Psychopharmacological interventions

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2008 Apr;17(2):439-58, xi. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2007.12.001.


Currently stimulants and atomoxetine are the most established treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); more than 170 controlled studies with more than 9000 subjects have documented their efficacy in 50% to 70% of subjects. Although the stimulant medications tend to show a dose-related improvement in ADHD symptoms, atomoxetine is generally dosed based on weight. The literature clearly documents that stimulants improve not only abnormal behaviors of ADHD but also self-esteem, cognition, and social and family functioning. However, efficacy varies with age and psychiatric comorbidities. Although most of the existing studies are brief, an increasing number of long-term studies have documented persistent response up to 1 and 2 years. Recent studies are extending the knowledge of treatment to younger and older subjects, women, and ethnic minorities. Cognitive and cognitive/behaviorally based psychotherapies combined with medication may play a role in treating behavioral and organizational issues and comorbid psychopathology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / adverse effects
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Controlled Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants