Old people with docThe first licensed stimulant Elvanse Adult indicated as part of a comprehensive treatment programme for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults has been launched today.

This provides clinicians involved in the treatment of adults with ADHD with an additional treatment option in an environment where choice is currently limited. While commonly thought of as a childhood condition, ADHD persists to adulthood in a reported 50-66% of individuals diagnosed with the disorder in childhood. In the UK adult ADHD is thought to affect between 3 and 4% of adults.

Professor Philip Asherson, Professor in Molecular Psychiatry at King’s College London and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at The Maudsley Hospital, said: “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.”

Unlike other treatments currently available for ADHD in adults, the prodrug technology of Elvanse Adult means that the inactive molecule 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 (eg. crushed) to release d-AMF. 

The active part of Elvanse Adult, d-amfetamine (d-AMF), 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.