Trends in characteristics of the recipients of new prescription stimulants between years 2010 and 2020 in the United States: An observational cohort study

Shannon Brumbaugh, Wen Jan Tuan, Alyssa Scott, James R. Latronica, Curtis Bone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Stimulant prescriptions increased by 250% in the United States from 2006-2016 while diagnoses for ADHD minimally increased. There is insufficient data regarding who may be the recipients of these new stimulant prescriptions and safety of stimulants have come under scrutiny in some populations. We aim to describe trends in stimulant prescriptions across biopsychosocial patient level factors between 2010 and 2020. Methods: We applied a retrospective observational cohort design utilizing electronic health records from 52 healthcare organizations sourced from the TriNetX research network database in the United States. We assessed new stimulant prescriptions across biopsychosocial variables for recipients of prescriptions. We utilized linear regression to assess longitudinal trends of all participants and also conducted an age stratified logistic regression analysis. Findings: There was an increase in stimulants to people categorized as white (OR 1.24 CI 1.20-1.28), female (OR 1.28 CI 1.23-1.31), and to those with diagnosed anxiety disorders (OR 1.39 CI 1.35-1.44) as well as obesity (OR 1.34 CI 1.28-1.41). The average age of recipients increased throughout the study, and among people sixty-five and older, there was an increase in prescriptions to people with multiple cardiovascular risk factors. Interpretation: Prescription stimulant dispensing may have liberalized during the study period in some demographics as a greater number of new prescriptions were dispensed to individuals with risk of adverse outcomes (i.e. older individuals, obese individuals, and geriatric patients with CV risk factors) between 2010 and 2020. Similar trends in prescription medications were witnessed through the opioid epidemic and warrant attention given concerning trends with illicit stimulants. Additional research that investigates patient and provider motivation for stimulant prescriptions, as well as risk perception of stimulants, may be warranted. Funding: This study was made possible by institutional resources at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101524
JournalEClinicalMedicine
Volume50
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine

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