Over the last two decades, the use of ADHD medication in US youth has markedly increased. However, less is known about ADHD medication use among European children and adolescents. A repeated cross-sectional design was applied to national or regional data extracts from Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) for calendar years 2005/2006-2012. The prevalence of ADHD medication use was assessed, stratified by age and sex. Furthermore, the most commonly prescribed ADHD medications were assessed. ADHD medication use prevalence increased from 1.8% to 3.9% in the Netherlands cohort (relative increase: +111.9%), from 3.3% to 3.7% in the US cohort (+10.7%), from 1.3% to 2.2% in the German cohort (+62.4%), from 0.4% to 1.5% in the Danish cohort (+302.7%), and from 0.3% to 0.5% in the UK cohort (+56.6%). ADHD medication use was highest in 10-14-year olds, peaking in the Netherlands (7.1%) and the US (8.8%). Methylphenidate use predominated in Europe, whereas in the US amphetamines were nearly as common as methylphenidate. Although there was a substantially greater use of ADHD medications in the US cohort, there was a, relatively greater increase in ADHD medication use in youth in the four European countries. ADHD medication use patterns in the US differed markedly from those in western European countries. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.