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Inattention, difficulty concentrating ... and here are our children labeled "sick", suffering from the new contemporary pathology: ADHD (attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity), with the temptation to prescribe drugs such as Ritalin or the Concerta.
TDHA: a pill to treat our children?
- "In France, access to medicines Ritalin and Concerta used for ADHD is highly regulated: they can only be prescribed the first time in a hospital setting. Only the renewal of the prescription can be done then in liberal medicine ", underlines Prof. Chabrol.
- And yet ... "The number of monthly Concerta and Ritaline boxes sold has steadily increased in recent years: from 113,400 in 2006 to 160,000 in 2009. This inflation is not reassuring. Methylphenidate is related to amphetamines and causes some undesirable side effects ", explains Bruno Toussaint, editor-in-chief of the Prescrire magazine.
- This molecule indeed acts on the cardiovascular system : it increases blood pressure, pulse, heart work, exposes to arrhythmias and tachycardia. There are also neuropsychic effects: some patients have hallucinations.
- Above all, methylphenidate acts as an appetite suppressant hence some stunting during the course of treatment. So much for the known side effects, but there could be others. "There are, for example, questions about the effects of long-term treatment, especially that of an addiction that would become established in adulthood.
- On the other hand, if methylphenidate is so potent as to alter physical growth, we can ask ourselves if an organ as sensitive and complex as the brain is not also altered ... Is the game worth the candle? Is it prudent to multiply the prescriptions of a medicine that does not cure, only mitigate the symptoms, at the cost of serious side effects and doubts about what happens in adulthood? ", asks Bruno Toussaint.
* Review of information on drugs, treatments and care, independent of any advertising or shareholder.
Read also ADHD: the point about the "real" illness of inattention
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