Orange-flavored amphetamine for kids approved by Feds

Adzenys XR-ODT™ is the newest ADHD medication to be approved by the FDA. Chemically similar to Adderall, the drug is now available by prescription for children over the age of six throughout the United States. But Adzenys differs from previous generations of ADHD drugs in one major way — it is the first orange-flavored, orally dissolvable iteration of an amphetamine-based stimulant.

The release of Adzenys has caused concern among doctors and parents due to the fact that the medication is a Schedule 2 Controlled Substance, and the drug’s main selling point — its ease of use — may facilitate abuse…

The Texas-based manufacturer behind the drug, Neos Therapeutics, specializes in developing drugs specifically for ADHD. (Neos did not respond to a request for comment.) The company, which went public in July of 2015, saw shares jump 40 percent after the launch of Adzenys, which, according to CEO Vipin Garg, aligned with making the drug available “before the back-to-school season”…

The CDC has warned that too many American children with ADHD are overmedicated — up to 75 percent of those diagnosed are on a stimulant — and that behavior therapy should be strongly considered as an alternative. Almost 2 million of children presently diagnosed were done so between ages 2 and 5. In 2014, 63.1 million prescriptions were written for ADHD medication, and sales are projected to grow to almost $17.5 billion by 2020…

More troubling is the psychological effect that a flavored ODT may have on children and their perception of medication. According to the website Pediatrics for Parents, “positive taste experiences lead to less medication struggle, improved medication adherence, and better health outcomes… set[ting] the stage for a favorable outlook on all future medication encounters.”

What could possibly go wrong?

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