Objective and subjective measures of the pharmacodynamic effects of Adderall in the treatment of children with ADHD in a controlled laboratory classroom setting

by Swanson J, Wigal S, Greenhill L, Browne R, Waslick B,
Lerner M, Williams L, Flynn D, Agler D, Crowley KL,
Fineberg E, Regino R, Baren M, Cantwell D
University of California-Irvine, USA.
Psychopharmacol Bull 1998; 34(1):55-60


In a randomized double-blind crossover study of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the time course effects of four doses of Adderall (5, 10, 15, and 20 mg) and an inactive (placebo) control, and an active (Ritalin) control were evaluated. A laboratory classroom setting was established in which subjective (teacher ratings of deportment and attention) and objective (scores on math tests) measurements were taken every 1.5 hours across the day. In addition to significant time and dose effects of Adderall, significant time-of-day effects were documented in the placebo condition for the subjective measure of deportment and objective measures of performance. Regression analyses were used to estimate the magnitude of these baseline effects. Correlations across time were used to evaluate the test-retest reliability of each measure in the face of these time-dependent placebo effects. After placebo/time adjustments, within-subject correlations between pairs of measures were used to evaluate the validity of the math test as a measure of response to stimulant medication.