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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2011 Sep;50(9):903-14. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2011.06.010. Epub 2011 Aug 4.

Randomized controlled trial of osmotic-release methylphenidate with cognitive-behavioral therapy in adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and substance use disorders.

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University of Colorado-Denver, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.



To evaluate the efficacy and safety of osmotic-release methylphenidate (OROS-MPH) compared with placebo for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and the impact on substance treatment outcomes in adolescents concurrently receiving cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for substance use disorders (SUD).


This was a 16-week, randomized, controlled, multi-site trial of OROS-MPH + CBT versus placebo + CBT in 303 adolescents (aged 13 through 18 years) meeting DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for ADHD and SUD. Primary outcome measures included the following: for ADHD, clinician-administered ADHD Rating Scale (ADHD-RS), adolescent informant; for substance use, adolescent-reported days of use in the past 28 days. Secondary outcome measures included parent ADHD-RS and weekly urine drug screens (UDS).


There were no group differences on reduction in ADHD-RS scores (OROS-MPH: -19.2, 95% confidence interval [CI], -17.1 to -21.2; placebo, -21.2, 95% CI, -19.1 to -23.2) or reduction in days of substance use (OROS-MPH: -5.7 days, 95% CI, 4.0-7.4; placebo: -5.2 days, 95% CI, 3.5-7.0). Some secondary outcomes favored OROS-MPH, including lower parent ADHD-RS scores at 8 (mean difference = 4.4, 95% CI, 0.8-7.9) and 16 weeks (mean difference =6.9; 95% CI, 2.9-10.9) and more negative UDS in OROS-MPH (mean = 3.8) compared with placebo (mean = 2.8; p = .04).


OROS-MPH did not show greater efficacy than placebo for ADHD or on reduction in substance use in adolescents concurrently receiving individual CBT for co-occurring SUD. However, OROS-MPH was relatively well tolerated and was associated with modestly greater clinical improvement on some secondary ADHD and substance outcome measures. Clinical Trial Registration Information-Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Adolescents with Substance Use Disorders (SUD);; NCT00264797.

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