ADHD Drugs Don't Work In All Kids: Media Engages in Fearmongering

  • by: |
  • 11/12/2007
Here's the straight story:

Preschoolers With Three or More Coexisting Disorders Show No Response to ADHD Medication Treatment

BETHESDA, MD -- November 5, 2007 -- Preschoolers who are diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are not likely to respond to treatment with the stimulant methylphenidate, regardless of dosage, if they also have three or more coexisting disorders, according to a recent analysis of data from the Preschoolers with ADHD Treatment Study (PATS).

Previously reported PATS results showed that overall, low doses of methylphenidate were safe and effective in treating 3-5-year-olds diagnosed with ADHD.

This most recent study, one of seven new PATS articles published November 5, 2007, in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, sought to identify individual characteristics that may affect how a child would respond to treatment. The other articles examine topics such as the effectiveness of methylphenidate over a follow-up phase, the effects of the medication on functional outcomes for the preschoolers, and others.

"This new data is an important step forward in bridging the gap between research results and clinical practice, bringing potentially valuable information to clinicians about ways to better customize treatments for their patients," said NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel, MD. "It also identifies a group of young children who have significant and multiple problems, and for whom more research is needed to identify effective treatments."

Here is how the media mangled and engaged in fear mongering right off the bat:


Drugs for ADHD 'not the answer'Treating children who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with drugs is not effective in the long-term, research has shown.

" Drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have no long-term effectiveness and could stunt your child's growth, is reporting.

And scientists have conceded that test results that prompted the parental craze to dole out the drugs to their kids, may have been exaggerated.

In what is sure to generate debate, BBC's Panorama program Sunday aired the results of a long-term monitoring program of 600 children across the U.S. since the early 1990's.

The Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD study concluded that while drugs such as Ritalin and Concerta worked in the short term, there was no demonstrable improvement in children's behavior after three years of medication." uses the BBC as the authority! Parental craze...not too much editorializing.


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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