While certainly no one factor determines future drug abuse, many parents worry that using Ritalin or other ADHD drugs might lead to later drug abuse. An article carried in the online journal, Neuropsychopharmacology (catchy title), reported on a study attempting to answer this question. The authors of the study were Linda Porrino, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, and professor Michael A. Nader, Ph.D., both of Wake Forest Baptist. Dr. Porrino acknowledges the concerns of many parents, “We know that the drugs used to treat ADHD are very effective, but there have always been concerns…

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In this Q&A from CNN Health(published Jan 10, 2010) Dr. Raison gives a lengthy, thoughtful answer to the question: “What is the long-term effect of Adderall on a child starting it at age 8?” The question goes on more specifically to the appetite suppressant issues with stimulants. Dr. Raisin partially answers the question and is not reassuring about ADHD in general. He focuses on efficacy of Adderall saying in general that children who respond well to psychostimulants do much better over an eight year period than those with ADHD who don’t receive treatment. He refers to an eight-year government sponsored…

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It’s been widely reported that Kate and William are expecting their first child. The news included the information that Kate is experiencing an extreme form of morning sickness diagnosed as hyperemesis gravidarum, known as HG. Kate has been hospitalized as the risks are immediate and severe. What is less reported are the long-term risks to the child and mother. Few are conducting research on HG, but one doc who specializes in HG refers to a paper that found children of women who had extreme nausea/vomiting during pregnancy had “more attention problems and difficulty in task persistence at ages five and…

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NYU Child Mind Institute Professor sees no red flags in studies on long term use of ADHD meds. In this video, Dr. Rachel Klein notes that it’s difficult to isolate the effects of ADHD medicines long-term in the body. However, multiple studies have followed children into adolescence without an issue being raised. Some studies have followed people all the way into what is now their forties. Again, without raising red flags. She did not give citations, but sounded reassuring. Dr. Klein is the Director, Institute for Anxiety and Mood Disorders and the Fascitelli Family Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. “Long…

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A side effect is a symptom that appears within minutes, hours or a day or two of taking a drug. Nausea, a rash, even an allergic reaction is a side effect. Other side effects take time to manifest. For example, new research shows that taking baby aspirin for as little as three months can double the risk of macular degeneration ten years aftertaking aspirin. Those are what we are calling "long-term effects." MedShadow Foundation is concerned that patients are not always warned about the long-term effects some drugs have. Worse, patients may not be informed that long-term effects aren’t known…

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Ben Goldacre, the author of Bad Science, has turned his eye toward the world of medicine, and in Feb. 2013 will publish Bad Pharma. What pointed him in that direction? One factor he notes in a Q&A with The Economist, is this: "For me, the key point is missing data. Doctors and patients need as much data as possible to make an informed decision about what treatment is best. The dodgy marketing—to be honest, I could let that lie. It is not good form for doctors to see pharmaceutical sales reps, and we know that it affects their clinical decision-making. Still, as…

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Forbes reports on an unexpected positive side effect of long-term statin use: lowers cancer mortality. According to the article, "Researchers in Denmark utilized health data from the entire population of the country and analyzed the information from nearly 300,000 patients who were diagnosed with cancer between 1995 and 2007. The authors note that the relationship is biologically plausible, since cholesterol synthesis is required for cell proliferation and other critical cellular functions." Read the full Forbes report.

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