Survey:Children's ADHD Medication Stopped Working

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Shire plc announced results of a national survey where 60 percent of 121 mothers reported their 6 to 12 year old child's once-daily Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) medication stopped working before 6 p.m.

The survey findings report the perceptions of 500 parents of children with ADHD regarding the duration of effectiveness of their child's once-daily stimulant or non-stimulant ADHD medication and were presented yesterday at the 2007 Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) Annual Conference.

This survey was conducted via Internet interviews of 249 parents of children with ADHD aged 6 to 12 years (125 took stimulant medications and 124 children took non-stimulant medications) and 251 parents of adolescents aged 13 to 17 years (126 took stimulant medications and 125 took non-stimulant medications). The children of the surveyed parents took their ADHD medication once daily in the morning.

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Results of the survey found that among the 249 parents of children aged 6 to 12 with ADHD, a majority of those children take their ADHD medication between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. Among 219 parents with children taking ADHD stimulant medications, 70 percent said that their child's medication lasted 11 hours or less.

"These survey results illustrate that parents may not see their children's ADHD medications working until 6 p.m.," said Robert Findling, M.D., lead author of the survey and Professor of Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University and Director of the Division of Adolescent and Child Psychiatry at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. "This may be important because ADHD doesn't only impact a child's school performance but can also impact interactions with friends, coaches, and other family members."

About ADHD

Approximately 7.8 percent of all school-age children, or about 4.4 million U.S. children aged 4 to 17 years, have been diagnosed with ADHD at some point in their lives, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). ADHD is one of the most common psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. The disorder is also estimated to affect 8.1 percent of adults, or approximately 9.2 million adults across the U.S. based on a retrospective survey of adults aged 18 to 44, projected to the full U.S. adult population. ADHD is a neurobiological disorder that manifests as a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequent and severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development. To be properly diagnosed with ADHD, a child needs to demonstrate at least six of nine symptoms of inattention; and/or at least six of nine symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity; the onset of which appears before age 7 years; that some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g., at school and home); that the symptoms continue for at least six months; and that there is clinically significant impairment in social, academic or occupational functioning and the symptoms cannot be better explained by another psychiatric disorder.

Although there is no "cure" for ADHD, there are accepted treatments that specifically target its symptoms. The most common standard treatments include educational approaches, psychological or behavioral modification, and medication.

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