More Adults Than Children Taking ADHD Medications

ADHD was once considered a pediatric disorder, but now adults in the U.S. account for over half of all people taking medication to treat the condition.
ADHD News Feed | posted by Janice Rodden

Posted Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

One persistent myth about ADHD is that only impacts kids. This is not true. Symptoms persist through adolescence and into adulthood for roughly half of all children with ADHD. In addition, some researchers now believe that adult-onset ADHD is a separate condition, plus you’ve got those adults never diagnosed as children who recognize their own symptoms in their child’s struggles and seek an evaluation later in life. The bottom line: Adult ADHD is a quickly growing diagnosis, and treatment levels are rising to match.

Shire Plc has released 2014 data showing that U.S. prescriptions for adult ADHD accounted for 53% of the 63 million given industrywide. In 2007, only 39% of prescriptions went to adults. In other areas of the world, like Europe, children still exceed adult ADHD patients, but Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov says he expects this to change.

Increased awareness of ADHD, and the fact that it is often inherited, has led many adults to seek a diagnosis after recognizing their child’s symptoms in themselves. Additionally, more people are recognizing that kids won’t just “outgrow” certain behaviors. In response, pharmaceutical companies like Shire Plc, have shifted their focus to the adult marketplace. Additionally, they are reformulating existing treatments, like Adderall, into long-acting treatments made to meet the rising adult demand.

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