The centers for disease control and prevention [CDC] have prepared a new report where they have pointed out that the cases of ADHD among the number of adult women receiving medication for this condition have skyrocketed by 344%. The report also mentions that the women belong to the reproductive age and that no research on the safety of the medications has been conducted when they are had during pregnancy.
The report does not provide any evidence about why the numbers have increased with experts just stating that it may have been the transformation of the public’s understanding of ADHD from the early 2000’s.
The good news behind the increase in the cases of ADHD
Adult women are now prepared to get themselves diagnosed mentioned a psychiatrist Dr. Edward Hallowell who has authored six books on this condition. He mentions he has seen women moving on with their struggle with ADHD and feeling bad about themselves to bursting into tears when they witness how their life becomes better when they obtain the treatment necessary.
Women between the ages of 15 to 44 and carrying private insurance were participants of this research. The number of young women who obtained at least a single prescription for ADHD medications rose from just below 1% of the population in 2003 to a figure of 4% in 2015 states the report.
Approximately 5% of the adults in the US are believed to be suffering from ADHD and the increase noted among the women is just suggesting that the diagnosis is being resized rather than exaggerated. A developmental pediatrician from Washington DC specializing in ADHD in women and girls, Dr. Patricia Quinn has mentioned that the medical fraternity has begun catching up because earlier the condition was diagnosed more in men than women. People have now begun to realize that ADHD can affect both males and females equally.
The increase of children diagnosed with ADHD would also be providing a spike among adult women because when children with ADHD begin to age they are required to continue using the prescriptions which have been provided to them. Children as young as five and diagnosed with ADHD in 2001 but are present in the age group of 26 are still using the medications.
Women have begun to recognize that they could be suffering from ADHD after their child is diagnosed with the condition because it seems to be a common method of adults to figure out whether they too are suffering from the same condition. Doctors are advising parents that are alert that ADHD is a problem that is inherited.
The study also ascertained that most of the growth in the prescriptions were coming from women who had been advised stimulants which are considered as the most effective medication for ADHD.
Are there medications safe?
Just a few studies have been conducted about the safety of the stimulants which are prescribed for ADHD during pregnancy. Things become even more complex when some of the studies conducted are contradicting themselves.
In a study published in December noted that women who were having methylphenidate which is a stimulant during pregnancy had babies that had a higher risk of malformations of the heart. Stimulants such as amphetamines were not associated with any organ abnormalities. An earlier study has indicated that no connection had been noted between methylphenidate and deformities that are major in nature.
In excess of 50% of most pregnancies are not planned and women diagnosed with ADHD could be having their prescriptions for quite some time before they recognize they are expecting according to the study conducted by the CDC.
That a link exists between the remedies provided for ADHD and a depressed Apgar score [health of the child at birth] had been confirmed by another research which was conducted earlier. The CDC has suggested that additional research needs to be conducted on the safety of the medications offered for ADHD patients and the effects they may leave behind on pregnancy.
Doctors have begun advising their patients who are suffering from this condition to discontinue using the medications when they begin to plan a pregnancy and even when they are pregnant because the risks haven’t been understood properly.
However many women with ADHD can be emotionally erratic and have difficulties in functioning without the medications that may have been prescribed. These women are potentially causing danger to their unborn child but the immediate risks to the mother and the child outweigh the long-term consequences or dangers of the medications provided. Under the circumstances, the only options available for doctors would be to warn young women to refrain from using the medications or at least have a discussion with the prescribing physician if and when they are planning or have discovered they are pregnant.
Earlier women with this condition were usually diagnosed as having a problem with depression or anxiety. Identifying the problem in a proper manner has helped many women to receive the appropriate treatment as required. However, information is also available that medications do not work successfully for every individual and people with ADHD need more than just medications for functioning at their best.