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Patterns and Persistence of Pharmacotherapy for Children and Adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in South Korea
Korean J Clin Pharm 2018;28(3):216-223
Published online September 30, 2018
© 2018 Korean College of Clinical Pharmacy.

Kyeong Eun Lee and Nam Kyung Je*

Pusan National University, College of Pharmacy, Busan 46241, Republic of Korea
Correspondence to: Nam Kyung Je. Pusan National University, College of Pharmacy Research Bldg, 532 Busandaehakro, 63 Bungil 2 Geumjeong-Gu, Busan, 46241, Republic of Korea
Tel: +82-52-510-2802, Fax: +82-51-513-6754
Received June 12, 2018; Revised July 24, 2018; Accepted July 24, 2018.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Objective: This study aimed to assess treatment persistence in Korean children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the factors influencing their adherence to ADHD pharmacotherapy.
Methods: The study included patients between 6 and 18 years of age with ADHD who were taking various formulations of methylphenidate and atomoxetine on June 1, 2014. Patients were dichotomized as “persistent” or “non-persistent”, depending on whether they continued ADHD therapy for 6 months (therapy persistence). We also investigated if the patients were taking the same medication(s) as before and also classified the patients as “medication persistent” or “non-persistent”. Patient’ characteristics were correlated with therapy persistence and medication persistence. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to assess potential risk factors for treatment persistence.
Results: Overall, 3,317 patients were included in the analysis. A majority of patients were taking stimulants (82.0%), 16.2% were taking non-stimulants and 1.8% were taking a combination therapy of stimulants and non-stimulants. After 6 months, 2,290 patients (69.0%) continued to take medication for ADHD with 1,953 patients taking the same medication(s) as 6 months previously. Common positive factors for therapy persistence and medication persistence were identified as younger age, retardation, and developmental delay, and long-acting formulations of methylphenidate as either monotherapy or in a combination therapy may be used.
Conclusion: ADHD medications were proven to improve academic performance and social skills of children. Collaboration between patients, parents, school staffs, and prescribers is required to improve the persistent use of ADHD medications.
Keywords : Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, therapy-persistence, medication-persistence, methylphenidate, atomoxetine

September 2018, 28 (3)
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