Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Prescribing Stimulants or Nonstimulants

According to investigators, who presented their findings at the joint meeting of the American and Canadian Academies of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, physicians are more likely to prescribe atomoxetine, also known as Strattera, than stimulants to adults with ADHD if the patient has additional psychiatric diagnoses. Research scientist, David L Van Brunt, PhD. for Eli Lilly, wanted to see if a patient with ADHD's history predicted whether or not the patient was steered toward stimulant therapies or a non-stimulant therapy. Dr. Brunt said that factors of treatment, such as histories of depression or anxiety, predicted whether physicians would prescribe atomoxetine as opposed to stimulant therapies.
The study was conducted due to the growing evidence that ADHD persists into adulthood. They reviewed pharmacy and medical administrative claims from a database that included 10,359 patients 18 years or older and had begun both an ADHD medication and had filed at least one diagnostic claim for ADHD between 2002-2003. In the analysis comparing initiations for atomoxetine to any stimulant, 2036 had recently started on atomoxetine and 6814 had started on any stimulant. The key factor that predicted the use of a stimulant was use of a stimulant in the previous year, which occurred in more than 60 percent of cases.
Dr. Brunt says that there is no overall difference in prescribing patterns of stimulants and long-acting stimulants. He says they are being use to address different treatment needs in clinical practice.

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