A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, 6-week trial examined whether patients receiving sustained-release bupropion showed an improvement in their symptoms of ADHD compared to patients receiving a placebo. The inclusion criteria for this study were adults between ages 20 and 59 with with DSM-IV ADHD, have had chronic symptoms of ADHD between childhood and adulthood, and had moderate and/or severe impairment because of those symptoms (n=40). The exclusion criteria was patients that had a history of heart arrhythmias or seizures, chronic medical conditions, unstable psychiatric conditions, bipolarism, any organic brain disorders, mental disabilities, current usage of psychotropics, and any drug dependency/abuse in the previous 6 months prior to the study. To assess improvements in the bupropion group against the placebo group, the study examined improvements in the symptoms of ADHD, depression, and anxiety over the course of the 6 weeks of the study. ADHD symptoms were assessed at baseline and every weekly visit while depression and anxiety were assessed only at baseline and at the end of the 6-week period.
The study calculated that statistical power was 0.89.2In terms of results, the study identified a statistically significant difference between the bupropion and placebo groups in terms of the 18 DSM-IV specific symptoms of ADHD that was examined. Under a fisher’s exact test, the bupropion-treated group showed improvement with all 18 symptoms compared to only 8 out of the 18 symptoms with the placebo group (p<0.001).
With symptoms of depression and anxiety, a wilcoxon rank-sum test found no significant difference between the bupropion and placebo groups (p>0.05). In terms of adverse effects, a Fisher’s exact test found that there was no significant difference between bupropion and placebo (p>0.05). In conclusion, the authors stated that the results indicated that bupropion demonstrated a clinical and statistical superiority over a placebo when it came to the improvement of ADHD symptoms.2