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Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

Print version ISSN 2237-6089


SILVEIRA, Rodrigo da Rosa; LEJDERMAN, Betina; FERREIRA, Pedro Eugênio Mazzucchi Santana  and  ROCHA, Gibsi Maria Possapp da. Patterns of non-medical use of methylphenidate among 5th and 6th year students in a medical school in southern Brazil. Trends Psychiatry Psychother. [online]. 2014, vol.36, n.2, pp.101-106.  Epub June 11, 2014. ISSN 2237-6089.


To evaluate the prevalence of methylphenidate (MPH) use among 5th and 6th year medical students, to discriminate MPH use with and without medical indication, and to correlate MPH use with alcohol intake.


This is a cross-sectional study in which medical students were invited to answer a questionnaire to evaluate academic and socioeconomic status, MPH use patterns, and attitudes towards neuroenhancing drugs. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) was used to assess alcohol intake; a score ≥ 8 suggests potentially hazardous alcohol use.


Fifty-two participants (34.2%) had already used MPH, of which 35 (23.02%) had used it without medical indication. The number of 6th year students who had used MPH was more than twice higher than that of their 5th year counterparts (32.89 vs. 13.15%, respectively; p = 0.004). Also, 43.6% (p = 0.031) of the users of MPH had an AUDIT score ≥ 8; 33.3% (p = 0.029) of non-medical users of MPH had an AUDIT score ≥ 8.


In this study, the use of MPH without medical indication was prevalent. Our findings also confirmed the association between non-medical use of MPH and potentially hazardous alcohol use.

Keywords : Methylphenidate; attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity; ethics; alcohol abuse.

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