Side Effects of Drugs prescribed for ADD/ADHD

Excerpt from an article: ADD: A Designer Disease written by Dr Tim O’Shea -

In light of the immense social and economic forces promoting explosive market growth of this wonder drug, it wouldn't be so bad if it were harmless. Unfortunately most parents don't know about the PDR.

The Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR) is an annual publication by the drug companies, which is a general catalogue of all drugs sold in the U.S., their effects, recommended dosages, and adverse effects. The PDR is a legal protection for the pharmaceutical industry more than anything else; it is fair warning about side effects of drugs. But parents are rarely told what it says. Here are some of the side effects the 1996 PDR 42nd edition lists for Ritalin:

  • nervousness
  • skin rash
  • seizures
  • decreased growth
  • insomnia
  • nausea
  • gastric pain
  • weight loss
  • emotional imbalance
  • headache
  • visual problems
  • suicidal
  • dizziness
  • irregular heart
  • tardive dyskinesia*
  • fatigue
  • visual problems
  • decreased appetite
  • moodiness
  • high blood pressure

*Tardive dyskinesia is a permanent condition characterized by involuntary facial tics, jerky movements of the head and arms; in short, a movement disorder that can involve any of the voluntary muscles of the body.

Some studies have found brain pathology in the form of tissue shrinkage in more than half the subjects taking Ritalin.

The emotional problems listed from Ritalin use may include: drug-induced neurosis, psychosis, addiction, clinical depression

In addition, the most stupid finding of all may be that long term Ritalin use can actually cause the very conditions it is supposed to cure: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity! Hello! Anybody out there? The PDR specifically states that Ritalin should not be used for children under 6. Nevertheless American psychiatrists ignore Ciba-Geigy’s own warning and prescribe Ritalin for some 200,000 pre-school children!

Suicidal Shrimps?

Probably the most detrimental of all Ritalin's side effects are decreased growth and suicidal tendencies. During childhood, all the systems of the body are under the control of growth hormone for their normal development. The organs of the body have not reached their full size and strength. Ritalin interferes with growth hormone. Permanent organic and skeletal deficits are likely to result even after Ritalin is discontinued.

Remember, no long-term studies of this drug's lasting side effects have ever been done. Are parents routinely informed about all these possible side effects before the doctor writes the prescription? What do you think? Do you think this information might be helpful to a parent making a decision? The chance for suicidal tendencies - is that something for which to put your child at risk just because he has a lot of energy?

Kurt Cobain was a Ritalin patient as a teenager. No long-term statistical studies have ever been done on suicide resulting from Ritalin use, or from Prozac for that matter. Yet all doctors and Ciba-Geigy will admit that for the 20 million Americans on these two drugs, suicide is a possible result. Individual stories number in the thousands, but who is keeping track? No one wants to rock the boat - too many political interests are in place, too much money changing hands.

For another expert opinion on the side effects of drugs prescribed for hyperactivity and its dangerous consequences, visit Dr Mercola’s website.

ADHD Drug Emergencies Quadrupled in 6 Years – Dr Mercola

According to recently released data, ADHD drugs were responsible for nearly 23,000 emergency room visits in 2011—a more than 400% increase in ER visits due to adverse reactions to such drugs in a mere six years. - (

For more information on “The Truth About Ritalin Abuse”, visit

“Suicide is a major complication of withdrawal from this stimulant (Ritalin)...” - DSM IIIR, American Psychiatric Association 1987, Page 13

Website – United Nations warning on Ritalin 

WARNING: No one should stop taking any psychiatric drug without advice and assistance of a competent non-psychiatric medical practitioner, who can wean the person off the drug safely. These drugs are extremely dangerous and very adverse reactions could occur in trying to come off these drugs, which must be handled by a competent medical practitioner.

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