Sustained release methylphenidate for the treatment of ADHD in amphetamine abusers: a pilot study

Maija Konstenius, Nitya Jayaram-Lindström, Olof Beck, Johan Franck
Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2010 April 1, 108 (1-2): 130-3
The efficacy of stimulant treatment in patients with substance use disorders and comorbid attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been tested for cocaine and alcohol dependence but so far no studies have been conducted in amphetamine dependent individuals. The present trial was a pilot study aiming to test the feasibility of treating amphetamine dependent patients with comorbid ADHD with central stimulant medication. The study was a double-blind, placebo controlled trial with parallel groups design comparing the efficacy of a fixed dose (72mg) of OROS methylphenidate (MPH) with placebo (PL) in reducing ADHD symptoms in currently abstinent adults with amphetamine dependence and ADHD. Twenty-four treatment seeking patients who met the DSM IV criteria for amphetamine dependence and ADHD were randomized to MPH/PL. The trial was conducted at an outpatient facility with twice weekly visits, measuring ADHD symptoms and drug use. Patients rated their ADHD symptoms on a weekly basis and provided supervised urine specimens for drug toxicology twice weekly. All patients participated in weekly sessions of a skills training programme. Both the groups significantly reduced their self-rated ADHD symptoms during the 12-week treatment but there was no difference between the two treatment arms. Drug use, both measured by urine toxicology and self-report did not differ between the groups. No difference was found between the two groups with regards to craving for amphetamine or in retention in treatment. Larger studies with higher doses combined with individual dosage and longer follow-up periods are warranted.

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