Objective: To assess how threshold oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), inattention, and hyperactivity-impulsivity affect the response to atomoxetine versus methylphenidate.
Method: Systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs; ≥6 weeks follow-up). The primary measure was core symptom response-≥40% reduction in ADHD Rating Scale-IV-Parent Version: investigator administered and scored total or domain subscores, as appropriate.
Results: Data from 1,391 children and adolescents (823 atomoxetine, 568 methylphenidate; 7 RCTs) were meta-analyzed. The mean difference in response rates for patients with ODD was 0.6% (95% confidence interval [CI] = -11.9%-13.1%). The "without ODD" patient group showed significant between-trial heterogeneity (p < .001). Response rate differences for patients meeting the threshold for inattention or hyperactivity-impulsivity were -3.1% (95% CI = -11.5%-5.3%) and -4.9% (95% CI = -14.3%-4.4%), respectively.
Conclusions: Meeting the threshold criteria for oppositionality, inattention, or hyperactivity-impulsivity did not alter core ADHD symptom response to atomoxetine versus methylphenidate, which was equivalent.