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ADD / ADHD, Dyslexia.  It's a family issue.   Improve grades and self-esteem.  Evaluation and non-drug therapy that really works!

Potential Adverse Effects of Psychostimulant Medications

As mentioned in the DEA (U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency) statement on the usage of methylphenidate (Ritalin ) and other drugs in the treatment of ADHD, these potent drugs are substantially over prescribed as a "quick fix" by practitioners who may not be fully aware of the long term side effects or the damage these potent drugs can do.  The reality of communities in which 15 to 20% of young boys are on psychostimulant drugs is unconscionable with potentially terrible consequences! 

Furthermore, the use of rather subjective diagnostic tests for ADHD has resulted in extensive misdiagnosing of the condition.   A recent published study showed that 8 of 9 children diagnosed with ADHD did not in fact, have True ADHD.  Another report given before Congress stated a similar value of 90-95% misdiagnoses.rxgun.jpg (18337 bytes)

The indiscriminate prescribing of powerful stimulants is a long term "smoking gun" that will come back to haunt a community, not to mention the potential liability to the prescribing physician.

On the prescribing information insert included with the Ritalin medication are these two important statements, which as a matter of practicality are often overlooked:

"Ritalin is indicated as an integral part of a total treatment program which typically includes other remedial measures (psychological, educational, social) for a stabilizing affect in children with behavioral syndrome . . . Adequate diagnosis requires the use not only of medical but of special psychological, educational, social resources."

As many pediatricians, family practitioners, and other physicians are beginning to realize the potential long term liability for prescribing such potent drugs, they are looking for viable alternatives.  The Sharper Minds program is one of the best and most cost effective options with a very high success rate!  Furthermore, the evaluation and testing is objective and points out the specific areas where mental processing is deficient.

To help physicians and the public understand the potential adverse effects of the most popularly prescribed medications, we researched a number of articles from medical and news journals, as well as prescribing information for the drugs.

Following is a table summarizing most of the adverse effects of the three most commonly prescribed psychostimulant medications.

Potential Adverse Effects of Psychostimulant Medications

(see footnotes for letter explanations)

Adderall is not listed, but is similar to Dextroamphetamine as Adderall is Dextroamphetamine with amphetamine mixture.

Organ System Adverse Effect

Dextroamphetamine Dexedrine
 Adderall

Methylphenidate Ritalin
Concerta

Pemoline
Cylert

Cardiovascular Palpitations

Tachycardia

Increased blood pressure

X

X

X

X

X

X

a

Central Nervous System (CNS) CNS stimulation

Psychosis

Dizziness

Insomnia

Headache

Nervousness

Irritability

Tics and other abnormal involuntary movements

X b

X c

X

X

X

X

X

X

X b

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

-

X

-

X

X

X

Gastrointestinal Anorexia

Nausea

Vomiting

Stomachaches

Stomach cramps or pain

Dry mouth

X

X

X

-

X


X

X

X

X

-

X


X

X

X

-

X

Endocrine/
metabolic
Weight loss

Growth suppression

X c

X d

X c

X d

X c

e

Other Leukopenia

Skin rash or hives

Hypersensitivity reaction

Blurred vision

Jaundice

Anemia

Elevated liver enzymes

-

X


-


X f

X

-


X


X f

X f

X f

X f

X f

X


-


-

X f

X f

X fg

a - Not at recommended doses.
b - CNS stimulation is excessive.
c - With prolonged use.
d - Growth rebound occurs after temporary discontinuation of drug.
e - Reported only in doses >4 mg/kg/day.
f - Rare
g -Rate of liver enzyme elevations originally reported at 2%, but the incidence reports over the last 10 years suggest a rate between .02% and .1% (Sallee FR, Nabulsinbulsi A, Sethuraman G, unpublished data, 1995)

Adapted from an article entitled: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder by K.A. Calis, D.R. Grothe and J. Elia originally published in Clinical Pharmacology 1990;9:632-642.

Dexedrine, Ritalin, Cylert are registered trademarks of their respective manufacturers.

Of the children and adults who have been taking medications for ADD/ADHD when they started the Sharper Minds neural-cognitive therapy, around 80% were able to discontinue those meds within 8 to 12 weeks.  Another 10% took around 6 months (usually related to a situation in which the mother smoked, drank or did drugs during pregnancy), and in the last 5-10% of cases where a child took longer to reduce their dependency, the issue was more parent-related than child-related.

When discussing a treatment plan for clients that have children with learning disabilities, dyslexia, ADD or ADHD, remember, a drug-free solution is the best !

 

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Last modified: September 25, 2017