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Should children be given ADHD medication?
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swingod posted:
I am a medical student with a degree in physiology and neuroscience. I have done a lot of work relating to ADHD medication, and in my opinion I think that there are many consequences to giving the undeveloped brain the mainstream ADHD medications. I recently updated my blog with an article discussing just this, check it out:

http://streetmd.blogspot.com/2011/03/giving-kids-meth-update.html
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artilleries responded:
You might want to change the unfortunate description in your blog's link (meth) to 'med'
 
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swingod replied to artilleries's response:
Methamphetamine=Desoxyn, an ADHD medication. Read my article and you'd understand my usage of the term
 
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artilleries replied to swingod's response:
Yes, I'm quite aware that methamphetamines are used to treat ADHD, but considering all of my co-workers had a gut reaction of, "Wait, what?" you might get more hits on your blog by changing the link title.
 
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Boyzmomee responded:
My son has seen both an established pediatric neurologist as well as an established child psychiatrist who agree on my son's treatment with stimulant medication.

I am surprised that someone who is a medical student would start a thread entitled "Should children be given ADHD medication?"

There are multiple types of ADHD medication which include both stimulant and non stimulant medications. Each medication in it's own right has an individual chemical combination, so to speak.

In addition, you should recognize yourself, as a medical student, that there are no blanket treatments for each condition. Just as all asthma patients are not under the same treatment regime, the same should be true for children diagnosed with ADHD.
 
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Boyzmomee replied to swingod's response:
I think he does. That was the point and why he made the suggestion.
 
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Boyzmomee replied to artilleries's response:
Of course, and adding some professionalism if one is going to make sweeping medical generalizations.
 
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Boyzmomee replied to artilleries's response:
Of course and adding some professionalism if one is going to make sweeping medical generalizations.
 
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swingod replied to Boyzmomee's response:
The point of the title was to encourage that kind of reaction, wait what? Lets think again because certainly this topic is controversial.

I never said that there were blanket medical treatments for any condition. The point which I think is being missed is to highlight the downsides of some indicated treatments for ADHD, and also to bring up the question, which I think is very relevant, how does medicating a child with psychotropic drugs affect their brain development? It brings up moral issues, and also is a question that many psychiatrists research since the implications are very serious both because of societal stereotypes and the existing research saying that these medications do influence the child's mind.

Psychiatry is a field still in its infancy, and while these medications do work, the truth is we still don't know enough about them to wholeheartedly agree with using them. I think its important to acknowledge this and this is also the reason why I wrote that article in my blog.
 
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Boyzmomee replied to swingod's response:
Of course you did. You started the topic:

"Should children be given ADHD medication?"

Anyone sophisticated enough can realize that there are multiple medications used to treat ADHD and that not all of them are stimulants. In addition, as with any treatment, one has to weigh the benefits with the consequences for failure to treat.

We could also ask: "Should children with schizophrenia or depression be prescribed medication?"

How about : "Should children with epilepsy be prescribed medication?"

There many, many medications used to treat various conditions. In fact, anticonvulsants are often used to treat mood disorders.

New medications are developed for all sorts of conditions.

You will find as you advance in your studies, that asking broad, sweeping questions with multiple variables is not the best way to find valid conclusions.
 
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girlwhowrites replied to Boyzmomee's response:
I have ADHD and I am really glad I take medication! Life of course is still not perfect, and I still struggle with focusing and some hyperactivity things. Technically I'm primarily inattentive type, but I have my hyperactive bits. Anyway, I take Strattera. My mom didn't want me to have a stimulant medication, and I think that Strattera really works great for me.

It used to be really obvious that I have ADHD, but now, not so much. I think that for those with the 'quieter' side of ADHD, a non-stimulant medication is better. There is definitely a difference in my smaller behavior struggles and my bigger focusing problems.

Math used to be awful for me. It still is harder than anything else, and I have a hard time concentrating, but it's easier than it was before. It took me forever to learn my multiplication tables and long division. I would learn one thing one day, and the next I couldn't remember it! My memory has been helped a lot by medication.

There's my more inexperienced opinion for you.
 
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Boyzmomee replied to girlwhowrites's response:
Thank you for your insight!

My son has ADHD. As I am not a child psychiatrist or pediatric neurologist, I did not put any limits on what type of medications the doctor recommended.

We discussed the recommendations and I followed them with very good results.

My almost 14 year old son is on honor roll at school, on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout, participates in all sorts of sports and is active in his religious community. We put an end to his struggles in kindergarten.

As for math, I feel your pain. I hate it yet I was able to earn an advanced college degree and you can too. Of course, I am not an engineer!
 
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Boyzmomee replied to girlwhowrites's response:
Thank you for your insight!

My son has ADHD. As I am not a child psychiatrist or pediatric neurologist, I did not put any limits on what type of medications the doctor recommended.

We discussed the recommendations and I followed them with very good results.

My almost 14 year old son is on honor roll at school, on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout, participates in all sorts of sports and active in his religious community. We put an end to the majority ofhis struggles in kindergarten.

As for math, I feel your pain. I hate it yet I was able to earn an advanced college degree and you can too. Of course, I am not an engineer!
 
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swingod replied to Boyzmomee's response:
Your argument is fair. However, there are some points that I would like to contend.

First of all most psychiatrists would agree that stimulants are over prescribed for ADHD. And further ADHD is over diagnosed.

This is a serious social problem. Because now we are exposing young kids to a potentially addictive drug that could be treated with much less addictive drugs such as methylphenidate etc.

You insist that I am making broad conclusions. Let me again restate obviously amphetamines and stimulants are effective. I don't argue that. What I do argue is that they are used too much and given too easily when just as effective drugs exist that don't promote potential social issues such as addiction etc.

Of course drugs used for epilepsy can affect development, Same with schizophrenia or depression. However are these conditions over diagnosed? Do these conditions lead to potential addiction? Obviously not.

If you want to claim I am making a broad generalization, then this is it ... I am fundamentally against giving drugs that are potentially addictive when there are clear alternatives that work just as well. Yes, its unfortunate that kids are given some of these drugs as their minds are developing (and yes some need it), however ADHD is a particular case where many kids who take the drugs shouldn't be, because its over diagnosed or an alternative medication is available that is less harmfull. Additionally, many kids take amphetamines, to maintain an advantage over other students, again this leads to irresponsible behavior, potential addiction, and exposure to brains that don't need exposure.
 
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staceylewis82 replied to swingod's response:
I have a almost 6yr old who was diagnosed at the age of 3 with adhd and i feel as if you think parents just put their child on medication with out even batting an eye if the dr says to do it. i know my husband and i struggled with the idea of putting him on medicine but in the long run we had to do what was best for him. he barely spoke and was always in trouble due to his behavior before medication, shortly after he started on the meds. he was speaking 10 times more and was still not perfect all the time but was able to make better decisions a lot of the time. so if we would not have put him on medication he would have continued getting in trouble and it would have interfered with his schooling and who knows what other troubles he would have faced. also it is not like if you put your child on meds. they will become addicts even if a child is not on meds. their is a chance that they will try to self medicate to help with their symptoms. i just felt like i needed to say something because it really was one of the hardest decisions my husband and i have had to make regaurding our children it was not something we took lightly at all.


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