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The first controlled study of the use of the medication atomoxetine to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children under age 6 has found results similar to those of studies involving older children. Study participants as a group experienced decreases in symptom frequency with the medication, but overall remained significantly impaired at the conclusion of the 8-week study.
Study results were published online March 21 in the journal Pediatrics.
Christopher J. Kratochvil, M.D., of the University of Nebraska Medical Center Department of Psychiatry, and colleagues undertook the study because while practitioners commonly use medication to treat ADHD in young children, little data exist on the efficacy and tolerability of these interventions such as the nonstimulant agent atomoxetine in this group.
The researchers hypothesized that atomoxetine would be shown to be well-tolerated in a group of 5- and 6-year-old children and that the study drug would prove to be superior to placebo in reducing the core symptoms of ADHD. Previous studies of atomoxetine use in older children showed symptom improvement as measured by both parent and teacher reports of children's progress.
Study methods …