Amantadine versus methylphenidate in children and adolescents with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a randomized, double-blind trial

Hum Psychopharmacol. 2010 Nov;25(7-8):560-5. doi: 10.1002/hup.1154. Epub 2010 Dec 8.


Objective: The aim of the present study was to further evaluate, under double blind and controlled conditions, the efficacy of amantadine for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents as compared to methylphenidate.

Methods: This was a 6-week randomized clinical trial. Forty patients (28 boys and 12 girls) with a DSM-IV-TR diagnosis of ADHD were the study population of this trial. All study subjects were randomly assigned to receive the treatment using capsule of amantadine at a dose of 100-150 mg/day depending on weight (100 mg/day for <30 kg and 150 mg/day for >30 kg) or methylphenidate at a dose of 20-30 mg/day for a 6-week double blind, randomized clinical trial. The principal measure of outcome was the Teacher and Parent Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder Rating Scale-IV.

Results: No significant differences were observed between the two groups on the Parent and Teacher Rating Scale scores (df = 1; F = 0.02; p = 0.86 and df = 1; F = 0.01; p = 0.89, respectively). Side effects of decreased appetite and restlessness were observed more frequently in the methylphenidate group.

Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that amantadine significantly improved symptoms of ADHD and was well tolerated and it may be beneficial in the treatment of children with ADHD. Nevertheless, the present results do not constitute proof of efficacy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Amantadine / adverse effects
  • Amantadine / therapeutic use*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Dopamine Agents / adverse effects
  • Dopamine Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methylphenidate / adverse effects
  • Methylphenidate / therapeutic use*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Dopamine Agents
  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors
  • Methylphenidate
  • Amantadine