Shire has launched Elvanse Adult across the UK, offering older patients with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder the first licensed stimulant to help control their condition.

Clinical trials of the drug have shown that it significantly reduces functional impairment and improves attention in patients.

But Elvanse Adult (lisdexamfetamine) therapy can only be administered as part of a comprehensive programme and under supervision by a behavioural disorder specialist, and only after a pre-assessment of the patient’s risk for abuse/misuse as well as a benchmark of cardiovascular markers is undertaken.

Shire says that, 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, Elvanse Adult capsules cannot be mechanically manipulated (e.g. crushed) to release d-AMF, making misuse of the drug much harder.

ADHD is commonly thought of as a disorder in children, but it actually persists into adulthood in a reported 50%-66% of childhood cases, and, overall, is thought to affect between 3%-4% of adults.