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Dr Marie Sartain
/ Categories: APhA News

ADHD med errors for children happen more often than they should

Researchers say more therapeutic errors involving ADHD medications among children are being reported to poison control centers across the country. According to a new study in Pediatrics, they have increased nearly 300% over a 22-year period.

The research team noted that in 2019, nearly 10% of U.S. children had been diagnosed with ADHD and roughly 5% of all children in the country, or about 3.3 million, received a prescription for ADHD medication.

After analyzing data from the National Poison Data System from 2000 to 2021, they found that 124,383 of the therapeutic errors reported to U.S. poison centers during the study period involved the use of ADHD drugs among patients aged younger than 20 years.

The most frequently reported errors were “inadvertently taken or given medication twice” (53.9%), “inadvertently taken or given someone else’s medication” (13.4%), “wrong medication taken or given” (12.9%), and mistakes by a nurse or pharmacist (2%).

Approximately 66.6% of the exposures involved children ages 6 to 12 years, 76.4% were among males, and 50.5% involved amphetamines and related compounds, the researchers reported.

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