Anxiety disorders are among the most common comorbid mental disorders in children and adolescents with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While the role of atomoxetine, a non-stimulant medication, is well-established in the management of ADHD symptoms since two decades, there is a dearth of evidence regarding its efficacy in the management of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents with ADHD.
We aimed to provide insights into (1) the comparative efficacy of atomoxetine in children and adolescents with comorbid ADHD and anxiety disorders, (2) change in severity of anxiety symptoms based on patients', parents', and clinicians' ratings, (3) tolerability and side effects.
We searched PubMed, EMBASE, and PsycINFO for clinical trials that addressed the efficacy of atomoxetine for anxiety symptoms in children and adolescents with ADHD. All published literature was systematically reviewed.
We included four studies, out of which two specifically addressed comorbid ADHD and anxiety disorder. The studies suggested that atomoxetine did not exacerbate and in fact reduced anxiety symptoms in young patients with comorbid ADHD.
Conclusions and implications
Overall, atomoxetine demonstrates good efficacy in improving anxiety symptoms in children and adolescents with ADHD. Further studies are needed to shed light on atomoxetine's efficacy for anxiety subtypes in ADHD. Copyright © 2022 The Authors
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