Objective: Results of the NIMH Collaborative Multisite Multimodal Treatment Study of Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (MTA) were analyzed to determine whether a double-blind, placebo-controlled methylphenidate (MPH) titration trial identified the best MPH dose for each child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Method: Children with ADHD assigned to MTA medication treatment groups (n = 289) underwent a controlled 28-day titration protocol that administered different MPH doses (placebo, low, middle, and high) on successive days.
Results: A repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed main effects for MPH dose with greater effects on teacher ratings of impairment and deportment (F3 = 100.6, n = 223, p = .0001; effect sizes 0.8-1.3) than on parent ratings of similar endpoints (F3 = 55.61, n = 253, p = .00001; effect sizes 0.4-0.6). Dose did not interact with period, dose order, comorbid diagnosis, site, or treatment group.
Conclusions: The MTA titration protocol validated the efficacy of weekend MPH dosing and established a total daily dose limit of 35 mg of MPH for children weighing less than 25 kg. It replicated previously reported MPH response rates (77%), distribution of best doses (10-50 mg/day) across subjects, effect sizes on impairment and deportment, as well as dose-related adverse events.