Research Raises Questions Over ADHD Drug Effects

Researchers voiced concern on Wednesday about poor quality studies on the popular ADHD treatment Ritalin, saying evidence of some benefits, but also of sleep problems and appetite loss, suggests the drug should be prescribed with caution.

Ritalin is sold by Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis NOVN.VX, known generically as methylphenidate and also sold under the brand names Concerta, Medikinet and Equasym. It has been used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)for more than 50 years.

The Cochrane Review researchers, who conducted a full assessment of studies on the benefits and harms of the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) drug, said evidence on its use in children was poor.

“Our expectations of this treatment are probably greater than they should be,” said Morris Zwi, a London-based consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist, who worked on the review.