Methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine treatments of hyperactivity: are there true nonresponders?

Psychiatry Res. 1991 Feb;36(2):141-55. doi: 10.1016/0165-1781(91)90126-a.


The response to stimulant drugs of 48 boys with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder was measured following dextroamphetamine, methylphenidate, and placebo in a double-blind crossover study. To distinguish lack of behavioral improvement from adverse drug effects, a day hospital setting and a wide dose range were used. Both drugs were highly and equally efficacious for the group as a whole, and frequently one drug or the other was superior for an individual child, or adverse effects occurred only on one of the stimulants. Only one of the 48 boys (2%) was discharged without the recommendation for continued stimulant drug treatment. "Nonresponse" appears to be extremely rare when both stimulants and a wide range of doses are given.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Child
  • Day Care, Medical
  • Dextroamphetamine / adverse effects
  • Dextroamphetamine / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methylphenidate / adverse effects
  • Methylphenidate / therapeutic use*
  • Placebos
  • Research Design


  • Placebos
  • Methylphenidate
  • Dextroamphetamine