By Crimson Tazvinzwa
Methylphenidate is the most effective and safest short term drug treatment for children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), while amphetamines are most effective in adults, a major analysis has found.
The findings should help clinicians navigate the current inconsistency in guidelines. While the findings match recommendations on first line drugs from the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, other protocols in Europe recommend psychostimulants as first line treatment without any distinction between methylphenidate and amphetamines.
The network meta-analysis and systematic review, published in the Lancet Psychiatry, compared the effectiveness and side effects of seven medicines with each other or with placebo over 12 weeks of treatment. It examined amphetamines (including lisdexamfetamine), atomoxetine, bupropion,
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural disorder that includes symptoms such as inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
Symptoms of ADHD tend to be noticed at an early age and may become more noticeable when a child’s circumstances change, such as when they start school. Most cases are diagnosed when children are 6 to 12 years old.
The symptoms of ADHD usually improve with age, but many adults who were diagnosed with the condition at a young age continue to experience problems.
People with ADHD may also have additional problems, such as sleep and anxiety disorders.
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