New Drug Approved for Treating Adult ADHD
Adderall XR Is 1st Stimulant Approved to Treat Adults With ADHD
Aug. 13, 2004 -- A drug already used to treat attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children has now been approved for adults.
This week, the FDA approved Adderall XR to treat adults who
suffer from the disorder. Researchers say it's the first stimulant ADHD
medication to be specifically approved for treating adults.
However, many doctors have already been using stimulant
medications, such as Adderall and Ritalin, to treats adults as an off-label use
because few ADHD drugs have been studied in adults.
Researchers estimate that more than 8 million American adults
may have symptoms of ADHD, such as inattention and impulsivity, but only about
600,000 are taking medication for the condition.
FDA Approves Adderall XR for Adults
The FDA based its approval on information from a four-week
trial of Adderall XR in 248 adults. The results showed that a once-a-day dose
of the drug provided benefits in reducing ADHD symptoms starting a week after
treatment began and throughout the course of the study.
At the end of the study, ADHD symptom rating scores were 49%
lower among adults who took Adderall compared with their scores at the start of
Adderall's manufacturer, Shire Pharmaceuticals, recently
published data on the long-term effects of Adderall XR use in adults, but this
evidence has not been evaluated by the FDA.
The most common side effects of Adderall XR in adults are dry
mouth, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, headache, loss of appetite, nausea,
rapid heart rate, and weight loss.