Author(s): Alban JP, Hopson MM, Ly V, Whyte J
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To study methylphenidate's adverse effects and impact on vital signs within the adult traumatic brain injury population. DESIGN: Thirty-five adults with traumatic brain injury enrolled in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, 6-wk crossover study of methylphenidate, given in a dose of 0.3 mg/kg/dose, twice a day. Vital signs were taken by trained clinicians and research assistants. Participants filled out weekly questionnaires pertaining to the adverse effects. RESULTS: Poor appetite was the only adverse effect related to methylphenidate. Other adverse effects commonly associated with methylphenidate, such as insomnia, rapid heart rate, and anxiety, were not found to be significantly related to the medication. The average rise in mean arterial pressure on methylphenidate was 2.5 mm. Methylphenidate showed a stronger impact on pulse, with an average increase of 7 beats/min. Baseline vital signs did not predict the degree of increase on methylphenidate. CONCLUSION: Methylphenidate appears to be safe for the adult population with traumatic brain injury. However, because a few individuals experienced significant changes in vital signs and adverse effects, all patients should be monitored.
This article was published in Am J Phys Med Rehabil
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy