Atomoxetine treatment in children and adolescents with ADHD and comorbid tic disorders

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that atomoxetine does not significantly worsen tic severity relative to placebo in children and adolescents with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and comorbid tic disorders. METHODS: Study subjects were 7 to 17 years old, met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV criteria for ADHD, and had concurrent Tourette syndrome or chronic motor tic disorder. Patients were randomly assigned to double-blind treatment with placebo (n = 72) or atomoxetine (0.5 to 1.5 mg/kg/day, n = 76) for up to 18 weeks. RESULTS: Atomoxetine treatment was associated with greater reduction of tic severity at endpoint relative to placebo, approaching significance on the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale total score (-5.5 ± 6.9 vs -3.0 ± 8.7, p = 0.063) and Tic Symptom Self-Report total score (-4.7 ± 6.5 vs -2.9 ± 5.2, p = 0.095) and achieving significance on the Clinical Global Impressions (CGI) tic/neurologic severity scale score (-0.7 ± 1.2 vs -0.1 ± 1.0, p = 0.002). Atomoxetine patients also showed greater improvement on the ADHD Rating Scale total score (-10.9 ± 10.9 vs -4.9 ± 10.3, p < 0.001) and CGI severity of ADHD/psychiatric symptoms scale score (-0.8 ± 1.1 vs -0.3 ± 1.0, p = 0.015). Discontinuation rates were not significantly different between treatment groups. Atomoxetine patients had greater increases in heart rate and decreases of body weight, and rates of treatment-emergent decreased appetite and nausea were higher. No other clinically relevant treatment differences were seen in any other vital sign, adverse event, or electrocardiographic or laboratory measures. CONCLUSIONS: Atomoxetine did not exacerbate tic symptoms. Rather, there was some evidence of reduction in tic severity with a significant reduction of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms. Atomoxetine treatment appeared safe and well tolerated. Copyright © 2005 by AAN Enterprises, Inc.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Neurology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Allen AJ; Kurlan RM; Gilbert DL; Coffey BJ; Linder SL; Lewis DW; Winner PK; Dunn DW; Dure LS; Sallee FR
  • Start Page

  • 1941
  • End Page

  • 1949
  • Volume

  • 65
  • Issue

  • 12