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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 61 (2019) 12, 845 - 853

Review article

Effectiveness of guanfacin on comorbid disorders in children and adolescents with adhd: a systematic literature review

C. de Groof, W. De La Marche, M. Danckaerts

background Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (adhd) is a frequently occurring problem in child and adolescent psychiatry. Most prevalent comorbid disorders are oppositional defiant behavior, tics, autism spectrum disorder, anxiety and depression. Stimulants are the first pharmacological choice. Recently, long-acting guanfacin became available in Belgium and the Netherlands.
aim To investigate the efficacy of guanfacin on comorbid symptoms in adhd.
method A systematic search in Medline and Cochrane databases for randomized controlled trials in which the effect of guanfacin on comorbid symptoms is evaluated.
results Guanfacin had an effect on autism symptoms, oppositional defiant symptoms and possibly on tics in children and adolescents with adhd. On anxiety symptoms, no effect was reported. The effect on depression needs to be further investigated. The side effects of guanfacin are similar in comorbid disorders and pure adhd.
conclusion Guanfacin is a treatment option for adhd in children and adolescents with comorbid autism or behavioural symptoms and possibly also tics, as it has a demonstrated effect on these comorbid features. Further research is necessary in order to decide on the preference for a particular medication in adhd with these various comorbid disorders.

keywords attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, child and adolescent psychiatry, comorbid disorders, guanfacin, systematic review