ADHD Drug Warning Labels - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/22/06

ADHD Drug Warning Labels

Should Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder drugs come with a warning label about the possible risk of psychosis? There has long been a concern that some of the drugs may be linked to depression but now, an FDA advisory panel is considering whether ADHD drugs may also raise the risk of heart trouble and psychiatric problems.

Apparently, the FDA and the drug makers have received hundreds of reports of psychiatric problems, including hallucinations about bugs, mainly in kids who are taking drugs like Ritalin, Strattera, Adderall, and Concerta. And in many of the cases, the patients say the symptoms went away after they stopped taking the drug, but there are many like Katy Warren who say the drugs saved her life.

"I often couldn't read or a couldn't communicate effectively. The medications provided to me, have caused no adverse side effects," said Warren. Think of ADHD as hyperactivity and inattention. Researchers say it can include tendencies of severe misbehavior including chronic lying, setting fires, or destroying property or hurting animals. So, now it's up to the FDA to decide where to draw the line on whether these drugs put kids at risk and how strongly parents should be warned. There is no word yet on when the panel will issue its recommendation.

Some medical experts, or concerned patients, may be scared away from these drugs if the warnings are too strong when in many cases, they are a lifesaver to kids and offer a great benefit, but other experts warn lives may be lost if the warnings aren't strong enough. Last month the FDA decided some ADHD drugs should carry stronger warnings about cardiovascular risks. Now an advisory board is considering whether there should be similar warnings about the risk of psychosis or mania. Use of drugs like Concerta, Ritalin, Adderall and Strattera has boomed in recent years and some critics question whether they're being over-prescribed to children.

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