Many more adults taking ADHD drugs
While children are still the main users of ADHD drugs, a new report issued by Express Scripts’ pharmacy claims that data on 400,000 people over a five-year period suggests that the number of adults taking ADHD medications is significantly on the rise, and has increased by 53 percent from 2009 to 2012. Over the same period, the percentage of children taking these drugs also increased by 18 percent.
The report also showed that although the number of boys on ADHD medications was twice that of girls taking these drugs, adult women’s use of ADHD medications is starting to surpass men’s. The group that saw the biggest increase in use was women ages 26 to 34. Nearly 3 percent of U.S. women in this group now use ADHD medications, making the percentage of users in this group increase by 85 percent during the course of the study period, according to the report. Although the increase in use was greatest among women ages 26 to 34, researchers found that women between 19 to 25 showed the highest use of ADHD drug treatments.
Dr. David Muzina, vice president at Express Scripts, fears that “less-appropriate” uses of the medication may be behind the increase in use by women and that some may use it as an appetite suppressant in an effort to lose weight. Another factor may be that more doctors are prescribing ADHD medication to treat depression.