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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!

7. What are the drugs commonly prescribed for ADD?

The most commonly prescribed drugs for the treatment of the symptoms of ADD, as well as the percentage of usages for which we've collected the data at our Centers are as listed in Table II on the next page.

These percentages are reflective of the cities in which we have our Centers and may not be representative of other cities or regions.

Fortunately, we see these drugs as optional with our program. Approximately 80% of the children that come to us on medications are off within 8-12 weeks of starting therapy. Another 10% are off within 6 months.  The other 10% in addition to cognitive dysfunctions are usually struggling with substantial external issues (abuse, neglect, ongoing trauma) that need to be addressed through other means such as counseling.  However, without adequate cognitive therapy and development, the counseling may be rather ineffective.

Table II. Common Medications

46%

Ritalin (methylphenidate) the most common psychotropic in use.  Concerta a time release form of Ritalin.  Mfr: Novartis of Germany.

40%

Adderall Combination of 4 amphetamines one of which is dextroamphetamine sulfate (see Dexedrine).

Been around since mid-70s and known as Obetrol prior to 4/94. Mfr: Richwood Pharmaceutical Company.

7%

Dexedrine (dextro-amphetamine sulfate or "d-amphetamine") Mfr: SmithKline Beecham.

5%

Wellbutrin (Bupropian hydrochloride) Primarily for use in fighting depression - Mfr: GlaxoWellcome.

<2%

Cylert (Pemoline) - Has fallen out of favor due to substantial risk of liver damage, and the recent death of several youngsters from liver failure.  Mfr: Abbott Pharmaceutical

For potential adverse side effects, see the table below.

So why are psychotropics like Ritalin given for ADD-behavior?

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Potential Adverse Effects of Psychostimulant Medications

(see footnotes for letter explanations)

Organ System Adverse Effect

Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine )

Adderall is similar

Methylphenidate (Ritalin )

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)

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