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Screening, Referral and Treatment for Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) - Adult - Ambulatory

Screening, Referral and Treatment for Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) - Adult - Ambulatory - Clinical Hub, UW Health Clinical Tool Search, UW Health Clinical Tool Search, Clinical Practice Guidelines, Psychiatry


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Screening, Referral and Treatment for
Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity
Disorder (ADHD) – Adult – Ambulatory
Clinical Practice Guideline
Table of Contents
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ................................................................................................ 3
SCOPE ............................................................................................................................ 4
METHODOLOGY ............................................................................................................ 5
INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................. 5
RECOMMENDATIONS ................................................................................................... 6
1. PRESENTATION AND SCREENING ................................................................ 7
2. CLINICAL ASSESSMENT ................................................................................. 7
3. ESTABLISH DIAGNOSIS .................................................................................. 9
4. PROVIDE TREATMENT ................................................................................. 11
5. COMPLETE FOLLOW-UP CARE .................................................................... 12
UW HEALTH IMPLEMENTATION................................................................................ 13
REFERENCES .............................................................................................................. 14
APPENDIX A ................................................................................................................ 15
APPENDIX B ................................................................................................................ 16
APPENDIX C ................................................................................................................ 17
CPG Contact for Content:
Name: Peggy Scallon, MD - Psychiatry
Phone Number: (608) 263-6100
Email Address: pscallon@wisc.edu
Note: Active Table of Contents -- Click to follow link
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CPG Contact for Changes:
Name: Lindsey Spencer, MS – Center for Clinical Knowledge Management (CCKM)
Phone Number: (608) 890-6403
Email Address: lspencer2@uwhealth.org
Coordinating Team Members:
Greg Rogers, PhD – Psychology
Julie Gocey, MD - Pediatrics
Nicole Weathers, MD – Family Medicine
Lisa Simpson, PA – Family Medicine
Maureen Van Dinter, NP – Family Medicine
Henny Regnier, NP – Family Medicine
Cindy Gaston, PharmD – Drug Policy Program
MaryAnn Steiner, PharmD – Unity Health Insurance
Kim Hein-Beardsley – Unity Health Insurance
Lori Samolyk – Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation
Katherine Schmitt, MD – Meriter
Committee Approvals/Dates:
Clinical Knowledge Management (CKM) Council (10/23/2014)
Release Date: October 2014
Next Review Date: October 2016
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Executive Summary
Guideline Overview
This document has been developed to assist in identifying, treating, and monitoring
adult patients with potential or diagnosed ADHD.
Key Practice Recommendations
1. Assess symptoms and functional impairment
2. Complete physical exam and consider comorbid or alternative diagnoses
3. Establish ADHD diagnosis using DSM-5 diagnostic criteria
4. Provide behavioral and/or pharmacotherapy
5. Perform periodic follow-up to confirm treatment efficacy and absence of side effects
Companion Documents
1. Adult ADHD Algorithm
2. Adult ADHD Medication Algorithm
3. Adult Medication Charts
4. Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS-v1.1) Symptom Checklist
Related Guidelines:
1. UW Health Alcohol – Adult/Pediatric – Ambulatory Guideline
2. UW Health Tobacco – Adult/Pediatric – Inpatient/Ambulatory
Guideline
3. UW Health Depression – Adult/Pediatric – Ambulatory Guideline
External Resources
1. Wisconsin Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP)
2. Wisconsin Uniform Controlled Substances Act
Patient Resources
1. Healthwise: ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder): Adult
2. Healthwise: ADHD: Adults: General Info
3. Health Information: ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder)
4. Health Information: ADHD and Hyperactivity
5. Health Information: ADHD Medicines: Suicide Warning for Strattera
6. Health Information: ADHD Myths and Facts
7. Health Information: Impulsivity and Inattention
8. Health Information: Other Conditions With Similar Symptoms
9. Health Information: Social Skills Training
10. Health Information: Tests for Other Disorders
11. Lexicomp: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
12. Lexicomp: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Discharge Instructions
13. Lexicomp: Medicines for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
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Scope
Disease/Condition(s):
Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Clinical Specialty:
Family Medicine, Neurology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Psychology
Intended Users:
Primary Care Physicians, Advanced Practice Providers, Psychiatrists, Psychologists
CPG objective(s):
To provide evidence-based recommendations for the effective diagnosis and treatment
of adult patients with ADHD.
Target Population:
Adult patients (age 18 years or older).
Major Outcomes Considered:
1. Incidence of comorbid disorders
2. Effectiveness of treatment
3. Adverse effects of medication
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5
Methodology
Methods Used to Collect/Select the Evidence: Evidence was selected using
hand searches of published literature and electronic databases.
Methods Used to Assess the Quality and Strength of the Evidence
and Recommendations: Recommendations developed during the workgroup
meetings used the modified Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development
and Evaluation (GRADE) developed by the American Heart Association and American
College of Cardiology (Figure 1) to establish evidence grades for each piece of
literature and/or recommendation.
Rating Scheme for the Strength of the Evidence and
Recommendations: See Appendix A.
Methods Used to Formulate the Recommendations: Recommendations
developed by external organizations were adopted while others were developed via
group consensus through discussion of the literature evidence and expert experiences.
Introduction
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, originally thought to occur just in childhood, is
now widely understood as persisting into adulthood. Between 50 to 65 percent of adults
diagnosed with childhood ADHD will continue to have symptoms of inattention,
distractibility and impulsivity causing functional impairment as adults. In addition, adults
who were never diagnosed as children may present with a complicated array of
behavioral, legal and functional problems requesting diagnosis and treatment.
This guideline is designed to provide primary care clinicians with a structure, tools and
referral criteria for diagnosis and treatment of adults 18 and over with symptoms typical
of ADHD.
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Recommendations
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1. PRESENTATION AND SCREENING
Adults with potential ADHD may present with a self-diagnosis, at the suggestion of a
family member, friend, employer or therapist or with other behavioral or psychological
problems. (Class I, LOE B) There may or may not be a previous childhood or adult
diagnosis of ADHD.
Adult ADHD is commonly characterized by poor executive functioning. Indicators of
ADHD and screening symptoms include:
ξ Inattention
ξ Restlessness
ξ Forgetfulness
ξ Disorganization
ξ Impulsive behaviors/often impatient
ξ Poor planning
ξ Increased risk of driving and other accidents
ξ Family and relationship difficulties
ξ Difficulties with parenting
High risk behaviors, failed relationships, legal difficulties, substance abuse and
recurrent job loss are common. Physical hyperactivity diminishes in severity with age,
but inattentive symptoms become more prominent and may be perceived as
incompetence. Some adults compensate by finding a spouse / partner who organizes
them or a job which is very active, highly absorbing or stimulating.
2. CLINICAL ASSESSMENT
Evaluation of adults presenting with ADHD symptoms typically requires at least two
visits. As well as allowing for a thorough evaluation, two visits allows the clinician to
assess motivation for follow up, persistence of symptoms and dysfunction and likelihood
for alternative diagnoses. The following components of a complete evaluation are
considered during both visits (Class I, LOE C):
ξ review and corroboration of current symptoms and dysfunction
ξ determination of a childhood onset
ξ evaluation for comorbid and /or mimicking psychiatric problems, medical
disorders or substance abuse.
First Visit
A. Review Current Symptoms and Functional Impairment (Class I, LOE C)
ξ DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for ADHD should be used and followed. A
validated adult ADHD assessment tool (such as the Adult ADHD Self-
Report Scale (ASRS-v1.1) Symptom Checklist) may be used to adjunctively
evaluate an adult patient.
ξ Adults may present with distractibility, impulsiveness and poor executive
functioning. A variety of psychiatric or lifestyle conditions need to be
considered when these symptoms are present.
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B. Establish Onset (Class I, LOE C)
ξ ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that may persist into adulthood.
ξ In order to meet diagnostic criteria, symptoms and functional impairment
need to have been present in patients prior to age 12.
C. Perform Medical Evaluation (Class I, LOE C)
ξ Screen for medical, psychiatric or substance abuse issues which could
explain or exacerbate symptoms of ADHD. (Class I, LOE C)
ξ Screen for medical and psychological conditions which would influence
choice of medication. When considering a stimulant in an adult with risk
factors for cardiac disease, the provider should consider a cardiovascular
evaluation before initiating therapy. (Class I, LOE C)
ξ Establish baseline vital signs: weight, blood pressure, pulse. (Class I, LOE C)
ξ Laboratory testing should be limited to areas of concern. (Class I, LOE C)
D. Evaluate for Psychiatric or Lifestyle Conditions
ξ Adults may present with distractibility, impulsiveness and poor executive
functioning. A variety of psychiatric or lifestyle conditions need to be
considered when these symptoms are present. (Class I, LOE C)
GATHER ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
A. Corroborate Childhood Onset and Impairment
Childhood history can be gathered by review of medical records, review of report cards
or other academic materials, and interview with parents or close family member either in
person or via a phone call. High activity patterns, difficult temperament, and frequent
accidents or risk taking behavior are common childhood characteristics. Review of
academic background should reveal areas of impairment or concern. Look for drop
outs, failures, learning disability, special evaluations or classes, suspensions /
expulsions, and focused problems in areas such as reading, writing, penmanship or
math. (Class I, LOE C)
Review of report cards often indicates behavior problems, lack of expected
achievement, incomplete work, or inadequate effort. If there is no objective evidence of
childhood symptoms and impairment, the diagnosis of adult ADHD should be
reconsidered.
B. Review Family Psychiatric History
It is common to have a positive family psychiatric history. Inquire particularly about
learning disabilities, behavior problems, legal difficulties, ADHD, and substance abuse.
(Class I, LOE B)
CONSIDER COMORBID OR ALTERNATIVE PSYCHIATRIC DIAGNOSIS
(Class I, LOE B)
Psychiatric disorders can cause inattentive symptoms or can influence the course of
treatment. Presence of another psychiatric diagnosis does not preclude a diagnosis of
adult ADHD but it does make diagnosis and treatment more confusing. Significant
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physical, verbal or emotional abuse / neglect can contribute to symptoms characteristic
of ADHD. Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, anxiety
disorder, personality disorders, substance abuse and other psychiatric disorders should
be considered as a part of the evaluation. For recommendations related to assessment
for depression, reference the UW Health Depression – Adult – Guideline.
Patients whose psychiatric status is unclear should be referred to a mental health
provider. Patients with active substance abuse should be referred to a substance use
treatment program. For assessment of tobacco and alcohol use, reference the UW
Health Tobacco – Pediatric/Adult – Inpatient/Ambulatory Guideline or UW Health
Alcohol – Pediatric/Adult – Ambulatory Guideline. Consider evaluation for drug-seeking
behavior with multiple pharmacies or prescribing providers using the Wisconsin
Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.
It is important to identify comorbid disorders because they can mimic ADHD.
a. Comorbid or alternative psychiatric conditions should be addressed prior to
starting treatment for ADHD.
b. Certain medical conditions (liver disease, seizures, hypertension, glaucoma)
are relative contraindications to certain ADHD medications.
CONSIDER REFERRAL (Class I, LOE C)
Referral to psychiatrists and additional providers is always at the discretion of the
provider. There are several presentations and co-conditions for which referral is
recommended:
1. Extreme dysfunction
2. Suicidality or homicidality
3. Substance abuse or dependence
4. Psychosis
5. Extreme psychosocial stressors
6. Previous treatment failures
7. Atypical presentation – if presentation as brand new symptoms this is not
ADHD, even if not diagnosed as a child the symptoms must concur
3. ESTABLISH DIAGNOSIS
To diagnose ADHD, the clinician should determine that DSM-5 criteria have been met.
(Class I, LOE B)
DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria
A. A persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with
functioning or development, as characterized by (1) and/or (2):
1. Inattention: Six (or more) of the following symptoms have persisted for at least 6
months to a degree that is inconsistent with developmental level and that negatively
impacts directly on social and academic/occupational activities:
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Note: The symptoms are not solely a manifestation of oppositional behavior,
defiance, hostility, or failure to understand tasks or instructions. For older
adolescents and adults (age 17 and older), at least five symptoms are
required.
a. Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in
schoolwork, at work, or during other activities (e.g., overlooks or misses
details, work is inaccurate).
b. Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities (e.g., has
difficulty remaining focused during lectures, conversations, or lengthy
reading).
c. Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly (e.g., mind seems
elsewhere, even in the absence of any obvious distraction).
d. Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish
schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (e.g., starts tasks but
quickly loses focus and is easily sidetracked).
e. Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities (e.g., difficulty managing
sequential tasks; difficulty keeping materials and belongings in order;
messy, disorganized work; has poor time management; fails to meet
deadlines).
f. Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require
sustained mental effort (e.g., schoolwork or homework; for older
adolescents and adults, preparing reports, completing forms, reviewing
lengthy papers).
g. Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., school materials,
pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile
telephones).
h. Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli (for older adolescents and
adults, may include unrelated thoughts).
i. Is often forgetful in daily activities (e.g., doing chores, running errands; for
older adolescents and adults, returning calls, paying bills, keeping
appointments).
2. Hyperactivity and impulsivity: Six (or more) of the following symptoms have
persisted for at least 6 months to a degree that is inconsistent with developmental
level and that negatively impacts directly on social and academic/occupational
activities:
Note: The symptoms are not solely a manifestation of oppositional behavior,
defiance, hostility, or a failure to understand tasks or instructions. For older
adolescents and adults (age 17 and older), at least five symptoms are
required.
a. Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet or squirms in seat.
b. Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected (e.g., leaves
his or her place in the classroom, in the office or other workplace, or in other
situations that require remaining in place).
c. Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is inappropriate. (Note: In
adolescents or adults, may be limited to feeling restless.)
d. Often unable to play or engage in leisure activities quietly.
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e. Is often “on the go,” acting as if “driven by a motor” (e.g., is unable to be or
uncomfortable being still for extended time, as in restaurants, meetings; may be
experienced by others as being restless or difficult to keep up with).
f. Often talks excessively.
g. Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed (e.g.,
completes people’s sentences; cannot wait for turn in conversation).
h. Often has difficulty waiting his or her turn (e.g., while waiting in line).
i. Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations, games, or
activities; may start using other people’s things without asking or receiving
permission; for adolescents and adults, may intrude into or take over what others
are doing).
B. Several inattentive or hyperactive-impulsive symptoms were present prior to age 12
years.
C. Several inattentive or hyperactive-impulsive symptoms are present in two or more
settings (e.g., at home, school, or work; with friends or relatives; in other activities).
D. There is clear evidence that the symptoms interfere with, or reduce the quality of,
social, academic, or occupational functioning.
E. The symptoms do not occur exclusively during the course of schizophrenia or
another psychotic disorder and are not better explained by another mental disorder
(e.g., mood disorder, anxiety disorder, dissociative disorder, personality disorder,
substance intoxication or withdrawal).
DSM-5 Diagnosis
Specify whether:
Combined presentation: If both Criterion A1 (inattention) and Criterion A2 (hyperactivity-
impulsivity) are met for the past 6 months.
Predominantly inattentive presentation: If Criterion A1 (inattention) is met but Criterion A2
(hyperactivity-impulsivity) is not met for the past 6 months.
Predominately hyperactive/impulsive presentation: If Criterion A2 (hyperactivity-impulsivity)
is met and Criterion A1 (inattention) is not met for the past 6 months.
Specify if:
In partial remission: When full criteria were previously met, fewer than the full criteria have
been met for the past 6 months, and the symptoms still result in impairment in social, academic,
or occupational functioning.
Specify current severity:
Mild: Few, if any, symptoms in excess of those required to make the diagnosis are present, and
symptoms result in no more than minor impairments in social or occupational functioning.
Moderate: Symptoms or functional impairment between “mild” and “severe” are present.
Severe: Many symptoms in excess of those required to make the diagnosis, or several
symptoms that are particularly severe, are present, or the symptoms result in marked
impairment in social or occupational functioning.
4. PROVIDE TREATMENT
(Class I, LOE C unless otherwise indicated)
1. Provide or offer referral regarding ADHD symptom management, and psycho-
education or effective coping strategies for both the patient and family.
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2. Follow medication treatment protocol and medication chart (Appendix B and
Appendix C). (Class I, LOE A) Specific patient needs or wishes should be
considered and therapy should be individualized.
3. Little data is available on the use of therapeutic stimulants in pregnancy, but
currently they are not associated with major congenital malformations. Risks of
discontinuation of therapy should be considered (e.g., driving, vocational
responsibilities) along with the benefits for each individual patient. (Class IIb,
LOE C)
4. Long term benefit should be assessed for each patient, especially those who
continue treatment from a childhood diagnosis. A trial discontinuation of
therapy can be considered as children age into adulthood to assess ongoing
benefit of therapy.
5. In situations where there is increased risk of substance abuse or diversion,
non stimulant preparations or slow release stimulants are preferred and can be
used to initiate treatment. When crushed, slow release stimulants resemble
immediate release preparations in terms of onset and effect.
6. Adults with ADHD who are also parents may benefit from therapy to assist
them with parenting skills.
7. Consider vocational and/or educational accommodation.
8. For patients at high risk of substance abuse, consider establishing a drug
contract or conducting periodic drug screens.
9. Adjuvant psychotherapy.
5. COMPLETE FOLLOW-UP CARE
Adults with a new diagnosis, uncontrolled symptoms or change in medication should be
seen within 30 days by a clinician who can assess for side effects and adjust medication
if needed. Monthly contacts or visits should be routine until functionality is significantly
improved. Once functionality is improved, follow-up appointments every 3 to 6 months
are recommended. Informants should be included, as available, in follow-up sessions.
(Class I, LOE C)
At each follow-up visit (Class I, LOE C):
1. Review should specifically include diurnal variation in symptoms, as this
informs recommendations for change in timing/formulation of the medications
prescribed.
2. Review target symptoms, job/school performance, relationship issues.
3. Monitor for adherence to therapy, drug side effects/toxicity or signs of
abuse/diversion. Also monitor vital signs to assess for increases in blood
pressure and pulse.
4. Review impressions of informants.
5. Adjust therapy as needed.
Medications must be prescribed in accordance with Wisconsin Chapter 961 for
controlled substances:
1. Prescription must be written for legitimate medical indication.
2. Sign/date prescription on date of issue with:
a. Patient full name/address.
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13
b. Drug name, strength, dosage form, quantity, directions for use.
3. Up to 3 monthly prescriptions may be given to patients.
a. The date of issue (date of prescription is written) must be on all three
prescriptions.
b. The prescriber writes “fill on or after XX/XX/XXXX” for two prescriptions to be
filled at a later date.
c. A prescription for a CII controlled substance cannot be dispensed more than
60 days after the date of issue on the prescription order.
UW Health Implementation
Potential Benefits: Appropriate assessment and treatment of adults with attention-
deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Potential Harms: Drug toxicity.
Qualifying Statements
The listed practice parameters are developed to assist clinicians in psychiatric decision
making. These parameters are not intended to define the standard of care, nor should
they be deemed inclusive of all proper methods of care or exclusive of other methods of
care directed at obtaining the desired results. The ultimate judgment regarding the care
of a particular patient must be made by the clinician in light of all of the circumstances
presented by the patient and his or her family, the diagnostic and treatment options
available, and available resources.
Implementation Plan/Tools
1. Guideline will be housed on U-Connect in a dedicated folder for CPGs.
2. Release of the guideline will be advertised in the Clinical Knowledge Management
Corner within the Best Practice newsletter.
3. Links to this guideline will be updated and/or added in appropriate Health Link or
equivalent tools, including:
ξ ADD/ADHD [73]
Disclaimer
CPGs are described to assist clinicians by providing a framework for the evaluation and
treatment of patients. This Clinical Practice Guideline outlines the preferred approach
for most patients. It is not intended to replace a clinician’s judgment or to establish a
protocol for all patients. It is understood that some patients will not fit the clinical
condition contemplated by a guideline and that a guideline will rarely establish the only
appropriate approach to a problem.
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References
1. Meszaros A, Czobor P, Balint S, Komlosi S, Simon V, Bitter I. Pharmacotherapy of adult
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): a meta-analysis. Int J Neuropsychopharmcol.
2009:12(8): 1137-1147.
2. Faraone, SV, Glatt SJ. A comparison of the efficacy of medications for adult attention-
deficit/hyperactivity disorder using meta-analysis of effect sizes. J Clin Pshychiatr 2010:
71(6): 754-763.
3. Weiss N. Assessment and treatment of ADHD in adults. Psychiatric Annals. 2011: 41(1):
23-31. Pediatrics 2011: 128: 1007-1022.
4. Greenhill, Laurence, Pliszka, Steven,et al., Practice Parameter for the Use of Stimulant
Medications in the Treatment of Children, Adolescents, and Adults; J Am Acad of Child
Adoles Psychiatry. 2002; 41 (2 Supplement): 26S – 49S.
5. Kessler, Ronald; Adler, Lenard; et al, Patterns and Predictors of Attention-
Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Persistence into Adulthood: Results from the National
Comorbidity Survey Replication. Biol Psychiatry 2005; 57: 1442-1451.
6. Kessler, Ronald; Adler, Lenard; et al, The World Health Organization Adult ADHD Self-
Report Scale (ASRS): a Short Screening Scale for Use in the General Population.
Psychological Medicine, 2005; 35: 245-256.
7. McGough, James J and Russell Barkley, Diagnostic Controversies in Adult Attention Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder. Am J Psychiatry 2004; 161:1948-1956.
8. Montano, Brendan, Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD in Adults in Primary Care. J Clin
Psychiatry 2004; 65: (suppl 3): 18-21.
9. Searight, Russell, Burke, John and Fred Rottnek, Adult ADHD: Evaluation and Treatment in
Family Medicine. Am Fam Physician 2000; 62: 2077-86.
10. Weiss, Margaret and Candice Murray, Assessment and Management of Attention-Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults. SMAJ; 168: 715-22.
11. Meijer WM, Faber A, van den Ban E, and Tobi H. Current Issues Around the
Pharmacotherapy of ADHD in Children and Adults. Pharm World Sci 2009; 31:509-16.
12. Nutt DJ, Fone K, Asherson P, Bramble D, et al. Evidence-based guidelines for management
of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in adolescents in transition to adult services and in
adults: Recommendations from the British Association for Psychopharmacology. J
Psychopharmcol 2007; 21: 10-41.
13. National Collaborating Center for Mental Health, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Diagnosis and management of ADHD in children, young people and adults. London (UK):
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)’ 2008 Sep. 59 p (Clinical
guideline; no. 72).
14. Surman Craig BH. ADHD in Adults. Medscape 2005 Weiss Nicholas. Assessment and
Treatment of ADHD in Adults. (Psychiatric Annals) 2011 Jan: Vol 41:1.
15. Freeman, MP. ADHD and pregnancy. Am J Psychiatry 2014; 171:723-728.
16. Volkow, ND, Swanson, JM. Clinical practice: Adult attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.
New England Journal of Medicine 2013;369:1935-1944.
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15
Appendix A
Figure 1. AHA/ACC Modified GRADE Grading Scheme
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16
Appendix B
Diagnosis of definite or probably adult ADHD made
Co-morbid
psychiatric or substance
abuse disorder?
Treat/refer co-morbid
disorder first.
At increased
risk for substance
abuse/
diversion?
YES
Stimulant or
non-stimulant
medication
Non-stimulant
medication or slow-
release simulant
medication
If stimulant chosen,
consider drug
contract and/or
periodic drug
screens.
YES
Improved
symptoms/function
on monthly follow-
up?
NO
Continue medication with
3-6 month follow-up
YES
NO
Adjust dose or try alternative
medication.
If repeated adjustments of
medication are not successful,
reconsider diagnosis, and consider
referral to psychiatry.
NO
Last revised/reviewed: 10/2014
ADHD- Adult – Ambulatory Guideline
Contact CCKM for revisions.
Adult ADHD Medication Algorithm
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17
Appendix C
Medications for Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR STIMULANTS
• Consider cardiac risk factors before initiating therapy
• Use cautiously if history of tics
• Give with/after food and swallow whole with liquids
• Longer-acting stimulants may have greater problematic effects on
evening appetite and sleep
• Use cautiously if history of substance abuse or diversion concern
• Monitor patient weight and vital signs
• Pellet/beaded capsule formulation may be opened and sprinkled on soft
food
• Nonabsorbable tablet shell may be seen in stool (Concerta)
• Consider cardiovascular evaluation before initiating therapy
Methylphenidate Products
Product Names Strengths
Available
Duration of
Action
Usual Dosing
Adult Titration Dose
(titrate every 7 days, unless
otherwise indicated)
Maximum Daily Dose
Short acting
methylphenidate tab^*
(Ritalin) 5,10, 20 mg tab ≤ 4 hours
5-20 mg given 2-3 times daily
Titrate by 5-10 mg every 7-14 days
FDA: 60 mg
Off label: 100 mg if over 50 kg
methylphenidate ^* (Methylin)
(equivalent to Ritalin)
2.5, 5, 10mg chew tab
5 mg/5mL, 10mg/5mL
solution
≤ 4 hours
5–20 mg given 2-3 times daily
Titrate by 5-10 mg every 7-14 days
FDA: 60 mg
Off label: 100 mg if over 50 kg
Intermediate
acting
4-6 hours
methylphenidate SR tab^*
(Ritalin SR)
Medadate ER and generics rated
AB equivalent
20 mg tab 4 – 6 hours
20–60 mg (divided in 1-2 doses/day)
(20-40 mg in morning, 20 mg in
early afternoon)
Titrate by 20 mg/day
FDA: 60 mg
Off label: 100 mg if over 50 kg
methylphenidate^* (Methylin ER)
(equivalent to Ritalin SR)
10,20 mg tablet
4 – 6 hours
10-60 mg daily FDA: 60 mg
Off label: 100 mg if over 50 kg
Methylphenidate tab^*
(Metadate ER) 20 mg tablet 4 – 6 hours
20-60 mg daily
(divided in 1-2 doses/day)
FDA: 60 mg
Off label: 100 mg if over 50 kg
dexmethylphenidate^* (Focalin)
cap
2.5, 5, 10 mg tab 4 – 6 hours 2.5–10 mg given twice daily at least
4 hours apart
FDA: 20 mg
Off label: 50 mg
Last revised/reviewed: 10/2014
ADHD – Adult – Ambulatory Guideline
Contact CCKM for revisions.
Copyright © 2014 Univ ersity of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority
Contact: Lee Vermeulen, CCKM@uwhealth.org Last Revised: 10/2014CCKM@uwhealth.org

18
Product Names Strengths
Available
Duration of
Action
Usual Dosing
Adult Titration Dose
(titrate every 7 days, unless
otherwise indicated)
Maximum Daily Dose
Intermediate
acting
6-8 hours
methylphenidate*^ (Metadate CD)
cap (bimodal release with 30%
immediate release and 70%
delayed release)
10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60
mg capsule 6 – 8 hours 10-60mg dailyTitration 10-20 mg
FDA: 60 mg
Off label: 100 mg if over
50 kg
methylphenidate ER*^§ (Ritalin LA)
cap
(bimodal release with 50% rapid
onset and 50% delayed release)
10, 20, 30, 40 mg
capsule
6 – 8 hours 20-60mg daily
FDA: 60 mg
Off label: 100 mg if over
50 kg
Long acting
dexmethylphenidate*^§ (Focalin
XR) (bimodal release with 50%
immediate release and 50%
delayed release)
5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30,
35, 40 mg capsule
10 - 12
hours
5-20 mg
once
daily
5–40 mg daily FDA: 40 mg
Off label: 50 mg
methylphenidate ^ (Daytrana)
patch
apply to hip for 9 hours
10, 15, 20, 30 mg
patch
12 hours
(with 2 -3
hour
delay)
10-30mg patch daily
Titrate by next highest strength patch FDA: 30 mg
Methylphenidate*^§ (Concerta) tabs
(bimodal release with immediate
onset and delayed release)
18, 27, 36, 54 mg tab 10 hours 18-54mg once daily
(titrate by 18 mg)
FDA: 54 mg for children,
72 mg for adolescents
and adults
Off label:
90 mg adolescents
(>40 kg)
^ FDA approved for treatment of ADHD, * Generic product, §Oral long acting methylphenidate products have immediate release and extended release
components.
.
Last revised/reviewed: 10/2014
ADHD – Adult – Ambulatory Guideline
Contact CCKM for revisions.
Copyright © 2014 Univ ersity of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority
Contact: Lee Vermeulen, CCKM@uwhealth.org Last Revised: 10/2014CCKM@uwhealth.org

19
Amphetamine Products
Product Names Strengths Available Duration of action
Usual Dosing
(titrate every 7 days, unless
otherwise noted)
Maximum Dose
Short acting Dextroamphetamine* 5, 10 mg tablet
1 mg/mL solution
4-6 hours 2.5 -15 mg two to three times
Daily
Titration 5 mg/week
FDA: 40 mg
Off label: 60 mg
(>50 kg)
Intermediate acting dextroamphetamine capsule SR*§
(Dexedrine spansules) (bimodal release with
50% immediate release and 50% delayed
release)
5, 10, 15 mg capsule 6-8 hours 5-15mg 2 timestwice daily
Titration 5 mg
FDA: 40 mg
Off label: 60 mg
(>50 kg)
amphetamine mixed salts tab ^combo*
(Adderall) *
5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 20,
30 mg tab
5-8 hours 52.5-30mg
1-2 times once or twice daily
Titration 2.5-5 mg once
or twice daily
FDA: 40 mg
Off label: 40 mg
(≤ 50kg), 60 mg
(>50 kg)
Long acting amphetamine mixed salts capsule^* combo
(Adderall XR)*§ (bimodal release with 50%
immediate release and 50% delayed
release)
5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30
capsule
10 hours 10-30mg once daily
Titration 5-10 mg
FDA: 30 mg
Off-label: 30 mg
(≤ 50kg),
60 mg (>50 kg)
lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) capsule^ 20, 30, 40, 50, 60,
70 mg capsule
10-12 hours 20-70mg once daily
Titration 10-20 mg daily
FDA: 70 mg
^ FDA approved for treatment of ADHD, * Generic product, §Oral long acting methylphenidate products have immediate release and extended release
components.
Last revised/reviewed: 10/2014
ADHD – Adult – Ambulatory Guideline
Contact CCKM for revisions.
Copyright © 2014 Univ ersity of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority
Contact: Lee Vermeulen, CCKM@uwhealth.org Last Revised: 10/2014CCKM@uwhealth.org

20
GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR NON-STIMULANTS
Non-Stimulant Products
Product Names Strengths Available Duration of Action Usual Dosing Maximum Dosing
Anti-
depressants
nortriptyline* (Pamelor,
Aventyl) 10, 25, 50, 75 mg
capsule
10 mg/5 mL solution
8-24 hours
0.5 mg/kg/day (May divide dose to
2-3 times daily)
2 mg/kg or 100 mg
(whichever is lowest)
bupropion* (Wellbutrin) 75, 100 mg tab
4-5 hours
3 -6 mg/kg/day (or
150 mg – 300 mg, whichever is lowest)
Divide into 2 or 3 daily doses
6 mg/kg/day (or 300 mg
Whichever is lowest)
Divide into 2 or 3 daily doses
bupropion SR*
(Wellbutrin SR) 100, 150, 200 mg tab 12 hours
3 -6 mg/kg/day (or
150 mg – 300 mg, whichever is lowest)
Divide into 2 daily doses.
6 mg/kg/day (or 300 mg
whichever is lowest)
Divide into 2 daily doses.
bupropion XL*
(Wellbutrin XL) 150, 300 mg tab 24 hours
3 -6 mg/kg/day (or
150 mg – 300 mg, whichever is lowest)
6 mg/kg/day (or 300 mg
whichever is lowest)
Alpha-agonists
clonidine tab ER^
(Kapvay) 0.1, 0.2 mg tab At least 10-12 hours 0.1-0.4 mg/day Titration: 0.1 mg every 7 days 0.4 mg/day
clonidine* (Catapres) 0.1, 0.2, 0.3 mg tab At least 4-6 hours
0.05 mg
at bedtime; 01 mg (≥ 45 kg)
Titrate by 0.05 mg (<45 kg) or 0.1 mg
(≥ 45 kg) increments to twice daily,
three times daily, four times daily
0.4 mg (>45 kg)
• May be used in cases of history of tics worsening from stimulants
• Avoid bupropion if history of seizure or eating disorders
• Monitor closely for behavioral side effects including suicidal ideation with
atomoxetine, tricyclics, and bupropion as identified in FDA Black Box
warning for anti-depressants
• Give with/after food and swallow whole with liquids
• Medication of choice if concern about abuse or diversion
• Consider cardiovascular risk factors before initiating tricyclic therapy and
evaluate further if needed
• Consider initiation with lower doses to improve tolerability
• Guanfacine and clonidine may be used as adjunctive therapy with stimulants.
Last revised/reviewed: 10/2014
ADHD – Adult – Ambulatory Guideline
Contact CCKM for revisions.
Copyright © 2014 Univ ersity of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority
Contact: Lee Vermeulen, CCKM@uwhealth.org Last Revised: 10/2014CCKM@uwhealth.org

21
Product Names Strengths Available Duration of Action Usual Dosing Maximum Dosing
Alpha-agonists
guanfacine* (Tenex) 1, 2 mg tab
6-8 hours
0.5 mg at bedtime (<45 kg),
1 mg at bedtime (≥ 45 kg)
Titrate by 0.5 mg (<45 kg) or 1 mg
(≥ 45 kg) increments to twice daily,
three times daily, four times daily
0.4 mg (>45 kg)
guanfacine tab ER^*
(Intuniv)
1, 2, 3, 4 mg tabs At least 10-12 hours
0.05-0.12 mg/kg daily (or 1-4 mg once
daily)
Titration: 1 mg every 7 days
4 mg/day
Norepinephrine
reuptake
inhibitor
atomoxetine^ (Strattera)
capsule
10, 18, 25, 40, 60, 80,
100 mg capsule At least 10-12 hours
Initial dose )40 mg/day)
After > 3 days (increase to 80 mg daily) FDA: 100 mg/day
*Generic product
^ FDA Approved
Potential Harms: Side Effects of Pharmacotherapy
ξ Stimulants: The most common side effects include appetite decrease, weight loss, insomnia, or headache. Less common side effects include
tics and emotional lability/irritability, liver toxicity, hypertension, cardiac arrhythmia and psychosis.
ξ Atomoxetine: Side effects of atomoxetine that occurred more often than those with placebo include gastrointestinal distress, sedation, and
decreased appetite.
ξ The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its Pediatric Advisory Committee have reviewed data regarding psychiatric adverse events
to medications for the treatment of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). For each agent examined (all stimulants, atomoxetine, and
modafinil), there were reports of rare events of psychotic symptoms, specifically involving visual and tactile hallucinations of insects.
Symptoms of aggression, suicidality (but no completed suicides), and cardiovascular issues were also reported.
ξ Bupropion may cause mild insomnia or loss of appetite. The highest recommended dose of bupropion is 450 mg. Higher doses may increase
the risk of seizure.
ξ Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs) such as nortiptyline - frequently cause anticholinergic side effects such as dry mouth, sedation, constipation,
changes in vision, or tachycardia. Among the TCAs, desipramine should be used with extreme caution in children and adolescents because
there have been reports of sudden death. For TCAs electrocardiography should be considered for patients at risk and be performed at
baseline and after each dose increase. Once the patient is on a stable dose of the TCA, a plasma level should be obtained to ensure the level
is not in the toxic range.
ξ Alpha- agonists: Side effects of alpha-agonists include sedation, dizziness, and possible hypotension. Abrupt discontinuations of alpha-agonist
are to be avoided.
ξ Combinations of Medications: There have been four deaths reported to the FDA of children taking a combination of methylphenidate and
clonidine, but there were many atypical aspects of these cases.
Last revised/reviewed: 10/2014
ADHD – Adult – Ambulatory Guideline
Contact CCKM for revisions.
Copyright © 2014 Univ ersity of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority
Contact: Lee Vermeulen, CCKM@uwhealth.org Last Revised: 10/2014CCKM@uwhealth.org

Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS-v1.1) Symptom Checklist
Instructions
The questions on the back page are designed to stimulate dialogue between you and your patients and to help
confirm if they may be suffering from the symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Description: The Symptom Checklist is an instrument consisting of the eighteen DSM-IV-TR criteria.
Six of the eighteen questions were found to be the most predictive of symptoms consistent with
ADHD. These six questions are the basis for the ASRS v1.1 Screener and are also Part A of the
Symptom Checklist. Part B of the Symptom Checklist contains the remaining twelve questions.
Instructions:
Symptoms
1. Ask the patient to complete both Part A and Part B of the Symptom Checklist by marking an X
in the box that most closely represents the frequency of occurrence of each of the symptoms.
2. Score Part A. If four or more marks appear in the darkly shaded boxes within Part A then the
patient has symptoms highly consistent with ADHD in adults and further investigation is
warranted.
3. The frequency scores on Part B provide additional cues and can serve as further probes into the
patient’s symptoms. Pay particular attention to marks appearing in the dark shaded boxes. The
frequency-based response is more sensitive with certain questions. No total score or diagnostic
likelihood is utilized for the twelve questions. It has been found that the six questions in Part A
are the most predictive of the disorder and are best for use as a screening instrument.
Impairments
1. Review the entire Symptom Checklist with your patients and evaluate the level of impairment
associated with the symptom.
2. Consider work/school, social and family settings.
3. Symptom frequency is often associated with symptom severity, therefore the Symptom
Checklist may also aid in the assessment of impairments. If your patients have frequent
symptoms, you may want to ask them to describe how these problems have affected the ability
to work, take care of things at home, or get along with other people such as their
spouse/significant other.
History
1. Assess the presence of these symptoms or similar symptoms in childhood. Adults who have
ADHD need not have been formally diagnosed in childhood. In evaluating a patient’s history,
look for evidence of early-appearing and long-standing problems with attention or self-control.
Some significant symptoms should have been present in childhood, but full symptomology is not
necessary.
Copyright © 2014 Univ ersity of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority
Contact: Lee Vermeulen, CCKM@uwhealth.org Last Revised: 10/2014CCKM@uwhealth.org

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Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS-v1.1) Symptom Checklist
Please answer the questions below, rating yourself on each of the criteria shown using the
scale on the right side of the page. As you answer each question, place an X in the box that
best describes how you have felt and conducted yourself over the past 6 months. Please give
this completed checklist to your healthcare professional to discuss during today’s
appointment.
Patient Name Today’s Date
1. How often do you have trouble wrapping up the final details of a project,
once the challenging parts have been done?
2. How often do you have difficulty getting things in order when you have to do
a task that requires organization?
3. How often do you have problems remembering appointments or obligations?
4.
5. How often do you fidget or squirm with your hands or feet when you have
to sit down for a long time?
6. How often do you feel overly active and compelled to do things, like you
were driven by a motor?
7. How often do you make careless mistakes when you have to work on a boring or
difficult project?
8. How often do you have difficulty keeping your attention when you are doing boring
or repetitive work?
9. How often do you have difficulty concentrating on what people say to you,
even when they are speaking to you directly?
10. How often do you misplace or have difficulty finding things at home or at work?
11. How often are you distracted by activity or noise around you?
12. How often do you leave your seat in meetings or other situations in which
you are expected to remain seated?
13. How often do you feel restless or fidgety?
14. How often do you have difficulty unwinding and relaxing when you have time
to yourself?
15. How often do you find yourself talking too much when you are in social situations?
16. When you’re in a conversation, how often do you find yourself finishing
the sentences of the people you are talking to, before they can finish
them themselves?
17. How often do you have difficulty waiting your turn in situations when
turn taking is required?
18. How often do you interrupt others when they are busy?
Part B
Part A
When you have a task that requires a lot of thought, how often do you avoid
or delay getting started?
Copyright © 2014 Univ ersity of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority
Contact: Lee Vermeulen, CCKM@uwhealth.org Last Revised:10/2014CCKM@uwhealth.org

The Value of Screening for Adults With ADHD
Research suggests that the symptoms of ADHD can persist into adulthood, having a significant
impact on the relationships, careers, and even the personal safety of your patients who may
suffer from it.
1-4
Because this disorder is often misunderstood, many people who have it do not
receive appropriate treatment and, as a result, may never reach their full potential. Part of the
problem is that it can be difficult to diagnose, particularly in adults.
The Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS-v1.1) Symptom Checklist was developed
in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Workgroup on Adult
ADHD that included the following team of psychiatrists and researchers:
• Lenard Adler, MD
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology
New York University Medical School
• Ronald C. Kessler, PhD
Professor, Department of Health Care Policy
Harvard Medical School
• Thomas Spencer, MD
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Harvard Medical School
As a healthcare professional, you can use the ASRS v1.1 as a tool to help screen for ADHD in
adult patients. Insights gained through this screening may suggest the need for a more in-depth
clinician interview. The questions in the ASRS v1.1 are consistent with DSM-IV criteria and
address the manifestations of ADHD symptoms in adults. Content of the questionnaire also
reflects the importance that DSM-IV places on symptoms, impairments, and history for a correct
diagnosis.
4

The checklist takes about 5 minutes to complete and can provide information that is critical
to supplement the diagnostic process.
References:
1. Schweitzer JB, et al. Med Clin North Am. 2001;85(3):10-11, 757-777.
2. Barkley RA. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Handbook for Diagnosis and Treatment. 2nd ed. 1998.
3. Biederman J, et al. Am J Psychiatry.1993;150:1792-1798.
4. American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision.
Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association. 2000: 85-93.
Copyright © 2014 Univ ersity of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority
Contact: Lee Vermeulen, CCKM@uwhealth.org Last Revised: 10/2014CCKM@uwhealth.org