New drugs for ADHD


Erin O’Connor Prange, MSN, CRNP, of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, began her session by explaining, “Medications for [attention-deficity/hyperactivity disorder] ADHD has been on the market for over 45 years, starting with Ritalin, which was approved in 1955. For the purposes of this discussion, however, we will focus on drugs that have been approved in the last 5 years. years.

According to a 2016 national survey, approximately 6 million children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD. Boys are diagnosed twice as often as girls. Also in this survey, it was reported that 77% of these children received some form of treatment, and approximately 32% of this group received both behavioral and drug treatment.

In discussing what ADHD looks like, Prange explained that the main component is poor executive functioning in tasks such as planning, time management, attention, organization, self-control and others. Additionally, during the months when children were learning remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, impaired communication, eye strain, distractions and anxiety were also reported, largely due to the struggle with virtual and blended learning.

Non-drug treatment for ADHD includes cognitive behavioral therapy, extra time for tests, making lists (what to put in the school backpack, for example), bouncing bands and mobile seats for offices.

As for ADHD medications, the newer medications are viloxazine (Qelbree), a non-stimulant. Stimulants include methylphenidate extended release oral disintegrants (Cotempla), methylphenidate hydrochloride extended release (Adhansia), methylphenidate hydrochloride extended release (Aptensio, Jornay), amphetamine extended release oral suspension (Dyanavel) , Adzenys and mixed salts of a single entity product amphetamine (Mydayis).

Prange reminded the audience, “Before starting a patient on stimulants, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a thorough cardiovascular evaluation, including patient and family medical history; an evaluation of all medications currently being used; and a physical exam focused on risk factors for cardiovascular disease.” Prange also reviewed the side effects of stimulant medications, which include, but are not limited to, decreased appetite, trouble sleeping, headaches, weight loss and mood swings. Prange also encouraged members of the public to seek out a copy of the ADHD Medication Guide, which can be found on the addwarehouse.

Prange EO. Explosion of ADHD treatment: new drugs have arrived! 43rd National Conference on Pediatric Health Care. March 23, 2022; Dallas, Texas.


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