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June 1974

Imipramine and Methylphenidate Treatments of Hyperactive BoysA Double-Blind Comparison

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;30(6):789-793. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760120049008

A double-blind outpatient study is reported comparing imipramine hydrochloride, methylphenidate hydrochloride, and placebo treatments of 76 hyperactive grade-school boys. In addition, the predrug behavioral evaluation is examined in detail to provide guidelines for clinics examining these children.

Base line clinic evaluations showed the usefulness of the psychologist's global estimates of attention and behavior disorder, as these ratings predicted teacher rating of classroom behavior better than did psychiatric playroom observations. Parent four-day diaries of activity and family interaction also predicted teacher ratings and reflected response to stimulant medication.

Although the global judgments of psychiatrists, psychologist, and the pediatrician indicated the superiority of both drugs to a placebo, all measures favored the stimulant drug. The significance of these findings may be limited, however, by the dose of imipramine hydrochloride (80 mg) that was lower than in use elsewhere.