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Health Hazards: FDA Warning On Kids ADHD Medication:

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

If your child is one of the many who finds it difficult to focus, concentrate or complete a project, and can’t seem to sit still (for long), you’re probably torn between attributing it to normal childhood fidgetiness or to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

And, if that wasn’t concern enough, now how your child is “diagnosed” and how you choose to treat the condition can have some very serious consequences. The Food and Drug Administration recently sent a warning to doctors and health care practioners alike about the negative effects of Strattera, the previously approved drug for treating children and adolescents with ADHD. They warn professionals and parents that this pharmaceutical geared at helping kids focus may also be contributing to suicidal thoughts and tendencies among these groups.

So serious are their concerns that FDA officials are asking health care givers and child care givers to closely monitor children being treated with Strattera for clinical worsening, as well as agitation, irritability, suicidal thinking or behaviors, and other strange behaviors, especially during the first few months of therapy or when the dose is changed (either increased or decreased).

Any changes, say professionals, should be immediately discussed with your child’s physician, as should the potential for changing the dose or medication. However, they caution against panicking and taking your child completely off the medication. In fact, they note, that the consequences of leaving the condition untreated may have significant and adverse consequences.

Heading the FDA concern and warning, manufacturers of Straterra recently announced that they would include a warning to the product label (globally). Furthermore, the company will put together a Medication Guide for patients and caregivers, meeting another request by the FDA.

It’s been reported that ADHD affects as many as seven percent of school-age children. Strattera has been on the market since 2002 and has been used in more than two million patients, according to the FDA. It is the first non-stimulant medication approved to treat ADHD.

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