Pemoline, methylphenidate, and placebo in children with minimal brain dysfunction

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980 Aug;37(8):922-30. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780210080009.


An eight-week double-blind comparison between pemoline (Cylert), methylphenidate (Ritalin) hydrochloride, and placebo was carried out on 60 hyperactive children. Measurements of home, school, achievement, cognitive function, and global clinical status were made at baseline, midtreatment, end of treatment, and posttreatment. Both drugs produced improvement in all areas except the achievement measures. One major difference between drugs was the apparently longer action of pemoline, since its effects at home and school tended to persist when the drug was withdrawn, whereas the patients receiving methylphenidate tended to regress to their baseline levels.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Child
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methylphenidate / adverse effects
  • Methylphenidate / therapeutic use*
  • Pemoline / adverse effects
  • Pemoline / therapeutic use*
  • Psychological Tests


  • Methylphenidate
  • Pemoline