Prescription practise of sleep medication among ADHD-medicated children
BackgroundUse of medicines for the treatment of ADHD in Norwegian children has increased considerably the last ten years.In parallel, the use of hypnotics and sedatives in children has increased. With the use of prescription data, we wanted to investigate if there is a connection between the increased uses of these drugs. We also wanted to see if sleep disturbances are reported as adverse events.
Aim of the studyUsing prescription data from the Norwegian Prescription Database and adverse event reports for the Norwegian Medicines Agency, we wanted to investigate if sleep disturbances is a symptom of ADHD or adverse events caused by the treatment. Data from the Prescription Database on the number and sequence of prescriptions were used to evaluate if prescription of ADHD-medicines were followed by prescription of sedatives or hypnotics. Adverse event data were evaluated to se if sleep disturbances are reported.
Results: We found that 26% (n=830) of Norwegian children medicated for ADHD in 2006 also get a prescription for a sleep medication, primary melatonin. Of all new stimulant-treated users (n=215) in 2006, 86% (n= 185) got the sleep medication prescript after the stimulant-prescription.Reports on adverse events were so scarce (n=2) that we could suspect that sleep disturbances are an underreported side effect of stimulant use.
Conclusion: The common use of Melatonin as sleep medication among Norwegian children less than 11 years old medicated for ADHD, suggest that sleep problems is an underreported side-effect of stimulant use in this group.