Thursday, October 19, 2006

ADHD Drugs-It's All in the Family

If someone is in your household takes an ADHD medication, the likelihood of other family members taking ADHD drugs is quite high. A recently released Medco Health Solutions study confirmed what doctors have long known - ADD runs in the family.

Medco, a prescription benefits manager, based this study on an analysis of 107,000 prescription claims filed in 2005 of parents and their children ages 5-19. The study shows that parents of children taking ADHD drugs are nine times more likely to use ADHD drugs themselves. If a second child is present, that child is most likely on medication too.

Many doctors have long seen how ADHD runs in the family, and now these findings support the doctors beliefs. The study carries a few surprises as well. Adult ADHD medication use traditionally began after the child began taking ADHD medications. Parents, looking at their child's symptoms, realized they have the same symptoms and then sought treatment.

According to the study, out of nearly half of those taking ADHD medicine in 2005, the parent started taking medication first, followed by the child. Although ADHD is two to three times more common in males than females, in households where both parent and child are taking the drugs, 60% of the time Mom is on medication rather than Dad. Medco reported from 2000-2004 the use of drugs rose twice as fast among adults than children and had a higher rate among women than men.

The study also found that among children on medication, seven percent had a parent using the medicine. Also, if a twin is on an ADHD drug, there's a 25 percent chance the other is too. The statistics rose to 33 percent if both twins were male.

Experts believe ADHD symptoms become obvious when children reach 13 or are in middle and high school. For adults, the average age of starting medication is 43.

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