Table 1

Pharmacological Interventions

Study quality

Participants (n), age, inclusion criteria and setting

Interventions and follow-up

Outcome measures


Oesterheld et al, 1998[12]

Cross-over RCT

Randomized (method unclear); allocation concealment unclear; blinding (researchers, outcome assessors); follow-up 100%; ITT analysis unclear; study power not provided.

n = 4

5 to 12 years

FAS or partial FAS[4] & ADHD (DSM-IV)

Native American residential school

0.6 mg/kg methylphenidate per dose to nearest 2.5 mg or lactose placebo or Vitamin C placebo

Interventions were given 3 times per day for 5 days with a 2 day washout period prior to each intervention.

Follow-up: Day 5 of each intervention

Hyperactivity-Impulsivity score on CPRS-48: significant improvement in methylphenidate group (F = 4.34, df = 2, p < 0.05)

Hyperactivity-Impulsivity score on CTRS-39: significant improvement in methylphenidate group (F = 6.42, df2, p < 0.02)

Daydreaming-Attention score on Conners Teacher Rating Scale-39: no significant difference (F = 1.429, df2, p = 0.289)

Adverse events: three children experienced decreased appetite; two, mild stomach aches; and two, headaches.

Snyder et al, 1997[13]

Cross-over RCT

Randomized (method unclear); allocation concealment unclear; blinding (researchers, outcome assessors); follow-up 92%; ITT analysis unclear; study power not provided.

n = 12

6 to 16 years

FAS[4] & ADHD (DSM-IV) & reported positive response to stimulant medication

Selected from a child development unit database, Canada

Usual dose of medication (methylphenidate: 8 children; pemoline: 2 children; dexedrine: 1 child) or colour matched capsule (placebo)

Interventions were given for 3 days with a 1 day washout prior to each intervention. Usual medication was given for 3 days between the 2 interventions.

Follow-up: Day 3 of each intervention

Attention: No significant difference between groups on vigilance task and no significant difference on Underlining Test.

Hyperactivity: scores on the Abbreviated Symptoms Questionnaire – Parents were significantly improved for stimulant medication (68.36, SD 17.4) compared to placebo (84.4, SD 14.0) (F = 8.66; p = 0.016)

Adverse events: not reported


Peadon et al. BMC Pediatrics 2009 9:35   doi:10.1186/1471-2431-9-35

Open Data