Bupropion sustained release in adolescents with comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and depression

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2001 Mar;40(3):307-14. doi: 10.1097/00004583-200103000-00010.


Objective: To determine whether bupropion sustained release (SR) is effective and well-tolerated in adolescents with comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depression.

Method: Subjects were 24 adolescents (aged 11-16 years old) with ADHD and either major depressive disorder or dysthymic disorder. After a 2-week, single-blind placebo lead-in, subjects were treated for 8+ weeks with bupropion SR at doses flexibly titrated up to 3 mg/kg b.i.d. (mean final doses: 2.2 mg/kg q A.M. and 1.7 mg/kg q P.M.). Outcomes were global improvement in ADHD and depression (clinician-rated), along with changes in depressive symptomatology (parent- and child-rated), ADHD symptomatology (parent- and teacher-rated), and functional impairment (parent-rated).

Results: Clinicians rated 14 subjects (58%) responders in both depression and ADHD, 7 (29%) responders in depression only, and 1 (4%) a responder in ADHD only. Compared with post-placebo ratings, final parents' (p < .0005) and children's (p = .016) ratings of depressive symptomatology improved significantly, as did parents' (p < .0005) but not teachers' (p = .080) ratings of ADHD symptomatology. Final ratings of functional impairment improved significantly from enrollment (p < .0005). No subject discontinued medication because of side effects.

Conclusions: Bupropion SR may be effective and well-tolerated in adolescents with comorbid ADHD and depressive disorders. However, randomized, placebo-controlled studies are needed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation / administration & dosage*
  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation / pharmacology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Bupropion / administration & dosage*
  • Bupropion / pharmacology
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Placebos
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Placebos
  • Bupropion