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J Autism Dev Disord. 2000 Jun;30(3):245-55.

Efficacy of methylphenidate among children with autism and symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania, USA.


Thirteen children (ages 5.6 to 11.2 years) with autism and symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study of methylphenidate (0.3 and 0.6 mg/kg per dose). Eight subjects responded positively, based upon a minimum 50% decrease on the Conners Hyperactivity Index. Ratings of stereotypy and inappropriate speech, which are often associated with autistic core features, also decreased. However, no changes were found on the Child Autism Rating Scale, a global assessment of autistic symptomotology. Significant adverse side effects occurred in some children including social withdrawal and irritability, especially at the 0.6 mg/kg dose. Results suggest that methylphenidate can be efficacious for children with autism and ADHD symptoms. However, this group of children seems to be particularly susceptible to adverse side effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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