ADHD and behavioral-management strategies with parents during each study visit.
Significant mean decreases in parent (P = .009) and teacher (P = .02) ADHD–IV Rating Scale scores were demonstrated with atomoxetine compared with placebo. A total of 40% of children treated with atomoxetine met response criteria (Clinical Global Impression–Improvement Scale indicating much or very much improved) compared with 22% of children on placebo, which was not significant (P = .1). Decreased appetite, gastrointestinal upset, and sedation were significantly more common with atomoxetine than placebo. Although some children demonstrated a robust response to atomoxetine, for others the response was more attenuated. Sixty-two percent of subjects who received atomoxetine were moderately, markedly, or severely ill according to the Clinical Global Impression–Severity Scale at study completion.
To our knowledge, this is the first randomized controlled trial of atomoxetine in children as young as 5 years. Atomoxetine generally was well tolerated and reduced core ADHD symptoms in the children on the basis of parent and teacher reports. Reductions in the ADHD-IV Rating Scale scores, however, did not necessarily translate to overall clinical and functional improvement, as demonstrated on the Clinical Global Impression–Severity Scale and the Clinical Global Impression–Improvement Scale. Despite benefits, the children in the atomoxetine group remained, on average, significantly impaired at the end of the study.
ADHD; atomoxetine; child; pharmacotherapy
The ACTION study (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Controlled Trial Investigation Of a Non-stimulant) is a multi-center, double-blind, randomized cross-over trial of the non-stimulant medication, Atomoxetine, in children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The primary aims are to examine the efficacy of atomoxetine for improving cognition and emotional function in ADHD and whether any improvements in these outcomes are more pronounced in participants with comorbid anxiety; and to determine if changes in these outcomes after atomoxetine are more reliable than changes in diagnostic symptoms of ADHD. This manuscript will describe the methodology and rationale for the ACTION study.
Children and adolescents aged 6 - 17 y with ADHD will be enrolled. Clinical interview and validated scales will be used to confirm diagnosis and screen for exclusion criteria, which include concurrent stimulant use, and comorbid psychiatric or neurological conditions other than anxiety. Three assessment sessions will be conducted over the 13-week study period: Session 1 (Baseline, pre-treatment), Session 2 (six weeks, atomoxetine or placebo), and Session 3 (13 weeks, cross-over after one-week washout period). The standardized touch-screen battery, "IntegNeuro™", will be used to assess cognitive and emotional function. The primary measure of response will be symptom ratings, while quality of life will be a secondary outcome. Logistic regression will be used to determine predictors of treatment response, while repeated measures of analysis will determine any differences in effect of atomoxetine and placebo.
The methodology for the ACTION study has been detailed.
The ACTION study is the first controlled trial to investigate the efficacy of atomoxetine using objective cognitive and emotional function markers, and whether these objective measures predict outcomes with atomoxetine in ADHD with and without comorbid anxiety. First enrollment was in March 2008. The outcomes of this study will be a significant step towards a 'personalized medicine' (and therefore a more efficient) approach to ADHD treatment.
Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ANZCTRN12607000535471.
This study evaluated the effects of atomoxetine on the symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and marijuana use in marijuana-dependent adults. In conjunction with motivational interviewing, participants received either atomoxetine (n=19) or matching placebo (n=19) for 12 weeks. Participants randomized to atomoxetine had greater improvement in ADHD on the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement scale than participants treated with placebo. No treatment group differences in self-rated ADHD symptoms, overall Wender-Reimherr Adult Attention Deficit Disorder Scale scores, or marijuana use outcomes were noted. These results suggest that atomoxetine may improve some ADHD symptoms but does not reduce marijuana use in this population.
This 10-week study assessed the efficacy of atomoxetine in combination with psychoeducation compared to placebo and psychoeducation in the improvement of Quality of Life in Swedish stimulant-naive children and adolescents with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. A total of 99 patients were treated with atomoxetine (49 patients) or placebo (50 patients) for 10 weeks and assessed regarding broader areas of functioning using the Quality of Life measures Child Health and Illness Profile-Child Edition (CHIP-CE), Family Strain Index [FSI; equivalent to the Family Burden of Illness Module used in the study], Appraisal of Stress in Child-Rearing (ASCR), Five to fifteen (FTF), “I think I am” (“Jag tycker jag är”), and Children’s Depression Rating Scale-Revised (CDRS-R) before and after the active treatment phase. Simultaneously, the patients’ parents participated in a 4-session psychoeducation program. A statistically significant difference in favor of atomoxetine was seen in the improvement from baseline to study endpoint for the CHIP-CE domains “Achievement” and “Risk avoidance”, for the FSI total score, for the ASCR section (I) domain “Child as a burden”, for all FTF domains except for “Language and Speech”, and for the CDRS-R total score. No difference between treatment groups was observed in the patient-assessed evaluation of self-esteem using the “I think I am” scale. Atomoxetine combined with psychoeducation had a positive effect on various everyday coping abilities of the patients as well as their families during 10 weeks of treatment, whereas the patients’ self-image and the parents’ image of the climate in the family were not significantly improved.
ADHD; Atomoxetine; Quality of life; CHIP-CE; Broader efficacy
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by the symptoms of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. ADHD was once perceived as a condition of childhood only; however increasing evidence has highlighted the existence of ADHD in older adolescents and adults. Estimates for the prevalence of ADHD in adults range from 2.5–4%. Few data exist on the prescribing trends of the stimulants methylphenidate and dexamfetamine, and the non-stimulant atomoxetine in the UK. The aim of this study was to investigate the annual prevalence and incidence of pharmacologically treated ADHD in children, adolescents and adults in UK primary care.
The Health Improvement Network (THIN) database was used to identify all patients aged over 6 years with a diagnosis of ADHD/hyperkinetic disorder and a prescription for methylphenidate, dexamfetamine or atomoxetine from 2003–2008. Annual prevalence and incidence of pharmacologically treated ADHD were calculated by age category and sex.
The source population comprised 3,529,615 patients (48.9% male). A total of 118,929 prescriptions were recorded for the 4,530 patients in the pharmacologically treated ADHD cohort during the 6-year study. Prevalence (per 1000 persons in the mid-year THIN population) increased within each age category from 2003 to 2008 [6–12 years: from 4.8 (95% CI: 4.5–5.1) to 9.2 (95% CI: 8.8–9.6); 13–17 years: from 3.6 (95% CI: 3.3–3.9) to 7.4 (95% CI: 7.0–7.8); 18–24 years: from 0.3 (95% CI: 0.2–0.3) to 1.1 (95% CI: 1.0–1.3); 25–45 years: from 0.02 (95% CI: 0.01–0.03) to 0.08 (95% CI: 0.06–0.10); >45 years: from 0.01 (95% CI: 0.00–0.01) to 0.02 (95% CI: 0.01–0.03). Whilst male patients aged 6-12 years had the highest prevalence; the relative increase in prescribing was higher amongst female patients of the same age - the increase in prevalence in females aged 6–12 years was 2.1 fold compared to an increase of 1.9 fold for their male counterparts. Prevalence of treated ADHD decreased with increasing age. Incidence (per 1000 persons at risk in the mid-year THIN population) was highest for children aged 6–12 years.
A trend of increasing prescribing prevalence of ADHD drug treatment was observed over the period 2003–2008. Prevalence of prescribing to adult patients increased; however the numbers treated are much lower than published estimates of the prevalence of ADHD. This study has added to the limited knowledge on ADHD prescribing in primary care, particularly in the area of drug treatment in adulthood.
The purpose of this study was to examine whether atomoxetine plasma concentration predicts attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) response. This post-hoc analysis assessed the relationship between atomoxetine plasma concentration and ADHD and ODD symptoms in patients (with ADHD and comorbid ODD) aged 6–12 years. Patients were randomly assigned to atomoxetine 1.2 mg/kg/day (n = 156) or placebo (n = 70) for 8 weeks (Study Period II). At the end of 8 weeks, ODD non-remitters (score >9 on the SNAP-IV ODD subscale and CGI-I > 2) with atomoxetine plasma concentration <800 ng/ml at 2 weeks were re-randomized to either atomoxetine 1.2 mg/kg/day or 2.4 mg/kg/day for an additional 4 weeks (Study Period III). ODD remitters and non-remitters with plasma atomoxetine ≥800 ng/ml remained on 1.2 mg/kg/day atomoxetine for 4 weeks. Patients who received atomoxetine, completed Study Period II, and entered Study Period III were included in these analyses. All the groups demonstrated improvement on the SNAP-IV ODD and ADHD-combined subscales (P < .001). At the end of Study Periods II and III, ODD and ADHD improvement was significantly greater in the remitter group compared with the non-remitter groups. Symptom improvement was numerically greater in the non-remitter (2.4 mg/kg/day compared with the non-remitter 1.2 mg/kg/day) group. Atomoxetine plasma concentration was not indicative of ODD and ADHD improvement after 12 weeks of treatment. ADHD and ODD symptoms improved in all the groups with longer duration on atomoxetine. Results suggest atomoxetine plasma concentration does not predict ODD and ADHD symptom improvement. However, a higher atomoxetine dose may benefit some patients.
Atomoxetine; ADHD; Plasma concentration; ODD
To evaluate the effect of atomoxetine hydrochloride versus placebo on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and substance use disorder (SUD) in adolescents receiving motivational interviewing / cognitive behavioral therapy (MI/CBT) for SUD.
This single-site, randomized, controlled trial was conducted between December 2005 and February 2008. Seventy adolescents (13-19 years) with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition) (DSM-IV) ADHD, a DSM-IV ADHD checklist score greater than or equal to 22, and at least one non-tobacco SUD were recruited from the community. All subjects received 12 weeks of atomoxetine hydrochloride + MI/CBT versus placebo + MI/CBT. The main outcome measure for ADHD was self-report DSM-IV ADHD checklist score. For SUD, the main outcome was self-report number of days used non-tobacco substances in the past 28 days using the Timeline Followback interview.
Change in ADHD scores did not differ between atomoxetine + MI/CBT and placebo + MI/CBT (F4,191 = 1.23, p = 0.2975). Change in days used non-nicotine substances in the last 28 days did not differ between groups (F3,100 = 2.06, p = 0.1103).
There was no significant difference between the atomoxetine + MI/CBT and placebo + MI/CBT groups in ADHD or substance use change. The MI/CBT and/or a placebo effect may have contributed to a large treatment response in the placebo group.
attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; adolescent; atomoxetine; substance use disorder
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common chronic condition with childhood onset that can continue into adulthood. Medication is a fundamental element in the management of this disorder. Atomoxetine is the newest nonstimulant medication approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of ADHD. It is the only nonstimulant medication approved by the FDA for treatment of adult ADHD. Atomoxetine is a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor that selectively inhibits the presynaptic norepinephrine transporter. A growing body of literature supports the use of atomoxetine both in children and adults with ADHD. This paper summarizes information from the literature about atomoxetine, including pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, clinical trials, dosing, and side-effects.
atomoxetine; ADHD; review; nonstimulants
The objective of this analysis was to measure changes in items on the Pediatric Adverse Event Rating Scale (PAERS) that relate to emotional well-being of children and adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) during treatment with atomoxetine for up to 24 weeks from the perspective of the patient, the parent, and the physician.
Patients aged 6–17 years with ADHD were treated with atomoxetine (target dose 1.2 mg/kg/day). In the two studies on which this secondary analysis is based the PAERS was used to assess the tolerability of atomoxetine in children and adolescents. This scale has a total of 48 items. The ten items that reflect emotional well-being were selected to measure changes over time from a patient, parent, and physician perspective.
421 patients were treated with atomoxetine. 355 patients completed the 8-week treatment period, and 260 patients completed the 24-week treatment period. The ten items that reflect emotional well-being were grouped in five dimensions: depressed mood, self-harm, irritability/agitation, drowsiness, and euphoria. The scores of these dimensions decreased over time, both from a patient as well as from a parent and physician perspective. Only the dimension self-harm was extremely low at baseline and stayed low over time. The mean scores for the ten items depended on the rater perspective.
The emotional well-being of children and adolescents with ADHD improved in terms of depressed mood, irritability/agitation, drowsiness, and euphoria during treatment with atomoxetine for up to 24 weeks.
The aim of this study was to report preliminary data regarding effectiveness and tolerability of atomoxetine in 3- to 5-year-old preschool children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Nine boys and 3 girls (mean age = 5.0 ± 0.72 years) diagnosed with ADHD were treated with atomoxetine in an open-label pilot study. Atomoxetine was gradually titrated to a maximum dose of 1.8 mg/kg per day.
There was a significant effect of time from baseline to end point on the parent-rated hyperactivity/impulsivity Swanson Nolan and Pelham (SNAP-IV-HI) subscale ratings (F[9, 11] = 6.32, p < 0.0001). The mean difference between the baseline and end-point parent SNAP-IV-HI scores was 10.2 ± 7.3 (p = 0.0005). The rate of positive response (defined as at least a 30% reduction in the end-point parent SNAP-IV-HI scores and a Clinical Global Impressions–Improvement [CGI-I] rating of Much Improved or Very Much Improved) was 75%. The Children's Global Assessment Scale scores improved significantly over time [F(9, 11) = 6.24 p < 0.001]. The mean end-point daily dose of atomoxetine was 1.59 ± 0.3 mg/kg. A high proportion (66.7%) of the preschoolers experienced side effects with atomoxetine. Side effects of defiance, tantrums, aggression, and irritability were most disconcerting to parents, and gastrointestinal complaints were the most commonly reported adverse effects. One child was terminated from the study due to “chest ache.” There were no changes in weight, height, or cardiovascular measures.
This open-label pilot study provides preliminary evidence of effectiveness and tolerability of atomoxetine for treating ADHD in preschool children, although double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled studies are needed to confirm this.
The objective of this analysis was to evaluate the psychometric properties of a brief scale developed to assess the degree of difficulties in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The Global Impression of Perceived Difficulties (GIPD) scale reflects overall impairment, psychosocial functioning and Quality of Life (QoL) as rated by patient, parents and physician at various times of the day.
In two open-label studies, ADHD-patients aged 6–17 years were treated with atomoxetine (target-dose 0.5–1.2 mg/kg/day). ADHD-related difficulties were assessed up to week 24 using the GIPD. Data from both studies were combined to validate the scale.
Overall, 421 patients received atomoxetine. GIPD scores improved over time. All three GIPD-versions (patient, parent, physician) were internally consistent; all items showed at least moderate item-total correlation. The scale showed good test-retest reliability over a two-week period from all three perspectives. Good convergent and discriminant validity was shown.
GIPD is an internally consistent, reliable and valid measure to assess difficulties in children with ADHD at various times of the day and can be used as indicator for psychosocial impairment and QoL. The scale is sensitive to treatment-related change.
Executive dysfunction (ED) is a prominent and often disabling feature of cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Few studies have examined treatments. Given the role of noradrenergic pathology in ED, atomoxetine, a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor indicated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), may be a potential treatment for PD-related ED.
12 patients with PD and disabling ED completed an 8-week pilot open-label, flexible dose (25 to 100 mg/day) trial of atomoxetine.
On primary outcome measures, atomoxetine was associated with improved ED based on the Clinical Global Impression-Change Scale (75% positive response rate; 95% CI: 43%-95%, p<.05) and behavioral measures of ED [Frontal Systems Behavior Scale (FrSBE) Executive Dysfunction and Connors Adult ADHD Rating Scale (CAARS) inattention/memory subscales]. Adverse effects included sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances and hypomania.
Atomoxetine is tolerable in PD and may benefit clinical manifestations of ED, warranting further study in controlled trials.
Executive Dysfunction; Parkinson’s disease; Cognition; Norepinephrine Reuptake inhibition; Atomoxetine
Psychostimulants and non stimulants are effective in the treatment of ADHD. Efficacy of both methylphenidate and atomoxetine has been established in placebo controlled trials. Direct comparison of efficacy is now possible due to availability of results from several head-to-head trials of these two medications.
All published, randomized, open label or double blind trials, comparing efficacy of methylphenidate with atomoxetine, in treatment of ADHD in children, diagnosed using DSM-IV™ criteria were included. The outcome studied was ADHDRS-IVParent:Inv score. The standardized mean difference (SMD) was used as a measure of effect size.
Nine randomized trials comparing methylphenidate and atomoxetine, with a total of 2762 participants were included. Meta-analysis did not find a significant difference in efficacy between methylphenidate and atomoxetine (SMD = 0.09, 95% CI -0.08-0.26) (Z = 1.06, p = 0.29). Synthesis of data from eight trials found no significant difference in response rates (RR = 0.93 95% CI 0.76-1.14, p = 0.49). Sub group analysis showed a significant standardized mean difference favouring OROS methylphenidate (SMD = 0.32, 95% CI 0.12-0.53 (Z = 3.05, p < 0.002). Immediate release methylphenidate was not superior to atomoxetine (SMD = -0.04, 95% CI -0.19-0.12) (Z = 0.46, p = 0.64). Excluding open label trials did not significantly alter the effect size (SMD = 0.08, 95% CI -0.04-0.21) (Z = 1.27, p = 0.20). All-cause discontinuation was used as a measure of acceptability. There was no significant difference in all cause discontinuation between atomoxetine and methylphenidate (RR 1.22, 95% CI 0.87-1.71). There was significant heterogeneity among the studies (p = 0.002, I2 = 67%). Subgroup analysis demonstrated the heterogeneity to be due to the open label trials (p = 0.001, I2 = 81%).
In general atomoxetine and methylphenidate have comparable efficacy and equal acceptability in treatment of ADHD in children and adolescents. However OROS methylphenidate is more effective than atomoxetine and may be considered as first line treatment in treatment of ADHD in children and adolescents.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of atomoxetine, a new and highly selective inhibitor of the norepinephrine transporter, in reducing symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among adults by using drug-placebo response curve methods.
We analyzed data from two double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel design studies of adult patients (Study I, N = 280; Study II, N = 256) with DSM-IV-defined ADHD who were recruited by referral and advertising. Subjects were randomized to 10 weeks of treatment with atomoxetine or placebo, and were assessed with the Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scales and the Clinical Global Impression of ADHD Severity scale before and after treatment.
Those treated with atomoxetine were more likely to show a reduction in ADHD symptoms than those receiving placebo. Across all measures, the likelihood that an atomoxetine-treated subject improved to a greater extent than a placebo-treated subject was approximately 0.60. Furthermore, atomoxetine prevented worsening of most symptom classes.
From these findings, we conclude that atomoxetine is an effective treatment for ADHD among adults when evaluated using several criteria.
This multicenter, randomized, open-label, parallel trial aimed to provide a detailed dose-response profile for atomoxetine in Korean pediatric outpatients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Male and female outpatients aged 6-18 years with ADHD meeting symptom severity criteria of 1.5 standard deviations above age and gender norms on the ADHD Rating Scale-IV-Parent: Investigator-Administered and Scored (ADHDRS-IV-Parent: Inv), and a Clinical Global Impression-ADHD-Severity score ≥4 were randomized to atomoxetine (mg/kg/day) 0.2 fixed, 0.5 fixed or 0.5 (7 days), 0.8 (7 days) then 1.2 for 28 days. The primary efficacy measure was change in ADHDRS-IV-Parent: Inv total score after 6 weeks of atomoxetine treatment.
Of 153 randomized patients, 83.7% were male and mean age was 9.8 (SD±2.4) years. The completion rate was 86.9%. A graded dose response was apparent with mean change in ADHDRS-IV-Parent: Inv total scores of -9.6, -12.3 and -14.5 with atomoxetine 0.2, 0.5 and 1.2 mg/kg/day, respectively (p=0.024 - F-test). Moreover, a greater reduction in ADHD symptoms, as assessed by mean change from baseline to endpoint CGI-S and mean CGI-ADHD-Improvement at endpoint, was also observed with increasing atomoxetine dose. More patients receiving atomoxetine 1.2 mg/kg/day reported ≥1 treatment-emergent adverse event/s (58.3%) compared with 0.5 (40.7%; p=0.11) or 0.2 mg/kg/day (29.4%; p=0.005). These were generally mild to moderate.
Atomoxetine was found to be safe and well tolerated at all doses administered in Korean pediatric ADHD patients, and 1.2 mg/kg/day was an efficacious dose in this population.
ADHD; Atomoxetine; Dose response; Korea; Pediatric
Health technology assessments (HTAs) by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) enjoy high levels of international attention. The present analysis addresses NICE's appraisal of methylphenidate, atomoxetine and dexamphetamine for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents, published in March 2006.
A qualitative study of NICE Technology Appraisal No. 98 was done focusing on the >600-page technology assessment report, which aimed at evaluating ADHD treatment strategies by a clinical effectiveness review and an economic analysis using meta-analytical techniques and a cost-effectiveness model.
The technology assessment was unable to differentiate between the various drugs in terms of efficacy, and its economic model was ultimately driven by cost differences. While the assessment concluded that the economic model "clearly identified an optimal treatment strategy" with first-line dexamphetamine, the NICE appraisal committee subsequently found it impossible to distinguish between the different strategies on grounds of cost-effectiveness. Analyzing the assessment reveals gaps and inconsistencies concerning data selection (ultimately relying on a small number of short-term studies only), data synthesis (pooling of heterogeneous study designs and clinical endpoints), and economic model structure (identifying double-counting of nonresponders as a likely source of bias, alongside further methodological anomalies).
Many conclusions of the NICE technology assessment rest on shaky grounds. There remains a need for a new, state-of-the-art systematic review of ADHD treatment strategies including economic evaluation, which ideally should address outcomes beyond children's health-related quality of life, such as long-term sequelae of the disorder and caregiver burden.
The purpose of this 12-week open trial was to evaluate the potential utility of atomoxetine for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in cocaine-dependent treatment seekers. The sample consisted of 20 participants with all participants meeting DSM-IV-TR criteria for ADHD and cocaine dependence (CD). Using several measures to assess ADHD, there was a significant reduction in ADHD symptoms. There was no significant decrease in cocaine use throughout the trial. Taken together, although cocaine-dependent individuals showed some reduction in ADHD symptoms while receiving atomoxetine, the high drop-out rate and lack of impact on cocaine use may limit its utility in ADHD adults who are currently abusing cocaine.
Treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has for many years relied on psychostimulants, particularly various formulations of amphetamines and methylphenidate. These are central nervous system stimulants and are scheduled because of their abuse potential. Atomoxetine (atomoxetine hydrochloride; Strattera®) was approved in 2002 for treatment of ADHD, and was the first nonstimulant medication approved for this disorder. It was classified as an unscheduled medication indicating a low potential for abuse. However, the abuse potential of atomoxetine has not been reviewed.
In this article, we review the evidence regarding abuse potential of atomoxetine, a selective inhibitor of the presynaptic norepinephrine transporter, which is unscheduled/unrestricted in all countries where it is approved.
Results from receptor binding, in vitro electrophysiology, in vivo microdialysis, preclinical behavioral, and human laboratory studies have been reviewed.
Atomoxetine has no appreciable affinity for, or action at, central receptors through which drugs of abuse typically act, i.e., dopamine transporters, GABAA receptors, and opioid μ receptors. In behavioral experiments in rodents, atomoxetine does not increase locomotor activity, and in drug discrimination studies, its profile is similar to that of drugs without abuse potential. Atomoxetine does not serve as a reinforcer in monkey self-administration studies, and human laboratory studies suggest that atomoxetine does not induce subjective effects indicative of abuse.
Neurochemical, preclinical, and early clinical studies predicted and supported a lack of abuse potential of atomoxetine, which is consistent with the clinical trial and postmarketing spontaneous event data in the past 10 years.
Atomoxetine (Strattera®); ADHD; Abuse potential; Nonstimulant
This study examined augmenting atomoxetine with extended-release methylphenidate in children whose attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) previously failed to respond adequately to stimulant medication.
Children with ADHD and prior stimulant treatment (N = 25) received atomoxetine (1.2 mg/kg/day) plus placebo. After 4 weeks, patients who were responders (n = 4) were continued on atomoxetine/placebo while remaining patients were randomly assigned to either methylphenidate (ATX/MPH) (1.1 mg/kg/day) or placebo augmentation (ATX/PB) for another 6 weeks. Patients and sites were blind to timing of active augmentation. Safety measures included vital signs, weight, and adverse events. Efficacy was assessed by ADHD rating scales.
Categorical increases in vital signs occurred for 5 patients (3 patients in ATX/MPH, 2 patients in ATX/PBO). Sixteen percent discontinued the study due to AE, but no difference between augmentation groups. Atomoxetine treatment was efficacious on outcome measures (P ≤ .001), but methylphenidate did not enhance response.
Methylphenidate appears to be safely combined with atomoxetine, but conclusions limited by small sample. With atomoxetine treatment, 43% of patients achieved normalization on ADHD ratings.