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A Double-Blind Comparison of Concerta and Placebo in Adults With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

This study has been completed.
McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals, a Division of McNeil-PPC, Inc.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Joseph Biederman, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital Identifier:
First received: September 13, 2005
Last updated: June 26, 2013
Last verified: June 2013
This is a double-blind, placebo-controlled study using daily doses of up to 1.3 mg/kg/day of Concerta in the treatment of adults with the DSM-IV diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (childhood onset). We hypothesize ADHD symptomatology in adults with DSM-IV ADHD will be responsive to Concerta treatment and Concerta-associated response of ADHD symptomatology in adults will be sustained over time.

Condition Intervention Phase
ADHD Drug: methylphenidate HCl (Concerta) Drug: Placebo Phase 4

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Double-Blind Comparison of Concerta and Placebo in Adults With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Joseph Biederman, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Symptom reduction using ADHD-Clinical Global Impression and ADHD Symptom Checklist Severity scale administered at each visit. [ Time Frame: 34 weeks ]

Enrollment: 297
Study Start Date: June 2003
Study Completion Date: August 2007
Primary Completion Date: August 2007 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: 1
Drug: methylphenidate HCl (Concerta)
up to a maximum dose of 1.3 mg Concerta/kg/day, and not more than 144 mg/day for any subject regardless of weight.
Other Name: Concerta
Placebo Comparator: 2
Drug: Placebo
up to a maximum dose of 1.3 mg Placebo /kg/day, and not more than 144 mg/day for any subject regardless of weight.

Detailed Description:

Concerta was specially developed to replace three-times-a-day IR methylphenidate, making it an ideal option for patients with ADHD. Moreover, the once-a-day administration of Concerta secures a steady delivery of methylphenidate across the day, minimizing the well-known risks of peaks and valleys of IR methylphenidate, which could offer an added advantage to the pharmacokinetic advantage of once-a-day administration. Despite these putative advantages, whether this new delivery system will lead to the same results as those documented with immediate-response methylphenidate in the treatments of adults with ADHD requires empirical corroboration. To this end we are conducting a randomized controlled clinical trial to evaluate the short- and medium-term safety and efficacy of Concerta in the treatment of adults with ADHD with and without co-morbid psychiatric disorders. We also wish to examine the role of genetics in predicting ADHD treatment response to Concerta. There is growing literature that supports the role of genetic factors in treatment response in youth with ADHD, and we seek to further explore this relationship in adults.

The proposed study includes the use of a 34-week design to document the response rate, assessment of the impact of Concerta on functional capacities (quality of life, psychosocial function) and cognition, and careful assessment of safety and tolerability.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 55 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Male and female outpatients older than 18 and younger than 55 years of age.
  2. Subjects with the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), by DSM-IV, as manifested in clinical evaluation and confirmed by structured interview.
  3. ADHD Symptom Checklist score > 24.
  4. Patients with past history of depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder (including OCD) without current disorder for > 3 months as ascertained through structured diagnostic interview and clinical exam.
  5. Subjects treated for anxiety disorders and depression who are on a stable medication regimen for at least three months, and who have a disorder-specific CGI-Severity score ≤ 3 (mildly ill) and who have a score on the Hamilton-Depression and Hamilton-Anxiety rating scales below 15 (mild range).
  6. Subjects with a past history of tics but tic free for > 1 year.
  7. Subjects with past history of substance use disorders but substance free for > 6 months.
  8. Subjects receiving non-MAOI antidepressants (e.g., SSRI's, bupropion, venlafaxine) or benzodiazepines who have been on a stable regimen for > 3 months for any of the conditions listed above.

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Any clinically unstable psychiatric conditions including the following: acute psychosis, acute panic, acute OCD, acute mania, acute suicidality, bipolar disorder, acute substance use disorders (alcohol or drugs, sociopathy, criminality, or delinquency.
  2. Any metabolic, neurological, hepatic, renal, cardiovascular, hematological, opthalmic, or endocrine disease.
  3. Clinically significant abnormal baseline laboratory values which include the following:

    1. Values > 20% above the upper range of the laboratory standard of a basic metabolic screen.
    2. Exclusionary blood pressure > 140 (systolic) and 90 (diastolic).
    3. Exclusionary ECG parameters: QTC > 460 msec, QRS > 120 msec, and PR > 200 msec. Subjects having ECG evidence of ischemia or arrhythmia as reviewed by an independent cardiologist.
  4. Mental retardation (IQ <75).
  5. Organic brain disorders.
  6. Seizures or tics in the last year.
  7. Pregnant or nursing females.
  8. Subjects with current adequate treatment for ADHD or a history of a previous adequate trial of Concerta.
  9. Non-English speaking subjects will not be allowed into the study for the following reasons:

    1. the assessment instruments are unavailable and have not been adequately standardized in other languages;
    2. our clinical trials facility is located in Cambridge and not at the MGH main campus; thus translators are unavailable;
    3. even if such translation services were available, the assessments in the English language conducted by English-speaking clinicians and raters with English-speaking subjects are already extremely time-consuming, lasting many hours, making it unfeasible, unrealistic, and of dubious clinical validity to conduct them with a translator with non-English-speaking subjects;
    4. psychiatric questionnaires and evaluations are taxing, and adding the complexity of a translator has the potential to make the patient experience even more exhausting
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00181571

United States, Massachusetts
Massachusetts General Hospital
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, 02138
Sponsors and Collaborators
Massachusetts General Hospital
McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals, a Division of McNeil-PPC, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Joseph Biederman, MD Massachusetts General Hospital
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Joseph Biederman, MD, Principal Investigator, Massachusetts General Hospital Identifier: NCT00181571     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2003-p-000037
Study First Received: September 13, 2005
Last Updated: June 26, 2013

Keywords provided by Joseph Biederman, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders
Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Mental Disorders
Central Nervous System Stimulants
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors
Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors
Membrane Transport Modulators
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Dopamine Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents processed this record on September 21, 2017