Prescribing of medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder among young people in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink 2005-2013: analysis of time to cessation
European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
© The Author(s) 2017. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
The aim of this study was to examine the time to cessation of ADHD medication amongst young people with ADHD aged 16 in the period 2005-2013. Previous studies of prescribing in primary care reported high rates of medication cessation amongst 16 and 17 year olds with ADHD. The examination of trends since the introduction of new NICE guidance in 2008 will support service planning and improvement of outcomes over the vulnerable transition period from child to adult services. We used primary care records from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink and identified cases prescribed ADHD medication at the time of their 16th birthday during the study period. The outcome was time to medication cessation from the age of 16. Cessation of medication was defined as occurring at the beginning of a gap of over 6 months in prescriptions. 1620 cases were included. The median time to cessation was 1.51 years (95% CI 1.42-1.67).The estimated probability of remaining on medication was 0.63 (95% CI 0.61-0.65) at age 17 (i.e., at 1 year) and 0.41 (95% CI 0.39-0.43) at age 18. Young people with ADHD remain at high risk of cessation of medication during the transition from child to adult services. Despite the restriction that only primary care prescribing data were available, the results suggest continuing disparity between expected levels of symptom persistence and continuation of medication.
This research was funded as part of a Doctoral Research Fellowship from the National Institute for Health Research held by Tamsin Newlove-Delgado (Reference: DRF-2012-05-221). Tamsin Newlove-Delgado is currently funded by an NIHR Academic Clinical Lectureship. Ken Stein and Obioha C. Ukoumunne were funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for the South West Peninsula at Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust. This report is independent research and the views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the National Institute for Health Research or the Department of Health.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Springer Verlag via the DOI in this record.
Place of publication
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © The Author(s) 2017. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.