Harvard Researchers: Certain ADHD Medications May Increase Risk Of Psychosis

The U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention list the following numbers for ADHD in children:

In 2016:

  • Approximately 9.4% of children 2-17 years of age (6.1 million) had ever been diagnosed with ADHD, according to parent report in 2016. [Read key findings]
    • Ages 2-5: Approximately 388,000 children
    • Ages 6-11: Approximately 2.4 million children
    • Ages 12-17: Approximately 3.3 million children

CNBC is reporting:

  • Researchers at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital report that certain medications used to treat ADHD may increase the risk of developing psychosis.
  • People taking amphetamines, such as Adderall or Vyvanse, have a greater risk than those taking methylphenidates, such as Ritalin or Concerta, their research shows.
  • The data come at a time when prescription rates and diagnoses of ADHD are on the rise.

The potential of developing psychosis was greater in younger patients who take amphetamines, such as Adderall or Vyvanse, than those taking methylphenidates, such as Ritalin or Concerta, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

The researchers studied 13- to 25-year-olds. They defined psychosis as hallucinations, delusional disorder, schizophrenia spectrum disorder, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder with psychotic features or unspecified psychosis.

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