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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2001 Dec;40(12):1441-7.

Developmental aspects of psychostimulant treatment in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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  • 1Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals of Cleveland, OH, USA.



To examine the relationship between age and short-term clinical response to psychostimulant treatment in youths with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and to examine whether weight-corrected doses of optimized psychostimulant therapy varied as a function of patient age.


One hundred seventy-seven patients were treated with either methylphenidate (MPH) or Adderall (ADL). Sixty-six youths received ADL and 111 patients were treated with MPH. All youths were evaluated at baseline and after receiving a week of treatment at each blinded, randomized dose level (placebo, 5, 10, or 15 mg). A "best dose" for each patient was assigned before the medication blind was broken. Behavioral ratings by both teachers and parents were examined for dose and medication effects.


The medications had similar efficacy in children and teenagers. Older youths, however, benefited from a smaller weight-adjusted dose of medication than did the younger children. Similar efficacy was observed between the medications.


These data suggest that psychostimulants are equally effective in treating children and adolescents with ADHD. Adolescents with ADHD may not necessarily require more medication than younger children to achieve a similar therapeutic response.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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