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Nortriptyline treatment of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and tic disorder or Tourette's syndrome.

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  • 1Pediatric Psychopharmacology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114.

Abstract

Although as many as 50% of patients with Tourette's syndrome (TS) also meet diagnostic criteria for Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), until recently little attention has been paid to ADHD symptoms in the assessment of therapeutic outcome of TS or patients with chronic motor tics (CMT). Because antipsychotics are of limited value in controlling the symptoms of ADHD and stimulants can exacerbate tics, alternative treatments for patients with chronic tic disorder (CTD) (TS or CMT) plus ADHD (CTD+ADHD) patients are direly needed. We examined the efficacy of the tricyclic antidepressant nortriptyline in the treatment of pediatric patients with CTD+ADHD ascertained from systematic chart reviews of all subjects with this diagnosis treated with nortriptyline. Of the 12 identified patients, 67% had significant improvement in CTD symptomatology and 92% significantly improved ADHD symptoms without major adverse effects over an average follow-up period of 19 months. Although the conclusions from this retrospective report can be only seen as preliminary until replicated in a controlled investigation, the magnitude and persistence of the response is encouraging and suggest a therapeutic role for nortriptyline in the treatment of CTD+ADHD patients.

PMID:
8428873
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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