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December 1, 1956


JAMA. 1956;162(14):1303-1304. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970310031007

• Methylphenidate hydrochloride was administered in 10-mg. doses by intravenous injection to 164 hospitalized mental patients who manifested sleepiness and other symptoms of overdosage with tranquilizing drugs. The conditions of only 4 of the 164 were refractory to the analeptic effects of the methyphenidate; the other 160 all responded to one, two, or at most three injections by increase in alertness and decrease in side-reactions. Safe and effective dosages were thus determined, and in addition it was found that the improved condition of 151 of the 160 patients could be maintained by giving the methylphenidate solution thrice daily by mouth. A group of 11 chronic, regressed, underactive patients were then treated with intravenous injections of the drug. Three injections of 10 mg. sufficed in every case to cause marked clinical improvement, with increased activity, sudden awareness of surroundings, and other marked changes of behavior. These changes were obtained repeatedly, appeared promptly, were of limited duration, and were not seen after injections of a placebo. They are exemplified in the case histories of two patients who, after 21 and 17 years of extreme inactivity in the hospital, showed dramatic improvement in behavior.