Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Medication Use Trajectories Among Women in the Perinatal Period

Kathrine Bang Madsen*, Mette Bliddal, Charlotte Borg Skoglund, Henrik Larsson, Trine Munk-Olsen, Malene Galle Madsen, Per Hove Thomsen, Veerle Bergink, Chaitra Srinivas, Jacqueline M. Cohen, Isabell Brikell, Xiaoqin Liu


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Background: An increasing number of women of reproductive age are treated with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication; however, patterns of ADHD medication use for women in the perinatal period have not been well described. Objective: This study aimed to describe ADHD medication use patterns from 1 year before pregnancy to 1 year after delivery, and to describe sociodemographic characteristics and clinical features by medication trajectories. Methods: The population-based cohort study included pregnancies in Denmark between 1997 and 2020, from the Medical Birth Register, by women who filled at least one prescription for ADHD medication from 12 months before pregnancy until 12 months after delivery. We applied group-based trajectory modeling to classify women into subgroups based on the identification of heterogeneous ADHD medication treatment patterns, and described the characteristics associated with these groups. Results: Overall, we included 4717 pregnancies leading to liveborn singletons by 4052 mothers with a mean (standard deviation) age of 27.5 (5.6) years. We identified four treatment trajectories across pregnancy and the postpartum period: continuers (23.3%), discontinuers (41.8%), interrupters who ceased filling prescriptions during pregnancy but resumed postpartum (17.2%), and postpartum initiators (17.7%). Continuers were older at the time of conception, gave birth in more recent years, were more likely to smoke during pregnancy, and used other psychotropic medications during pregnancy. A large proportion of continuers used methylphenidate (89.1%) compared with the other groups (75.9–84.1%) and had switched ADHD medication type during the whole period (16.4% vs. 7.4–14.8%). Conclusion: We found that approximately 60% of women discontinued or interrupted their ADHD medication around pregnancy, and those who continued differed in sociodemographic and clinical factors that may reflect more severe ADHD.

TidsskriftCNS Drugs
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)303–314
StatusUdgivet - 2024


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