Objective: With this study we assessed the efficacy and safety of an extended-release formulation of guanfacine compared with placebo for the treatment of children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Methods: In this multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, fixed-dosage escalation study, patients aged 6 to 17 years were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups of guanfacine extended release (2, 3, or 4 mg/day) or placebo for 8 weeks. The primary outcome measurement was the Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Rating Scale IV total score. Secondary measurements included Clinical Global Impression of Improvement, Parent's Global Assessment, Conners' Parent Rating Scale-Revised: Short Form, and Conners' Teacher Rating Scale-Revised: Short Form.
Results: A total of 345 patients were randomly assigned to placebo (n = 86) or guanfacine extended release 2 mg (n = 87), 3 mg (n = 86), or 4 mg (n = 86) treatment groups. Least-squares mean changes from baseline to the end point in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Rating Scale IV total scores were significant in all groups of children taking guanfacine extended release: -16.18 in the 2-mg group, -16.43 in the 3-mg group, and -18.87 in the 4-mg group, compared with -8.48 in the placebo group. All groups of children taking guanfacine extended release showed significant improvement on hyperactivity/impulsivity and inattentiveness subscales of the Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Rating Scale IV, Clinical Global Impression of Improvement, Parent's Global Assessment, Conners' Parent Rating Scale-Revised: Short Form, and Conners' Teacher Rating Scale-Revised: Short Form assessments compared with placebo. The most commonly reported treatment-emergent adverse events were headache, somnolence, fatigue, upper abdominal pain, and sedation. Small to modest changes in blood pressure, pulse rate, and electrocardiogram parameters were observed but were not clinically meaningful.
Conclusions: Guanfacine extended release met the primary and secondary efficacy end points. It was well tolerated and effective compared with placebo.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00152009.