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Wednesday August 2 10:38 AM ET

US Approves Once-Daily Drug for ADHD
NEW YORK (Reuters Health)
– The US Food and Drug Administration has approved
a new drug to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in patients age 6 and older.
Concerta (methylphenidate), according to manufacturer Alza, is the first
once-daily treatment for ADHD and should be available by prescription before
the start of the 2000-2001 school year.

[Dr. Baughman: Many parents, concerned about Ritalin's (methylphenidate's)
known addictive potential and about the recent Ritalin-induced, cardiac
death of Matthew Smith, 14, of Clawson, MI, would not be aware, and
might not be told, that the 'new' drug Concerta, is the same old
methylphenidate (Ritalin) in a new wrapper]

Dr. Timothy E. Wilens, from Harvard Medical School, said that the once-daily
drug would “help to eliminate the feelings of embarrassment that children
may have when taking medication in the middle of the school day or during
after-school activities.” The side-effect profile for Concerta is similar to thrice-daily Ritalin, according to Alza. Among the adverse events seen were headache (14%), upper
respiratory tract infection (8%), stomach ache (7%), vomiting (4%), loss of
appetite (4%), sleeplessness (4%), increased cough (4%), sore throat (4%)
and dizziness (2%).

[Dr. Baughman: As worrisome as are the risks of
Ritalin/Concerta/methylphenidate and the other amphetamines,10-15% of US
schoolchildren (not 4-6%) have been put on, the primary concern
regarding the risk/benefit analysis that is the basis of informed
consent, is that 20 years of ADD/ADHD research has yet to discover an
abnormality within the brain or body of children said to have ADD/ADHD,
to make of it a bona fide disease. The children are normal-normal, that
is, until they are put on Ritalin/Concerta/methylphenidate with all of
the above side affects, and many more.]

According to the National Attention Deficit Disorder Association,
approximately 4% to 6% of the US population has ADHD. Drug treatment for the
condition has been rising fast among school-aged US children over the last
15 years. Overall, prescriptions for stimulants like Ritalin roughly tripled
during the first half of the 1990s.
In March, The White House launched an effort to reverse the dramatic
increase in prescriptions for drugs such as Ritalin (methylphenidate) in
The White House initiative included “the release of a new,
easy-to-understand fact sheet about treatment of children with emotional and
behavioral conditions for parents.”

[Dr. Baughman: If the White House, the Surgeon General, the American
Psychiatric Association, the US Department of Education, the FDA the
National Institute of Mental Health and the Pharmaceutical
Manufacturer's Association want to reverse the astounding, prescription,
drugging of America's children they would admit in plain English, that
ADD/ADHD is not a disease, never has been, and that children that they
say have it, are NORMAL! ]

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