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Open-Label Trial of Atomoxetine Hydrochloride in Adults with ADHD

Participants: Mats Johnson, Mats Cederlund, Maria Råstam & Christopher Gillberg.

Background: Although atomoxetine is an established treatment for ADHD in children, only a few studies have been conducted in adults.

Methods: This study enrolled 20 subjects with DSM-IV ADHD aged 19 to 47 years, in an open-label trial of atomoxetine treatment for ten weeks, and then for a total of one year for those who responded to the medication. At ten weeks ten patients met response criteria. Six patients terminated treatment because of side effects or noncompliance before the end of ten weeks, and 13 were discontinued before the end of the study because of decreasing effect on ADHD symptoms (n = 6), side effects (n = 4), noncompliance (n = 2), or moving to another part of Sweden (n = 1). Side effects leading to termination of treatment were aggression, depressed mood, mood lability, raised liver enzymes, raised thyroid hormone, and diastolic blood pressure increase (to 90), each occurring in one or two cases.

Results: At ten weeks, 50% had responded to the treatment, but only one patient (5% of the whole group) continued for one year. The dosage (max 100 mg) may have been too low for optimal effect. Alternatively, atomoxetine might not be (subjectively) effective enough for the treatment of adult symptoms of ADHD, at least if pretreatment symptom level is considerable. The majority of the group had relatively few side effects, but a considerable minority terminated treatment because of adverse effects of the drug.


Johnson, M., Cederlund, M., Råstam, M., Areskoug, B., & Gillberg, C. (2010). Open-label trial of atomoxetine hydrochloride in adults with ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders, 13, 539-545.

Page Manager: Anna Spyrou|Last update: 1/16/2013

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