A new drug used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been launched, giving clinicians treating adults with the condition an additional treatment option in an environment where choice is currently limited.
About 50-66% of children with ADHD as a child will live with the condition into adult. It means 3-4% of adults will live with ADHD.
The new treatment, Elvanse Adult, contains an inactive molecule that is gradually converted in the blood, making the active part of the medicine, d-amfetamine (d-AMF), available in the body over a period of time. As a result of the prodrug technology, Elvanse Adult capsules cannot be mechanically manipulated (e.g. crushed) to release d-AMF.
The active part of Elvanse Adult is thought to work by increasing the neurotransmitters, dopamine and noradrenaline, in the synaptic space between neurons. These chemicals are stored in nerve cells in the brain, and their presence in the synaptic space controls the transmission of messages. This process is responsible for efficient activity, attention and concentration.
Elvanse Adult is indicated as part of a comprehensive treatment programme for ADHD in adult patients. It is not indicated in all adult patients, and the decision to use the medicinal product must take into consideration the profile of the patient, including a thorough assessment of the severity and chronicity of the patient’s symptoms, the potential for abuse, misuse or diversion and clinical response to any previous pharmacotherapies for treating ADHD. Additionally, treatment must be under the supervision of a specialist in behavioural disorders.
“As a psychiatrist working with adult ADHD for 20 years, I recognise the many ways that ADHD impacts on the lives of adults and the importance of optimising treatment – fine-tuning medication to the unique characteristics and treatment response of each individual with ADHD. The availability of therapies, such as Elvanse Adult is a welcome addition to the options available to prescribers to help adults with ADHD effectively control their symptoms” said Professor Philip Asherson, Professor in Molecular Psychiatry at King’s College London and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at The Maudsley Hospital.
Peter Gillberg, Acting Head of Medical Affairs, Shire UK, which manufactures the drug, said: “Shire is answering the need for a wider choice of effective medications for adults living with ADHD, who previously have had limited options.
“We are committed to improving access to Elvanse Adult, ensuring that adults with ADHD continue to benefit from advances in treatment.”