Methylphenidate transdermal system in adult ADHD and impact on emotional and oppositional symptoms

J Atten Disord. 2011 May;15(4):295-304. doi: 10.1177/1087054710365986. Epub 2010 Apr 21.


Objective: This trial evaluated the effect of methylphenidate transdermal system (MTS) on the full spectrum of adult symptoms (attention-disorganization, hyperactivity-impulsivity, emotional dysregulation [ED], and oppositional-defiant disorder [ODD]) found in this disorder.

Method: This placebo-controlled, double-blind, flexible-dose, crossover trial employed the Wender-Reimherr Adult Attention Deficit Disorder Scale (WRAADDS) and Connor's Adult ADHD Rating Scale (CAARS) and two measures of adult ODD. Treatment responses of all participants and four subgroups (ADHDalone, ADHD + ED, ADHD + ODD, and ADHD + ED + ODD) were assessed.

Results: Around 23% of baseline participants were ADHD alone, 31% were ADHD + ED, 10% were ADHD + ODD, and 36% were ADHD + ED + ODD. There was a significant treatment effect for all symptom areas and all four subgroups. MTS was associated with significantly more adverse events, especially dermatologic side effects.

Conclusions: MTS was effective in treating adult ADHD. This clinical trial included numerous participants meeting criteria for ED and ODD. All ADHD symptoms responded positively to treatment with MTS.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders / drug therapy
  • Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Emotions / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methylphenidate / administration & dosage
  • Methylphenidate / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Methylphenidate