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The mixed amphetamine salt extended release (Adderall XR, Max-XR) as an adjunctive to SSRIS or SNRIS in the treatment of adult ADHD patients with comorbid partially responsive generalized anxiety: an open-label study

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ADHD Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders


To examine the changes in partially responsive anxiety symptoms utilizing adjunctive treatment with the mixed amphetamine salt extended release (Adderall XR, MAX-XR) in the treatment of adult ADHD patients, with comorbid refractory anxiety. Consenting adult patients (n = 32) with confirmed diagnosis of generalized anxiety (GA) and comorbid (ADHD) participated in this open-label study. All patients had significant comorbid anxiety symptoms (HAM-A > 7) and failed to respond to 8-week trials of Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) or Norepinephrine Reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). All patients were treated with the “Mixed Amphetamine salts Extended Release Adderall XR, (MAS-XR), as adjunctive to SSRIs or to SNRIs and were followed for at least 12 weeks. The primary effectiveness measure was the Clinical Global Impression severity subscale (CGI-S). Other scales included the Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAM-A), the adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS-v1.1) symptom checklist, and Sheehan’s disability scale. Baseline measures prior to the treatment with MAS-XR were compared to those at 4, 8, and at 12 weeks of treatment. Monitoring for pulse, blood pressure, and weight changes was carried out at baseline and at end point. All patients completed this open-label trial. There was significant and robust resolution of symptoms of all effectiveness measures, including the symptoms of anxiety, as shown by changes from baseline in HAM-A, ASRS-v1.1, and CGI at 8 weeks. Also there was significant reduction in the disability score at 12 weeks. Patients tolerated the treatment, and there were no significant cardiovascular changes at 12 weeks. There was decrease in mean weight at 12 weeks by 2.2 kg (P < .001). Mixed amphetamine salts MAS-XR can be used in adult patients with ADHD and comorbid anxiety symptoms. Larger controlled studies are needed to support the effectiveness of mixed amphetamine salts in patients with comorbid anxiety symptoms. Treatments need to include the targeting of the ADHD symptoms effectively in order to achieve better resolution of anxiety symptoms.

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Author would like to thank Dr T.C.R. Wilkes Division Chief, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Alberta Health Services and University of Calgary for time gave to review the manuscript of this paper. This research project did not receive support of findings from any sources.

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Correspondence to Adel Gabriel.

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Gabriel, A. The mixed amphetamine salt extended release (Adderall XR, Max-XR) as an adjunctive to SSRIS or SNRIS in the treatment of adult ADHD patients with comorbid partially responsive generalized anxiety: an open-label study. ADHD Atten Def Hyp Disord 2, 87–92 (2010).

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