Rxs for ADHD Drugs More Than Double in 10 Years in UK

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The number of prescriptions dispensed for drugs to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) more than doubled from 2004 to 2014, according to data from the United Kingdom.

Last year in the country, there was 922,000 prescription written for methylphenidate hydrochloride, the active ingredient in several ADHD stimulants, including Ritalin. In 2004, that figure was 359,100. And in 2010, 661,000 Rxs were dispensed.

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, which provides guidance on health matters, has previously said that stimulants should only be used as a last resort in treating ADHD. Some experts in the UK have said a decrease in funding of mental health services has led children being misdiagnoses and inappropriate use of drugs to treat the condition.

The U.S. has also seen a dramatic increase in ADHD scripts. Between 2006 and 2010, there was an 83% increase in sales of ADHD medications.

Rxs for ADHD Drugs More Than Double in 10 Years in UK
Scripts for ADHD medications in the United Kingdom more than doubled between 2004 and 2014.

Nearly a million prescriptions for Ritalin and related drugs for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were dispensed last year – more than double the number of a decade ago.

The figures have prompted a damning indictment of the system from experts who claim that the running down of mental health services has led to children being misdiagnosed and inappropriately prescribed drugs.

There were 922,200 prescriptions last year for methylphenidate hydrochloride, the chemical name for Ritalin, and similar products. In 2010, 661,000 were dispensed compared with 359,100 in 2004. Guidelines from the UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence suggest that the use of these drugs should only be a last resort.

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