The number of young women taking prescribed medication for ADHD has soared by 344 percent in the last decade, a new CDC report revealed, sparking concerns about their health risks during pregnancy.
The report noted that there was little research conducted on the safety of medication prescribed for ADHD during pregnancy, USA Today reported, something of concern because the increase in women filling the prescriptions were of childbearing age.
Studies in animals raise worries.
According to The Daily Mail, the percentage rates were notably high among women between 25 and 29, who accounted for a 700 percent uptick in the prescriptions in 2015 from 2003.
Broadening the scope, researchers found that at least four percent of women in the U.S. aged 15 to 44 were taking some form of ADHD medication, which marked a drastic increase from the 0.9 percent recorded in 2003.
Dr. Edward Hallowell, a psychiatrist who has written a half-dozen books on ADHD, said per USA Today that it was good that adult women were finally getting diagnosed.
On the other hand, the bad news is that women may be taking the potentially risky medication without even knowing they are pregnant.
“Half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, and women may be taking prescription medicine early in pregnancy before they know they are pregnant,” said Coleen Boyle, director of the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, according to The Guardian.
“Early pregnancy is a critical time for the developing baby. We need to better understand the safest ways to treat ADHD before and during pregnancy.”
According to CHADD, a non-profit organization dedicated to ADHD, certain medications such as amphetamines like Adderall or methylphenidates like Concerta, Ritalin LA and Metadate CD, were introduced to animals during drug trials and it was discovered that they had a negative effect on developing pups.
The organization noted that, despite what information may be posted online, it was important for women to talk with their doctor if they were pregnant or planning a pregnancy and are using any medications.
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