Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral disorder affecting approximately 11 percent of the country's children and adolescents, between the ages four to seventeen years. Stimulant medications such as methylphenidate and amphetamines are the first-line of treatment for ADHD. The increasing use of these stimulant medications has resulted in increased media attention and raised questions about their efficacy and safety. This review focuses on the history of stimulant use in ADHD, the disease's pathophysiology, the long-term benefits of pharmacotherapy, and the possible subsequent adverse effects associated with prolonged stimulant use in children and adolescents suffering from ADHD. Furthermore, we will highlight the important role of the pharmacist in both the long-term management of ADHD patients and in preventing the misuse/abuse of prescription stimulant medications. In addition, we briefly discuss the role of non-stimulants in the treatment of ADHD. Overall, a detailed review of the available literature suggests that there is an urgent need to conduct well-designed, long-term studies to more clearly understand the benefits and adverse effects associated with stimulant and non-stimulant use in the treatment of ADHD in children and adolescents.
Bollinger K, Bui A, Smith A, Fink K, D'Souza M. Treatment of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents: Benefits and Challenges. PAW Review. 2014 Jul 01; 5(3):Article 8 49-54 . Available from: https://digitalcommons.onu.edu/paw_review/vol5/iss3/8. Free full text article.