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Dramatic Increase in Use of Meds to Treat ADHD

Dramatic Increase in Use of Meds to Treat ADHDGlobally, use of stimulant medications to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorders has changed significantly over the past decade.

Scandinavian researchers used an innovative research method to study changes in treatment approaches for adolescents and children.

They discovered the use of stimulant medications has increased by five-fold over the past several years.

As published in Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology (JCAP), researchers studied more than 850,000 children born in Denmark between 1990 and 2001.

Søren Dalsgaard, MD, PhD, Helena Skyt Nielsen, PhD, and Marianne Simonsen, PhD, found that 61 percent of children with ADHD, 16 percent of children with ASD, and 3 percent of those with other psychiatric disorders were treated with one or more medications.

They found that methylphenidate, dexamphetamine, and atomoxetine were typically prescribed for ADHD.

The review shows a significant increases in the prescription rates of these medications during the years 2003 to 2010.

“This study utilizes a population-based national cohort of children and adolescents, and assesses stimulant treatment in children and adolescents with ASD,” says Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, Editor-in-Chief of JCAP, and President, Child Mind Institute, New York, NY.

“This is the largest and first prospective study to quantify the change in the use of treatment with ADHD medications over time.”

Source: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

Doctor holding out medication photo by shutterstock.

Dramatic Increase in Use of Meds to Treat ADHD

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Dramatic Increase in Use of Meds to Treat ADHD. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 21, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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