When asked about an ideal medication, most survey respondents said such a drug would last all day.
Despite several recent advancements in the space, adults with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) continue to report experiencing considerable burden throughout the day and a desire for longer acting medications.
“Adult ADHD has been highly under-recognized,” said Alexandra Khachatryan, associate director, neuroscience global ORE, Shire Pharmaceuticals. “I think we’re still on a pathway to improve evaluation and screening as well as diagnosis and treatment pathways for adult patients that are struggling with symptoms of ADHD.”
Khachatryan and colleagues presented study data to support that statement in a poster at the 30th annual Psych Congress in New Orleans from September 16-19. Researchers conducted an online survey of adults with ADHD who had been taking prescription psychostimulant medications to determine how their current medications were tackling their ADHD symptoms.
A total of 616 treated ADHD participants completed the online survey — 27% [n=166] of those were taking short acting medications ≤2 times a day, 33% [n=201] took long acting medications 1 time per day, and 40% [n=249] took short acting medications >2 times a day.
Researchers found that 44% [n=268] of survey respondents chose their current medication because of the duration of its effect. Duration of effect was also a key factor that drove patients who reported taking short-acting medication ≤2 times a day to choose a regimen that included multiple doses.
67% [n=50] of patients who took short-acting medication ≤2 times a day reported doing so because one dose didn’t last as long as needed. 51% [n=38] did so because it helped them maintain productivity at work or school, and 48% [n=36] did so because it gave them the boost they needed to get through the rest of the day.
When asked about the qualities of an ideal medication, 56% of respondents indicated that such a medication would last all day. Likewise, 27% of respondents said their current medications did not last long enough.
42% of survey respondents claimed that duration of effect had a direct effect on their daily plans and decision making, saying that they were forced to plan activities to avoid times when they knew their medication would wear off.
Most respondents claimed they could tell that their medication was wearing off because they would begin to have trouble focusing (63%), and become scattered and disorganized (50%). Many more said they began feeling tired (43%), couldn’t perform tasks well (42%), slowed down physically (39%) began getting fidgety (30%) and became moody and irritable (28%).
Survey respondents also claimed that medication wearing off had negative effects on their relationships, responsibilities, emotional responses, mood, and most importantly, their ability to manage household and work responsibilities, school work and homework.
In conclusion, researchers noted that most survey respondents continued to experience significant burden despite treatment, experiencing at least one impact on various aspects of their lives, including home life (83%), school (81%), work (79%), social life (76%), and relationships (68%).
The study, Unmet Medication Coverage Needs among Adults with Attendtion Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), acknowledged 2 limitations, including the possibility of selection bias because participants were recruited through research participant panels, and the self-reporting of ADHD diagnosis without clinician information.
Recent FDA Approvals of ADHD Medications: