May 1996

The Use of Methylphenidate in Michigan

Author Affiliations

New York State Department of Health Room 742, Corning Tower Building Albany, NY 12237-0607

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150(5):558. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1996.02170300112029

The results reported in the article by Rappley et al1 in the June 1995 issue of the Archives are misleading regarding the extent of attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) in Michigan. They underestimate what appears to be a major "epidemic" and/or large-scale overdiagnosing of ADHD.

The method used to determine ADHD is based on an analysis of only 2 months of prescribing methylphenidate hydrochloride. As indicated in a literature review, Sherman and Hertzig2 found that more than half of all methylphenidate prescriptions written during 1986 in New York were for 1 prescription per child per year. If Michigan's prescribing was similar to New York's, and 50% of the patients received only 1 methylphenidate prescription per year, the authors could have missed 42% of the patients diagnosed and treated for ADHD during 1 year from this factor alone, besides missing other patients receiving more than 1 prescription in 1 year

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