Physicians are often quick to prescribe Ritalin for active, restless children, and exhausted parents are thankful for a remedy. Unfortunately, even the most well meaning parents often don’t realize that Ritalin can be an adverse drug – not a catch-all solution for overactive children.
When it comes to Ritalin, parents have much to consider:
- Experts aren’t sure what causes the brain disorder known as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), but they assume that there might be a genetic link. ADHD may also be the result of other factors, some people assert that too much sugar intake or processed food might also be a contributing factor.
- Many people don’t consider Ritalin to be a potentially harmful drug because physicians prescribe it. Ritalin is a central nervous system stimulant that affects the body similar to drugs such as methamphetamine or cocaine.
- Ritalin should never be prescribed for children under age six. Diagnosing ADHD in very young children is extremely difficult and unreliable, because young children are normally active and full of energy.
- An experienced specialist who can confirm that a child has ADHD should only prescribe Ritalin after careful diagnosis. A specialist can also prescribe other medication if needed.
- The drug should be given to children only when the specialist and the parents are certain that there are no better options and that the child’s behavior isn’t the result of a problem that can effectively be treated without use of medications.