What is the role of liver function tests in the workup of pediatric attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and when are they indicated?

Updated: Sep 09, 2021
  • Author: Maggie A Wilkes, MD; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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Workup in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), previously termed attention deficit disorder (ADD), includes the following:

Liver function tests

Liver function tests (LFTs) may be indicated if the patient has a history of hepatic dysfunction.

Amphetamines, methylphenidate, atomoxetine, and tricyclic antidepressants are metabolized hepatically and excreted mainly in the urine.

A cause-and-effect relationship has been established between the use of atomoxetine and reversible hepatic failure. However, no evidence suggests that baseline LFT results assist care with atomoxetine in any way.

Consider checking LFTs if a patient who is taking atomoxetine presents with signs of hepatitis including early signs, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle aches lasting longer than 5 days.

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