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Study: ADHD medications are also said to show effects in adults
The treatment of AHDS with methylphenidate (trade name Ritalin) is a hotly debated topic. While many doctors and therapists point to the success of Ritalin treatment, the critics focus on the numerous side effects and inadequacies in prescription practice.
A current study by the research association on psychotherapy for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in childhood and adulthood now comes to the conclusion that “the treatment methods established in childhood and adolescence also make sense in adults”. The researchers used 433 ADHD patients to evaluate the effectiveness of methylphenidate compared to a placebo.
Many adults also have ADHD According to experts in Germany, significantly more than 400,000 patients are treated with the active ingredient methylphenidate, with a drastic increase especially in the past few decades. While ADHD was previously diagnosed primarily in childhood and adolescence, many adults today also receive a corresponding diagnosis. Those affected may be treated with Ritalin from adolescence to adulthood. "So far, however, there have been no major controlled studies for adulthood comparing the effectiveness of pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy," spokesman for the research association "ADHD-net", Andreas Warnke from the University Hospital Würzburg, explained the reason for the current study.
Medicinal treatment of ADHD with clear advantages? The 433 adult study participants were divided into four groups as part of the study by the research association for psychotherapy of ADHD and examined at seven research centers. One group of ADHD patients received group therapy and the active ingredient methylphenidate (trade name Ritalin), a second group received advice and also methylphenidate, the third received group therapy and a placebo, the fourth received advice and a placebo. The evaluation of the data is not yet complete, but it is already becoming apparent that drug therapy is significantly superior to treatment without additional drugs, explained Andreas Warnke at the 2012 Psychotherapy Congress in Hanover.
Unexplained Risks of Continuous Ritalin Treatment The use of methylphenidate for ADHD treatment, which runs from adolescence to adulthood, is to be viewed critically, not only in the opinion of opponents of Ritalin, despite possible successes. The risks of continuous treatment with methylphenidate are difficult to assess. The side effects of taking Ritalin for decades have not yet been fully clarified. Since drug treatment extends over years if in doubt, securing the diagnosis is also of particular importance. It was only in 2010 that the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) spoke out in favor of changing Ritalin's prescribing practice, since this too often was based on incorrect diagnosis. General practitioners without additional training should therefore not decide on the prescription of medicinal products containing methylphenidate, according to the G-BA's assessment at the time. ADHD is one of the most frequently diagnosed mental disorders in children and adolescents today, with typical signs of poor concentration, motor agitation and impulsiveness. Because of the behavior of ADHD patients, the so-called "Zappelphilipp syndrome" is mentioned here. (fp)
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Image: Andrea Damm / pixelio.de