NIMH pushes psych drugs for preschool tots

One day after a CBS News investigative report exposed the abusive drugging of children in foster care, a news  announcement (Oct 20) was  issued by the National Institue of Mental Health (NIMH):

“Preschoolers may benefit from low doses of medication when it is closely monitored, but the positive effects are less evident and side effects are somewhat greater than previous reports in older children,” said Thomas Insel, director of NIMH, the nation’s leading psychotropic drug promotion agency.

The NIMH-funded child drugging travesty, the PATS study in which 161reschool children–aged 3 to 5–were exposed to the psychostimulant, Ritalin (methylphenidate) which acts like an the  amphetamine-has been published.

As the Associated Press reports (below) “The research was done because of concerns over reports that soaring numbers of very young children are being given psychiatric drugs, including Ritalin.” In other words, the study was conducted in order to lend post-hoc legitimacy to illegitimate prescribing of these dangerous drugs for children.

Bloomberg News reports (below) that the children in the study who were exposed to Ritalin: “had slower growth rates than those not taking them and one of 10 dropped out of the study because of “intolerable” side effects.”

About 40 percent of children developed side effects and roughly 11 percent dropped out because of problems including irritability, weight loss, insomnia and slowed growth.”

The study is published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry., lasted more than a year and enrolled 303 children aged 3 to 5 years old.

The unacknowledged purpose of this study is to provide support for an irresponsible psychotropic drug policy which “catches” increasing numbers of ever younger children into a diabolic drganet:

FDA safety officers reported in March, 2006, that children exposed to psychostimulant drugs became psychotic and/or manic. The evaluated 1,000 reports of children given psychostimulant drugs used to treat ADHD—the drugs included: Adderall, Concerta, Ritalin and Strattera. The drugs affected the children as would any street amphetamines.  http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/ac/06/briefing/2006-4210B-Index.htm

Psychiatric Adverse Events Associated with Drug Treatment of ADHD: Review of Postmarketing Safety Data Kate Gelperin, M.D., M.P.H., Medical Epidemiologist Kate Phelan, R.Ph., Safety Evaluator                “From Jan. 1, 2000, through June 30, 2005. The reports were pulled from the FDA’s database and from the drug companies themselves.  Executive Summaries of the reports submitted by FDA medical safety officers of their analysis of adverse event reports in clinical trials and in post-marketing reports follow the AP report about the abusive prescribing of antipsychotic drugs for children.

FDA safety officers stated:
“The most important finding of this review is that signs and symptoms of psychosis or mania, particularly hallucinations, can occur in some patients with no identifiable risk factors, at usual doses of any of the drugs currently used to treat ADHD.”

“A substantial proportion of psychosis-related cases were reported to occur in children age ten years or less, a population in which hallucinations are not common. The occurrence of such symptoms in young children may be particularly traumatic and undesirable, both to the child and the parents.
The predominance in young children of hallucinations, both visual and tactile, involving insects, snakes and worms is striking, and deserves further evaluation. Positive rechallenge (i.e., recurrence of symptoms when drug is re-introduced) is considered a hallmark for causality assessment of
adverse events. Cases of psychosis related events which included a positive rechallenge were identified in this review for each of the drugs included in this analysis.”                                                 See Executive summary at: http://www.ahrp.org/cms/content/view/112/28

The manic and psychotic effects of these drugs are most likely the root of the Bipolar child epidemic in the US!                                                                                                                             FDA’s analysis was validated by the US Center for Disease Control (in May) when it reported that that nearly 3,100 people prescribed ADHD drugs–such as Ritalin, Concerta and Adderall–landed in hospital emergency rooms. The drugs cause serious adverse effects: cardiac problems, chest pain, stroke,
high blood pressure and rapid heart beat.

An earlier 2001 report by the American Psychiatric Association also found that increased use of psychotropic drugs in children has resulted in increased admission to psychiatric hospitals.

Parents should be warned that psychiatry is a  profession overrun by monsters in the guise of doctors who use their license to unleash psychiatry’s toxic pharmacological arsenal on America’s children. The motive is money. An insatiable appetite for pharmaceutical industry consultancy and retainer fees often disguised as “educational” grants.

TELL YOUR CONGRESS REPRESENTATIVES TO STOP FUNDING GOVERNMENT DRUG PUSHERS
We don’t need psychotropic drug studies in children
We need non-drug therapeis for children who are truly distubed–drugs make things worse

State licensed professionals should be held accountable for irresponsible prescribing of mind-altering drugs that harm.

See: AHRP Recommendation urging FDA action to protect children from
psychotropic drugs: www.ahrp.org/cms/content/view/113/28
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<a href="http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,650200534,00.html">http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,650200534,00.html</a>
<strong>Bloomberg News
Study sparks Ritalin debate
It finds preschoolers benefit, but it warns of more side effects
By John Lauerman and Rob Waters</strong>

Preschool children taking stimulants such as Novartis AG's Ritalin for
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder should get low doses and be
monitored closely, researchers said today.

Children taking the drugs with the active ingredient methylphenidate had
slower growth rates than those not taking them and one of 10 dropped out of
the study because of "intolerable" side effects, studies in the November
issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent
Psychiatry showed. The study lasted more than a year and enrolled 303
children aged 3 to 5 years old.

"Preschoolers may benefit from low doses of medication when it is closely
monitored, but the positive effects are less evident and side effects are
somewhat greater than previous reports in older children," said Thomas
Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, which paid for
the study.

Earlier studies of preschoolers had suggested they might suffer more side
effects of the drugs, such as sleep and appetite loss, than older children,
researchers said in one of five studies appearing in the journal today. The
drugs bear "black box" warnings on their labels, the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration's strongest caution, because of heart risks.

Low Dosage Key
Keeping doses lower than the 15 milligrams to 50 mg usually given to school
age children is key, said study leader Laurence Greenhill, a New York State
Psychiatric Institute researcher.

"The best dose to reduce ADHD symptoms varied substantially among the
children, but the average across the whole group was as low as 14 milligrams
per day," he said in the statement. Preschool children who took the drugs grew about half an inch less in height
and weighed about 3 pounds less than expected based on average growth rates,
the researchers said. That mirrored  results from a 1999 government study on older, school-aged children.

<strong>About 11 percent of the children dropped out of the study</strong> because of
excessive weight loss and other side effects such as insomnia and
"skin-picking behaviors." Changes in blood pressure or pulse were "minimal,"
the researchers said.

Improvement Seen
Children who took the ADHD drugs had greater reductions in attention
problems and hyperactivity than those taking a dummy drug, or placebo, said
Mark Riddle, director of the division of child and adolescent psychiatry at
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. The results
showing improvement were based on reports from parents and caregivers.
"It's clear that a fair number of these children need medicine and it makes
a big difference," he said in a telephone interview. He said he was
"cautiously optimistic" about using the drugs in very young children.

<strong>Too Risky
The risks of the drugs far outweigh their benefits, said Vera Sharav,
president of the Alliance for Human Research Protection, a New York-based
consumer advocacy group. These drugs "play Russian roulette with young
children's developing brains and central nervous system," she said. </strong>

<strong>"It is a complete abdication of the do-no-harm principle in medicine." </strong>

<strong>More than 2,500 children went to hospital emergency rooms in 2004 after
taking ADHD drugs, most because of accidental overdoses, the U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention said in May.</strong>

About one in four children who took the drugs and went to emergency rooms
had symptoms or tests suggesting serious heart or blood pressure events
including palpitations, chest pain or fainting, CDC said at the time. Many
other cases involved children who accidentally took someone else's
medication, the report found.

E-mail: <a href="mailto:jlauerman@bloomberg.net">jlauerman@bloomberg.net</a>, <a href="mailto:rwaters@bloomberg.net">rwaters@bloomberg.net</a>
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ASSOCIATED PRESS
By LINDSEY TANNER, AP Medical Writer
Thu Oct 19, 7:03 PM ET

CHICAGO – The first long-term government study of preschoolers who take
Ritalin, the popular attention deficit disorder drug, warns of side effects
but also found benefits in children with severe problems.

The drug isn’t approved for use in children under age 6, and the researchers
said those youngsters need close monitoring. Preschoolers are more likely
than older children to develop side effects, experts said.

The research was done because of concerns over reports that soaring numbers
of very young children are being given psychiatric drugs, including Ritalin.

The study’s message is, proceed with caution, said Dr. Thomas Insel,
director of the National Institute of Mental Health. “We’re not talking about fidgety 3-year-olds,” said Insel, whose agency
funded the study.

The research involved children with severe cases of attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder – cases that included hanging from ceiling fans,
jumping off slides or playing with fire. The researchers say the benefits of
low-dose treatment outweigh the risks for these youngsters.

But critics disputed that.
“I hope publication of this does not lead to more overprescribing,” said Dr.
Sidney Wolfe of the watchdog group Public Citizen. “The safety isn’t
adequately established, the efficacy even less.”

About 40 percent of children developed side effects and roughly 11 percent
dropped out because of problems including irritability, weight loss,
insomnia and slowed growth.

Preschoolers on methylphenidate, or generic Ritalin, grew about half an inch
less and gained about 2 pounds less than expected during the 70-week study.

“This is a catastrophe. It just opens up the way for drugging the younger
kids,” said Dr. Peter Breggin, a New York psychiatrist and longtime critic
of psychiatric drug use in children.

Breggin said the research is part of a marketing push by the drug industry
to expand drug use to the youngest children.

The study appears in the November edition of the Journal of the American
Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Several of the researchers have
financial ties to makers of ADHD drugs, including Ritalin.

Lead author Dr. Laurence Greenhill, a psychiatrist with Columbia University
and New York State Psychiatric Institute, has been a paid speaker for most
companies that make the drugs.

Roughly 8 percent of U.S. children have ADHD, including around 3 percent of
preschoolers.

Previous research found that about 1 in 100 preschoolers had been prescribed
Ritalin, which has only been approved for use in children aged 6 and older.
Use in younger children is considered “off-label” but is not illegal.

Dr. David Fassler, a psychiatry professor at the University of Vermont, said
the study does a good job of outlining pros and cons of Ritalin treatment in
preschoolers.

“This is exactly the kind of information we need to help parents make
informed decisions about treatment options for young children with ADHD,”
Fassler said.

The study included 10 weeks of behavioral treatment along with parent
training and about one year of drug treatment. Nearly 300 families were
enrolled, but many dropped out after the first phase, either because the
behavior treatment worked or because they didn’t want to put their children
on drugs.

The drug phase started with 165 children, more than a dozen dropped out
because of side effects.

Behavior improvements were seen in children taking 7.5 to 30 milligrams
daily, but the optimal dose was 14 milligrams daily – less than half the
usual Ritalin dose for older children, Greenhill said.

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