Methylphenidate has been the subject of controversy in relation to its use in the treatment of ADHD. One such criticism is prescribing psychostimulants medication to children to reduce ADHD symptoms. The pharmacological effects of methylphenidate resemble closely those of cocaine and amphetamines, which is the desired effect in the treatment of ADHD, and how methylphenidate works.
Shortages of Ritalin in 2011 have been blamed on overmedication, itself ironically due to inattention to alternative therapies or measurement of long-term efficacy. Attempts have been made to rebut these charges, primarily by questioning the assumptions of studies conducted long after the treatment period has ended.
A 2002 study showed that rats treated with methylphenidate are more receptive to the reinforcing effects of cocaine. The contention that methylphenidate acts as a gateway drug has been discredited by multiple sources, according to which abuse is statistically very low and "stimulant therapy in childhood does not increase the risk for subsequent drug and alcohol abuse disorders later in life".
Another controversial idea surrounding ADHD is whether to call it as disorder when patients, in general, have healthy appearing brains with no gross neurological deficits. However, this is generally accepted as fallacious reasoning because many individuals with mental retardation, schizophrenia, migraine headaches or epilepsy will have a normal brain MRI and neurologic exam.
Treatment of ADHD by way of Methylphenidate has led to legal actions including malpractice suits regarding informed consent, inadequate information on side effects, misdiagnosis, and coercive use of medications by school systems. In the U.S. and the United Kingdom, it is approved for use in children and adolescents. In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration recently approved the use of methylphenidate for use in treating adult ADHD. Methylphenidate has been approved for adult use in the treatment of narcolepsy.
Neil Bush, in an interview with Connie Chung, has spoken of his opposition to the use of Ritalin as well as labeling children with ADHD.
Read more about this topic: Methylphenidate
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“And therefore, as when there is a controversy in an account, the parties must by their own accord, set up for right Reason, the Reason of some Arbitrator, or Judge, to whose sentence, they will both stand, or their controversy must either come to blows, or be undecided, for want of a right Reason constituted by Nature; so is it also in all debates of what kind soever.”
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