March 28, 2023

New research finds ADHD patients who take amphetamine medications like Adderall appeared to have a higher risk of developing psychosis than those who take methylphenidate drugs such as Ritalin. CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook joins CBSN with details.

Today in healthwatch a new study reveals some adhd medications may cause an increased risk of psychosis it says that teens and young adults who take amphetamines like adderall are twice as likely to develop the condition for more i want to turn to our dr. jon lapook who’s with me and onset here so dr. lapook from this adhd medication study well it’s really

Significant from this well this was looking at claims database and there were been 110,000 people a lot of people 110,000 and in one group and hundred 10,000 and the other one group had people taking a drug called methylphenidate that’s used to treat adhd the other were amphetamine like drugs so the methylphenidate drugs are like concerta and the amphetamine

Like drugs are adderall and vyvanse so what they found was that and it’s no surprise we’ve known since 2007 when the fda said there was a warning that amphetamines can increase the risk of psychosis but they what they found was that in people who were taking this and they were followed sort of for a medium about four to five months after about a hundred and

Twenty about four months or so there was new onset of psychosis that required medication and it turned out that the group that got the fetta mean like drug was about one in 500 and the people who got the methylphenidate was about one in a thousand it averaged out to between the two to about 1 in 660 so the message there was oh is that surprising it’s not really

Surprising because we know that the amphetamine like drugs are more powerful at releasing dopamine at the neurological level and that’s how they work by releasing dopamine what i found really interesting in this study arena is that they looked at people who were followed by psychiatrists by general practitioners by pediatricians the group that was followed by

Psychiatrists did not have an increased risk of psychosis why do you think that is and i think that’s the cautionary tale here so i spoke to the study author and i spoke to one other expert and it’s possible that the psychiatrist first of all when the person came to them referred they picked up signs of early psychosis and they said you know what this is somebody

Who should not be getting and i fed me like drug or once they were given the treatment they were able to monitor them more closely which they tend to do and as they were starting to get little symptoms and they’re very perceptive at picking them up they took them off the medicine and turn to something else can we step back for a second what exactly is psychosis

Mr. psychosis a great question is lack of reality testing you can get delusions you can hear voices sometimes you can you can see things that aren’t really there you can be paranoid it’s a lack of reality testing and this can happen with m fet amines and and one of the interesting things about this is and i’ve had this happen in a patient of mine which is people

Take adderall which is an amphetamine and they take it for lots of reason if they’re taking it for adhd under a doctor’s guidance great it can really help but sometimes they take it often they take it for other reasons so they take it to do well in school they take the you know they’re on it as a kid and then when they go become an adult then they’re on wall street

Or they’re taking it or in graduate school they’re still taking it but they may or may not still have the diagnosis well you can get side effects from that and if they’re not being followed by a psychiatrist you can develop psychosis and i have seen that happen so what do you think it means for people who are prescribed adderall i think for people who prescribed

They’re doing well you know most of these reactions happened early on in the first several months if they’re doing well and they’ve been on it for a long time and they’re followed by a doctor then according to this paper and according to the the study author who i spoke to stay on what you’re doing and no need to change and this is a very small increase i mean i

Actually said well what’s the baseline so i looked at a study and there were a hundred what’s the onset of psychosis new psychosis in somebody aged 15 to 29 is what i was able to find like what’s because there’s no control group here and and that was a hundred and twenty-six people per hundred thousand in this study which was looking at people 13 to 25 with metal

Methylphenidate there was 178 new cases per hundred thousand and with em fed i mean there was 283 new cases per hundred thousand so what that means is if you compare it to 126 baseline and that’s just all comers including people who are taking adhd medicine that’s 126 you’re taking a fad i mean it more than doubles it so yes it’s more than doubling it still it’s

A relatively low number of people 283 out of 100 and i think the bottom line here is there’s no free lunch you know there are tons of people who are taking adderall we know it’s sold on campuses i did a story about it at the time that i did it was ten bucks a pill and people were selling it you’re about to take a final here some adderall well you know you you

You can tell there are some pharmacological science of it pupils are dilated right it doesn’t always act the way you think it’s gonna be you could be up cleaning the house for 12 hours instead of studying for your test your blood pressure can go up your pulse can go up there are side effects of it so this is not something that you just take because yeah you know

It makes me perform that it’s a good point and and also because it’s so widely available that people need to understand the importance of why you need someone to look over this yeah

Transcribed from video
Some ADHD medicines may be linked to psychosis, study finds By CBS News