The CDC found that more than 10,000 children between the ages of two and three are given stimulant medications to control attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) outside established pediatric guidelines, according to the New York Times (May 16, 2014).
As detailed by the Times, “It’s absolutely shocking, and it shouldn’t be happening,” said Anita Zervigon-Hakes, a children’s mental health consultant to the Carter Center. “People are just feeling around in the dark. We obviously don’t have our act together for little children.” Dr. Lawrence H. Diller, a behavioral pediatrician in Walnut Creek, California, told the Times, “People prescribing to 2-year-olds are just winging it. It is outside the standard of care, and they should be subject to malpractice if something goes wrong with a kid.”
David’s son only took Adderall for six months about eight years ago, but David remembers his son’s Adderall side effects like it was yesterday. “He started hallucinating right away so we took him back to the doctor and he lowered the dosage,” says David. “He was still hallucinating but the episodes got further apart. Then he started to lose weight and complain of chest pains. It was horrible to see the little guy suffer like this: I can’t tell you how much I blame myself for trusting the doctor.”
David finally told the doctor to take his son off Adderall. His son is now 13 years old and is very short compared to his siblings. And he still has chest pains. David can’t help but wonder if Adderall played a role in his health problems and size.
“It’s not right that my son has to live like this because the Adderall manufacturer tests their drug on small children to make money,” adds David, almost crying. “He is a great kid and has a terrific smile but he is weak and I think he will always have health issues.”
The FDA has approved Adderall for children below the age of six and the recent American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines authorized it in children aged four and five. However, the CDC says the stimulant should be prescribed only after formal training for parents and teachers to improve the child’s environment have been unsuccessful. Experts said that children below age four are not covered in those guidelines because hyperactivity and impulsivity are developmentally appropriate for toddlers, and more time is needed to see if the child really suffers from a disorder such as ADHD.
Adderall malpractice lawsuit
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Last year, the New York Times wrote about Rick and Kathy Fee’s son Richard, titled “Drowned in a Stream of Prescriptions.” At the time, the Fees didn’t take legal action, but due to so much response from parents in similar situations after the story was published, they filed an Adderall lawsuit in August, according to the The Virginian-Pilot. Sadly, 24-year-old Richard hung himself in his apartment. One of many Adderall side effects is suicidal thoughts…