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A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of Adderall and methylphenidate in the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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1
Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio (UTHSCSA) 78284-7792, USA. pliszka@uthscsa.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

While Adderall has been available for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for several years, there are few controlled studies comparing it to methylphenidate.

METHOD:

Fifty-eight children with ADHD (mean age 8.1 +/- 1.4 years) were randomly assigned to receive placebo, methylphenidate, or Adderall in a double-blind, parallel-group design for 3 weeks. Dosage was adjusted at the end of weeks 1 and 2 via an algorithm based on teacher and parent ratings. Final doses were 12.5 +/- 4.1 mg/day for Adderall and 25.2 +/- 13.1 mg/day for methylphenidate. Teacher and parent ratings, as well as the psychiatrist's Clinical Global Impression (CGI), were the final outcome measures at the end of week 3.

RESULTS:

Both medications were superior to placebo at reducing inattentive and oppositional symptoms in the classroom and on the CGI. Adderall produced significantly more improvements on teacher ratings and the CGI than methylphenidate, although the algorithm may have limited dosing in the methylphenidate group. Seventy percent of children in the Adderall group were given medication once a day, compared with 15% of the subjects receiving methylphenidate.

CONCLUSIONS:

Adderall compared favorably to methylphenidate, and the behavioral effects of Adderall appear to persist longer than those of methylphenidate after individual doses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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