Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2015

Thesis Advisor(s)

Dr. Megan Ehret

Honors Major

Pharmacy Studies


Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Purpose: To review the current literature on the various extended-release methylphenidate stimulant preparations regarding safety and efficacy in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Summary: The literature reviewed establishes the efficacy of the different long-acting methylphenidate stimulant formulations in treating children and adolescents with ADHD. Comparing and contrasting the different extended-release preparations allows for clinicians to help tailor ADHD treatments to individual patients. The extended release methylphenidate products provide the same efficacy as the immediate release formulations, but add the convenience of less frequent dosing. There are a few options for patients with difficulty swallowing tablets or capsules, including the Daytrana® transdermal patch and the liquid Quillivant XR®. Focalin XR®, Metadate CD®, and Ritalin LA® can all be opened and sprinkled on applesauce.

Conclusions: Extended-release methylphenidate is effective in treating the symptoms of ADHD in children and adolescents. The different available dosage forms gives the clinician the opportunity to individualize treatment based on patient needs.

* Data Sources: The literature included was retrieved from PubMed/MEDLINE using the terms methylphenidate, stimulant, extended-release, children, and attention/hyperactivity disorder. Reference citations from publications identified were also reviewed.

Study Selection and Data Extraction: Double-blind clinical trials found using the search strategy above were included in this review. Open-label studies were included if no double-blind trials were published for that methylphenidate preparation.