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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2012 Oct;51(10):950-5. doi: 10.1177/0009922812441661. Epub 2012 Apr 17.

Clonidine utilization trends for Medicaid children.

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  • 1Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.



To characterize clonidine utilization trends among children.


Serial cross-sectional analysis of Michigan Medicaid claims data for children aged 6 to 18 years. The authors identified children with ≥1 clonidine prescription; the authors examined their ICD-9 diagnoses categorized as simple and complex attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), non-ADHD mental health disorder, hypertension, or others. Also identified were child demographics and prescribing physician specialty.


From 2003 to 2008, the proportion of children receiving clonidine prescription nearly doubled in all demographics. Across years, the majority of clonidine prescription was for simple and complex ADHD and other mental health disorders. Leading prescribers were psychiatrists followed by general pediatricians and adult primary care physicians.


Clonidine was used extensively to treat simple and complex ADHD in children although FDA approval for this indication did not occur until 2010. Further study is warranted to better understand clinical outcomes and costs associated with clonidine use for the treatment of children with ADHD.

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