FDA sends contradictory message re: addictive drugs for children – NIMH admits cognitive therapy as good as SSRIs

FDA sends contradictory message re: addictive drugs prescribed for children – NIMH admits cognitive therapy as good as SSRIs

Fri, 27 May 2005

Two government health care agencies sent conflicting mixed messages about th euse of psychotropic drugs for children:

The National Instiute of Mental Health issued an announcement acknowledging that cognitive therapy was shown to be just as effective as antidepressants–without the risks posed by the drugs. But the FDA gave Novartis the green light to market yet another controlled substance for treatment of children diagnosed so-called ADHD.

Forbes notes that psychostimulants, such as Ritalin, Concerta, and now, Focalin, are controlled substances because they are addictive–just like Cocaine:

“Concerta, Focalin, and Ritalin are… all a variation of a class of drugs called methylphenidates. Like, amphetimines, methylphenidates are central nervous system stimulants…The methylphenidate class of drugs are controlled substances. They act on the brain in a similar way to cocaine…These drugs are controlled because they have a great potential for abuse by people seeking to get high.”

So why does the FDA approve addictive drugs for use in children by mislabeling them as “safe and effective?”

Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav
212-595-8974

Therapy suggested for some depressed kids

Atlanta, GA, May. 27 (UPI) — The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health says cognitive-behavioral therapy may be as effective as antidepressants to treat some depressed teenagers.

The institute’s study, however, noted cases of severe depression must still be treated with medication regardless of family income, USA Today reported Friday.

The issue of pills versus therapy has taken on added urgency since the Food and Drug Administration ordered the strongest warning possible put on antidepressants last October. Those labels say the pills can increase suicidal behavior in children.

The new study was released at a conference in Atlanta. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a structured therapy that teaches problem solving and corrects negative thought patterns.

The new results show the younger the children, the more likely they were to improve on any treatment. Race and sex made no difference as to what treatment worked.

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http://www.forbes.com/associatedpress/feeds/ap/2005/05/27/ap2061475.html

Associated Press
Novartis Gets FDA Approval for ADHD Drug
05.27.2005, 09:08 AM

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., a unit of Swiss drug maker Novartis AG, said Friday that the Food and Drug Administration approved an extended-release version of an Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder drug it licenses from Celgene Corp.

The agency approved Focalin XR for the treatment of ADHD in adults, adolescents and children, based on clinical trial results that showed adults responded well to the treatment for over six months, and that young children responded to the treatment in about an hour.

The company estimates that ADHD effects 5 percent to 7 percent of children in the United States and about 4 percent of adults.

Novartis has an exclusive worldwide license to market Focalin from Celgene, the maker of Ritalin.

From the website, ADHD made simple:
http://www.adhdmadesimple.com/

Concerta, Focalin, and Ritalin Made Simple Makes it Easy to Understand These ADHD Drugs

Concerta, Focalin, and Ritalin are explained together since they are all a variation of a class of drugs called methylphenidates. Like, amphetimines, methylphenidates are central nervous system stimulants. These ADHD medications have demonstrated effectiveness in numerous clinical trials. Scientists do not yet understand why these drugs relieve the symptoms of ADHD in some children.

One possible explanation for the success of Concerta, Focalin, and Ritalin is that they these ADHD medications regulate the release of norepinephrine in the brain. Norepinephrine is one of the chemicals our brain produces under stress. Research at the Brookhaven National Laboratory suggests another way that these drugs relieve ADHD. They discovered that methylphenidates increase the release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine helps control the flow of information in the brain as well as bodily movements. Dopamine is speculated to improve attention and focus in people with ADHD who might not be releasing the chemical properly in their brains.

The difference between these drugs results from their delivery systems. By delivery systems, we mean that the Concerta, Focalin, and are released at different rates.

Concerta can be taken once daily and the effects of the medication last up to twelve hours. Concerta may be taken with or without food and does not significantly effect height or weight in children who use the drug over an extended period of time. Concerta has a low occurrance of side effects. Ninety-six percent of patients taking Concerta have not reported any loss of appetite or sleep.

Focalin is the newest addition to the methylphenidate class of drugs to treat ADHD and is a chemical refinement of Ritalin that only used the most effective parts of the drug while leaving out the less effective parts. This is a twice a day drug with doses usually being taken four hours apart.

Ritalin comes in several forms. The regular release tablets should be taken two to three times a day, usually 30-45 minutes before a meal. The extended release tablets last up to eight hours and may be used in place of the regular tablets in some circumstances.

The methylphenidate class of drugs are controlled substances. They act on the brain in a similar way to cocaine. However, they have been deemed safe for the treatment of ADHD by the Food and Drug Administration. These drugs are controlled because they have a great potential for abuse by people seeking to get high.

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