Updated 14 June 2017

ADHD pills taken by families

Taking attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs seems to be a family affair, according to a new study.

Taking attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs seems to be a family affair, according to an analysis of US prescription claims filed in 2005 for more than 107 000 children ages 5 to 19 and their parents.

The study found that parents of children on ADHD drugs were nine times more likely than other parents to be taking the drugs themselves, the Associated Press reported. It's long been recognised that ADHD runs in families.

The study was conducted by Medco Health Solutions, Inc. Among the other findings:

  • In families where a parent and child both started taking ADHD drugs last year, the parent started taking the drug first nearly 50 percent of the time.
  • Among children taking ADHD drugs, 7% had a parent also using such drugs.
  • The average age at which children started taking ADHD drugs was 13 for children and 43 for adults.

The study also found that mothers accounted for 60% of cases where a parent and child started taking ADHD drugs last year, even though ADHD is two to three times more common in males.

The explanation is that more women are being examined for attention-deficit problems, one expert told the AP. – (HealthDayNews)

Read more:
A-Z of Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
Omega-3: a solution to ADHD?

September 2006


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Dr Renata Schoeman has been in full-time private practice as a general psychiatrist (child, adolescent and adult psychiatry) since 2008, currently based in Oude Westhof (Bellville). Renata also holds appointments as senior lecturer in Leadership (USB) and as a virtual faculty member of USB Executive Development’s Neuroleadership programme. She serves on the advisory boards of various pharmaceutical companies, as a director of the Psychiatric Management Group (PsychMG) and is the co-convenor of the South African Society of Psychiatrist (SASOP) special interest group for adult ADHD, and co-founder of the Goldilocks and The Bear Foundation ( She is passionate about corporate mental health awareness and uses her neuroscience background to assist leaders in equipping them to become balanced, healthy and dynamic leaders that take their own and their team’s emotional, intellectual, social health and physical needs into account. Renata is academically active and enjoys research and collaborative work, has published in many peer-reviewed journals, and has presented at local and international congresses. She is regularly invited to present at conferences and to engage with the media. During her post-graduate studies, she trained at Harvard, Boston in neurocognition and neuroimaging. Her awards include, amongst others, the Young Minds in Psychiatry award from the American Psychiatric Association, the Discovery Foundation Fellowship award, a Thuthuka award from the NRF, and a MRC Fellowship. She also received the Top MBA student award and the Director’s award from USB for 2015. She was a finalist for the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa’s Businesswoman of the Year Award for 2016, and received the Excellence in Media Work award from SASOP during 2016.

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