The management of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder in children

Natalie Schellack, Hannalie Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) involves the academic, social and family functioning of the child. Prevalence of the disorder is approximately 5.3% worldwide and occurs mostly in boys. The consequences of ADHD may be substance abuse and other personality disorders, e.g. delinquency. Research has indicated that drug or behavioural interventions may decrease the rate of conduct and personality disorders. Diet therapy may include polyunsaturated fatty acids (fish oil) and iron supplements in children with low ferritin levels, which may improve ADHD symptoms. Drug therapy that involves stimulants (methylphenidate) has been proven to be effective with a good safety profile. However, concerns have been raised about cardiac, psychiatric and growth sideeffects. The nonstimulants (atomoxetine) have no abuse potential and reduce insomnia. They also have a better effect on growth in children. Other therapies include antidepressants and α2 agonists. It is important to treat each patient using individualised therapy. The role of the pharmacist is important to monitor and minimise side-effects. © Medpharm.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-20
Number of pages9
JournalSA Pharmaceutical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


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