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Pharmacopsychiatry. 2016 May;49(3):97-106. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-102457. Epub 2016 Apr 13.

Azapirones for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Systematic Review.

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Department of Psychiatry, Fujita Health University School of Medicine, Toyoake, Japan.



No meta-analysis has evaluated azapirones (serotonin1A receptor partial agonists) as anxiolytics for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).


Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and single-arm trials published before October 27, 2015 were retrieved from major healthcare databases and clinical trial registries. Relative risk and 95% confidence intervals were calculated.


5 RCTs (n=429) and 3 single-arm studies (n=70) were identified. 3 RCTs compared buspirone vs. methylphenidate in children/adolescents, one buspirone patches vs. placebo patches in children/adolescents, and one atomoxetine plus buspirone vs. atomoxetine vs. placebo in adults. The single-arm studies were buspirone trails in children/adolescents. All-cause discontinuation rates and adverse events did not differ between pooled buspirone and methylphenidate groups. No other meta-analyses of buspirone efficacy and safety vs. comparators were conducted due to insufficient data. 2 RCTs found no significant differences in parent and teacher ADHD-Rating Scale total scores between buspirone and methylphenidate, while one reported that methylphenidate improved parent and teacher ADHD-RS total scores vs. buspirone.


It remains unclear whether buspirone use has benefit for ADHD patients and therefore further evidence is needed for better clinical use of buspirone in patients with ADHD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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