Atomoxetine treatment in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and comorbid social anxiety disorder

Lenard A. Adler, Michael Liebowitz, William Kronenberger, Meihua Qiao, Richard Rubin, Millie Hollandbeck, Ahmed Deldar, Kory Schuh, Todd Durell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

107 Scopus citations


Background: To evaluate the effect of atomoxetine (ATX) on attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and comorbid social anxiety disorder in adults. Methods: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, conducted in adults with ADHD and social anxiety disorder. Patients received 40-100 mg ATX (n = 224) or placebo (n = 218) for 14 weeks following a 2-week placebo lead-in period. Efficacy measures included the Conners' Adult ADHD Rating Scale: Investigator-Rated: Screening Version (CAARS:Inv:SV), Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS), Clinical Global Impression-Overall-Severity (CGI-O- S), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Social Adjustment Scale-Self Report (SAS), and Adult ADHD Quality of Life Scale-29 (AAQoL). Safety and tolerability were also assessed. Results: ATX mean change (-8.7±10.0) from baseline (29.6±10.4) on CAARS:Inv:SV Total ADHD Symptoms score was significantly greater than placebo mean change (-5.6±10.2) from baseline (31.2 ± 9.4; Po>001). ATX mean change (-22.9 ± 25.3) from baseline (85.3 ±23.6) on LSAS Total score was significant compared to placebo mean change (-14.4 ± 20.3) from baseline (82.1±21.3; P> 001). The visit-wise analysis revealed greater improvement on the CAARS:Inv:SV Total ADHD Symptoms score and LSAS Total score for ATXat every time point throughout the study (P values ≥ 012). Mean changes in CGI-O-S, STAI-Trait Anxiety scores, and AAQoL Total score were significantly greater for ATX compared to placebo. Mean change for both groups on STAI-State Anxiety scores was comparable. Improvement on SAS for ATX compared to placebo was not significant. Rates ofinsomnia, nausea, dry mouth, and dizziness were higher with ATX than with placebo. Discontinuation rates due to treatment- emergent adverse events were similar between groups. Conclusions: ATX monotherapy effectively improved symptoms ofADHD and comorbid social anxiety disorder in adults and was well tolerated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-221
Number of pages10
JournalDepression and anxiety
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009


  • ADHD
  • Adults
  • Atomoxetine
  • Social anxiety disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

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