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What to Know About the New ADHD Med
"I read about a new long-acting, nonstimulant ADHD medication. Can you tell me more?"
Shire Pharmaceuticals has submitted a request to the Food and Drug Administration to approve an extended-release form of guanfacine (trade name Tenex) as a treatment for ADHD. As evidence, the drug maker has submitted several studies conducted by Joseph Biederman, M.D., at Massachusetts General Hospital, showing that guanfacine decreased all ADHD behaviors (hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity). The primary side effects were sleepiness and fatigue. Guanfacine has been used for many years to treat tic disorders. We will have to wait for the FDA’s response before we know if guanfacine will be approved as a treatment for ADHD.
Larry Silver, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is a former acting director and deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities.