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Drug information

Atomoxetine

POM
Read time: 28 mins
Last updated: 28 May 2020
Published: 11 Aug 2020

4.1 Therapeutic indications

Atomoxetine is indicated for the treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children of 6 years and older, in adolescents and in adults as part of a comprehensive treatment programme. Treatment must be initiated by a specialist in the treatment of ADHD, such as a paediatrician, child/adolescent psychiatrist, or psychiatrist. Diagnosis should be made according to current DSM criteria or the guidelines in ICD.

In adults, the presence of symptoms of ADHD that were pre-existing in childhood should be confirmed. Third-party corroboration is desirable and Atomoxetine should not be initiated when the verification of childhood ADHD symptoms is uncertain. Diagnosis cannot be made solely on the presence of one or more symptoms of ADHD. Based on clinical judgment, patients should have ADHD of at least moderate severity as indicated by at least moderate functional impairment in 2 or more settings (for example, social, academic, and/or occupational functioning), affecting several aspects of an individual's life.

Additional information for the safe use of this product

A comprehensive treatment programme typically includes psychological, educational, and social measures and is aimed at stabilising patients with a behavioural syndrome characterised by symptoms which may include chronic history of short attention span, distractibility, emotional lability, impulsivity, moderate to severe hyperactivity, minor neurological signs, and abnormal EEG. Learning may or may not be impaired.

Pharmacological treatment is not indicated in all patients with this syndrome and the decision to use the drug must be based on a very thorough assessment of the severity of the patient's symptoms and impairment in relation to the patient's age and the persistence of symptoms.

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Drugs appearing in this section are approved by UK Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), & the European Medicines Agency (EMA).