Wales updates strategy to improve respiratory health

Wales updates strategy to improve respiratory health

January 22 2018 An updated respiratory health plan for Wales has been published, taking forward...

GPs urged to request blood test for patients with one or more symptoms of blood cancer

GPs urged to request blood test for patients with one or more symptoms of blood cancer

January 19 2018 A new parliamentary report is recommending that GPs should immediately request a...

Flu consultations increase 78% in a week

Flu consultations increase 78% in a week

January 15 2018 GPs saw over 21,700 cases of patients with influenza-like illness in the first...

New COPD pathway launched

New COPD pathway launched

January 12 2018 NHS RightCare has set out the core components of an optimal service for people...

MHRA warns of confusion over drug names and potential for errors

MHRA warns of confusion over drug names and potential for errors

January 11 2018 Healthcare professionals are being asked to be extra vigilant when prescribing or...

  • Wales updates strategy to improve respiratory health

    Wales updates strategy to improve respiratory health

    Monday, 22 January 2018 15:04
  • GPs urged to request blood test for patients with one or more symptoms of blood cancer

    GPs urged to request blood test for patients with one or more symptoms of blood cancer

    Friday, 19 January 2018 17:45
  • Flu consultations increase 78% in a week

    Flu consultations increase 78% in a week

    Monday, 15 January 2018 10:57
  • New COPD pathway launched

    New COPD pathway launched

    Friday, 12 January 2018 14:53
  • MHRA warns of confusion over drug names and potential for errors

    MHRA warns of confusion over drug names and potential for errors

    Thursday, 11 January 2018 12:40

adhdDecember 2 2015

Researchers have urged doctors to be cautious if considering prescribing methylphenidate for children or adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

A Cochrane review has concluded that the drug may improve teacher-reported ADHD symptoms, teacher-reported general behaviour, and parent-reported quality of life among children and adolescents diagnosed with ADHD. “However, the low quality of the underpinning evidence means that we cannot be certain of the magnitude of the effects.”

The researchers assessed 38 parallel-group trials and 147 cross-over trials, representing over 12,200 patients, and found methylphenidate led to “modest” improvements in ADHD symptoms as a primary outcome. They also found there were improvements in general behaviour and quality of life. However, in all outcomes, the quality of the evidence was judged to be “very low”.

Data for serious adverse events was only reported in nine out of the 185 trials, meaning that while methylphenidate does not appear to be associated with an increased risk of serious adverse events, the quality of the evidence was again very low.

“It was apparent from assessing the included trials that it would have been possible for people involved in the trials to have been aware of which treatment the children were taking,” says Cochrane. “In addition, the reporting of results was not complete in many of the trials, and for some analyses there was variation among trial results.

“Based upon this information, the researchers urge clinicians to be cautious in prescribing methylphenidate, and to weigh up the benefits and risks more carefully.”

Professor Ole Jakob Storebø, a clinical psychologist from the Psychiatric Research Unit in Region Zealand, Denmark, led the team of 18 researchers carrying out the meta-analysis. “This review highlights the need for long-term, large, better-quality randomized trials so that we can determine the average effect of this drug more reliably,” he said.

Co-author Camilla Groth MD added: “This review shows very limited quality evidence for the effects of methylphenidate on children and adolescents with ADHD. Some might benefit, but we still don’t know which patients will do so. Clinicians prescribing methylphenidate must take account of the poor quality of the evidence, monitor treatment carefully, and weigh up the benefits and adverse effects.”

Links:

Cochrane announcement

Cochrane review summary

Ole Jakob Storebø et al. ‘Methylphenidate for children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)’. Cochrane Library. Published online November 25 2015.

Professional News

January 22 2018 An updated respiratory health plan for Wales has been published, taking forward the national strategy for the next three years.