Research produced by Express Scripts (a pharmacy benefit management company) indicates that between 2008-2012 the prescription rates for adult ADHD medications increased by over 50%. While childhood prescriptions of ADHD medications tend to favor boys (2:1), the medications prescribed in adulthood tend to slightly favor women. This study looked at over 400,000 adults.
Joseph Austerman, DO, head of the Section of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital, in Ohio, wrote "...the fact that there's been a substantial spike in medicating adults for ADHD does raise the same questions we've asked about appropriate use of these treatments in children: are we now over-diagnosing and overmedicating in the adult population?"
The overprescription of these medications is well documented. Additionally, the revenue generated from the sales/prescriptions of these medications is astounding. As non-prescribing physicians it is important for us to be aware of the trends in prescription/medication use. Many of our patients are presenting to our offices with a laundry list of prescribed medications. These medications inevitably effect their nervous system. As we evaluate our patients' , we must be aware of the challenges that may hinder the optimal progress of our care.
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