The evidence-based pharmacological treatment of paediatric ADHD.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is common in children, adolescents, and adults, with extensive research establishing it as a valid neurobiological disorder. Without intervention, ADHD can result in significant impairment throughout the lifespan for the individuals it afflicts. Fortunately, multiple evidence-based options are available for the treatment of ADHD, including several efficacious pharmacotherapies. The role of medication, including stimulants as well as non-stimulants, is well-documented by an extensive body of literature. Although there may be less enthusiasm for behavioural and other psychosocial interventions as stand-alone treatments for moderate to severe ADHD, they are recommended as first-line treatment for ADHD management in preschool-aged children, for those patients with mild symptoms, and as an adjunct to medication in patients with comorbid disorders or suboptimal responses to pharmacotherapy. When planning treatment for individuals with ADHD, the potential risks associated with the available interventions must be carefully balanced against the risks of not treating, or not treating adequately. The treatment plan must also include ongoing re-assessment of the effectiveness of and the need for continued therapy. Recent practice parameters provide further specific guidance for the evidence-based assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with ADHD.
Vaughan, BS; March, JS; Kratochvil, CJ
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