Treatment options for adult AD/HD. A review of evidence based literature on selected traditional and alternative methods.
Background: The purpose of this review, is to evaluate the empirical data behind treatment options for adult AD/HD . In addition, the article includes facts about adult AD/HD.
Method: This review is based on search in Pubmed and The Cochrane Library. Randomized controlled studies (RCT´s) and meta- analysis were the preferred study designs. Other study designs and topics of only single RCT´s with few participants were excluded.
Results: Fifteen studies of psychopharmacological treatments were found. Nine RCT´s (830 participants), were done using methylphenidate, and this treatment was described in one meta- analysis. Three RCT´s (554 participants) used mixed amphetamine salts. For atomoxetine three RCT´s (764 participants) were identified. In general, stimulants and atomoxetine showed significant reduction of AD/HD symptoms in the majority of patients. When it comes to side effects this is still a part of treatment that need more research for all of the drugs used. The only treatment not based on drugs described by RCT´s was psychotherapy. No studies on treatments such as diets, physical activity, adjustements in work situations, fatty acids, and homeopathy were identified.
Conclusion: Psychopharmacological treatment, in particular methylphenidate, has been shown in several controlled studies to reduce the symptoms in adult AD/HD. Other treatment options have not been studied in a controlled way to clarify whether they are effective or not.