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J Int Med Res. 2009 May-Jun;37(3):939-48.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children: comparative efficacy of traditional Chinese medicine and methylphenidate.

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  • 1Pharmaceutical Department, West China Second Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.


Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is frequently used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) in children in China. However, until now there has been no strong evidence to prove that TCM has better efficacy than western medicine. In this systematic study of 34 studies published in the Chinese literature, the effectiveness of TCM in treating ADHD in children was examined and compared with methylphenidate (MPH), which is widely used to treat ADHD. It was found that TCM may have equal or better effectiveness than MPH. However, the lack of high-quality clinical trials to support this conclusion means that it is not currently possible to recommend any particular kind of TCM preparation for treating ADHD in children.

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