Study: Risk of Psychosis May Increase With Certain ADHD Medications

March 25th 2019
Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh
Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh

A new study evaluated whether the risk of psychosis in adolescents and young adults with ADHD differs among stimulants through the use of 2 commercial claims databases.

The prescription of stimulants for the treatment of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is increasing among adolescents and young adults, and a new study sheds light on possible safety concerns. The study evaluated whether the risk of psychosis in adolescents and young adults with ADHD differs among stimulants through the use of 2 commercial claims databases.

Published in the

, the study focused on patients aged 13 to 25 years who were diagnosed with ADHD and began taking methylphenidate (e.g. Ritalin or Concerta) or amphetamine (e.g. Adderall or Vyvanse) medications between January 1, 2004 and September 30, 2015.

Additionally, the study outcome evaluated a new diagnosis of psychosis for which an antipsychotic medication was prescribed during the first 60 days after the date of psychosis onset.

New England Journal of Medicine1

There were 221,846 patients included in the study, and among these individuals 110,923 were taking methylphenidate and were matched with 110,923 individuals receiving amphetamines.

The study revealed that there were 343 episodes of psychosis with 106 episodes in the methylphenidate group and 237 in the amphetamine group. New-onset psychosis occurred in about 1 in 660 patients. Ultimately, the risk was twice as high among patients who started amphetamines as those taking methylphenidate.

A version of this article was originally published by Pharmacy Times. View the full article atPharmacyTimes.com.

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