Young women using ADHD medicine up 700 percent over 8 years, CDC report finds

The CDC called for more research on how these drugs affect pregnant women.
2:09 | 01/19/18

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Young women using ADHD medicine up 700 percent over 8 years, CDC report finds
Thanks very much. A health alert right now. A new report from the CDC that highlights dramatic spike in ADHD prescriptions for young women. Chief medical associate Jen Ashton is joining us from Massachusetts and, Jen, this is something here. You're talking about women in their 20s and 30s? Yeah, let me set this up. The CDC looked at women ages 15 to 44 over a 12-year period and tracked specifically the number of prescriptions written for the class of medication used to treat ADHD so we're talking about amphetamine, stimulants, the numbers were jaw-dropping. In women 25 to 29 years of age there was a 700% increase over previous period of time. In women 30 to 34 a 560% increase just for prescriptions. We don't know if the diagnosis rate also went up. That was going to be my question. What 'behind this spike? Are people actually diagnosing more ADHD? We don't know. We don't know, okay, so first of all we have to look at the diagnosis. But what this really speaks to is an ill-defined and evolving field in adult psychiatrist and medicine known as adult onset ADHD because, remember, this is typically a condition that is diagnosed in children so we don't have good date father on its manifestations in adulthood nor do we have good data on the use of this class of medications out by the way for almost 100 years. So we do have a good profile on it but not really in adults so this is concerning and we're also not sure, George, whether this medical use are, recreational use or abuse or how that falls out so this is really the first step in observation. CDC obviously looking at reproductive age. What are the possible risks for pregnancy? Listen, that's what really jumps out. When you talk about this age group, these are obviously women where the unplanned pregnancy rate in the United States hovers around 50%. And many of these women could be using these drugs during pregnancy. There are risks and we need to be aware of that and it hasn't been studied in humans, only in lab animals and it's not a great profile so it needs more research. We have a lot more to learn. Okay, Jen, thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"2:09","description":"The CDC called for more research on how these drugs affect pregnant women. ","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/GMA","id":"52451215","title":"Young women using ADHD medicine up 700 percent over 8 years, CDC report finds","url":"/GMA/video/young-women-adhd-medicine-700-percent-years-cdc-52451215"}