Prescribing patterns of methylphenidate in a South African patient population who are members of a private

  • I Truter
  • T Kotze
Keywords: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Methylphenidate, drug utilisation, prescribing patterns,


Methylphenidate is primarily used for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. The primary aim of the study was to investigate the prescribing patterns of methylphenidate of a medical aid patient population in a private sector and to compare the results with previous studies. An exposure cohort drug utilisation study was conducted. Data were obtained from a South African medical aid administrator. Prescription records for 115 patients who received methylphenidate during 2002 were retrospectively analysed. Nearly three-quarters (73.0%) of the patients were males and 79.1% of patients were 18 years or younger. The average age of patients was 15.6 (SD=10.8) years. Seventeen patients were 30 years or older. Two-thirds of prescriptions (67.3%) were for methylphenidate 10 mg (the innovator product), 20.7% were for the 20 mg slow-release innovator product and the rest were prescriptions for the recently introduced 10 mg generic equivalent tablet. Patients received on average 4.0 (SD=3.3) prescriptions for methylphenidate during the year. The average Prescribed Daily Dose (PDD) for methylphenidate was 15.4 (SD=7.6) mg. Further studies are recommended, especially into the quality of life of patients before and after receiving methylphenidate. The impact of methylphenidate on the academic performance of patients should also be quantified.

Keywords: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); Methylphenidate; drug utilisation; prescribing patterns; prescribed daily dose (PDD)

Health SA Gesondheid Vol. 10 (4) 2005: pp. 75-84

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2071-9736
print ISSN: 1025-9848