A recent study reviewed existing evidence associating various psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations as well as problems with concentration and anxiety with methylphenidate, a common drug used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).1 Methylphenidate is more commonly known as Ritalin.
It is estimated that around 5% of children and adolescents worldwide suffer from ADHD
Currently, it is estimated that around 5% of children and adolescents worldwide suffer from ADHD. Psychostimulants, such as methylphenidate, are the conventional first-choice drug treatment for this condition.
Methylphenidate increases central nervous system activity
Methylphenidate is a stimulant that increases central nervous system activity. It counters fatigue, and improves attention and alertness. It has been used medically since 1960, and it is estimated that over 2.5 billion doses are consumed annually. Clinical studies have confirmed its relative safety, and even shown that its long-term usage can reduce abnormalities in brain structure and function that are usually associated with ADHD syndrome.
Current scientific review looked at whether methylphenidate increased risk of psychotic symptoms in children and adolescents with ADHD
The current scientific review looked at whether methylphenidate increased the risk of psychotic symptoms in children and adolescents with ADHD. Though the amount of data didn’t allow for any strong conclusions, the research does suggest a possible psychotic adverse symptom rate around 1.1% to 2.5% in ADHD patients treated with methylphenidate.
Warning for Physicians and Caregivers
The article warns physicians and caregivers to reduce or stop the stimulant medication if psychotic symptoms present.
- Ramstad E, et al. Hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms in response to methylphenidate in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a Cochrane systematic review with meta-analysis and trial sequential analysis. Scandinavian Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology. VOLUME 6 , ISSUE 1 , ISSN (Online) 2245-8875, DOI: 10.21307/sjcapp-2018-003, July 2018.
Razi Berry is the founder and publisher of the journal Naturopathic Doctor News & Review that has been in print since 2005 and the premier consumer-faced website of naturopathic medicine, NaturalPath. She is the host of The Natural Cancer Prevention Summit and The Heart Revolution-Heal, Empower and Follow Your Heart, and the popular 10 week Sugar Free Summer program. From a near death experience as a young girl that healed her failing heart, to later overcoming infertility and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia through naturopathic medicine, Razi has lived the mind/body healing paradigm. Her projects uniquely capture the tradition and philosophy of naturopathy: The healing power of nature, the vital life force in every living thing and the undeniable role that science and mind/body medicine have in creating health and overcoming dis-ease. Follow Razi on Facebook at Razi Berry and join us at Love is Medicine to explore the convergence of love and health.