RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
Treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder beyond symptom control alone in children and adolescents: a review of the potential benefits of long-acting stimulants.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), one of the most common neuropsychiatric conditions of childhood, often has a chronic course and persists into adulthood in many individuals. ADHD may have a clinically important impact on health-related quality of life in children, a significant impact on parents' emotional health and interfere with family activities/cohesion. To date, the main targets of ADHD treatment have focused on reducing the severity of symptoms during the school day and improving academic performance. However, the treatment of ADHD should reach beyond symptom control to address the issues of social competencies and improvement of health-related quality of life from the perspectives of individuals with ADHD and their families, to support them in reaching their full developmental potential. Methylphenidate (MPH) is recognised as the first-line choice of pharmacotherapy for ADHD in children and adolescents. This paper focuses on the importance and benefits to child development of ADHD symptom control beyond the school day only, i.e. extending into late afternoon and evening and uses the example of an extended-release MPH formulation (OROS((R)) MPH) to demonstrate the potential benefits of active full day coverage (12 h) with a single daily dose. Concerns of long-term stimulant treatment are also discussed.
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