Who Would Recommend Ritalin for Preschoolers?

Researchers participating in a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) study about prescribing the potentially dangerous ADHD drug Ritalin for preschoolers agreed, in some severe cases, it might be useful after all. This revelation might be shocking to many of you, were it not for one important fact: Even though the NIMH study was a government-funded one, many of the scientists working on it -- including the lead author -- have financial ties to ADHD drugs that include Ritalin.

The study began with children from some 300 families enrolled in 10 weeks of behavioral treatment followed by 70 weeks of drug treatments. Interestingly, many parents removed their children before the drug phase, either because behavior therapy worked or they didn't want to put their children on Ritalin.

Good decision, considering of the remaining 183 children left for the drug phase, 11 percent more dropped out due to Ritalin side effects. Overall, 40 percent of the children taking Ritalin developed side effects, including stunted growth and gaining less weight than normal.

Despite the results, doctors obsessed with drug-based solutions for anything and everything will use these results to justify the off-label prescribing of Ritalin, even though nobody knows what effect such a powerful drug will have on the natural brain development of young children.

Some natural, common-sense treatments for ADHD that have nothing at all to do with a drug that can harm your child:

MSNBC October 20, 2006

Forbes.com October 20, 2006


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