Memantine versus Methylphenidate in Children and Adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Double-Blind, Randomized Clinical Trial

Iran J Psychiatry. 2015 Apr;10(2):106-14.


Objectives: The aim of this randomized clinical trial was to assess the efficacy of memantine versus methylphenidate in the treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Method: Forty participants (34 boys and 6 girls) aged 6-11 who were diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder based on (DSM-IV-TR) criteria were selected for this study. The participants were randomly assigned to two groups: group one (n = 22) received memantine and the other group (n = 18) received methylphenidate for six weeks. Treatment outcomes were assessed using the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Rating Scale and Clinical Global Impression- Severity Scale administered at baseline and at weeks 3 and 6 following the treatment. Also, a two-way repeated measures analysis of variance (time- treatment interaction) was used.

Results: At 6 weeks, methylphenidate produced a significantly better outcome on the Parent Rating Scale scores and Clinical Global Impression- Severity than memantine. Side effects were observed more often in the memantine group. However, with respect to the frequency of side effects, the difference between the memantine and methylphenidate groups was not significant. The most common side effects associated with memantine are appetite suppression, headache, vomiting, nausea and fatigue.

Conclusion: The results of this study revealed that although memantine was less effective than methylphenidate in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, it may be considered as an alternative treatment.

Keywords: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); Children; Clinical Trial.; Memantine; Methylphenidate (MPH).