Atomoxetine in Patients With Tourette’s Syndrome


The purpose of this pilot study is to evaluate the effects of Atomoxetine, a selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, on impulsivity in patients with Tourette's syndrome.

Full Title of Study: “A Pilot Study to Evaluate the Effects of Atomoxetine on Impulsivity in Patients With Tourette’s Syndrome”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: N/A
    • Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: June 2023

Detailed Description

High impulsivity characterizes severe forms of Tourette's syndrome, in which motor and vocal tics are associated with various neuropsychiatric disorders as compulsive disorders, difficult to manage and impairing quality of life of patients and their family. Previous preclinical study and clinical studies in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and Parkinson's disease demonstrate that atomoxetine, a selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, improves response inhibition in high impulsive individuals. However, there is no suffisant data in Tourette's syndrome. The purpose of this pilot study is to evaluate the effects of Atomoxetine on impulsivity in 10 to 35 years old patients with Tourette's syndrome.


  • Drug: Atomoxetine
    • Atomoxetine

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Impulsive state
    • Time Frame: 8 weeks
    • The primary outcome is the variation of impulsive state (%) before and after chronic administration of atomoxetine, as measured with quantitative tool (CANTAB)

Secondary Measures

  • Cognition, anxiety, depression, severity of tics and compulsive disorders Tolerance
    • Time Frame: 8 weeks
    • The secondary outcomes are the effects of Atomoxetine in cognition, anxiety, depression, severity of tics and compulsive disorders, as mesured with autoquestionnaries. The investigators also evaluate the tolerance of chronic administration of atomoxetine in patients with Tourette’s syndrome.

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • High impulsive patients, aged 10-35 years old, diagnosed for Tourette's syndrome as defined by the DSM-IV, never treated by Atomoxetine – The use of effective contraception or abstinence for subjects of reproductive age – Written informed consent Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patients with mental retardation, psychotic disorders as schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, chronic tics which do not respond to Tourette's syndrome criteria. – Actual severe depression – Allergy to one of the constituents – Severe cardiovascular or cerebrovascular diseases, Pheochromocytoma, uncontrolled hyperthyroidism, closed angle glaucoma – IMAO treatment discontinued less than 2 months or contra-indicated associated treatment

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 10 Years

Maximum Age: 35 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Poitiers University Hospital
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Sponsor
  • Overall Contact(s)
    • Solene ANSQUER, MD, PhD, 0549444387,


Ansquer S, Belin-Rauscent A, Dugast E, Duran T, Benatru I, Mar AC, Houeto JL, Belin D. Atomoxetine decreases vulnerability to develop compulsivity in high impulsive rats. Biol Psychiatry. 2014 May 15;75(10):825-32. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.09.031. Epub 2013 Oct 11.

Chamberlain SR, Del Campo N, Dowson J, Müller U, Clark L, Robbins TW, Sahakian BJ. Atomoxetine improved response inhibition in adults with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Biol Psychiatry. 2007 Nov 1;62(9):977-84. Epub 2007 Jul 17.

Kehagia AA, Housden CR, Regenthal R, Barker RA, Müller U, Rowe J, Sahakian BJ, Robbins TW. Targeting impulsivity in Parkinson's disease using atomoxetine. Brain. 2014 Jul;137(Pt 7):1986-97. doi: 10.1093/brain/awu117. Epub 2014 Jun 3.

Allen AJ, Kurlan RM, Gilbert DL, Coffey BJ, Linder SL, Lewis DW, Winner PK, Dunn DW, Dure LS, Sallee FR, Milton DR, Mintz MI, Ricardi RK, Erenberg G, Layton LL, Feldman PD, Kelsey DK, Spencer TJ. Atomoxetine treatment in children and adolescents with ADHD and comorbid tic disorders. Neurology. 2005 Dec 27;65(12):1941-9.

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