Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder:
the pharmacist's role

Levin GM
Albany College of Pharmacy,
Union University, NY, USA.
Am Pharm 1995 Nov; NS35(11):10-20


Included in the variety of options for treating ADHD are several classes of pharmacologic agents with various side effects and monitoring parameters. The pharmacist must understand the issues involved with the use of the agents in each class. The pharmacist is often the most accessible health care professional and can take advantage of this fact to counsel and support both patients and family members. Table 5 offers counseling tips and additional information for the pharmacist. Of the medications discussed here, the stimulants are recognized as the most effective for treating ADHD, with the amphetamines and methylphenidate providing equal benefit. In some instances, pemoline has also been shown to be as effective as the other stimulants. Second-line agents are the TCAs, of which imipramine is the most commonly prescribed. However, the other TCAs are probably just as effective; some may have a less burdensome profile of side effects and may result in better compliance. Next in line is bupropion or clonidine, both of which show promise for ADHD treatment. Nevertheless, these agents need to be tested in more rigorous trials. Agents of last resort include the MAOIs, of which tranylcypromine has been the most studied. The ideal agent for treating ADHD would have an immediate onset, provide benefit throughout the day, have few or no side effects, lack the potential for abuse, be effective for most patients, and be relatively inexpensive. This ideal agent has yet to be discovered. Clinicians and researchers are still looking for a medication to come as close to the ideal therapy as possible. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a pharmacist to see a patient with ADHD try several different medications. In addition, children in whom ADHD is refractory to currently available options or who cannot tolerate these options may also be given other psychotropic medications not mentioned in this review.
ADHD and sport
Methylphenidate SR
Adult attention-deficit disorder

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