Research on amphetamines for ADHD
For many people, amphetamine is a scary word. Some of the anti-ADHD folks have preyed on this fear and promoted mis-information. Here is some research on amphetamines for ADHD for children and adolescents. Presumably it would also apply to adults with ADHD.
This was a meta analysis, looking at multiple studies. It found that many, though not all, of the studies were poorly done.
Conclusions: “Amphetamines did seem efficacious at reducing the core symptoms of ADHD in the short term … they were associated with a greater number of adverse events [compared to placebo] such as decreased appetite, insomnia, abdominal pain, nausea, headaches, and anxiety.”
They found no difference between the various forms of amphetamines.
Comments: I have never prescribed amphetamines, for many reasons, most irrational. I did not want to deal with people coming to my office seeking them, for good or bad reasons. I have seen people for whom Ritalin was not sufficiently effective and amphetamines worked well. Studies show that for people who actually have ADHD, there is very low incidence of abuse, dependence, or addiction.
As to “adverse events,”i.e., side effects, for any medication, they are possible. Listing them as possible side effects does not mean that you will get them. If you do get them, you can simply stop the medication, or adjust it. You are not stuck with them.
My opinion, based on experience and reading the literature, is that amphetamines are safe and effective for people who have ADHD. They may have to deal with other people trying to get their medicines from them; that could be a problem, especially in college.
Note O the Day:
If we have our minds made up, we will declare our opinion to be fact, and facts that refute it will be dismissed and the source will be attacked.
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