FRIDAY, March 31, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- From 2016 to 2021, there was an increase in the percentage of adolescent and adult females and adult males receiving prescription stimulant fills, according to research published in the March 31 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, released to coincide with a related publication in the Journal of Attention Disorders.
Melissa L. Danielson, M.S.P.H., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed MarketScan commercial claims data to describe trends in prescription stimulant fills before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The annual percentage of enrollees aged 5 to 64 years in employer-sponsored health plans with one or more prescription stimulant fills was examined overall and by sex and age group.
The researchers found that from 2016 to 2021, there was an increase in the percentage of enrollees with one or more prescription stimulant fills from 3.6 to 4.1 percent. During 2020 to 2021, there was a more than 10 percent increase in the percentages of females aged 15 to 44 years and males aged 25 to 44 years with prescription stimulant fills.
"These results could guide continued monitoring of and research concerning factors contributing to increases in stimulant prescribing and other changes in care for ADHD symptoms before and during the pandemic, and how they might differ among adults and adolescent females," the authors write. "This study also suggests a growing need for resources to help clinicians accurately diagnose, manage, and treat adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder."