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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1995 Aug;34(8):1025-32.

Prediction of clinical response to methylphenidate in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.



To examine the pattern of individual responses to to methylphenidate (MPH) in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and to examine factors that predict drug response.


Individual drug response was defined on the basis of changes on the Abbreviated Conners Rating Scales completed by parents and teachers. These scales were the main outcome measures in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of MPH. Response prediction was examined in stepwise discriminant analyses, in which baseline variables and the response to a single, 10-mg dose of MPH were entered.


Predictors of a strong MPH response were a high IQ, considerable inattentiveness, young age, low severity of disorder, and low rates of anxiety. A positive response to a single dose of MPH significantly improved the prediction of less stringently defined levels of MPH response.


Only strong levels of response could be predicted by baseline characteristics. Severity of disorder based on clinical judgment and improvement after a single dose of MPH are found to be important contributors to response prediction.

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