Changing Epidemiology of Methylphenidate Prescriptions in the Community: A Multifactorial Model

Lutfi Jaber*, Shmuel Rigler, Avinoam Shuper, Gary Diamond

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine dispensing patterns of methylphenidate (MPH) to determine how socioeconomic status (SES), ethnocultural affiliation, and gender affect the medical treatment of ADHD. Method: We reviewed MPH prescription records for year 2011 of children aged 6 to 18, from regional pharmacies serving homogeneous neighborhoods. Results: MPH prescriptions showed an increase in prevalence from 4.2% to 7.5% in the years 2007 to 2011, respectively. Jewish children were four times more likely to be prescribed MPH than Arab children, with significant discrepancies along SES and gender lines (p <.001). Higher SES and male gender were associated with greater use of MPH. General pediatric prescription rates of MPH in all communities increased by 85%, compared with year 2007 statistics (p <.001). Conclusion: Prescription patterns for MPH in children reflect diagnostic patterns of ADHD that appear to be heavily influenced by additive factors of SES, cultural attitudes, and gender. Dispensing data provide valuable information for targeting underserved groups and defining potential areas of abuse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1143-1150
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Issue number14
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • ADHD
  • Israel
  • SES
  • methylphenidate
  • pediatric population
  • prescription


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