Introduction: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders, characterized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), which is marked by symptoms such as inappropriate levels of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that can affect academic, social, and personal functioning in children and adolescents. This review summarizes clinical trials demonstrating the effectiveness of Alpha-2 agonists in reducing symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity in children with ADHD. Studies were identified through a systematic search of PubMed and Cochrane databases. However, these medications’ long-term safety and efficacy remain uncertain, with a lack of data on their effects on growth, cardiovascular function, and other adverse events. Further studies are required to determine these medications’ optimal dose and treatment duration. Methods: Medications that target the noradrenergic system, such as Alpha-2 agonists, have been increasingly used as a treatment option for ADHD, with guanfacine and clonidine being two of the most commonly used medications. They function by selectively targeting Alpha-2 adrenergic receptors in the brain leading to improved attention and reduced hyperactivity and impulsivity symptoms in children with ADHD. Results: Clinical trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of Alpha-2 agonists in treating ADHD in children by reducing symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. However, these medications’ long-term safety and efficacy still need to be completely understood. Due to a lack of information on the effects of Alpha-2 agonists on growth, cardiovascular function, and other long-term adverse events, more studies must investigate the optimal dose and treatment duration for these medications. Conclusions: Despite these concerns, Alpha-2 agonists remain a valuable treatment option for ADHD in children, especially those unable to tolerate stimulant medications or who have coexisting conditions such as tic disorders. Future research should continue to explore the safety and efficacy of Alpha-2 agonists in the long term. In conclusion, Alpha-2 agonists show promise as a treatment for ADHD in children; however, the safety and efficacy of these drugs in the long term are not yet completely understood. Additional studies are required to investigate the optimal dose and treatment duration for these medications in their use as a treatment for this debilitating disease.
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Neuchat, Elisa E.; Bocklud, Brooke E.; Kingsley, Kali; Barham, William T.; Luther, Patrick M.; Ahmadzadeh, Shahab; Shekoohi, Sahar; Cornett, Elyse M.; and Kaye, Alan D., "The Role of Alpha-2 Agonists for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children: A Review" (2023). School of Medicine Faculty Publications. 1280.