Psychotropic medication for ADHD

Daniel J. Safer, Julie M. Zito

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Psychotropic medication treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has prominently increased over the last three decades such that an estimated 2 to 2.5 million youths in the United States now receive this treatment. Stimulants have been and remain the primary prescribed medication group to treat this disorder, even though the variety of medication treatments has expanded in recent years. The major reasons for the increased prevalence of stimulant treatment are: increases in the diagnostic pool-particularly the inclusion of more youths with predominantly inattentive ADHD; the great number of girls receiving this medication; increases in the duration of treatment; and a greater public acceptance of the psychopharmacologic treatment of youth. Demographic factors, school placement, geographic location, service system differences, and the specialty of the treating physician all influence the prevalence of medication treatment, and the impact of these factors will be described. Briefly reviewed at the conclusion are the use of non-stimulant medication treatments, multiple and concomitant medication treatments for ADHD, and international differences in prescribing patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-242
Number of pages6
JournalMental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 6 1999

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Keywords

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Methylphenidate
  • Pharmacoepidemiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Genetics(clinical)

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