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J Atten Disord. 2011 Aug;15(6):439-51. doi: 10.1177/1087054710368486. Epub 2010 Jul 14.

Long-term treatment of ADHD with stimulants: a large observational study of real-life patients.

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  • 1Aarhus University Hospital, Centre for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Denmark.



To evaluate 410 real-life patients treated with stimulants and assessed systematically over several years.


Naturalistic observational study. A database was compiled on the basis of a review of the medical charts of patients attending a specialized ADHD clinic.


The diversity of ADHD patients was evident from the comorbidity, age at start, comedication, and treatment needs over time. Dosages corresponded to guidelines in most patients, but some needed higher dosages or got along on lower dosages for long periods. Age at start and comorbidity influenced dosage, and dosage was associated to differential outcome groups.


The study findings underscored the diversity of ADHD patients and that individual factors should be taken into account when tailoring individual treatment schedules. Findings further showed that stimulant dosages are dynamic over time and depend on individual factors, that individual factors influence outcome, and that patients with ADHD should be individually monitored and stimulant dosages adjusted continuously.

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