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Analog classroom assessment of Adderall in children with ADHD.

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Child Development Center, University of California, Irvine 92612, USA.



This was a randomized, double-blind, crossover study of 30 children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that evaluated the time course effects of four doses of Adderall (5, 10, 15, and 20 mg), an inactive control (placebo), and a positive control (clinical dose of methylphenidate).


For each treatment condition, a capsule was administered in the morning and assessments were performed in an analog classroom setting every 1.5 hours across the day. Subjective (teacher ratings of deportment and attention) and objective (scores on math tests) measures were obtained for each classroom session, and these measures were used to evaluate time-response and dose response effects of Adderall.


For doses of Adderall greater than 5 mg, significant time course effects were observed. Rapid improvements on teacher ratings and math performance were observed by 1.5 hours after administration, and these effects dissipated by the end of the day. The specific pattern of time course effects depended on dose: the time of peak effects and the duration of action increased with dose of Adderall.


This documentation of efficacy in a controlled study supports the addition of Adderall to the armamentarium of psychotropic medications for the treatment of ADHD. The differences in time-response patterns of Adderall and methylphenidate may help tailor treatment to meet specific clinical needs of different children with ADHD.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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