Pharmacotherapy of the Preschool ADHD Treatment Study (PATS) Children Growing Up

Benedetto Vitiello, Deborah Lazzaretto, Kseniya Yershova, Howard Abikoff, Natalya Paykina, James T. McCracken, James J. McGough, Scott H. Kollins, Laurence L. Greenhill, Sharon Wigal, Tim Wigal, Mark A. Riddle

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Abstract

Objective To describe the long-term psychopharmacological treatment of children first diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as preschoolers. Method In a systematic, prospective, naturalistic follow-up, 206 (68.0%) of the 303 children who participated in the Preschool ADHD Treatment Study (PATS) were reassessed 3 years (mean age 7.4 years) and 179 (59.1%) were reassessed 6 years (mean age 10.4 years) after completion of the controlled study. Pharmacotherapy and clinical data were obtained from the parents. Pharmacotherapy was defined as use of a specific class of medication for at least 50% of the days in the previous 6 months. Results At year 3, a total of 34.0% of the participants were on no pharmacotherapy, 41.3% were on stimulant monotherapy, 9.2% were on atomoxetine alone or with a stimulant, 8.3% were on an antipsychotic usually together with a stimulant, and the remaining 7.2% were on other pharmacotherapy; overall, 65.0% were on an indicated ADHD medication. At year 6, a total of 26.8% of the participants were on no pharmacotherapy, 40.2% were on stimulant monotherapy, 4.5% were on atomoxetine alone or with a stimulant, 13.4% were on an antipsychotic, and 15.1% were on other pharmacotherapy; overall, 70.9% were on an indicated ADHD medication. Antipsychotic treatment was associated with more comorbidity, in particular disruptive behavior disorders and pervasive development disorders, and a lower level of functioning. Conclusion In this study, the long-term pharmacotherapy of preschoolers with ADHD was heterogeneous. Although stimulant medication continued to be used by most children, about 1 child in 4 was off medication, and about 1 in 10 was on an antipsychotic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1204
Pages (from-to)550-556
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume54
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

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Keywords

  • Key Words ADHD
  • medication
  • preschoolers
  • stimulant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Vitiello, B., Lazzaretto, D., Yershova, K., Abikoff, H., Paykina, N., McCracken, J. T., McGough, J. J., Kollins, S. H., Greenhill, L. L., Wigal, S., Wigal, T., & Riddle, M. A. (2015). Pharmacotherapy of the Preschool ADHD Treatment Study (PATS) Children Growing Up. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 54(7), 550-556. [1204]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2015.04.004