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Impact of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Treatment on Smoking Cessation Intervention in ADHD Smokers: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial

J Clin Psychiatry 2010;71(12):1680-1688
10.4088/JCP.09m05089gry

Objective: High smoking rates in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and nicotine’s amelioration of ADHD suggest that effective ADHD treatment might facilitate abstinence in smokers with ADHD. The present study evaluated if using osmotic-release oral system methylphenidate (OROS-MPH) to treat ADHD enhances response to smoking cessation treatment in smokers with ADHD.

Method: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 11-week trial with a 1-month follow-up was conducted at 6 clinical sites between December 2005 and January 2008. Adults (aged 18–55 years) meeting DSM-IV criteria for ADHD and interested in quitting smoking were randomly assigned to OROS-MPH titrated to 72 mg/d (n = 127) or placebo (n = 128). All participants received brief weekly individual smoking cessation counseling for 11 weeks and 21 mg/d nicotine patches starting on the smoking quit day (day 27) through study week 11. Outcome measures included prolonged smoking abstinence and DSM-IV ADHD Rating Scale (ADHD-RS) score.

Results: Of 255 randomly assigned participants, 204 (80%) completed the trial. Prolonged abstinence rates, 43.3% and 42.2%, for the OROS-MPH and placebo groups, respectively, did not differ significantly (OR = 1.1; 95% CI, 0.63–1.79; P = .81). Relative to placebo, OROS-MPH evidenced a greater reduction in DSM-IV ADHD-RS score (P < .0001) and in cigarettes per day during the post-quit phase (P = .016). Relative to placebo, OROS-MPH increased blood pressure and heart rate to a statistically, but not clinically, significant degree (P < .05); medication discontinuation did not differ significantly between treatments.

Conclusions: Treatment for ADHD did not improve smoking cessation success; OROS-MPH, relative to placebo, effectively treated ADHD and was safe and generally well tolerated in this healthy sample of adult ADHD smokers.

Trial Registration: clinical trials.gov Identifier: NCT00253747

J Clin Psychiatry 2010

Submitted: January 30, 2009; accepted July 10, 2009.

Online ahead of print: May 18, 2010.

Corresponding author: Theresa M. Winhusen, PhD, University of Cincinnati, 3210 Jefferson Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45220 (winhusen@carc.uc.edu).