Efficacy and Safety of Atomoxetine in Children and Adolescents With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Results From a Comprehensive Meta-Analysis and Metaregression
J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry
Objective: To comprehensively evaluate the efficacy and safety of atomoxetine (ATX) in pediatric attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Method: Meta-analysis of all double-blind randomized controlled trials (DBRCTs) evaluating the efficacy and tolerability of ATX for ADHD. Pooled, random-effects analyses were conducted, calculating standardized mean difference (SMD), yielding effect sizes (ES), relative risk (RR), and number-needed-to-treat/harm (NNT/NNH).Moderator/mediator analyses were also conducted, including metaregression. Results: Across 25 DBRCTs (56 treatment arms, N = 3,928), ATX outperformed placebo regarding overall ADHD symptoms (ES = -0.64, 95% confidence interval [CI] = -0.56 to 0.71, p < 0.0001), hyperactivity/impulsivity (ES = -0.67, CI = -0.53 to -0.81, p < 0.0001), and inattention (ES = -0.59, CI = -0.51 to -0.67, p < 0.0001). Altogether, 44.4% versus 21.4% of patients improved by >= 40 /. (NNT = 4), whereas 39.9% versus 65.9% improved by= 1 psychiatric AE (21.5% versus 7.4%, NNH = 7, p < 0.01) were more frequent with ATX, whereas serious AEs (1.5% versus 1.0%), aggression (7.5% versus 6.0%), and suicidal ideation (1.3% versus 0.9%) were not different from placebo. Conclusions: Short-term ATX treatment is safe and superior to placebo for overall ADHD symptoms and key secondary outcomes, with a medium ES. However, a relevant patient subgroup (40%) continues to have significant symptomatology, requiring additional clinical attention.
Faculty, Northwell Researcher
School of Medicine; Northwell Health