Surviving and Thriving with ADHD: Part 1. Stimulant and Nonstimulant Treatment- Pharmacist
There has been an increase in prescription medications, mainly stimulants, for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) along with an explosion of new formulations. A 2016 CDC report estimates that about 9% of children 2 to 17 years of age (6.1 million) have been diagnosed with ADHD. Among the children with ADHD, 6 out of 10 were taking ADHD medication. The lifetime prevalence of ADHD has been estimated to be as high as 8.1%. In 2015, 4% of privately insured women ages 15 to 44 filled an ADHD prescription, most often for a stimulant such as mixed amphetamine salts or methylphenidate – a 344% increase compared to 2003.3 In 2016, the CDC reported that 3 out of 4 preschoolers diagnosed with ADHD were prescribed stimulants, despite a recommendation for behavior therapy alone for that age group. This issue is the first of a 2-part review of ADHD. Part 1 focuses on stimulant and nonstimulant treatments for ADHD, including the advantages of certain formulations and delivery methods, common and serious adverse effects, and possible longterm effects. Part 2 is available online at rxconsultant.com and summarizes diagnosis and clinical presentation in all age groups (including adults), non-drug and behavioral interventions, clinically significant drug interactions with stimulants and nonstimulants, and the comorbid conditions that often accompany ADHD.