Methylphenidate for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder

New Cochrane Intervention Review published: Methylphenidate for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder.

This review assessed the effects of methylphenidate for symptoms of ADHD (inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity) and ASD (impairments in social interaction and communication, and repetitive, restricted or stereotypical behaviours) in children and adolescents aged 6 to 18 Years with ASD. 

It included four cross-over studies with 113 children. 

The authors concluded that:

"... short-term use of methylphenidate might improve symptoms of hyperactivity and possibly inattention in children with ASD who are tolerant of the medication, although the low quality of evidence means that we cannot be certain of the true magnitude of any effect. There was no evidence that methylphenidate has a negative impact on the core symptoms of ASD or that it improves social interaction, stereotypicval behaviours, or overall ASD. The evidence for adverse events is of very low quality because trials were short and excluded children intolerant of medication in the test-dose phase."

Read the full review here.