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J Clin Psychiatry. 1998 Jun;59(6):300-5.

Methylphenidate treatment for cocaine abusers with adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a pilot study.

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Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York 10032, USA.



Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is common among cocaine abusers seeking treatment. This open trial was carried out to assess the efficacy of sustained-release methylphenidate for the treatment of cocaine abuse among individuals with ADHD.


Twelve patients who met DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for adult ADHD and cocaine dependence were entered into a 12-week trial of divided daily doses of sustained-release methylphenidate ranging from 40 to 80 mg. In addition to the pharmacotherapy, patients also received individual weekly relapse prevention therapy. Individuals were assessed weekly for ADHD symptoms; vital signs and urine toxicologies were obtained 3 times a week.


Of the 12 patients entered, 10 completed at least 8 weeks of the study and 8 completed the entire study. Using both a semistructured clinical interview and a self-report assessment, patients reported reductions in attention difficulties, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Self-reported cocaine use and craving decreased significantly. More importantly, cocaine use, confirmed by urine toxicologies, also decreased significantly.


These preliminary data suggest that under close supervision, the combined intervention of sustained-release methylphenidate and relapse prevention therapy may be effective in treating individuals with both adult ADHD and cocaine dependence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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