Number of young women using ADHD medicine up by 700 percent, CDC says

Are more people suffering from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder? More prescriptions are certainly being filled, because the number of women in their late 20s using ADHD medicine jumped to 700 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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The organization recently released a report, revealing that the 700 percent increase was among those aged 25 to 29 between 2003 and 2015. The second largest spike was among those aged 30 to 34. That group saw a 560 percent incline within the same eight-year span. Women aged 15 to 44 saw a 344 percent increase.

While the authors didn’t explain the reason for the uptick, they noted they plan to do further research to determine how the meds can affect pregnancy.

"Half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, and women may be taking prescription medicine early in pregnancy before they know they are pregnant," Coleen Boyle director of CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, said in a statement. "Early pregnancy is a critical time for the developing baby. We need to better understand the safest ways to treat ADHD before and during pregnancy."

The authors encouraged women to read labels carefully and consult their health care providers to determine the risks and benefits of ADHD treatment during pregnancy.

“If a woman is pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, she should talk to her healthcare provider about all medicines she is taking,” Boyle said. “Pregnant women should also talk to their doctor before stopping or starting any medicine.”

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