Original Paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 10, pp 2435-2441

Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Pharmacological Treatment of the Symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders

  • Brian ReichowAffiliated withYale School of Medicine Child Study Center Email author 
  • , Fred R. VolkmarAffiliated withYale School of Medicine Child Study Center
  • , Michael H. BlochAffiliated withYale School of Medicine Child Study Center

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Abstract

Many children with pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) exhibit behaviors and symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We sought to determine the relative efficacy of medications for treating ADHD symptoms in children with PDD by identifying all double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials examining the efficacy of medications for treating ADHD symptoms in children with PDD. We located seven trials involving 225 children. A random effects meta-analysis of four methylphenidate trials showed methylphenidate to be effective for treating ADHD symptoms in children with PDD (ES = .67). Several adverse events were greater for children were taking methylphenidate compared to placebo. An individual trial of clonidine and two trials of atomoxetine suggest these agents may also be effective in treating ADHD symptoms in children with PDD.

Keywords

Autism Pervasive developmental disorder Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder Methylphenidate Meta-analysis Atomoxetine Clonidine ADHD ASD Autism spectrum disorder PDD PDD-NOS