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Pharmacology of drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents

Author
Kevin R Krull, PhD
Section Editor
Marilyn Augustyn, MD
Deputy Editor
Mary M Torchia, MD

INTRODUCTION

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that manifests in childhood with symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity and/or inattention [1]. The symptoms affect cognitive, academic, behavioral, emotional, and social functioning.

Several types of medications are available to treat ADHD in children and adolescents: stimulants, atomoxetine, alpha-2-adrenergic agonists, and antidepressants (table 1). This topic will provide an overview of the pharmacology of medications used to treat ADHD in children and adolescents. Choosing a particular medication for an individual patient is discussed separately. (See "Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents: Treatment with medications", section on 'Choice of agent'.)

Other topics related to ADHD are presented separately:

(See "Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents: Epidemiology and pathogenesis".)

(See "Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents: Clinical features and diagnosis".)

                               

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Fri Sep 09 00:00:00 GMT+00:00 2016.
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