New ADHD Meds: Easier to Swallow

People with ADHD who struggle to swallow medication in tablet or capsule form will be cheered to learn that in the past several months, the FDA has approved three new treatment choices for oral extended-release ADHD medications that do not require patients to swallow the medication whole.

According to a news release from  AAP Gateway, the new formulations provide alternatives for ADHD patients 6 years and older that have difficulty swallowing pills. They are:

  • Adzenys XR-ODT (amphetamine); the first extended-release orally disintegrating tablet for the treatment of ADHD.
  • QuilliChew ER (methylphenidate hydrochloride); the first chewable extended-release ADHD tablet. QuilliChew XR can be chewed or swallowed whole.
  • Dyanavel XR (amphetamine); the first extended-release amphetamine-based oral suspension.
Controversy and Compliance

Given the ease of taking Adzenys in particular, some psychiatrists have expressed concern that the chewable, candy-flavored medication could encourage abuse of the drug. Dr. Mukund Gnanadesikan, a California child psychiatrist, notes his concern that people will request it and then sell it underground to those looking for party drugs or performance-enhancing drugs. “I’m not a big fan of controlled substances that come in forms that can be easily abused,” he says. “And certainly a chewable drug falls into that category.”

Vipen Garg, CEO of Neos Therapeutics, manufacturer of Adzenys, disagrees: “You go to the pharmacy, and everything is in gummy bear format. Why would that be the case if there wasn’t a need for this.” STAT reports Garg’s position as follows:

The new, quick-dissolving formulation will help harried mothers get their kids medicated faster before school. It could also be useful for the adult ADHD population: If they forget to take their pill with breakfast, they could just pop a tablet on the way to work. He sees the dissolving tabs as part of a broader trend to making medications and supplements of all types more pleasant to take.