First Long-term Ritalin Study in U.S.
Unpacking use of Ritalin on ADHD preschoolers
By Lindsey Tanner
October 20 2006 at 12:01PM

Is it safe to give preschoolers Ritalin, the popular attention deficit disorder drug?
The first long-term US government study of that age group warns of side effects with the stimulant drug, which is not recommended for children under age 6.
There were benefits for children who had severe ADHD, but the researchers said preschoolers on Ritalin need close monitoring because they are more likely than older children to develop side effects.
The research was done because of concerns over reports that soaring numbers of preschoolers are being given psychiatric drugs, including Ritalin.
The study's message is, proceed with caution, said Dr Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health.
"We're not talking about fidgety 3-year-olds," said Insel, whose agency funded the study.
The research involved children with severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with behaviours that included hanging from ceiling fans, jumping off slides or playing with fire. The researchers say the benefits of low-dose treatment outweigh the risks for these youngsters.
Quote:So would turning off the video screens once in a while; ensuring they have parents -- a mother and a father -- who are directed toward Truth, relatively emotionally healthy, and engaged; teaching them how to think and read and entertain themselves; exposing them to beauty and truth, giving them heroes; giving them boundaries and consistent, meaningful discipline rooted in the true Good and not in power trips; giving them time and space to play and explore; ensuring they are "validated" emotionally, etc. Any Ritalin use in already-damaged ("severely damaged") children should be very short-term and accompanied by the above, all with the goal of restoring them to health and getting them off it as soon as possible; anything less is the equivalent of drugging old people in nursing homes so they don't get in your busy little way.
But critics disputed that.
"I hope publication of this does not lead to more overprescribing," said Dr Sidney Wolfe of the watchdog group Public Citizen. "The safety isn't adequately established, the efficacy even less."
About 40 percent of children developed side effects and roughly 11 percent dropped out because of problems including irritability, weight loss, insomnia and slowed growth.
Preschoolers on methylphenidate, or generic Ritalin, grew about half an inch (1,3 centimetres) less and gained about 2 pounds (0,9 kilogram) less than expected during the 70-week study.
"This is a catastrophe. It just opens up the way for drugging the younger kids," said Dr Peter Breggin, a New York psychiatrist and longtime critic of psychiatric drug use in children.
Breggin said the research is part of a marketing push by the drug industry to expand drug use to the youngest children.
The study appears in the November edition of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Several of the researchers have financial ties to makers of ADHD drugs, including Ritalin.
Lead author Dr Laurence Greenhill, a psychiatrist with Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute, has been a paid speaker for most companies that make the drugs.
Roughly 8 percent of US children have ADHD, including around 3 percent of preschoolers.
Quote:No one "has" ADHD; the term "ADHD," if it is used at all, should be used as an adjective, not as a noun indicating some non-existent pathogen floating around.  
Previous research found that about 1 in 100 preschoolers had been prescribed Ritalin, which has only been approved for use in children aged 6 and older. Use in younger children is considered "off-label" but is not illegal.
Dr David Fassler, a psychiatry professor at the University of Vermont, said the study does a good job of outlining pros and cons of Ritalin treatment in preschoolers.
"This is exactly the kind of information we need to help parents make informed decisions about treatment options for young children with ADHD," Fassler said.
The study involved 10 weeks of behavioural treatment including parent training, then 70 weeks of drug treatment. Nearly 300 families were enrolled but many dropped out after the first phase, either because the behaviour treatment worked or because they didn't want to put their children on drugs.
The drug phase started with 165 children, more than a dozen dropped out because of side effects.
Behaviour improvements were seen in children taking 7,5 to 30 milligrams daily, but the optimal dose was 14 milligrams daily - less than half the usual Ritalin dose for older children, Greenhill said.- Sapa-AP
I have a friend who's suffered organ damage because of medications for ADD and ADHD.  He's addicted to the medications now, and as it turns out, they're not sure if he really had the disorder to begin with.[Image: frown.gif]
I'm a little slow now because of taking this deadly poison.
I am not familiar with the "Ritalin on ADHD preschoolers" and this is the reason that i am not able to comment something on this thread. Give me favor please and tell me the detail information about the  "Ritalin on ADHD preschoolers"
The link doesn't work...
Might have something to do with it being 5 years old  :P
Dang... didn't look at the date...

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