A meta-review of studies involving nearly 3,000 children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) finds that psychostimulant treatment significantly reduces the risk of anxiety.
Thus patient reports of new-onset or worsening anxiety with the use of psychostimulants are not likely due to the medication and should not necessarily preclude stimulant use in ADHD.
The study appears in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology.
The issue of anxiety management is an important component associated with care for ADHD.
Study authors Drs. Catherine Coughlin and Michael Bloch and coauthors from Yale University and University of Saõ Paulo School of Medicine, Brazil, discussed the importance of managing anxiety in children with ADHD as it can affect how they respond to treatment.
In the article, the researchers report a statistically significant reduction in the risk of anxiety associated with psychostimulants compared to placebo, and furthermore, higher doses of psychostimulants appear to be associated with a greater reduction in the risk of anxiety.
“This new information on psychostimulants has the potential to change the way we treat kids with ADHD and improve the quality of their lives,” said Harold S. Koplewicz, M.D., editor-in-chief of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology and president of the Child Mind Institute in New York.