This guideline covers diagnosing and managing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children over 3 years, young people and adults. It aims to improve the diagnosis of ADHD as well as the quality of care and support for people with ADHD.

In February 2016, recommendations about dietary advice were updated.


This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • Healthcare professionals
  • Commissioners and providers of services for people with ADHD
  • Children, young people and adults with ADHD, and their families and carers

This guideline updates NICE guideline CG72 (published September 2008).

This guideline was previously called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: diagnosis and management of ADHD in children, young people and adults.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

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