ADHD Drug Use High in Women of Childbearing Age

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An increasing number of women of childbearing age are taking medication for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report.


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slide 1: ADHD Drug Use High in Women of Childbearing Age An increasing number of women of childbearing age are taking medication for attention- deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC report. It was found that among privately insured American women aged 15 to 44 years with prescription drug coverage prescription filling went up by 344 percent between 2003-2015. The number of women who sought ADHD medicine prescriptions from outpatient pharmacies in these years increased from 0.9 percent to 4 percent. The highest rise of 700 percent in ADHD prescription filling was seen among women aged 25-29 years. Among those aged 30- 34 years a rise of 560 percent was reported. The pattern was similar across all geographical locations. However the effects of these medicines are largely unknown on pregnancies. As per Coleen Boyle director of the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities half of the pregnancies in the United States are unplanned and the women might be taking their ADHD medication in the early phase of pregnancy which is a critical time for the development of fetus. They might not even know that they are pregnant and continue taking the medication. Thus it becomes indispensable to treat ADHD before and during pregnancy to prevent negative outcomes. ADHD doesn’t only affect children ADHD impairs a person’s ability to stay focused and exercise control over impulsive acts. Though it is commonly diagnosed in children it can continue into adult life as well. According to the National Resource Center on ADHD 4.4 percent of U.S. adults have ADHD. In adults the brain disorder can be associated with depression mood disorders working memory problems impaired executive functioning and even substance abuse.

slide 2: Researchers have established that the use of stimulant drugs can be a great deal of help in mitigating the effects of ADHD but since the effects of these drugs are not yet known on expecting mothers they should be careful. Women who are already taking drugs and discover that they are pregnant should seek immediate support to start their journey to recovery. Commonly prescribed medications for ADHD As per CDC ADHD prescriptions were frequently generated for three drugs — lisdexamfetamine methylphenidate and amphetamine salts — in 2015. All these medicines act as stimulants and the manufacturers even warn women to consult a doctor before starting the regime. These medicines are pregnancy Category C drugs which means that animal studies have shown negative outcomes and limited data is available to test their efficacy on humans. However due to their potential benefits they are prescribed during pregnancy without assessing the risks involved. A study published in the JAMA Psychiatry in December 2017 stated that the use of methylphenidate active ingredient in Ritalin Concerta and other ADHD medications to treat mothers-to-be can lead to heart defects in infants. The effect was most evident after the first- trimester exposure to the stimulant resulting in 28 percent increased prevalence of cardiac malformations. Road ahead According to Dr. Bollepalli Subbarao attending psychiatrist at Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living and vice president of the Connecticut State Medical Society primary care physicians do not spend time in having an honest discussion about a new medicine with their patients which is necessary to keep them aware and alert. He said that the decision to stop a medication should always be followed by a clinical consultation and that the stimulants should never be stopped cold turkey. It should be tapered off gradually and the patient must be monitored carefully. Misuse of drugs often leads to addiction which requires expert intervention to treat. Sovereign Health of Arizona is known for its extensive drug abuse and mental health treatment programs. If you are looking for drug rehab facilities for women in Chandler or around you can call at our 24/7 helpline 866 696-8645. Speak to our expert today for information on women drug rehab programs in Arizona.

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