Tag Archives: Focalin

Medication Madness in Young Children

An American Phenomenon: The Widespread Psychiatric Drugging of Infants and Toddlers

The United States has become the psychiatric drugging capital of the world, medicating children at a younger and younger age.

The United States has become the psychiatric drugging capital of the world for kids with children being medicated at a younger and younger age. Medicaid records in some states show infants less than a year old on drugs for mental disorders.

The use of powerful antipsychotics with privately insured children, aged 2 through 5 in the US, doubled between 1999 and 2007, according to a study of data on more than one million children with private health insurance in the January, 2010, “Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.”

The number of children in this age group diagnosed with bipolar disorder also doubled over the last decade, Reuters reported.

Of antipsychotic-treated children in the 2007 study sample, the most common diagnoses were pervasive developmental disorder or mental retardation (28.2%), ADHD (23.7%), and disruptive behavior disorder (12.9%).

The study reported that fewer than half of drug treated children received a mental health assessment (40.8%), a psychotherapy visit (41.4%), or a visit with a psychiatrist (42.6%) during the year of antipsychotic use.

“Antipsychotics, which are being widely and irresponsibly prescribed for American children–mostly as chemical restraints–are shown to be causing irreparable harm,” warned Vera Hassner Sharav, president of the Alliance for Human Research Protection, in a February 26, 2010 InfoMail.

“These drugs have measurable severe hazardous effects on vital biological systems, including: cardiovascular adverse effects that result in shortening lives; metabolic adverse effects that induce diabetes and the metabolic syndrome,” she wrote. “Long-term use of antipsychotics has been shown to result in metabolic syndrome in 40% to 50% of patients.”
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The Wholesale Drugging of Children

From the Frontline film: Medicating Kids

Death from Ritalin: The Truth Behind ADHD

New Risks Revealed in Drugging Children

ADHD drugs can cause hallucinations in some kids

Drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can cause children to have hallucinations even when taken as directed, U.S. government researchers said on Monday.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration researchers analyzed data from 49 clinical studies conducted by makers of the drugs and found they can cause psychosis and mania in some patients, including some with no obvious risk factors. In some cases, children hallucinated that worms, bugs or snakes were crawling on them.

“Patients and physicians should be aware of the possibility that psychiatric symptoms consistent with psychosis or mania” might arise in the course of treatment, Dr. Andrew Mosholder and colleagues wrote in the journal Pediatrics.

Their analysis provides fresh detail about known risks of the drugs, which include Novartis AG’s Ritalin and Focalin XR, Shire Plc’s Adderall XR and Daytrana patch, Johnson & Johnson’s Concerta, Eli Lilly and Co’s Strattera and Celltech Pharmaceuticals Inc’s Metadate CD.

It also includes data on Cephalon Inc’s modafinil, sold as Provigil, a narcolepsy drug that was rejected as an ADHD treatment in children.
FDA spokeswoman Sandy Walsh said the data formed the basis for recent warnings about psychiatric side effects that have been added to product labels in recent years.

Millions of children use drugs to treat symptoms of ADHD, which affects about three to seven percent of U.S. children.

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The first of the two video is from the Frontline film: Medicating Kids. The boy in this particular clip is on Focalin (among other drugs), one of the medications mentioned in the article above.

While this is a commendable documentary on the ill effects of drugging children, it fails to address nutritional and environmental issues.

The boy here is shown eating corn dogs and gatorade. From a September 26, 2007 Washington Post article, ‘public health advocates want the standards to ban the sale of Gatorade and Powerade, which typically contain as much as two-thirds the sugar of sodas and more sodium.” It also contains food coloring which has been shown to negatively impact behavior.

Hot dogs are flavor enhanced with MSG, a known neurotoxin, and nitrates, as well as red food coloring and a sundry of other unsavory ingredients.

The Wholesale Drugging of Children:

Nutrition & Behavior: Russell Blaylock, MD