Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Brief But Important Review of ADHD Medications

In May 2006, Health Canada issued warnings on all ADHD medications that included heart risks and sudden death. Should the US do the same

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in May 2006, that side effects and other problems with prescription stimulants used for ADHD send on average 3,100 people to the emergency room each year - 80 percent of which are children. Problems most associated with ADHD medications include overdosing or accidental use causing side effects that include chest pain, high blood pressure, rapid heart beat, stroke and sudden death.

The FDA linked 25 deaths to ADHD drugs between 1999 and 2003; 19 were children. Also there were 54 cases reported of serious heart problems that included strokes and heart attacks.

In 2005 the FDA reported that children taking stimulants are at an increased risk of serious psychiatric adverse effects including psychosis or mania accompanied by hallucinations. The FDA Pediatric Advisory Committee recommended that a Medication Guide describing the potential psychiatric adverse effects and cardiovascular risks be provided when the medications are dispensed.

It should be noted that anyone showing signs of acute unexpected behavioural reactions, hallucinations, or increased aggression should discontinue the medication immediately. We highly recommend looking to effective naturasl supplements like Attend to avoid the dangers associated with ADHD drugs.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Are ADHD Medications Really Effective?

Spending on ADHD drugs soared from $759 million in 2000 to $3.1 billion in 2004 yet there are no studies that prove the long-term effectiveness of amphetamine drugs in helping people adapt or adjust to life with ADHD. With this widespread use of amphetamines and the risks associated with these drugs, shouldn't there be strong evidence proving that these drugs truly work in the long run?

ADHD medications do reduce the major symptoms of ADHD such as distractibility, impulsiveness and restlessness. People using stimulant medications need to question whether the symptoms are severe enough to justify the potential serious side effects.

Statistics show that ADHD drugs send 3,100 people to the emergency room every year. Of those, 80 percent are children. Additionally, the FDA linked 25 deaths to ADHD drugs between 1999 and 2003 - 19 of which were children. There have also been 54 cases of serious heart problems reported including strokes and heart attacks.

Major side effects may be rare, percentage-wise, but the use of ADHD drugs certainly is not. Many believe that different alternatives should be looked into as possible interventions. ADHD drugs may offer a quick fix, but do the benefits of that outweigh the possible dangers and misuse that can and do occur?

Parents need to be informed about the risks versus the benefits that these stimulants carry for their children and ask themselves; "Are these medications justifiable or even desirable?"

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Depression- Nuture vs. Nature?

New research, published in the journal "Biological Psychiatry", suggests that a supportive and loving home life can be all that's needed to override the genetic vulnerability to depression.

The study found that those who carry a version of the serotonin transporter gene, 5-HTTLPR, are more susceptible to depression than people without this gene variant, but only in gene carriers who grew up in a stressful home environment. In contrast, young adult gene carriers who had a supportive and warm family had a reduced risk of depression.

Of the 118 young adults in the study, 27 percent carried two copies of the short form of 5-HTTLPR. A similar percentage had two long versions of the gene, and the rest of the adults carried one copy of each version. Those who carried the two short forms had a higher risk of depression if they reported having a dysfunctional family life marked by hostility, conflict and coldness. Those who grew up with a nurturing family had a lower risk of depression.

In the development of depression, these findings point to the importance of nature vs. nurture. Researchers believe that a strong family life can be enough to reverse the effects of this risk factor and that a dysfunctional family life can create stress that sends genetically vulnerable people into depression.

This study indicates that those with a family history of depression need not worry as long as they have a family with a strong support system in place and are there for you during the tough times.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Reactions to Prescription Drugs

A recent study from the Journal of the American Medical Association found that over 700,000 people go to the emergency room each year due to dangerous and harmful reactions to prescription drugs.

The most frequent causes were accidental overdoses and allergic reactions. Pharmacists stress that people need to ask questions and get information about the prescribed drugs before getting them.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Why Are Preschoolers Given Ritalin?

Ritalin, a popular ADD drug, is given to increasing numbers of preschoolers these days. A big problem is that the drug is not recommended for anyone under the age of six.

The first long-term government study for the preschool age group indicates that, although Ritalin may help children with severe cases of ADD, preschoolers need to be monitored very closely. Children under the age of 6 are more likely to develop serious side effects than older children.

This study, conducted in response to soaring numbers of very young children prescribed psychiatric drugs, appeared in the November edition of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Many of the originally 300 families enrolled dropped out after the first phase of the study. During the 70-week study, over 50 percent of the children dropped out due to side effects ranging from irritability, weight loss, insomnia, and slowed growth rate.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Drug Abuse Among the College Crowd

Recreational use of prescription drugs is becoming commonplace on college campuses and many students don't see the use or selling stimulants, painkillers, or even sleep aids as illegal or harmful.

Adderall, a stimulant drug to treat ADD, is becoming the most popular drug to help students pull all-nighters to get their work done. Misuse of any drug is dangerous and can end up being extremely harmful or deadly. The sad side is that many students believe no harm will come to them and do not recognize that using medications that are not prescribed to them, or misuse medications prescribed to them is a felony offense.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Students Abusing Drugs

There's a growing problem with Adderall drug abuse, especially among high school honor students who are not abusing the drug to get high but to enable them to get better grades.

The pressure to succeed academically is simply too stressfull for some students. These students something that will help them increase their attention span and improve their ability to follow directions.

With the growing problem with "study enhancement" drug use, experts are beefing up their efforts to make students realize the dangers involved in using amphetamines. Using Adderall without a doctor's consent or taking Adderall at higher doses can increase blood pressure and heart rate, produce heart arrhythmias and, even worse, cause a stroke, heart attack or death.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Is It ADD or Are You Just Busy?

Adult ADD is not an onset condition. The condition was either undiagnosed as a child, or the symptoms currently experienced as an adult are not ADD. If you are impatient, easily distracted, impulsive or are overbooked, your problem could be ADD or just a normal reaction to multitasking. A person who can't remember where they put the keys does not necessarily have dementia. Someone who has trouble paying attention does not necessarily have ADD.

A fine line exists between adult ADD or just plain old busy lifestyles and multi-tasking. In today's multisensory culture that also supports distractiveness, people have to question the cause of the problem. Whether the problem is ADD or a busy lifestyle, great ways to help relieve symptoms are having some quiet time, exercising, using homeopathic remedies, and even meditation.