A warning about common drugs | AspenTimes.com

A warning about common drugs

Dear Editor:As a biochemist specializing in research on mood and brain chemistry in women and teens, I was appalled to see the ad in The Aspen Times for Dr. Hallowell being supported by the Aspen School District.On the East Coast, I have heard Dr. Hallowell referred to as Dr. Ritalin. Indeed, his book, “Delivered From Distraction,” is mostly about advocating stimulant drugs for treatment. Please note the new warnings being urged by the FDA listed below:”Warning Urged for ADHD Drugs,” from The Washington Post:Several drugs widely used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder should carry a prominent “black box” warning because of reports that they may have caused sudden deaths or serious complications, a federal expert advisory panel recommended yesterday.The proposal to require a warning on medications such as Adderall and Ritalin took the Food and Drug Administration, pharmaceutical companies and advocates by surprise. The panel voted 8 to 7 to call for the labeling change after reviewing reports of several dozen patients who suffered cardiac arrest, toxic reactions or sudden death while using the medications.Members of the board said the recommendation was driven as much by worries that the drugs are being overused in the United States as by the possible side effects: About 10 percent of 10-year-old American boys are taking such medications, and there have been recent sharp increases in the number of adults taking them.Dr. Phyllis J. BronsonAspen