A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of atomoxetine in young children with ADHD.


Journal Article

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of atomoxetine for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in 5- and 6-year-old children. METHODS: This was an 8-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial of atomoxetine in 101 children with ADHD. Atomoxetine or placebo was flexibly titrated to a maximum dose of 1.8 mg/kg per day. The pharmacotherapist reviewed psychoeducational material on ADHD and behavioral-management strategies with parents during each study visit. RESULTS: Significant mean decreases in parent (P = .009) and teacher (P = .02) ADHD-IV Rating Scale scores were demonstrated with atomoxetine compared with placebo. A total of 40% of children treated with atomoxetine met response criteria (Clinical Global Impression-Improvement Scale indicating much or very much improved) compared with 22% of children on placebo, which was not significant (P = .1). Decreased appetite, gastrointestinal upset, and sedation were significantly more common with atomoxetine than placebo. Although some children demonstrated a robust response to atomoxetine, for others the response was more attenuated. Sixty-two percent of subjects who received atomoxetine were moderately, markedly, or severely ill according to the Clinical Global Impression-Severity Scale at study completion. CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the first randomized controlled trial of atomoxetine in children as young as 5 years. Atomoxetine generally was well tolerated and reduced core ADHD symptoms in the children on the basis of parent and teacher reports. Reductions in the ADHD-IV Rating Scale scores, however, did not necessarily translate to overall clinical and functional improvement, as demonstrated on the Clinical Global Impression-Severity Scale and the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement Scale. Despite benefits, the children in the atomoxetine group remained, on average, significantly impaired at the end of the study.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kratochvil, CJ; Vaughan, BS; Stoner, JA; Daughton, JM; Lubberstedt, BD; Murray, DW; Chrisman, AK; Faircloth, MA; Itchon-Ramos, NB; Kollins, SH; Maayan, LA; Greenhill, LL; Kotler, LA; Fried, J; March, JS

Published Date

  • April 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 127 / 4

Start / End Page

  • e862 - e868

PubMed ID

  • 21422081

Pubmed Central ID

  • 21422081

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1098-4275

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1542/peds.2010-0825


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States