The question of whether stimulants should be prescribed for adhd children

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a neurodevelopmental mental disorder where one has difficulty controlling behavior, problems paying attention, etc. Stanford Newmark claimed in The Wall Street Journal that a good amount of children are diagnosed after a 15 to 20 minute visit with a pediatrician. There are many opinions regarding overprescription of stimulants to children with ADHD.

The question of whether stimulants should be prescribed for adhd children

Consumer Reports National Research Center. We asked parents to rate how helpful each medication was in the following areas: Both amphetamines and methylphenidates were equally likely to be helpful in all areas with the exception of behavior at school, where amphetamines were rated as slightly more helpful.

Straterra to report specific findings, the data we have indicates that they were generally less likely to be "very helpful" than amphetamines or methylphenidates in the areas we asked about.

The question of whether stimulants should be prescribed for adhd children

If a child is struggling in the areas of self-esteem and relationships, and medication is not helpful, it might be useful to have him or her see a clinical psychologist or other mental-health professional. Whenever the result of taking a drug is less than desired, it might be time to consider changing medication, Goldstein suggests.

Some children experience different effects from a different formulation of the same medication. Who prescribes and monitors ADHD medication? A vast majority of children in our survey received medication from a pediatrician 60 percentfollowed by a child psychiatrist 18 percent and a general psychiatrist 15 percent.

The question of whether stimulants should be prescribed for adhd children

All of the drugs carry a warning about rare cases of sudden, unexplained death. It is recommended practice to test for life-threatening conditions, including heart-related issues, before prescribing these medications. Overall, physicians did a decent job of screening before prescribing medication.

Eighty-five percent of the children we surveyed received some sort of screening, and 76 percent were given a general medical exam.

It should be checked before starting medication, and at least once while the child is taking medication. And even though 85 percent of the children were screened before starting medication, 15 percent did not receive any type of screening.

A parent should always request basic screening of their child before starting medication for ADHD. We also asked parents about other things they wished their prescribing physician had done. He offers these additional tips: Always call the doctor with questions.

Even if all is well, check in by phone two weeks after beginning medication and schedule a visit one month after for a follow-up.

After that, return visits will depend on the success of the treatment and side effects. In general, children doing well can be seen every six months. Reassessment should consist of a physical examination and direct questioning of the child and family member s.

Teacher evaluations are also helpful. A complete re-evaluation with the family and input from others including teachers should be considered every year, although waiting two to three years is common. Our survey found that parents of children taking amphetamines and methylphenidates reported a high frequency of side effects.

Overall, 84 percent of the children who tried amphetamines and 81 percent who tried methylphenidates experienced side effects. And among those who reported no longer taking a specific medication, 35 percent said it was because of side effects.

Decreased appetite, sleep problems, weight loss, irritability, and upset stomach were the side effects most frequently reported by parents for both types of medication.

Amphetamines and methylphenidates were equally likely to produce these side effects with the exception of irritability, which was more likely to be reported as a side effect by parents whose children tried amphetamines.

Talk with your doctor if irritability, anger, or manic behavior become an issue. Side effects such as a loss of appetite are very common but usually not significant, and they tend to improve over time, Michael L. Other problems children have after taking medication might not be due to the drugs at all.

Sleep problems might have occurred before starting medication, for example. And taking medication at the correct time is another factor in determining side effects. Although many parents reported side effects, they can often be managed. For example, some children have problems later in the day and a long-acting formulation is best, but sometimes the effect might persist into the evening, suppressing appetite for dinner and delaying bedtime.

Parents should also note that a child might begin to show withdrawal symptoms when a dose wears off, and might need tips for avoiding this. These management skills are something that can be developed with the doctor responsible for prescribing the medication.

For more help understanding ADHD and what you can do to help your child, including whether to medicate, see HealthPoint. Overall, only 41 percent were highly satsfied 16 percent were "completely satisfied" and 25 percent were "very satisfied".A third reason that children take non-stimulant medications is because they are unable to tolerate the side effects of stimulant medications.

For these young people, non-stimulant medications, including anti-depressants and atomoxetine, are given to treat ADHD. The preponderance of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children aged in was 11%.

Around million children in that age group were diagnosed with ADHD, and million were prescribed psychostimulants, according to the CDC. Jul 15,  · The researchers evaluated more than 40, high school seniors, including more than 3, who were prescribed stimulant medication for ADHD and 1, who were prescribed non-stimulant medicine.

Do Stimulant Medications Improve Educational and Behavioral Outcomes for Children with ADHD?

Facial Tics: While children with ADHD are at increased risk of developing facial tics — rapid eye blinking, nose scrunching, twitches — stimulants may also cause or exacerbate them.

It can take several weeks, or, in some cases, months, for stimulant-associated tics to appear. Evidence shows that these stimulants are quite safe when prescribed to healthy children and used under medical supervision Some parents prefer another class of medications referred to as nonstimulants because of the side effects associated with taking stimulant medications.

Furthermore, though antihypertensive medications shared similar common side effects with stimulants and antidepressants, they also risked sudden unexplained death (SUD) in children with ADHD. “The use of clonidine plus MPH has generated concern due to reports of SUD in children with ADHD taking the combination” (p.

).

Pros and Cons of ADHD Medication - Consumer Reports