Potential side effects of ADHD medication is a concern for many people struggling with attention difficulties. A recent study published by The New England Journal of Medicine looks further into whether certain ADHD medications may cause psychosis in teens. The large study was conducted by Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts.
The study specifically looked at the use of the stimulants methylphenidate and amphetamine for the treatment of ADHD. Prescriptions for these particular medications have been increasing annually. The study used data from two commercial insurance claim databases to review information from patients 13-25 years old who received a diagnosis of ADHD and were prescribed methylphenidate or amphetamine between January 1, 2004 – September 20, 2015. The study consisted of over 220,000 patients. Within those numbers, one out of every 660 patients had a psychosis episode not long after starting a stimulant. However, in looking at amphetamines and methylphenidates separately there was a difference in the two classes of drugs. The study reports “Amphetamine use was associated with a greater risk of psychosis than methylphenidate”.