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Research Letter |

Trends in Stimulant Medication Use in Commercially Insured Youths and Adults, 2010-2014

Mehmet Burcu, MS1; Julie M. Zito, PhD1,2; Leanne Metcalfe, PhD3; Howard Underwood, MD, FSA4; Daniel J. Safer, MD5,6
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research, University of Maryland, Baltimore
2Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland, Baltimore
3Center for Collaborative Studies, Health Care Service Corporation, Enterprise Clinical Analytics, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Richardson, Texas
4Health Care Service Corporation, Enterprise Clinical Analytics, Enterprise Network Solutions, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Chicago, Illinois
5Department of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland
6Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;73(9):992-993. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.1182.
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This pharmacoepidemiology study uses BCBS claims data to characterize recent trends in use of methylphenidate and amphetamine-related products in 4 US states between 2010 and 2014.

Stimulants are the most commonly prescribed treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in youths, and according to a nationally representative US household survey, there has been a sizeable increase in stimulant use among youth, from 4.0% between 1996 and 1998 to 6.6% between 2010 and 2012.1 Also, during the last decade, the US Food and Drug Administration approved an indication for stimulant use in adults to treat ADHD.

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Figure.
Percentage of Male and Female Populations With Stimulant Medication Use by Age, 2014

P values were estimated from multivariable logistic regression models comparing boys/men with girls/women in the annual prevalence of stimulant use (2014) in ages 0 through 19 years, 20 through 34 years, and 35 through 64 years, adjusting for race/ethnicity, plan state, urbanicity of area of residence, and annual household income.

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