Duloxetine in adults with ADHD: a randomized, placebo-controlled pilot study

J Atten Disord. 2014 Feb;18(2):169-75. doi: 10.1177/1087054712443157. Epub 2012 May 11.


Objective: To assess the effect of duloxetine on ADHD in adults.

Method: In a 6-week double-blind trial, 30 adults with ADHD received placebo or duloxetine 60 mg daily. The Conners' Adult ADHD Rating Scale (CAARS) and the Clinical Global Impression Scales (CGI) were used to assess symptom severity and clinical improvement. The Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS) and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) were used to measure the effect on anxiety and depressive symptoms.

Results: The Duloxetine group showed lower score on CGI-Severity at Week 6 (3.00 vs. 4.07 for placebo, p < .001), greater improvement on CGI-Improvement (2.89 vs. 4.00 at Week 6, p < .001), and greater decreases on five of eight subscales of the CAARS. There was no treatment group effect on HDRS or HARS scores.

Conclusion: Duloxetine may be a therapeutic option for adults with ADHD, but further studies are required to replicate these findings in larger samples.

Keywords: ADHD; adult; cymbalta; duloxetine; nonstimulant.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Duloxetine Hydrochloride
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Thiophenes / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Thiophenes
  • Duloxetine Hydrochloride