Effect of dextroamphetamine and methylphenidate on calcium and magnesium concentration in hyperactive boys

Mark E. Schmidt, Markus J.P. Kruesi, Josephine Elia, Breck G. Borcherding, Ronald J. Elin, J. M. Hosseini, Kathleen E. McFarlin, Susan Hamburger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Levels of calcium in plasma, red blood cells, and mononuclear blood cells, levels of calcium in plasma, and the plasma calcium-to-magnesium ratio were measured at baseline and after 3 weeks of each drug phase of a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine in hyperactive boys. Levels of magnesium in plasma were significantly higher after 3 weeks of dextroamphetamine treatment, and the calcium-to-magnesium ratio was significantly lower after 3 weeks of either drug compared with the baseline or placebo condition. There was no change in magnesium levels in red blood cells or mononuclear blood cells. These measures were obtained 30 minutes before the morning dose and at 9 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and noon on the last day of each 3-week phase. Analysis of variacne revealed a drug effect on plasma magnesium and on the calcium-to-magnisium ratio but no drug × time interaction. Although these changes were not correlated with the time course of acute symptomatic response to stimulant therapy, the decrease in the ratio may be relevant to side effects and treatment resistance associated with stimulant use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-210
Number of pages12
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention deficit disorder
  • amphetamine
  • erythrocytes
  • plasma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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