Maternal ADHD and Perinatal Prescription Stimulant Use

Meena N. Murugappan, Sarah M. Westberg, Stephen Contag, Tanya E. Melnik, Arun Kumar, Abhijeet Rajpurohit, Katie Thorsness, Joel F Farley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe patterns and predictors of perinatal prescription stimulant use. Methods: We used MarketScan® commercial claims data (2013–2018) and a repeated cross-sectional study design to assess perinatal use of prescription stimulants. Clinical/demographic characteristics were compared across cohorts of women who continued versus discontinued stimulant treatment at various stages of pregnancy. Associations were tested for significance using chi-square tests (categorical variables) and independent t-tests (continuous variables). Results: Out of 612,001 pregnancies, 15,413 involved pre-pregnancy stimulant use. Of these, stimulant treatment was discontinued prior to conception in 6,416 (42%), discontinued during trimester 1 in 5,977 (39%), and continued into later trimesters in 3,020 (19%). Compared with pregnancies involving stimulant discontinuation prior to conception, those that continued into pregnancy occurred in women who were older (29.9 vs. 28.9 years) and had more severe ADHD (3.1 vs. 1.8 ADHD-related billing claims). Conclusions: There is considerable heterogeneity in the management of ADHD during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1347-1356
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Issue number10
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge Sarah Jane Brown, MSc for her contributions to the literature review for this manuscript. The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© ©The Author(s) 2022.


  • ADHD
  • Truven MarketScan
  • in utero exposure
  • maternal health
  • mental health
  • pregnancy
  • pregnancy complications
  • stimulants
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants/adverse effects
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Female
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity/drug therapy
  • Prescriptions

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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