Original Article

The Effects of Methylphenidate on Ventricular Repolarization Parameters in Children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Istanbul Medical Faculty, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey


Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Evliya Celebi Training and Research Hospital, Kütahya Health Sciences University, Kütahya, Turkey


Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Evliya Celebi Training and Research Hospital, Kütahya Health Sciences University, Kütahya, Turkey

Alpha Psychiatry 2023; 24: 174-179
DOI: 10.5152/alphapsychiatry.2023.231185
Read: 736 Downloads: 417 Published: 27 September 2023

Background: Long-acting methylphenidate (MPH), a psychostimulant agent, is widely used in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Methylphenidate might cause an increment in the risk of lethal arrhythmias by deteriorating ventricular repolarization. QT intervals, the corrected QT (QTc), QT dispersion, T-peak to T-end (TpTe), and the TpTe/QTc ratio are the most utilized indicators of ventricular repolarization in electrocardiogram (ECG). The present study was conducted to examine the effects of longterm MPH use on the ECG in pediatric patients.

Methods: A total of 52 children with ADHD and 51 age- and gender-matched controls were enrolled in the study. The children had been using MPH regularly for at least 6 months. Comparisons were made regarding ECG parameters, including the mean intervals of QT, QTc, QTc dispersion interval duration, TpTe intervals, TpTe/QT, and TpTe/QTc ratio.

Results: The median duration of treatment with MPH was 30 months (minimum–maximum: 6-120), and the median MPH dose was 30 mg/day (minimum–maximum: 18-54). The main findings showed significantly prolonged P-wave dispersion, TpTe interval, TpTe dispersion, and TpTe/QT and TpTe/QTc ratios in the ADHD group compared to the healthy controls (P < .001). These parameters were not associated with MPH dose or treatment duration. Additionally, nearly half of the patients had QTc values of 460 ms or higher, but there were no significant differences in treatment duration and dose compared to the remaining group (P=.792 and P=.126).

Conclusion: Methylphenidate may have proarrhythmogenic effects in children with ADHD, which may not be adversely affected by long-term use and treatment dose. Considering the extensive use of MPH, cardiac monitoring of these children is important.

Cite this article as: Tanır Y, Erbay MF, Özkan S, Özdemir R, Örengül AC. The effects of methylphenidate on ventricular repolarization parameters in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Alpha Psychiatry. 2023;24(5):174-179.

EISSN 2757-8038