UK Mulls Restricting Ritalin Use
I truly believe that the long term use of psychoactive drugs that have not been properly tested in children is one of the scariest aspects of health in the US today. Not only do we not know the long term side effects, but we are teaching our children that it is okay to take a pharmaceutical drug for the rest of your life.
(article) Britain’s National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) is set to release strict guidelines for the use of the hyperactivity drug methylphenidate (Ritalin), following growing concerns by some doctors and the public that it causes depression and lethargy in children and is over-prescribed. The drug could be banned for children younger than 5, according to media speculation. According to a NICE spokesperson, “Ritalin is under appraisal now for best practice national guidelines. Right now, Ritalin has had no universal prescriptive guidelines throughout Britain,” the spokesperson told Reuters Health. “Some doctors are currently prescribing it for very young children while others will only give it to children over 5.” According to a 1998 National Health Service Executive Report by Dr. Anna Gilmore, Ritalin seems only effective in children for a period of 6 months. After this duration, she reported, the benefits of the drug are uncertain. The NICE re-evaluation coincides with legal action against Novartis in the US, where some parents are suing the pharmaceutical company for failure to warn them of Ritalin’s possible adverse impacts on the nervous system.