Emerging drugs for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are heterogeneous and often accompanied by comorbid psychiatric disorders. Although symptoms tend to lessen with age, many patients continue to be affected by the disorder into adulthood. Although many medications are available to treat ADHD, it is unlikely that a single medication will ever be developed to work for all patients. Recent advances, such as long-acting, extended-release formulations and transdermal delivery systems, have lengthened the duration of effectiveness, which has increased compliance and eliminated the need for additional medication dosing during the school or work day. Additional safe, well-tolerated, long-acting medications with further reduced potential for diversion and abuse are needed. Catecholamine pathways and their effect on executive functions and ADHD symptom control have been productive areas of research. Potential therapies such as adrenergic receptor agonists, glutamatergic agents, GABA receptor antagonists and nicotine receptor agonists are being explored as future pharmacotherapies for ADHD.
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