Methylphenidate use for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in northern Israel - A controversial issue

Yacob Fogelman*, Ernesto Kahan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: The prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and its pharmacologic treatment have increased dramatically in the past decade in the United States and Britain. We examined the use of methylphenidate hydrochloride for the treatment of ADHD in children in northern Israel. Methods: We evaluated all prescriptions for methylphenidate filled in 1999 for children aged 5-18 years residing in northern Israel who were insured by Clalit Health Services, a health maintenance organization that covers approximately 70% of the population. Results: Methylphenidate was prescribed to 1.45% of the children in northern Israel in 1999, an increase of 20% in the overall prevalence of methylphenidate use since 1992. Eighty-two percent were boys. The rate of prescription varied widely by type of settlement, from 0.2% in Arab cities and towns to 5.7% in kibbutzim. Primary care physicians wrote 78% of all the prescriptions. Conclusions: The increase in methylphenidate use was much smaller in northern Israel than in most other developed regions and countries. More efforts at diagnosis and treatment of attention deficit disorders may need to be directed at Arab populations and those with inadequate medical services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)925-927
Number of pages3
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2001


  • Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder
  • Methylphenidate
  • Pharmacoepidemiology
  • Primary care
  • Stimulants

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