The stimulant methylphenidate (MPH), also known as Ritalin, has long been the mainstay of treatment for ADHD, with clonidine as the most commonly prescribed alternative. A new study, published in Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology, has demonstrated that both MPH and clonidine, especially when used together, are effective in treating these children, with minimal side effects.
The most effective treatment for ADHD in our trial was the combination of clonidine and MPH, according to study author Roger Kurlan, MD, of the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. Improvements related to MPH were observed in the areas of on task behavior and attentiveness, while improvements related to clonidine included reduced occurrence of crying, frustration, restlessness, excitability and impulsiveness.
The 136 study participants, ages seven 14, were divided into four groups and were administered: MPH alone; clonidine alone; MPH and clonidine; and placebo. The placebo group was included as no medication had been previously established to be effective or well-tolerated for treatment of ADHD coupled with chronic tic disorders.
Participants responses were measured using ten rating scales, including teacher and parent observation and task and functioning testing, at baseline and every four weeks of the 16-week study. Not only did tics not worsen during treatment with MPH, the
Contact: Cheryl Alementi
American Academy of Neurology