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Long Acting Stimulant Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Young Children

The recruitment status of this study is unknown. The completion date has passed and the status has not been verified in more than two years.
Verified May 2009 by University of Nebraska.
Recruitment status was:  Recruiting
Information provided by:
University of Nebraska Identifier:
First received: September 15, 2008
Last updated: May 28, 2009
Last verified: May 2009

This is a pilot study evaluating the effectiveness, safety, and tolerability of Ritalin LA in treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in 4 and 5 year old children. Virtually no data has been published on the use of long-acting stimulant preparations in very young children despite early symptomatic development in a significant portion of young children with ADHD. This would be one of the first studies looking at a long-acting preparation of a stimulant medication in the treatment of ADHD in very young children.


  1. Ritalin LA is effective for the treatment of ADHD in 4 and 5 year old children.
  2. Ritalin LA is reasonably well-tolerated in the treatment of ADHD in 4 and 5 year old children.

Condition Intervention Phase
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Drug: methylphenidate
Phase 4

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Long Acting Stimulant Treatment of ADHD in Young Children

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Nebraska:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • The primary outcome measure for the study will be the change in ADHD-IV total score. [ Time Frame: Weekly for the first month. Biweekly for the second month. ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • The secondary outcome measures will be the CGAS, CGI-improvement and CGI-severity taken pre and post-study duration as well as the change in ADHD-IV subtype total scores. [ Time Frame: Weekly for the first month and biweekly for the second month ]

Estimated Enrollment: 15
Study Start Date: October 2008
Estimated Study Completion Date: August 2009
Estimated Primary Completion Date: August 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Intervention Details:
    Drug: methylphenidate
    Starting dose: methylphenidate (immediate-release pill) or Methylin (immediate-release chewable tablet for those unable to swallow pills) 2.5mg Q AM and Q noon. Target dose of 1mg/kg/day. Titration will occur as follows: 5mg Q AM and Q noon, then 7.5mg Q AM and Q noon, then 10mg Q AM and Q noon, as tolerated, not to exceed 30mg per day. Once each child arrives at a stable dose with a good response and good tolerability, they will be converted to the closest Ritalin LA dose, with a target dose of 1mg/kg/day.
    Other Names:
    • Ritalin
    • Methylin
    • Ritalin LA
Detailed Description:
This protocol involves an 8-week, open-label, pilot study evaluating the effectiveness, safety, and tolerability of Ritalin LA in treating Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in 4 and 5 year old children. The purpose of this study is to ascertain pilot data on the use of long-acting stimulants in preschool-age children since virtually no data exist on these medications in this population. The interventions include utilizing short-acting methylphenidate for the initial dosing and titration and then converting the children to Ritalin LA once an optimal dose has been found. Parents will also be receiving parent education training throughout the study. Evaluations will include obtaining the ADHD-IV at every visit, side effects of the medication, vital signs, EKG, physical exam, the Clinical Global Assessment Scale, and the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement and Severity Scales. This study will also assess parent stress with the Parent Stress Index and the emotional index of the children with the Expressed Emotion Scale for Children. Follow-up will be weekly during the first month and bi-weekly during the second month.

Ages Eligible for Study:   4 Years to 5 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Informed consent obtained from the legal guardian.
  • Parent and child must be English-speaking.
  • The child must have been living with the parent or guardian for a minimum of 6 months at the time of study entry.
  • Age: 4-5 years of age at study entry.
  • weight of at least 15kg (20th percentile for 4 year olds) for boys and weight of at least 14.5kg (20th percentile for 4 year olds) for girls
  • Severity: age and sex-adjusted T score greater or equal to 65 on the Hyperactive- Impulsive Subscale of both the Conners Parent and Teacher Rating Scales (L)
  • Diagnosis: meets DSM-IV criteria for ADHD (hyperactive/impulsive or combined subtype), on Parent Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children-IV (DISC-IV) and clinical interview by experienced clinician. ADHD must be the primary disorder.
  • Duration: symptoms must have been present for a minimum of nine months.
  • Impairment: less than or equal to 55 on the Child Global Assessment Scale.
  • Cognitive functioning: An estimated IQ 70 or greater on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT).
  • School: participation in school-type program at least 2 half-days per week where class includes at least 8 peers; if child has been expelled from an eligible program in the 3 months before screening, they can be considered for enrollment as this may reflect severity of the disorder
  • Parents and patients must be able to attend regular study visits.
  • Children being treated with other stimulant or non-stimulant medications prior to enrollment will be allowed to discontinue treatment with these medications in order to enter the study, providing the parent wants to do so to enable their child to have a trial of Ritalin LA, the target symptoms are not well-controlled or unwanted side effects are persisting on their current treatment, and the prescribing physician is notified by the parent. These children will have a visit 1A in order to accommodate a 5 half-lives washout of their pre-study medication.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Other medications: no concurrent psychotropic medications or other medications (including herbal preparations and over-the-counter medications) with significant CNS effects (e.g., antidepressants, antipsychotics, drugs affecting blood pressure or heart rate, anticonvulsants, alpha-agonists, adrenergic blockers, lithium, or sedating antihistamines).
  • General medical conditions: children with major medical conditions that would interfere with involvement in the study or the study medication will not be enrolled.
  • Serious structural cardiac abnormalities: The recent joint advisory of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend use of stimulant medications should generally be avoided in patients with cardiomyopathy, serious heart rhythm or structural abnormalities, or other serious cardiac problems. Any patient with such a diagnosis will not be allowed in this study.
  • Systolic and diastolic blood pressure above 95th percentile for age and gender
  • Exclusionary Psychiatric Conditions: Current Adjustment Disorder, Autism, Psychosis, Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, significant suicidality, or any other psychiatric disorder in addition to ADHD that requires treatment with additional medications.
  • History of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse that results in a clinically significant impact on clinical presentation, potentially driving some of the symptoms of ADHD.
  • Prior failure to respond to an adequate trial of any methylphenidate product. This will be at the determination of the investigator.
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00754208

Contact: Joan Daughton, MD 402-552-6006

United States, Nebraska
University of Nebraska Medical Center Recruiting
Omaha, Nebraska, United States, 68198-5584
Contact: Joan Daughton, MD    402-552-6006   
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Nebraska
Principal Investigator: Joan Daughton, MD University of Nebraska
  More Information

Responsible Party: Joan Daughton, MD, University of Nebraska Medical Center Identifier: NCT00754208     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 380-08
Study First Received: September 15, 2008
Last Updated: May 28, 2009

Keywords provided by University of Nebraska:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Stimulant Treatment
Young Children

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders
Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Mental Disorders
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System Diseases
Signs and Symptoms
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 April 21, 2017