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Connecting Life With ADD

Posted 03-24-08 at 10:07 PM by SMSPirate
Adderall, the most profitable and fastest growing AD/HD drug, was first introduced for weight loss by Shire under a different name - Obitrol. Shire re-introduced Adderall in the 80’s to treat ADD. It was taken off the market in the 60's due to side effects and a huge addiction rate to the med's two pure amphetamine salts. They were surprised then, but is anyone today? Is anyone really surprised that today, Adderall is being prescribed with increasing regularity for overweight teens, and that associated abuse and addiction rates are climbing? Remember,, this is now fast-becoming the drug of choice to treat ADD. Read on for the next act in this really bad play.

Shire's new drug? “Vyvanse” - lisdexamfetamine dimesylate. For those of you who don't know chemistry language, that'stwo pure amphetamine salts coated with lysine. Still the same med, but with less chance for “abuse” because the lysine coating inhibits DLE (drug liking effect – really!) a “rush” that “abusers” find appealing. Shire/FDA reports focus on reduction in "DLE" - not on potential for addiction. Kudos, I suppose, to the pharmaceutical industry for at least trying – but I can’t wait to see what marketing does with this. I guess we can produce “addicts” who aren't “abusers." Is it time for my meds?

I was almost disappointed when I found out Vyvanse is a pill. When I first saw the word, I thought it said "Vyvanase," like the stuff in asthma inhalers. I always knew it would come full circle to delivering amphetamines through the nasal passages. I laughed until I realized I had read the word wrong – and that Vyvanse” was pending FDA approval for kids, aged 6 and above. Its targeted market is to teens and adults with a susceptible environment or history for amphetamine abuse. Don't even get me started on the new Ritalin Patch! That very same Ritalin Patch was approved by the FDA for kids not more than 2 months after the same drug it contains was put up for scrutiny by an FDA panel as appropriate for the black-box warning. By 2006, some 25 people had died, and serious cardio-vascular issues were starting to show up with all the "stimulant medications" used to treat ADD. Likewise, doctors are experimenting with a lot of the other meds on this list, testing out effects on kids and adults to help them get their brain "imbalances" adjusted.

Maybe I'm overreacting, but here's where a lot of education and experience lead my "no meds" brain. Almost without exception, targeting dopamine is the way stimulant meds work on ADD. Simply explained, dopamine (and other corresponding neuro-chemicals/neurotransmitters) happens in our bodies in association with pleasure – pleasure and happiness make dopamine, and dopamine makes and keeps the happiness happening. If it is good enough, your brain will keep you coming back for more. Sound good so far? Ever heard of cigarettes, cocaine, speed/meth, and other substances that generally target the same body responses and neural systems?

Whether Adderall or another stimulant, the same meds are banned for pregnant women because of the damage they do to forming fetuses and expecting moms, and because of the strain they put on cardiovascular and other systems. No matter, they are given to millions of kids (true number!) whose brains and neurons are still forming until the age of 9 or 10, and arguably until the age of 18 or 20, primarily so they will sit still and behave at school. Many children under 10 take daily and twice or three times daily stimulant medications for at least 3-5 years or longer. They are also frequently prescribed anti-depressants, such as Wellbutrin and Valium, to "balance" their brain chemistry. Read that again, and remember, in the words of many members of the APA, “the diagnosis for ADD is the diagnosis of being a child.” Likewise, while the meds are generally prescribed for use while at school, millions of kids take their dose before going out to family gatherings, parties, and sports activities, because they tend to calm the kids down, and make it less difficult for both parents and others to manage them. I know a lot of kids who take their meds before their after-school or weekend football basketball or soccer game. Parents don't realize that while their kids look like they're calmer and more passive, the stimulants are doing their usual number on their hearts, their lungs, and their entire anatomy, in less than passive and potentially dangerous or lethal ways. Check the statistics on juvenile strokes, heart attacks, breathing disorders and more if you have any questions.

The meds also have another nasty little effect tied up in their pretty, colored pills – they make the body use up its available nutrients at a much faster rate. They do this while also killing the appetite! Remember those millions of people prescribed stimulants for weight loss? Remember those laboratory rats and the unused food pedal? Remember the millions of dollars spent on getting kids to eat the right foods for learning and all the time and money spent on the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs? Get the idea? If this weren't enough, the stimulant meds also tend to make sleep difficult. There are a lot of studies out there about what lack of sleep does to a body, and especially to a child's body, but somehow, this and other "normal health" information is minimized when weighed against the disadvantages of a non-medicated ADD kid in school. Is it any wonder why, even though "the diagnosis of ADD is the diagnosis of being a child", that millions of kids with ADD are told from the day they're diagnosed they are not normal?

Remembering that dopamine is the target for the stimulant medications, I feel compelled to add that dopamine has a tendency to "open the mind" to whatever is being presented. It "enhances and reinforces learning." When the meds wear off, and dopamine levels decline, interest and motivation in learning decline – the lessons 'without' are far less penetrating than the lessons on the meds. Still sound good? Another interesting thing I've discovered, is that most ADD kids, when left to their own devices, stop taking, or refuse to take these meds. The report most often is that they don't like the way they make them feel. They say the meds make them feel sleepy, and when they wear off, they make them feel jittery, anxious, and like they're in someone else's body and brain, not their own. Still, millions of parents reason with their child every day about why they must take their meds, even though they don't like them - look at what improvements they're making at school because of the meds! I would venture this is because adults have been in our "drug-culture society" long enough to understand (or become convinced), that they must make sacrifices if they are to enjoy the benefits of things like keeping a job, making money, living a "normal" life, and staying out of jail. They are just those statistically acceptable side effects, considering the "benefits" that can be derived.

Don't get me wrong – parents aren't the evil ones here! Consider that most kids are diagnosed because of difficulties at school. Solving behavior problems at school is a difficult journey, and takes huge amounts of time to engage in both process and penalty clauses along the way. In fact, when my oldest son was put on meds at about 8, I fought the decision against his father who had physical custody of our son. When my youngest son started tearing apart his pre-school classroom on a regular basis, I was better educated, not to mention pressed for time, and I put him on meds at the age of 4-1/2 years old. Certainly, I was worried about that decision, and I began working almost immediately to get him off the meds. Unlike a lot of other parents, however, I was blessed with a job where I could devote every day for nearly six months in his classroom, from about 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. What I found was t
hat during those hours, my son was being asked to behave and conform in a way that he would never have been asked to at home. Research into this topic became my life pursuit from that time through today. Nonetheless, I still remember the relief I personally felt at times when I would pop that little Adderall pill into my son's mouth, knowing that in about ½ hour, I could take a few minutes to breathe.
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Comments

  1. Old
    Mincan's Avatar
    Wow, you are really against meds!
    Posted 04-09-08 at 09:20 AM by Mincan Mincan is offline
  2. Old
    Sweet JEEZ-us, well what do you suggest? I think the primary reason why medications for AD/HD attract so much negative attention is because of their abuse potential and association with drug abuse. blah blah blah I wedlwk;ow[;
    Posted 09-15-08 at 03:00 PM by tree oh tree tree oh tree is offline
  3. Old
    meadd823's Avatar
    Quote:
    Ever heard of cigarettes, cocaine, speed/meth, and other substances that generally target the same body responses and neural systems?
    What you fail to mention like all other anti-medication people is that coffee and sodas also fall int the same category due to their caffeine content- ADD doesn't equate ignorant.

    I did a bit of research and found out you know better - You are well educated and too smart to not have - Why present things in a scary manner???

    If one is going to shout the truth is preferable.

    Let's take a look at those top ten selling drugs shall we

    US drug sales continue to rise

    The top five classes of drug remained in the same position as in 2001. Cholesterol lowering statins were first, with sales of $12.5bn and 6.5% of the total market share. Sales in drugs for seizure disorders grew fastest among the top 10 treatment classes, with 22.7% growth in 2002, yielding a sales volume of $5.5bn. Branded products were responsible for most of the growth in these treatment classes, with generic products reducing growth in some classes.

    The analysis of pharmaceutical sales and purchasing trends includes drug purchasing patterns and identifies leading products, distribution channels, company rankings, research and development trends, and industry growth.

    Pharmaceutical companies’ sales of new products were worth $156m in 2002. Among the top selling new products were oxaliplatin (Eloxatin), Sanofi-Synthelabo’s colorectal cancer drug, worth $75.6 million in sales; fulvestrant (Faslodex), AstraZeneca’s injectable treatment for breast cancer, worth $23.6m; and tegaserod (Zelnorm), Novartis’s drug for irritable bowel syndrome, worth $14m.
    {End Quote}

    Gee ya think they are making up cancer - it seems to be a hell of a lot more profitable than ADD.
    Posted 10-29-08 at 02:58 AM by meadd823 meadd823 is offline
    Updated 10-29-08 at 03:19 AM by meadd823
 
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