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, 23 Suppl 1, 9-20

Issues in the Management of Patients With Complex Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms


Issues in the Management of Patients With Complex Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms

Thomas J Spencer. CNS Drugs.


Patients with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) exhibit a wide range of symptoms related to functional impairment. Psychiatric comorbidities are highly prevalent among these patients, often emerging at an early age and persisting (or reoccurring) into adulthood. Among the most common types of comorbidities in children and adults are disruptive behaviour disorders such as oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and substance use disorders. The heterogeneous clinical presentation of ADHD, which also changes with maturation into adulthood, may often obscure the presence of psychiatric comorbidity. Co-occurring disorders frequently go undetected and lead to negative effects on psychosocial and long-term functional outcomes. As with uncomplicated ADHD, medication therapy combined with psychosocial interventions may be necessary. With comorbid disorders, two or more medications may be considered to appropriately manage both ADHD and the comorbid disorder. However, there are few studies that discuss combination medication treatments and there are no current US FDA-approved combined treatments for ADHD and comorbid conditions. This raises significant challenges and risks for poor tolerability and drug-drug interactions. Nevertheless, identification and appropriate treatment must be given a high priority for these highly vulnerable patients to derive optimal benefits from treatment.

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