Atomoxetine treatment in children and adolescents with ADHD and comorbid tic disorders

A. J. Allen, R. M. Kurlan, D. L. Gilbert, B. J. Coffey, S. L. Linder, D. W. Lewis, P. K. Winner, D. W. Dunn, L. S. Dure, F. R. Sallee, D. R. Milton, M. I. Mintz, R. K. Ricardi, G. Erenberg, L. L. Layton, P. D. Feldman, D. K. Kelsey, T. J. Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

179 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that atomoxetine does not significantly worsen tic severity relative to placebo in children and adolescents with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and comorbid tic disorders. METHODS: Study subjects were 7 to 17 years old, met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV criteria for ADHD, and had concurrent Tourette syndrome or chronic motor tic disorder. Patients were randomly assigned to double-blind treatment with placebo (n = 72) or atomoxetine (0.5 to 1.5 mg/kg/day, n = 76) for up to 18 weeks. RESULTS: Atomoxetine treatment was associated with greater reduction of tic severity at endpoint relative to placebo, approaching significance on the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale total score (-5.5 ± 6.9 vs -3.0 ± 8.7, p = 0.063) and Tic Symptom Self-Report total score (-4.7 ± 6.5 vs -2.9 ± 5.2, p = 0.095) and achieving significance on the Clinical Global Impressions (CGI) tic/neurologic severity scale score (-0.7 ± 1.2 vs -0.1 ± 1.0, p = 0.002). Atomoxetine patients also showed greater improvement on the ADHD Rating Scale total score (-10.9 ± 10.9 vs -4.9 ± 10.3, p < 0.001) and CGI severity of ADHD/psychiatric symptoms scale score (-0.8 ± 1.1 vs -0.3 ± 1.0, p = 0.015). Discontinuation rates were not significantly different between treatment groups. Atomoxetine patients had greater increases in heart rate and decreases of body weight, and rates of treatment-emergent decreased appetite and nausea were higher. No other clinically relevant treatment differences were seen in any other vital sign, adverse event, or electrocardiographic or laboratory measures. CONCLUSIONS: Atomoxetine did not exacerbate tic symptoms. Rather, there was some evidence of reduction in tic severity with a significant reduction of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms. Atomoxetine treatment appeared safe and well tolerated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1941-1949
Number of pages9
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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