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TOPIC: ADHD drugs lack in safety studies, research finds

ADHD drugs lack in safety studies, research finds 24 Jul 2014 16:35 #340

ADHD drugs lacking in safety studies, Boston researchers find
Posted July 9, 2014 by Deborah Kotz

Nearly 1 in 9 children have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and most take prescription stimulant drugs for years to calm their behaviors and help them focus in school. While drug manfacturer clinical trials clearly demonstrate that these drugs — which include methylphenidate (Ritalin) and amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (Adderall) — work to alleviate symptoms, very few were designed to investigate the long-term safety of these drugs, according to a new study conducted by Boston Children’s Hospital researchers.

The study authors emphasized that this doesn’t mean ADHD drugs pose safety risks but that the initial approval trials — which made them available to thousands of children for long-term use — largely ignored the possibility of safety issues.

They identified 32 clinical trials on the 20 ADHD drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and found that only five of the trials focused on drug safety and that each drug was tested on an average of 75 patients before getting FDA approval. The average length of each trial was just four weeks. The study was published Wednesday in the journal PLOS One.


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