Spotlight on atomoxetine in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents

CNS Drugs. 2010 Jan;24(1):85-8. doi: 10.2165/11203670-000000000-00000.


Atomoxetine (Strattera) is a selective noradrenaline (norepinephrine) reuptake inhibitor that is not classified as a stimulant, and is indicated for use in patients with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Atomoxetine is effective and generally well tolerated. It is significantly more effective than placebo and standard current therapy and does not differ significantly from, or is noninferior to, immediate-release methylphenidate; however, it is significantly less effective than the extended-release methylphenidate formulation OROS methylphenidate (hereafter referred to as osmotically released methylphenidate) and extended-release mixed amfetamine salts. Atomoxetine can be administered either as a single daily dose or split into two evenly divided doses, has a negligible risk of abuse or misuse and is not a controlled substance in the US. Atomoxetine is particularly useful for patients at risk of substance abuse, as well as those who have co-morbid anxiety or tics, or who do not wish to take a controlled substance. Thus, atomoxetine is a useful option in the treatment of ADHD in children and adolescents.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Atomoxetine Hydrochloride
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Economics, Pharmaceutical
  • Humans
  • Propylamines / adverse effects
  • Propylamines / pharmacology
  • Propylamines / therapeutic use*


  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors
  • Propylamines
  • Atomoxetine Hydrochloride