Prediction of clinical response to methylphenidate in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1995 Aug;34(8):1025-32. doi: 10.1097/00004583-199508000-00012.


Objective: To examine the pattern of individual responses to to methylphenidate (MPH) in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and to examine factors that predict drug response.

Method: Individual drug response was defined on the basis of changes on the Abbreviated Conners Rating Scales completed by parents and teachers. These scales were the main outcome measures in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of MPH. Response prediction was examined in stepwise discriminant analyses, in which baseline variables and the response to a single, 10-mg dose of MPH were entered.

Results: Predictors of a strong MPH response were a high IQ, considerable inattentiveness, young age, low severity of disorder, and low rates of anxiety. A positive response to a single dose of MPH significantly improved the prediction of less stringently defined levels of MPH response.

Conclusion: Only strong levels of response could be predicted by baseline characteristics. Severity of disorder based on clinical judgment and improvement after a single dose of MPH are found to be important contributors to response prediction.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methylphenidate / therapeutic use*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Methylphenidate