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   Children Can Overdose on Ritalin

   By Amy Norton

   NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - With so many American youngsters on

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
Between 3 and 4 million, another 2-3 million on
amphetamines; Adderall and Dexedrine]

   drug of choice for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
   may forget that it is a strong drug with the potential for overdose.

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
But regularly claimed by psychiatrists, neurologists,
pediatricians, family physicians, it is not really addictive. Never
called other than addictive, a Schedule II, controlled substance, by
the DEA and INCB (International Narcotics Control Board]

   overdoses do happen, and parents need to take precautions to protect
   their children.
   Among nearly 300 children who came to a Detroit poison control center due to
   Ritalin overdose, nearly one-third suffered symptoms such as an accelerated
   heart rate, agitation and sluggishness, according to a report in the
   December issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.
   Dr. Suzanne R. White and colleague Christina M. Yadao of Wayne State
   University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan, reviewed 2 years' worth
   of overdose cases. On average, the children had ingested 5 to 6 times the
   therapeutic dose of Ritalin, also known as methylphenidate. The study only
   looked at cases in which children overdosed on non-sustained-release
   White told Reuters Health that in many cases, the overdose occurred because
   a parent or other caregiver unintentionally gave the child too much of the
   drug. She said it is important for parents to keep a record of their  
   children's daily doses and to stick with the prescribed amount.
   While none of the children in this study suffered severe side effects,
   overdoses of any ADHD drug are potentially fatal, according to White.
   ``We believe there is a potential danger,'' she said, ''especially with more
   younger children getting these drugs now.''
   In this study, children younger than 5 were the age group most likely to
   suffer symptoms after a Ritalin overdose. However, children aged 6 to 11 had
   an ``unusually high'' incidence of accidental overdose, the researchers
   ``They're traditionally not considered to be at great risk for poisoning,''
   White said. ``We usually think of toddlers as being the ones at risk.''
   Parent education is the most important preventive measure, White pointed
   out. ``It is paramount,'' she said, ``to keep medication locked up in
   child-proof containers. And don't let kids give themselves the drug.''
   More than 2 million children in the US have been diagnosed with ADHD, many
   of whom are treated with Ritalin.

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
Here we have overdoses; poisonings, with Ritalin and other
amphetamines, given, almost without exception for ADD/ADHD, 'diseases'
never validated as diseases; never found to have a confirming,
characteristic abnormality within the child/person. The physical of
chemical abnormality is the disease. Diabetes is the abnormally high
level of sugar in the blood and throughout the body. Grave's disease,
i.e., hyperthyroidism, is the high level of thyroid hormone in the
blood and throughout the body. No abnormality = normal = no disease.
ADD/ADHD = no abnormality = normal = no disease. We are 'treating'
normal children with dangerous, addictive drugs for a disease that
doesn't exist: ADHD. Giving normal children dangerous, addictive,
potentially lethal drugs for a disease that does not exist is called

   SOURCE: Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine

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