Background: [corrected] Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been less studied in adults than in children, and the treatment studies reported to date have been small, single-center trials. To assess the efficacy of atomoxetine, a new and highly selective inhibitor of the norepinephrine transporter, we conducted two large, multicenter treatment trials.
Methods: Two identical studies using randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled designs and a 10-week treatment period were conducted in adults with DSM-IV-defined ADHD as assessed by clinical history and confirmed by a structured interview (study I, n = 280; study II, n = 256). The primary outcome measure was a comparison of atomoxetine and placebo using repeated measures mixed model analysis of postbaseline values of the Conners' Adult ADHD Rating Scale.
Results: In each study, atomoxetine was statistically superior to placebo in reducing both inattentive and hyperactive and impulsive symptoms as assessed by primary and secondary measures. Discontinuations for adverse events among atomoxetine patients were under 10% in both studies.
Conclusion: Atomoxetine appears to be an efficacious treatment for adult ADHD. Its lack of abuse potential may be an advantage for many patients.