Complementary Medicines for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Review
the MPR take:
Over 50% of parents have reported using one or more complimentary or alternative medicines (CAMs) for treating their child’s Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms, although few share this information with their child’s pediatrician. The efficacy of CAMs for ADHD can vary widely and only a few may be beneficial, suggests a review published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine. Sixteen randomized controlled studies were analyzed; 11 studies focused on nutrients while five addressed herbal medicines. One study did report positive results on the use of omega-3, but the other studies had primary unsupportive evidence. Iron and zinc studies showed positive evidence on reducing ADHD symptoms, as did l-acetyl carnitine. St. John’s wort and ginko monotherapies were not linked to positive outcomes, but others such as French maritime pine bark has shown promise. Herbal medicines may be novel treatments for ADHD, but more large-scale randomized control studies are needed for a clear picture of the safety and efficacy of CAMs in children with ADHD.
Overview: Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAMs) are frequently given to children and adolescents for reputed benefits in the treatment of hyperkinetic and concentration disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In such vulnerable populations high quality evidence is required to support such claims.