<< Back  

The Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) task force recommendations for the management of patients with mood disorders and comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

David J. Bond, MD, FRCPC

Mood Disorders Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

George Hadjipavlou, MD, FRCPC

Mood Disorders Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Raymond W. Lam, MD, FRCPC

Mood Disorders Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Roger S. McIntyre, MD, FRCPC

Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit, University Health Network, Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Serge Beaulieu, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada

Ayal Schaffer, MD, FRCPC

Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Margaret Weiss, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Provincial ADHD Program, Children’s and Women’s Health Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

BACKGROUND: Patients with bipolar disorder (BD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) experience adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at rates substantially greater than the general population. Nonetheless, ADHD frequently goes untreated in this population.

METHODS: We reviewed the literature regarding the management of adult ADHD in patients with mood disorders. Because a limited number of studies have been conducted in adults, our treatment recommendations also are partly informed by research in children and adolescents with BD+ADHD or MDD+ADHD, adults with ADHD, and our clinical experience.

RESULTS: In individuals with mood disorders, ADHD is best diagnosed when typical symptoms persist during periods of sustained euthymia. Individuals with BD+ADHD, particularly those with bipolar I disorder (BD I), are at risk for mood destabilization with many ADHD treatments, and should be prescribed mood-stabilizing medications before initiating ADHD therapies. Bupropion is a reasonable first-line treatment for BD+ADHD, while mixed amphetamine salts and methylphenidate also may be considered in patients determined to be at low risk for manic switch. Modafinil and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are second-line choices. In patients with MDD+ADHD and moderate to severe depression, MDD should be the treatment priority, whereas in mildly depressed or euthymic patients the order may be reversed. First-line treatments for MDD+ADHD include bupropion, an antidepressant plus a long-acting stimulant, or an antidepressant plus CBT. Desipramine, nortriptyline, and venlafaxine are second-line options.

CONCLUSIONS: Clinicians should be vigilant in screening for comorbid ADHD in mood disorder patients. ADHD symptoms can respond to appropriately chosen treatments.

KEYWORDS: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, comorbidity, major depressive disorder, management

ANNALS OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY 2012;24(1):23–37

CORRESPONDENCE: David J. Bond, MD, FRCPC Mood Disorders Clinical Research Unit, UBC Hospital, Room 2C7 – 2255 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 2A1 Canada E-MAIL: davidjbond@hotmail.com
Annals of Clinical Psychiatry ©2012 Quadrant HealthCom Inc.

 
Read full article