New, orally-disintegrating pill offers new avenue for ADHD treatment


All kids daydream; All kids loses stuff, fidget when they’re bored and talk out of turn.

Most kids grow out of it, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 percent of children aged between four and 17 don’t. They make up the percentage of children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

These patients will soon have a new way to receive ADHD medicines: Neos Therapeutics recently announced the development of an extended-release, orally disintegrating tablet for treating ADHD, the first of its kind.

A primer on ADHD

ADHD is a common developmental disorder that manifests in childhood and often lasts into the adult years. Because many of ADHD’s symptoms can look like ordinary childhood behavior, it can be hard to diagnose at first. However, ADHD’s symptoms don’t go away with age. Children and people with ADHD may daydream and talk too much, have difficulty resisting temptation and take unnecessary risks.

ADHD is most commonly treated with stimulant drugs like Ritalin, Adderall and Vyvanse, among others. Traditionally, these drugs are administered as tablets or capsules that the child has to swallow whole. Some ADHD drugs are meant to be sprinkled on foods or in fluids before ingesting.

Neos Therapeutics’ Adzenys XR-ODT is different. Approved in January by the Food and Drug Administration for use in patients aged six years and older, the new tablet is designed to disintegrate in the patient’s mouth. Alice Mao, M.D., medical director of Memorial Park Psychiatry in Houston, said in a Neos Therapeutics press release that “the novel features of an extended-release orally disintegrating tablet, which is dosed once daily and disintegrates in the mouth, make Adzenys XR-ODT attractive for use in both children and adults.”

The new tablet is the bioequivalent to Adderall XR, a commonly-prescribed medication that also treats ADHD. Like Adderall XR, the new tablet is available in a variety of strengths, allowing physicians to tailor the dose to their patient’s needs. The company plans a product launch and shipments starting in the second quarter of 2016.

Drugs aren’t the only way to treat ADHD

Although advances in medication are always welcome, children with ADHD also benefit from behavioral therapy and counseling from mental health care professionals. Psychotherapy can teach children with ADHD to explore their behaviors and learn new strategies to deal with their symptoms. Parents and teachers can also benefit from therapy by learning ways to incentivize good behavior and understand why children with ADHD act the way they do.

It’s also important to remember that all medications for children should be stored safely and securely. Mayo Clinic recommends parents keep medications in child-proof containers, avoid sending medications to school with their child and always administer medications carefully. Many ADHD drugs are amphetamines, which can be addictive and are often abused.

Sometimes professional treatment is needed for some children with ADHD. White River Academy offers a therapeutic boarding school environment for boys aged 12 to 17. Our school is staffed by experts in education, mental health and counseling who are dedicated to helping their students grow into the men they were always meant to be. For more information, please contact our 24/7 helpline.

About the Author

Brian Moore is a 20-year veteran of the newspaper industry, he writes articles and creates graphics. Brian enjoys music, bicycling and playing the tuba, which’s he’s done with varying degrees of success for over 25 years.

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