About one in five children on Medicaid who are being given long-acting stimulants for ADHD are also being given antipsychotics, often for unapproved conditions, according to a study in Psychiatric Services.
The researchers examined Medicaid data from four states for children and adolescents between the ages of six and 17 years between 2003 and 2007.
Among 61,793 children who began treatment with long-acting stimulants (LAS) for ADHD, 11,866 or 19.2% were also being prescribed a second-generation antipsychotic concurrently for at least 14 days, and on average for 130 days.
“Comorbid psychiatric conditions, including disorders that are not approved indications for second-generation antipsychotic use, were associated with concurrent use of LAS and second-generation antipsychotics,” wrote the researchers.
Kamble, Pravin, Hua Chen, Michael L. Johnson, Vinod Bhatara, and Rajender R. Aparasu. “Concurrent Use of Stimulants and Second-Generation Antipsychotics Among Children With ADHD Enrolled in Medicaid.” Psychiatric Services 66, no. 4 (December 15, 2014): 404–10. doi:10.1176/appi.ps.201300391. (Abstract)