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May 10, 2016

Quantifying the Benefits and Risks of Methylphenidate as Treatment for Childhood Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Author Affiliations
  • 1Section on Neurobehavioral Clinical Research, Social and Behavioral Research Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
  • 2National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland
JAMA. 2016;315(18):1953-1955. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.3427

Approximately 6% of school-aged children in the United States are prescribed medication for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is roughly 1 child in every classroom.1 Psychostimulants, such as methylphenidate, are the most commonly prescribed and have been a first-line medication for ADHD for more than 50 years.2 Establishing the efficacy and safety of methylphenidate in children is of the utmost importance. Meta-analyses, which quantitatively combine and critically evaluate the findings of trials, are important in this endeavor.