How Well are ADHD Medications (or any Drug) Tested Prior to FDA Approval?

ADHD medications are some of the most common drugs given to children and adolescents. Most clinicians prescribe them within approved FDA indications.  Moreover, the existence of an FDA approval often provides some comfort to the prescribing clinician that the medication has received rigorous testing for efficacy and safety.  But has it?  A recent study in […]

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Trauma or ADHD? You May Not Need to Decide

It is easy to get stuck into territorial disputes, and one of the most common ones I hear in relation to child mental health is the question of whether a child with a trauma history should be thought of as having “real” ADHD or whether it is better to conceptualize the difficulties as being more […]

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Does Atomoxetine Actually Work? Results from a Recent Meta-Analysis

Atomoxetine was FDA approved for ADHD in 2002 and touted as a true alternative to stimulants.  While it remains popular today, many clinicians report less than stellar results in treating the core symptoms of ADHD.  This recent review and meta-analysis by Schwartz and Correll examines all randomized controlled studies of atomoxetine versus placebo. While meta-analyses […]

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FDA approves EEG Diagnostic Aid for ADHD

One of the holy grails in mental health assessment is the search for some kind of objective test that can accurately diagnose psychiatric disorders.  While the literature is full of genetic, imaging, neuropsychological, and other factors that show statistically significant links with many psychiatric conditions, none has proven robust enough for clinical use. However, the […]

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ADHD Medications and School Performance

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article casting doubt about the ability of ADHD medications to improve school grades and achievement.  Actually, casting doubt might be a little soft as the title was “ADHD Drugs Don’t Boost Grades.”  In the article, the author runs through a number of studies (some not published) that find […]

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ADHD Treatment Linked to Reduced Criminal Acts

by John Koutas, MD The beneficial short-term effects of ADHD medication on symptoms of ADHD and associated problems have been demonstrated in numerous studies.  Although ADHD symptoms often persist from childhood into adulthood, discontinuation of ADHD medication is common, especially in adolescence and early adulthood.  In the present study, the authors used Swedish population-based data […]

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Liquid Long-Acting Methylphenidate Preparation Now FDA Approved for ADHD

Beginning in January, physicians will have the new option of a liquid long-acting methylphenidate treatment that requires only once-daily dosing.  The medication, made by NextWave Pharmaceuticals (which will be sold to Pfizer), is called Quillivant XR and will be available at a 25mg/5ml (5mg/ml) concentration. The recommended starting dose for children 6 years old and […]

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Finger Length Ratios Related to Child Aggression and Attention Problems

A proxy for the level of exposure to prenatal androgens is the length of the second finger digit relative to the length of the forth finger (although not all studies support this link). Lower ratios are generally associated with more male typical behaviors. A new study published in the journal Development and Psychopathology examines a […]

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Trends in Antipsychotic Medication Use 1993-2009

A new study in the Archives of General Psychiatry reports on the increasing use of antipsychotic medications in youth.  The study analyzed nearly half a million medical visits over a 17 year span (1993 through 2009).  Results showed that the number of medical visits that included an antipsychotic medication per 100 persons rose in children […]

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Drug Holidays During ADHD Treatment

With school ending and summer vacation starting, many parents of children with ADHD wonder whether or not it makes sense to do a “drug holiday” until school resumes in the Fall.  The Child Mind Institute recently provided some commentary on this issue for both parents and clinicians.  The bottom line answer, as it is for […]

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