Wednesday, September 24, 2008

ADHD drugs should be last resort: new guidelines

From CTV News:
Drugs such as Ritalin should be a last resort for treating children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and should never be prescribed to kids of preschool age, new guidelines suggest.

The new guidelines, issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in the United Kingdom, recommend that parents and other caregivers receive training in the care and management of the disease as a first line of treatment.

If parental management proves ineffective for ADHD patients between the ages of 11 and 18, group or individual counselling should be the next option considered for treatment, the guidelines suggest.

"Drug treatment is not indicated as the first-line treatment for all school-age children and young people with ADHD," the guidelines say.

Treatment with Ritalin or other drugs, "should be reserved for those with severe symptoms and impairment," or for those who have refused or not responded to parent training or psychological treatment.

For children with severe ADHD, medication is still recommended as a first-line treatment, with parent management as a supplementary treatment. ..more

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