Methylphenidate-induced psychosis in adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: report of 3 new cases and review of the literature

Clin Neuropharmacol. 2010 Jul;33(4):204-6. doi: 10.1097/WNF.0b013e3181e29174.


Objective: We present 3 new cases of psychotic symptoms in patients with adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder while regularly treated with a stimulant therapy with methylphenidate.

Methods: Existing literature about this theme is reviewed, and potential mechanisms are discussed.

Results and conclusions: Medication with methylphenidate should be avoided in patients with vulnerability to schizophrenia and in drug addiction, but reported cases without these risk factors demonstrate that a careful and regular psychiatric monitoring is essential in all patients treated with methylphenidate.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / complications
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Bipolar Disorder / complications
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / adverse effects*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methylphenidate / adverse effects*
  • Methylphenidate / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychoses, Substance-Induced / etiology*
  • Schizophrenia / complications
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Methylphenidate