Adding Antipsychotic Rx May Improve ADHD Behavior
(HealthDay News) — Adding an antipsychotic medication, such as risperidone, to stimulant therapy and parent training may improve parent ratings for behavioral problems in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to research published in the September issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
Kenneth D. Gadow, PhD, of Stony Brook University in New York, and colleagues enrolled 168 children, aged 6–12 years, with severe physical aggression, ADHD, and co-occurring oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)/conduct disorder (CD) in an open trial of parent training and stimulant medication. At three weeks, participants with suboptimal response initiated six weeks of continued stimulant therapy and randomly assigned, double-blinded treatment with either risperidone (augmented therapy) or placebo (basic therapy).
The researchers found that children receiving augmented therapy, compared with basic therapy, had greater reduction in parent-rated ODD severity and peer aggression but not ADHD or CD symptoms. At week nine, parents rated their children as impaired by ODD symptoms at a lower rate for augmented therapy (16%) than for basic therapy (40%). Teachers rated children receiving augmented therapy vs. basic therapy as having greater reduction in ADHD severity but not ODD or CD symptoms or peer aggression.
"In this report, the investigators sought to extend their previous findings, reporting here on ADHD, oppositional-defiant disorder, and conduct disorder symptoms, symptom-related impairment, and peer aggression, by examining these outcomes in home and school settings using parent and teacher reports," writes the author of an accompanying editorial.
Several study authors and the editorialist report financial ties to pharmaceutical companies and/or the biomedical industry.