This scared me to death: WARNING – Possible side effects of ADHD Medications. This may include: long-term effect on the developing brain with ADHD medication; heart-related problems; psychiatric problems, or potential for abuse.
What if I told you that there was also a wide variety of alternative therapies. Now do not get me wrong. There is a time and place for prescriptions for treating many diseases.
I checked online and the suggested Pharmacological Treatments for ADHD included antidepressants, Ritalin, Dexedrine, Adderall (amphetamine), mood stabilizers and a variety of other drugs. Are you really sure this is what you want for yourself, or even for your child?
You might disagree, but hear me out on this. There are several classes of ADHD medications. With luck, you may find a doctor that will work with you and prescribe one with the least amount of side effects.
Let’s first discuss the traditional treatments with ADHD medication. Until recently, most doctors prescribed Ritalin. Ritalin is supposed to increase blood supply to the frontal lobes of the brain. Ritalin is the most inconsistently absorbed. Some adults and children absorb as much as 80-90% of the medication, whereas others only absorb 30-40% of a medication dose.
Facts About Ritalin
Ritalin is rapid: 20-30 minutes. It has the shortest duration of action of 2-4 hours. Many children only have a benefit of 3 hours.
Possible Side Effects
Inability to fall or stay asleep, nervousness, headaches, depression and anxiety. In children, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, weight loss during long-term therapy, inability to fall or stay asleep, and abnormally fast heartbeat are more common side effects.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) “However, information on the long-term effects of all treatments is lacking, as is knowledge of the effects of long-term use of ADHD medications in children…”
Another drugs prescribed is Adderall (amphetamine). Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. Adderall is also used to treat narcolepsy (excessive daytime sleepiness).
In 2005 Canadian regulators suspended sales of the once-daily version of Adderall after 20 deaths (a possible side effect).
Adderall is still prescribed as a ADHD medication in the US. The FDA said it has examined the same study data as the Canadian health authorities but had not concluded the risk of sudden death was “strong enough” to justify suspending sales of the drug.
What about alternative therapies. Have you considered nutritional and dietary therapies, exercise, biofeedback, herbal treatments, meditation, Chinese medicine, homeopathic remedies, or possibly bach flower remedies.
Even when you are armed with all the facts, you as a parent must decide whether or not an ADHD medication is the right choice.
Do yourself a favor and research all the Pharmacological Treatments and the possible side effects of ADHD medications. Then compare those results with the health benefits of natural remedies.