Mechanism of action of agents used in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

J Clin Psychiatry. 2006;67 Suppl 8:32-8.

Abstract

Several medications have been demonstrated effective in treating individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There appears to be some commonality in the physiologic mechanisms of action of these agents relevant to the treatment of ADHD. Either direct or indirect attenuation of dopamine and norepinephrine neurotransmission appears related to both the stimulant and nonstimulant medications efficacious in ADHD. However, important differences exist both between and within the specific classes of agents. Elucidating the various mechanisms of action of ADHD medications may lead to better choices in matching potential response to the characteristics (e.g., genotype) of individuals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists / pharmacology
  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Atomoxetine Hydrochloride
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / genetics
  • Bupropion / pharmacology
  • Bupropion / therapeutic use
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / pharmacology*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Clonidine / pharmacology
  • Clonidine / therapeutic use
  • Guanfacine / pharmacology
  • Guanfacine / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Nicotinic Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Nicotinic Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Propylamines / pharmacology*
  • Propylamines / therapeutic use

Substances

  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors
  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Nicotinic Antagonists
  • Propylamines
  • Bupropion
  • Guanfacine
  • Atomoxetine Hydrochloride
  • Clonidine