Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Short-term use of amphetamines can improve ADHD symptoms in adults, review finds

Date:
July 28, 2011
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Giving amphetamines to adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can help them control their symptoms, but the side effects mean that some people do not manage to take them for very long, according to a team of researchers in Spain.

Giving amphetamines to adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can help them control their symptoms, but the side effects mean that some people do not manage to take them for very long. These conclusions were drawn by a team of five researchers working at Girona and Barcelona Universities in Spain, and published in a new Cochrane Systematic Review.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a childhood onset disorder, but half of people with it find that the symptoms of hyperactivity, mood instability, irritability, difficulties in maintaining attention, lack of organization and impulsive behaviours persist into adulthood. "We wanted to see whether amphetamines could reverse the underlying neurological problems that feature in ADHD, and so improve ADHD symptoms," says Xavier Castells, who led the study and works in the Unit of Clinical Pharmacology at University of Girona.

After searching through medical literature, they identified seven studies, which had enrolled a total of 1091 participants in clinical trials. The three amphetamine based medicines they considered (dextroamphetamine, lisdexamphetamine and mixed amphetamine salts (MAS)) all reduced ADHD symptoms, although there was no evidence that higher doses worked better than lower ones.. The researchers did not find any difference between in effectiveness between formulations that release the amphetamines rapidly, and those that have a sustained-release.

While there was evidence that people taking amphetamines drop out of treatment due to adverse events slightly more than those on placebo controls, the researchers were keen to point out that only 9% of people taking amphetamines withdrew from treatment. Looking at the different formulations of amphetamines, those on MAS had lower drop-out rates than those on other versions of the drug. Furthermore, most studies had a duration of between 2 and 7 weeks, therefore precluding the possibility of drawing conclusions regarding amphetamine's efficacy and safety in the long-term.

In many clinical trials, doctors randomly allocate some patients to 'treatment group' and give them the active medication, while others are placed in a 'control group' and receive a placebo -- a treatment that looks and feels like the real thing, but has no active ingredient in it. The idea is that the patient doesn't know which one they are on. This helps researchers determine how much of any apparent treatment effect is actually due to the therapy, and how much is due to other factors unrelated to drug effects such as the person believes regarding the efficacy of the intervention or the natural history of the disease. This experimental system only works, though, if the patients have no idea which group they are in. "One of the problems with trying to make sense of this research is that you cannot do a properly controlled study because the amphetamines have such a distinct set of effects.. Patients instantly know whether they are on the treatment or the placebo, so you have to be more cautious about the way you interpret the data," says Castells.

"Given that other drugs, like atomoxetine or methylphenidate, have also been shown to reduce ADHD symptoms in adults, it would be of great interest to compare the efficacy of amphetamines to these interventions," says Castells.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Xavier Castells, Josep Antoni Ramos-Quiroga, Rosa Bosch, Mariana Nogueira, Miguel Casas. Amphetamines for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2011; 6: CD007813 DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007813.pub2

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Short-term use of amphetamines can improve ADHD symptoms in adults, review finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110727083451.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2011, July 28). Short-term use of amphetamines can improve ADHD symptoms in adults, review finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110727083451.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Short-term use of amphetamines can improve ADHD symptoms in adults, review finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110727083451.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins