Typical treatment plans for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) utilize nonpharmacological (behavioral/psychosocial) and/or pharmacological interventions. Limited accessibility to behavioral therapies and concerns over adverse effects of pharmacological treatments prompted research for alternative ADHD therapies such as natural product-derived treatments and nutritional supplements. In this study, we reviewed the herbal preparations and nutritional supplements evaluated in clinical studies as potential ADHD treatments and discussed their performance with regard to safety and efficacy in clinical trials. We also discussed some evidence suggesting that adjunct treatment of these agents (with another botanical agent or pharmacological ADHD treatments) may be a promising approach to treat ADHD. The analysis indicated mixed findings with regard to efficacy of natural product-derived ADHD interventions. Nevertheless, these treatments were considered as a "safer" approach than conventional ADHD medications. More comprehensive and appropriately controlled clinical studies are required to fully ascertain efficacy and safety of natural product-derived ADHD treatments. Studies that replicate encouraging findings on the efficacy of combining botanical agents and nutritional supplements with other natural product-derived therapies and widely used ADHD medications are also warranted. In conclusion, the risk-benefit balance of natural product-derived ADHD treatments should be carefully monitored when used as standalone treatment or when combined with other conventional ADHD treatments.
Department of Pharmaceutical and Administrative Sciences, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92350, USA.,
School of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 301-747, Republic of Korea.,
Department of Pharmacy, Sahmyook University, Seoul 139-742, Republic of Korea.
Department of Pharmaceutical and Administrative Sciences, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92350, USA.