There's a dark side to the drugs that are used on children with ADHD. In some cases, these young patients have hallucinated that worms, bugs or snakes were crawling on them. These issues should be very seriously considered before putting your child on these drugs.
U.S. government researchers said on Monday that data from 49 clinical studies conducted by makers of ADHD drugs showed that these pharmaceuticals can cause psychosis and mania in some patients, including some with no obvious risk factors.
Dr. Andrew Mosholder and his colleagues wrote in the journal Pediatrics that "Patients and physicians should be aware of the possibility that psychiatric symptoms consistent with psychosis or mania might arise in the course of treatment."
The questionable drugs include Novartis AG's Ritalin and Focalin XR, Shire Plc's Adderall XR and Daytrana patch, Johnson's Concerta, Eli Lilly and Co's Strattera and Celltech Pharmaceuticals Inc's Metadate CD. The review also includes data on Cephalon Inc's modafinil, sold as Provigil.
FDA spokeswoman Sandy Walsh said the data formed the basis for recent warnings about psychiatric side effects that have been added to product labels in recent years. Millions of children use drugs to treat symptoms of ADHD, which affects about three to seven percent of U.S. children.
While the majority of kids on ADHD drugs won't see these side effects, they are out there and represent something quite important for parents to consider before putting their young children on pharmaceuticals.