Retrospective comparison of Adderall and methylphenidate in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Grcevich S, Rowane WA, Marcellino B, Sullivan-Hurst S.
Case Western University School of Medicine,
Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol 2001 Spring; 11(1):35-41


Methylphenidate is the most frequently prescribed stimulant medication for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, the short duration of action of methylphenidate requires that patients take multiple daily doses for optimal efficacy. Recent studies suggest that Adderall, a psychostimulant indicated for the treatment of ADHD, may provide an efficacious, less frequently dosed alternative to methylphenidate. This retrospective review compares the efficacy, safety, dosing frequency, and medication switch rates of Adderall with methylphenidate in children and adolescents with ADHD treated in a private, outpatient psychiatric clinic. Of the evaluable patients, 54 received Adderall, and 75 received methylphenidate. No statistically significant differences were noted between Adderall and methylphenidate in efficacy or safety parameters. Fewer patients receiving Adderall required twice daily, thrice daily, or in-school dosing than those receiving methylphenidate (p < 0.001). During the initial 6-month treatment period, patients treated with Adderall were less likely to switch medications than those receiving methylphenidate (p = 0.0002). In this analysis, Adderall and methylphenidate provided comparable efficacy and safety in children and adolescents with ADHD. The use of Adderall allowed patients to extend their dosing interval and reduced the need for in-school dosing, a measure that may substantially influence compliance.
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