Kids on ADHD drugs `poor at school'
CHILDREN with ADHD who use prescription drugs to manage their condition are 10 times more likely to perform poorly at school than ADHD kids who avoid medication, a new report reveals.
The report also finds stimulant drugs such as Ritalin and dexamphetamine make no significant difference to the level of depression, self-perception and social functioning of a 14-year-old with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Those consistently using medication had significantly higher blood pressure at age 14 than children who had never taken drugs, a side-effect that could increase the risk of heart attack and stroke even into adulthood.
The report's co-author, Lou Landau, said the world-first study into the long-term effects of stimulant medication on children with ADHD, to be published today, showed "drugs over the long term don't have an impact on improving performance".
"They don't improve outcomes for those with ADHD, they make no difference to levels of depression, social functioning and self-perception, and for those on medication it is 10 times as likely that classroom performance will be below average," he said.
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