February 16, 2015
1 min read

ADHD medication use reduced child, adolescent brain injury risk

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The risk of brain injury to children and adolescents with ADHD was significantly reduced while patients were administered methylphenidate or atomoxetine, according to data published in JAMA Pediatrics.

“The risk reduction estimate was controlled for time-independent characteristics of the patients by the use of the [self-controlled case series design],” the researchers wrote.

Researchers identified 37,650 children and adolescents with a new diagnosis of ADHD in 2005 and 2006 from the German Pharmacoepidemiological Research Database; there were 2,128 children and adolescents with at least one hospitalization and any injury diagnosis. The majority of children included were aged 6 to 11 years at the time of an ADHD diagnosis, according to data. Patients were assigned either methylphenidate or atomoxetine and assessed for whether either medication reduced the risk of injuries.

They observed an incidence rate ratio of 0.87 (95% CI, 0.74-1.02) for hospitalization with any injuries for the periods with medication compared with nonmedicated; and 0.66 (95% CI, 0.48-0.91) for brain injuries among all patients.

“There was a nonsignificant risk reduction during the periods with medication for hospitalization with any injury diagnosis and a 34% risk reduction for hospitalization with brain injury diagnoses,” the researchers wrote. – by Samantha Costa

Disclosure: Mikolajczyk worked for a department that occasionally performs studies for pharmaceutical companies, including Bayer, Celgene, GlaxoSmithKline, Mundipharma, Novartis, Sanofi, Sanofi Pasteur MSD, and STADA. Please see the full study for a list of all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.