International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 341–344 | Cite as

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder pharmacotherapy in Slovenian adults: a population-based study

  • Matej StuhecEmail author
  • Igor Locatelli
Short Research Report


Background Pharmacotherapy is the first line treatment for adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the percentage of treated patients may indicate the quality of treatment of adult ADHD. The main aim of this study was to investigate the rates of pharmacological treatment for adult ADHD in Slovenia from 2003 to 2015. Methods The number of prescriptions per patient was obtained for three different age groups (18–24, 25–49, 50 + age group). The national consumption rates were obtained from the national database. The only drugs that were available and were included in this study were methylphenidate (MPH) and atomoxetine (ATX). Results Between 2003 and 2015 the rate of patients aged 18–24 who were treated with MPH increased from 0.8 per 10,000 people aged 18–24 to 8.9 per 10,000 people, while the increase in the other two age groups was less substantial (25–49, 50 + age group). The rate of patients aged 18–24 treated with ATX in 2015 was 7.3 per 10,000 people and 2.2 per 10,000 people in the 25–49 age category and 0.28 in the 50 + age group category. Conclusion Prescription rates of ADHD medication have increased dramatically in the study period. The high proportion of ADHD patients treated with ATX can be explained by low adherence to treatment guidelines. This is the first study to compare ADHD pharmacotherapy across different adult age groups in this part of Europe, so the results could be widely relevant.


Adults Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Pharmacotherapy Pharmacoepidemiology Slovenia 




Conflicts of interest

The authors have no personal affiliations, financial relationship or any commercial interest to disclose relative to this article. The submitted report or any essential part of it is not published or simultaneously submitted to other publications prior to its appearance in this Journal.


  1. 1.
    Akutagava-Martins GC, Rohde LA, Hutz MH. Genetics of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: an update. Expert Rev Neurother. 2016;16:145–56.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Polanczyk GV, Salum GA, Sugaya LS, Caye A, Rohde LA. Annual research review: a meta-analysis of the worldwide prevalence of mental disorders in children and adolescents. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2015;56:345–65.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Štuhec M, Švab V, Locatelli I. Prevalence and incidence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in Slovenian children and adolescents: a database study from a national perspective. Croat Med J. 2015;56:159–65.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Stuhec M. Pharmacotherapy of ADHD in Slovenia: realities and perspectives. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2016;25:455–7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bolea-Alamañac B, Nutt DJ, Adamou M, Asherson P, Bazire S, Coghill D, et al. Evidence-based guidelines for the pharmacological management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: update on recommendations from the British Association for Psychopharmacology. J Psychopharmacol. 2014;28:179–203.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Stuhec M, Munda B, Svab V, Locatelli I. Comparative efficacy and acceptability of atomoxetine, lisdexamfetamine, bupropion and methylphenidate in treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents: a meta-analysis with focus on bupropion. J Affect Disord. 2015;178:149–59.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Faraone SV. Using meta-analysis to compare the efficacy of medications for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in youths. P T. 2009;34:678–94.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Faraone SV, Biederman J, Spencer TJ, Aleardi M. Comparing the efficacy of medications for ADHD using meta-analysis. Med Gen Med. 2006;8:4.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Roskell NS, Setyawan J, Zimovetz EA, Hodgkins P. Systematic evidence synthesis of treatments for ADHD in children and adolescents: indirect treatment comparisons of lisdexamfetamine with methylphenidate and atomoxetine. Curr Med Res Opin. 2014;30:1673–85.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Štuhec M, Locatelli I, Švab V. Trends in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder drug consumption in children and adolescents in slovenia from 2001 to 2012: a drug use study from a national perspective. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2015;25:254–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Schubert I, Köster I, Lehmkuhl G. The changing prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and methylphenidate prescriptions: a study of data from a random sample of insurees of the AOK Health Insurance Company in the German State of Hesse, 2000–2007. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2010;107:615–21.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Renoux C, Shin JY, Dell’Aniello S, Fergusson E, Suissa S. Prescribing trends of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications in UK primary care, 1995–2015. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2016;82:858–68.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    van den Ban E, Souverein P, Swaab H, van Engeland H, Heerdink R, Egberts T. Trends in incidence and characteristics of children, adolescents, and adults initiating immediate-or extended-release methylphenidate or atomoxetine in the Netherlands during 2001–2006. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2010;20:55–61.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Stuhec M, Locatelli I. Age-related pharmacotherapy of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in Slovenia in children and adolescents: a population-based study. Eur Psychiatry. 2017;42:129–33.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical Pharmacy DepartmentOrmož Psychiatric HospitalOrmožSlovenia
  2. 2.Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

Personalised recommendations