Medicaid’s cost for ADHD drugs rose dramatically in the past decade, mostly driven by off-label use of antipsychotics for ADHD in youth.

Posted on March 19, 2013 in ADHD [Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder], Adverse effects, Neuroleptic (antipsychotics), Over-medication of children with psychotropics, Psychiatric labels, Psychotropic Medications

More info:

The authors examined a large, state Medicaid database between 1996 and 2005to determine spending on medications for 107,486 children (3 to 17 years old) diagnosed with ADHD . Spending on stimulant medications increased 157% during this period due to increases in the price of prescriptions; during this time, there was a 588% increase in antipsychotic spending due to large increases in price and quantity used.

From the source:

“Because both neurological and metabolic side effects are more substantial in a pediatric population, expansion of the off-label use of antipsychotics among children with ADHD not only drives spending, but also raises concerns about possible overtreatment.”


Fullerton CA, Epstein AM, Frank RG, Normand SL, Fu CX, McGuire TG. Medication use and spending trends among children with ADHD in Florida’s Medicaid program, 1996-2005. Psychiatr Serv. 2012;63(2):115-121.


Created by Lydia Green, RPh.
RxBalance. July 2012