Tuesday, May 09, 2006
What's The Best Meds For ADHD?
If you're a parent seeking comparisons of ADHD drugs, you won't find any. According to a new review from the Oregon Evidence-based Practice Center at the Oregon Health and Science University, there are few clinical comparisons of ADHD medications despite the large variety and the prevalence of the condition among children and adults.The majority of head-to-head trials compared the widely prescribed drug Ritalin with other drugs. Most trials were also short in duration, included a small number of patients and did not measure the long-term effects of the drugs. Researchers also found that as for safety, the short-term, randomized controlled trials did not provide evidence that any one stimulant was any more tolerable than another or that nonstimulants were more tolerable than stimulants. Researchers also found that none of the trials compared how well the drugs improved academic performance, quality of life, or social skills. Few studies compare one stimulant to another and those that do show no clear advantages. Dr. John Santa, assistant direcotr for health projects at the center for Evidence-based policy says they reviewed 146 studies including a combination of randomized controlled trials and observational studies to ensure the largest possible amount of data on the medicines' side effects. Only half had any data on race or ethnicity, and only one quarter of school age children reported the type of ADHD treated. Very few studies compared the effectiveness of different drugs in treating adults with ADHD.