ADHD Drugs: Harmful Effects

There are a Lot of Harmful Side Effects
to ADHD Drugs

There are a lot of adverse side effects to ADHD drugs. Common side effects are headaches, stomach discomfort, speeded heart rate, raised blood pressure, changes in mood, loss of appetite, weight loss, insomnia, suppressed body growth, becoming addicted and very likely brain damage. Let’s address a few of these.

Stunted Body Growth

Suppressed body growth is a major side effect of ADHD drugs when they are used on children. This phenomenon has long been observed and studies have shown it.

This phenomenon applies to those ADHD drugs comprised of methylphenidate such as Ritalin and Concerta, and those drugs made of amphetamines, such as Adderall, Vyvance and Dexedrine. These drugs and cocaine are commonly known as stimulants.

A study that was conducted by Megan C. Lisska and Scott A. Rivkees from the Department of Pediatrics of the Yale University School of Medicine is an example. Their findings were published in the Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism in 2003. The article was titled “Daily Methylphenidate Use Slows the Growth of Children: A Community Based Study.”

The researchers in this study found that after 3 years of taking methylphenidate (Ritalin) 76% of the boys and 90% of the girls were falling behind in their body growth. During this time both the boys and girls were losing between 3-4 centimeters in height when compared to the control groups.

Possible Brain Shrinkage

There is reason to believe that the most common ADHD drugs cause brain shrinkage. To begin with, if a drug is causing a child’s overall body to be stunted in its growth, we can assume that this is occuring with the child’s brain as well.

There have been studies of the brains of methamphetamine addicts showing brain tissue decreases of approximately 10% of some parts of their brains.

There have been dozens of studies showing that children who have been brought up on stimulants have slightly smaller brain sizes than children not brought up on stimulants. For decades American psychiatrists claimed that the smaller brain sizes were due to ADHD, not the stimulants the kids were taking while their bodies were trying to grow. However, psychiatrists have failed to conduct proper studies to verify their assumption.

Reduced Blood Flow to the Brain
from Methylphenidate (Ritalin)

A research study published in the journal Life Sciences in November, 1994, titled “Methylphenidate Decreases Regional Cerebral Blood Flow in Normal Human Subjects” showed that a small group of male subjects who were all injected with a normal dose of methylphenidate all had a 23-30% loss of blood flow in their brains 5-10 minutes after injection and a half-hour after the injection. Since this was such a significant reduction in blood flow, this leads one to surmise that perhaps the loss of oxygen and nutrients going to the brains of children being given stimulants could be a contributing factor to their smaller brain sizes. This factor might be compounded in many cases by the common side effect of loss of appetite that kids tend to have on these drugs, a factor which by itself would cause less nutrients to be going to the brain.

Atrophy Seen in Furrows of the Brain
Coincident with Use of Ritalin in Childhood

The word atrophy means a failure to grow or a wasting away. Cortical means referring to the cerebral cortex, which is the external layer, the “gray matter” covering the brain. There was a study conducted by Henry Nasrallah and others, titled “Cortical Atrophy in Young Adults with a History of Hyperactivity in Childhood,” published in 1986 in the journal Psychiatry Research, Volume 17. One of the interesting things about this study was that 58% of the men with a history of being labeled hyperactive and given ADHD drugs had developed mild or moderate sulcal widening, in other words the furrows on the cerebral cortex of their brains were widened due to tissue loss. In the control group for this study only 3.8% had any sulcal widening. (Sulcal comes from the Latin word sulcus which meant “furrow.”) I don’t think this study has ever been followed up on, at least not openly.

Drug Addiction from ADHD Stimulants

There is another side effect of stimulants that is becoming more and more of an issue each year and that is the addiction that these drugs can bring about. Addiction caused by ADHD drugs happens mainly with people who abuse the drugs, taking them without a prescription or in amounts higher than a prescribing doctor has specified. Students in high school or college may take these drugs to cram for exams, as the drugs make it possible for them to stay up all night without sleeping and concentrate on their course materials and then take exams the next day. Sometimes students stay up for several nights in a row, getting little or no sleep and eating very little, since their appetites have gone away due to the drugs. Simultaneously their hearts are beating at an unnatural, faster pace. In this way students can do harm to their bodies and become addicted over time, requiring higher and higher dosages of the drugs to function. This is happening increasingly in our colleges and now many of these same students are carrying their dependence on amphetamines into the workplaces of today. An illuminating news article on this phenomenon was in the February 2, 2013 New York Times, written by Alan Schwarz, titled “Drowned in a Stream of Prescriptions.” Google the title of the article and read it, if you wish.

ADHD Drugs Open the Door to Massive
Psychiatric Drugging of Schoolchildren

The ADHD drugs were gateway drugs that opened the doors to all manner of other drugging of children for depression, PTSD, Asbergers, bipolar, etc., through our nation’s schools.  They also opened the doors for very strong and dangerous drugs known as antipsychotics to be given to children, even very young ones. The antipsychotics have been shown to shorten life span and shrink brains.  (See interviews with researcher Nancy Andreasen about the shrinkage.)  These drugs are now being prescribed for ADHD.

Today, our children are being exploited as a huge drug market through our schools. Fifteen to twenty percent of children in some classrooms are taking psych drugs today.

To find out a great deal more and really understand the ADHD diagnosis and its drug treatments, buy this book. It could save your child from side effects he or she might not want to have for the rest of his or her life.

 Drugging Kids: Psychiatry’s Wholesale Drugging of Schoolchildren for ADHD is available on Amazon.com, both as a paperback and as a Kindle book.

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