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ADHD Meds Increasingly Prescribed to Reproductive-Aged Women

Last Updated: January 22, 2018.

Reproductive-aged women are increasingly being prescribed attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder medications, according to research published in the Jan. 18 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

MONDAY, Jan. 22, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Reproductive-aged women are increasingly being prescribed attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications, according to research published in the Aug. 25 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Noting that nearly half of U.S. pregnancies are unintended and that early pregnancy is a critical period for fetal development, Kayla N. Anderson, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined trends in ADHD medication prescriptions among reproductive-aged women. Data were obtained from the Truven Health MarketScan Commercial Database for 2003 to 2015 to estimate the percentage of 15- to 44-year-old women with private employer-sponsored insurance who filled ADHD medication prescriptions each year.

The researchers observed a 344 percent increase in the percentage of reproductive-aged women who filled at least one prescription for ADHD medication, from 0.9 percent in 2003 to 4 percent in 2015. Mixed amphetamine salts, lisdexamfetamine, and methylphenidate were the most frequently filled medications in 2015.

"Prescribing ADHD medications to reproductive-aged women is increasingly common; additional research on ADHD medication safety during pregnancy is warranted to inform women and their health care providers about any potential risks associated with ADHD medication exposure before and during pregnancy," the authors write.

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