Comparative efficacy of Adderall and methylphenidate in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A meta-analysis

Stephen V. Faraone, Joseph Biederman, Christine Roe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Because methylphenidate is currently the most widely prescribed medication for attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, several studies have used it as the active comparator medication for evaluating the efficacy of a newer stimulant, Adderall. These prior studies show Adderall to be superior to placebo and suggest it is at least as effective as the standard-release form of methylphenidate and has a longer duration of action. Although these initial studies provide useful information for clinicians treating children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, they are difficult to interpret because findings vary among studies and among the different types of measures used within each study. To provide a clearer picture of what conclusions can be drawn from these studies, we performed a meta-analysis. Data from the four available studies suggest that Adderall has a small but statistically significant advantage over the standard-release form of methylphenidate. This advantage was observed for both symptom measures and global ratings but was strongest for global ratings. The effect of Adderall was significant for clinician and parent ratings but not for teacher ratings and was significant for both fixed-dose and best-dose designs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-473
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes


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