is banned for recreational use in the UK and side-effects can include stunted growth, heart problems, depression and insomnia.
and Adderall are methylphenidates, stimulants prescribed for attention deficit disorder, and Provigil is a treatment for narcolepsy, but in healthy persons these prescription drugs also improve wakefulness, concentration, memory, and a number of "executive" brain functions that help us identify and solve problems--just what the doctor ordered for a student cramming for a big final or writing a major paper.
finds that prescription rates for Ritalin
have increased 390 percent in the last five years.
Coyle of Harvard Medical School's Psychiatry Department accompanying the JAMA article points to the salient concerns: Methylphenidate, or Ritalin
, carries a warning against its use in children younger than six, and "the validity and reliability of the diagnoses of ADHD [has] not been demonstrated.
In the Ritalin
suits, just as in the tobacco suits, a major concern is the pushing of addictive drugs on America's children," he said.
As part of this effort, the FDA plans to develop new pediatric drug labeling information for psychotropic drugs used in young children, and work with the National Institute of Mental Health to ascertain research needs in this area, including a proposed nationwide study of Ritalin
use in children under the age of six.
The findings are significant because they provide further evidence for a biological basis for ADHD and bring new information to the discussion of Ritalin
use in children and the subjectivity with which ADHD is diagnosed.
Scots figures reveal a 50-fold increase in prescriptions from September 1994 - when only a handful of youngsters were on Ritalin
- to August 1999.
And there's disturbing evidence that Ritalin
, the most popular stimulant drug that's used to treat ADHD, causes cancer in laboratory animals (see "Ritalin
: Is it Safe?
But for the reader struck by some of the facts the Times mentions only in passing -- for example, that Ritalin
use more than doubled in the first half of the decade alone, that production has increased 700 percent since 1990, or that the number of schoolchildren taking the drug may now, by some estimates, be approaching the 4 million mark -- mere anecdote will only explain so much.
Joe, who is now 11, has taken Ritalin
since the age of six to stabilise his condition.
1] Methylphenidate, a derivative of piperidine, was synthesized in the 1940s and marketed as Ritalin
in the 1960s.
is basically a stimulant: if given to an adult or normal child, it demonstrates stimulating effects similar to amphetamines.
com quoting pediatricians who have reported an increase in 'academic doping', as more parents are requesting Ritalin
and other behavioral drugs to boost their child's academic performance.
have been against the use of Ritalin
, nicknamed the chemical cosh, for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ever since it became fashionable in the US for controlling difficult children.