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Revised 4/1/14: The Daily Adult Dosages for Focalin and generic methylphenidate in Table 1 have been updated.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disruptive behavior disorder that occurs in about 5% of school-age children, most often in boys, and frequently persists into young adulthood.1,2
The drugs approved for treatment of ADHD by the FDA are listed in Table 1 on page 24. Except for atomoxetine, guanfacine and clonidine, they are all stimulants and are classified as Schedule II controlled substances by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). They are all approved for use in school-age children and adolescents, and most are approved for use in adults as well.
Professional medical associations such as the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry have recommended trying other treatments in children less than 6 years old, such as an effective form of parent training, before resorting to stimulants. Stimulants can cause irritability and social withdrawal... more
6. J Swanson et al. Development of a new once-a-day formulation of methylphenidate for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: proof-of-concept and proof-of-product studies. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2003; 60:204.
9. RL Findling et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of methylphenidate transdermal system in pediatric patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. J Clin Psychiatry 2008; 69:149.
12. LA Adler et al. Double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the efficacy and safety of lisdexamfetamine dimesylate in adults with attentiondeficit/ hyperactivity disorder. J Clin Psychiatry 2008; 69:1364.
14. S McCarthy et al. Mortality associated with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug treatment: a retrospective cohort study of children, adolescents and young adults using the general practice research database. Drug Saf 2009; 32:1089.
17. JH Newcorn et al. Atomoxetine and osmotically released methylphenidate for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: acute comparison and differential response. Am J Psychiatry 2008; 165:721.