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i just did some research, and it appears that the liver damage side effects isnt very common,
heres some of the stuff i have found


"Q: Is there any research supporting the claim that long-term use of Ritalin can cause liver cancer in children?

Mary Beth / Tennessee



A: No scientific evidence supports a link between methylphenidate (Ritalin) and cancer in humans.

In 1995, research done for the U.S. government suggested that Ritalin might cause liver cancer in mice. But researchers found no evidence that the drug causes any human cancers. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regards Ritalin as a safe and effective drug.

Ritalin is a stimulant used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It may work by increasing and balancing levels of the brain chemicals dopamine (associated with activity) and serotonin (associated with a sense of well-being).
****************************************************



Question: Is ritalin from a cocaine derivative and does it cause liver damage?

Answer: It is not related to cocaine. Occasional patients have had elevated liver enzymes, but this is an uncommon problem with this drug.

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One study found that it caused cancerous tumors in male rats. Even though animal studies don't necessarily predict what may occur in humans, the FDA has asked the manufacturer to warn doctors that the drug may have the potential to cause cancer

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Andy,

To answer the question can ritalin hurt you, well, in many ways yes. It is a stimulant; stimulants can have nasty effects on body's health. They are hard on the heart among other organs. If you download the drug prescription information, the lists of adverse effects on the body and brain will be there. They also cause irregular sleep patterns and mood swings. They have been linked in recent studies to depression in long-term users.

You may be able to see results with it, but if you then stop taking it, you will go back to the way you were because there are no permanent results...otherwise, everyone would only take them for a short time and then be done with them, but if you read up on this whole issue, it is recommended that the drugs are taken for life and alot of people do despite the dangers. I've never heard of anyones' ADD "cured" by a short run of Ritalin. These are meant to be drugs for life.

I read once that when drugs come in to control the brain, the brain has a built in defense of downregulating receptors to control the onslaught of the drugs over time....this means after awhile, the same dose of drug will no longer work because the brain has shut down the receptors for the drug in order to defend itself. This is called "tolerance", which literally means your brain has less working receptors then it did before you started the drug. Less receptors mean there will be an increased need for more drug to do the previous job.

Higher doses solve the problem but then tolerance can build again to those doses.....so long term use can result in less receptors working then when you started the drugs and the need for higher doses to get any results. Higher doses mean more danger to health and more side/adverse effects. And obviously, the brain will not be able to function very well without the medication at that point....

Receptor shutdown is a form of brain damage I think....but reversable from what I read, although it could take a long time to reverse depending on the damage.

Obviously, people taking Ritalin on as-needed basis (not everyday) and get off it for long periods will not run into tolerance as easily as they give the brain time to recover from the drug more. But eventually, they can develop problems as well.

Look, even smoking takes a long time to cause lung cancer or other lung problems. And there are lots of dangers in life to our health other than Ritalin. But isn't it a wise choice to avoid as many of these dangers as possible? For example, just because there is air pollution doesn't mean we might as well smoke too....

I would say Ritalin is a danger to health and mind; not the only danger but is one easily avoided by not taking it. One the other hand, we can't really avoid the air we breath....but, we can avoid smoking.

Maybe you could benefit from other ways of learning. Type in "Visual Spartial Learners" in your search engine to see that some people just need a different way to learn. Also, my brother-in-law who was diagnoised with ADD benefited from a tutor. There are all kinds of options besides drugs.

And remember, the chemicals in our brains are manufactured from the food we eat....so try to eat well too (fish is brain-food!) and that may help you some. Exercise is also a great help.

Good luck whatever you decide to do! :wave:
Andy -
Trying Ritalin is by no means a permanent change in your lifestyle. You can always 'goi back'. I tried it years ago for about 9 months, and had NO problems with withdrawal or side-effects from either discontinuing it or taking 'holidays'. Given that any possible damage from a stimulant like ritalin is long-term, you should certainly feel safe trying it for a period of time. But I would say this too - figure out EXACTLY why you are using it and exactly why you want help with ADD. It seems to be due to reading based on what you said. Have you tried increasing the amount of exercise you get? And perhaps reading after you get that exercise when your endorphins are really high? Have you tried reading at night or in the early morning? My point is this, Ritalin may well help some people with particular aspects of their ADD, but should not be thought of as some kind of corrective for ADD itself. The better you can define exactly what you need help with, the better you can experiment with ways to fix that. Good luck.
ps. sorry that this post seems to have gotten so far from your question
[QUOTE=muztang777]THANKS JENNITA !!!! I HAVE HEARD ABOUT RITALIN DEATHS BEFORE... IT'S SO SCARY !!!!! AND SAD.... THANKS FOR THE REPLY... HUGS, ANNE :wave:[/QUOTE]

You are right, very sad! I does seem that medicine is over-stepping the original intention of healing physical disease and causing it instead. Besides the fact they still have no proof of physical disease in behavioral disorders, here's a really great example that even goes beyond that......

I just saw on T.V. that the FDA is approving a drug for....here it is folks....shift work. Yes, a pill to help shift workers stay awake better. Is this a physical disease? Of course not. Then how can they make a drug for it and call it medicine?? Really, I can't wait to see the side-effects and health risks list for that one.....

Also, the street drug extascy is being developed for depression patients as we speak. Don't know how long it will take them to package it up all pretty and clean for marketing and what kind of wonderful brainwashing they will do to convince people it's not really so bad of a drug after all.

Now they are causing disease instead of curing it, and playing around with brain neurotransmitters they have knowledge of but have no idea how much of them we need at any given time or how to measure any deficiencies, if any exist.
It has often been known in the past that many professionals in all sorts of fields have biased opinions in one way or another. As I said, professionals. Althought they are professionals, does not mean that their opinions are always correct. For example, many people opposed the Vietnam War, and demonstrated protests. Then again, these same people, of whom many if not pretty much all had never been to Vietnam and nor did they have a real sense of the purpose. Even further back, around the time of the 1400s-1492, it was known or assumed by many prominent leaders that the world was flat. It Columbus or others sailed it, they would die. Yet then again, a lack of proof. They had not been to the other side, it was just a way of proving to people how affective it could be to spread mass-hysteria or simple doubt. These doctors you named, where do they do research? A lot of these health professionals believe that since it is a controlled substance, it is automatically cocaine. But, the main reason it is a class 2 drug, is because of the wide use of it during the 60s. Dexedrine was a widely used weight loss drug, and people were often using several hundred milligrams a day. That is the real reason why the government moved it to this control group, not because of its deadly nature. Also, If you would like, Doctors such as Kevin R. Murphy, John J. Ratey, and Edward Hallowell describe in their works the safety of the drugs. THESE doctors have done research, and overseen research, and clearly know the effects, as opposed to many who saw in a magazine that some kid snorted adderall in a bar. Prominent cardiologists in the southeast such as Brian McGwier and Edward Robinson have also clarified that there is no deadly danger from the drugs to the heart. Doctors and other professionals can say and feel as they like, but if you browse medical research centers such as the University of Mass. Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, you will find that the doctors who are in favor of the safety are the ones who have actually done the research, and therefore the ones who actually know what they are talking about.
[QUOTE=UARebel]It has often been known in the past that many professionals in all sorts of fields have biased opinions in one way or another. As I said, professionals. Althought they are professionals, does not mean that their opinions are always correct. For example, many people opposed the Vietnam War, and demonstrated protests. Then again, these same people, of whom many if not pretty much all had never been to Vietnam and nor did they have a real sense of the purpose. Even further back, around the time of the 1400s-1492, it was known or assumed by many prominent leaders that the world was flat. It Columbus or others sailed it, they would die. Yet then again, a lack of proof. They had not been to the other side, it was just a way of proving to people how affective it could be to spread mass-hysteria or simple doubt. These doctors you named, where do they do research? A lot of these health professionals believe that since it is a controlled substance, it is automatically cocaine. But, the main reason it is a class 2 drug, is because of the wide use of it during the 60s. Dexedrine was a widely used weight loss drug, and people were often using several hundred milligrams a day. That is the real reason why the government moved it to this control group, not because of its deadly nature. Also, If you would like, Doctors such as Kevin R. Murphy, John J. Ratey, and Edward Hallowell describe in their works the safety of the drugs. THESE doctors have done research, and overseen research, and clearly know the effects, as opposed to many who saw in a magazine that some kid snorted adderall in a bar. Prominent cardiologists in the southeast such as Brian McGwier and Edward Robinson have also clarified that there is no deadly danger from the drugs to the heart. Doctors and other professionals can say and feel as they like, but if you browse medical research centers such as the University of Mass. Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, you will find that the doctors who are in favor of the safety are the ones who have actually done the research, and therefore the ones who actually know what they are talking about.[/QUOTE]

Dr. Peter Breggin, for example, always quotes research in his writings. Research for/against can be quoted till doomsday because there is always some on both sides. Needless to say, however, the majority of research (not all but most) is paid for by drug companies. I came across an internet application for research grants from Eli Lilly and I thought it was interesting how they noted on it that anyone applying should keep in mind the interests of the company....

This is not conspiracy theory.... right now there's a whole stink about the discovery of the unpublished clinical trials which showed unfavorable results of antidepressant therapy for children. This was recently all over the news if you missed it. The favorable ones got published in all those medical journals that doctors' you mentioned read up on. There would be no other type of research than this if it wasn't for, thank goodness, independant research but money is harder to come by so there is no doubt alot less to read about any negative effects of prescription mind drugs.

Nobody has to lie, just manipulate.

If you want some proof of biological disease, there should be a biological test. Lets take diabetes, which is a very popular comparison to mental disorders. If you have symptoms indicating diabetes, your doctor takes blood to determine if your sugar is within certain known and long proven healthy levels. If it turns out you have it, you are required to home monitor your sugar to regulate how much medication you need. So, where's the biological dopamine test and what are your levels? How do they change during the day? Are you getting just the right amount of medication according to those levels? Gee, if dopamine is what you need, what's up with Strattera anyway? The insulin issue is pretty solid, not much mystery/experimentation going on there.

You see, they don't play by the same rules as biological diseases yet they want to be in the same ballpark. All they have is the fact there have been studies on how drugs effect the brain; gosh, even LSD experiments from the 1960's showed a favorable outcome when they discovered a nice side effect of it was extreme happiness due to serotonin release. So, it was assumed sad people were lacking serotonin....wow, how scientific is that. No proof, just happy people with small doses of LSD to thank. Nevermind sadness could quite possibly be due to external factors or bad health/pain/sleep/energy. They quickly started to develop simular drugs....I'm sure in the beginning the motive were pure but these days it's clear money comes first.

That's why I think they really don't know what they are talking about.
[QUOTE=UARebel]The biggest thing that bothers me is the fact that so many people do not want to consider ADD/ADHD a REAL disorder. And the fact that there is no biological examination to prove it is falce. The root is 3 nuerotransmitters that are insufficient in amount located in the brain: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Research, including PET scan, CAT scan, SPECT and MRI studies, have demonstrated that the brains of people with ADHD are measurably different than others. There differences are the bases for problems which place people with ADHD in a great disadvantage in many circumstances. If you do not believe that this is a provable disorder, i challenge you to go look up research and other information at the American Psychiatric Association and look at different results from different brains. And to add with that being a real disorder, it needs real medication. One shouldn't have to spend his entire life feeling a sense of emptiness, even though people around him are constantly saying, get motivated! Well, maybe he very well can't. If someone has diabetes, they should take insulin. Imagine how diabetics would feel if a group of people always went around saying insulin is not the answer you could die! So before so many people assume that add and its medications are a myth, do more research, and I assure you that you will find that it is very much so real.[/QUOTE]

But, you didn't ask me if I thought ADD was real. It's definately real in my opinion..... only I do not believe those differences in brain activity/learning processes is a real disease. Difference does not=disease. Biologically, we have many differences that sometimes run in groups.....shall we claim people who are left-handed are diseased individuals? Most ADDer's are visual spartial learners from what I've read; this collides with traditional teaching methods. It's probably alot like left brain/right brain users....different, not diseased. It just happens that ADD is not accomodated in our society. Hopefully that will change.

I also cannot tell you how many times I've read about the high IQ's these kids have.....certainly this is not disease in need of medication! And one of my issues is that stimulants are not medication....they are drugs that can speed up the brain....alot more powerful than caffeine which most people think is so horrible for health. Caffeine is incredibly weak in comparison yet we are warned by the medical community to watch for the smallest amounts of it in foods and drink...really now.

Well, I am interested in all this because my nephew was diagnoised with ADD. He first took Adderall. This helped him in school, but after awhile some personality changes occured. This normally sensitive, sweet boy was yelling/ordering at his dad in front of me one day; another day he didn't want to sit next to his mother(whom he adores). Also, after he started meds, he always had a stomachache(listed effect) But it was when he started crying for no reason(emotional lability) his dad went back to the doctor for advice.

Strattera was the magic answer. It worked well for awhile, his moods got better. But soon, the fatigue/sleep side effects kicked in, and would not go away. He was tired all the time. The doctor's answer was to try and up the dose and see. My brother-in-law decided no they won't see.....

Now he's off all meds. He is the sweet kid we knew before, and seems happier. School? Well, a new teacher seemed to connect with his needs and he is getting good grades, something that was supposedly impossible without meds. His younger brother started to have reading problems; instead of going to a doctor, the parents hired a tutor, which is working out beautifully.

My ADD nephew is fine; he plays sports, is learning violin. Yes, it's possible without meds. And yes, his ADD was quite real. I don't disagree about it's existance at all....just it's definations according to the psychiatric community and the use of unhealthy drugs.
You can in NO WAY compare diabities/insulin to ADD/ritalin. Its completely ridiculous. If people dont take their insulin they die. No one dies from lack of ritalin. ADD isnt caused by a methylphenidate deficiancy.

Besides that, lots of people have differences in their brains. Males vs Females brains are different. Lots of things can effect brain scan results. Dr Amen admits that a scan taken of his friends brain(his friend whos former scan showed normal activity) showed activity that looked the same as a brain high on cocaine. His friend was not on any drugs. He was infact in love. So many things effect results. It is also a fact that highly intelligent people have different brain chemistry. So, does this mean that they have a disease? NO!

Some children do have pre-frontal shut down problems, they may or may not need treatment. But the current treatment (stimulants) can be dangerous. Safer treatments should be sought out.

Most children diagnosed with ADHD dont even have the true disorder. They just show symptoms or traits and therefor are assumed to have ADHD, and are drugged for it. While their may be a small group who really has a problem what about the rest who dont? Those who are being given these medications needlessly? These medications can cause long term side effects. Many of these children who are normal but misdiagnosed with ADHD and medicated, later develope serious problems caused by the medication. Normal kids turned abnormal by "treatment" of a disorder that they never had in the begining... it is sad and happens all the time. Stimulants are also dangerous for those who have true ADHD, and should be avoided if at all possible. However, there may be a small group of children - a very small group - who do not respond to any other treatment. That could change though, if other treatments were made widely available. Things like biofeedback should always be tried before stimulants, yet it is not widely available, so most never even get a chance to try it.

And to whoever said that muztang777 is lying, how dare you!! muztang777 is not a liar, and attacking someone just because they speak the truth is not only foolish, but malicious as well. muztang is not a liar. It seems as though most people would rather believe all the negative things are lies. Maybe the truth is too scary. After all who wants to believe that a medication they are giving their child may cause heart damage, psychiatric problems, and more? The truth is just too hard to deal with for some people, but that does not make it OK for people to tell those of us who share the truth that we are liars.
Andy,

There are a lot of treatments out there. Basically your best bet is to explore all of them. If the more natural or safer treatments dont help you then you might want to choose medication.


Ritalin can be very dangerous, but thats when its taken long term. You just need to be 100% positive that you really have ADD and not something else thats causing your symptoms. (there are hundreds of physical/psychological issues that can look like ADD)

Anyway, this is not a choice you should make based on these boards, and if thats what youre doing then you definantly need to put in a little more research on the subject yourself!

If it were me I would start with the safer treatments to see if anything other than meds works before I resorted to ritalin.

BTW - You wont be able to take all that vitamin C everyday anymore if you choose to take ritalin. It will cause it to be ineffective. And you asked if youre very healthy does that make a diff. No it does not. The nasty side effects caused by ritalin are many times psychological, not physical.

Since you are 17 you should be old enough to be able to tell if it is having a negative impact on you and stop taking it ASAP. People who get long term negative effects are usually children who have been taking it for quite a while and cannot explain to their parents that it is having a negative impact on their lives.
Andy, I think you should really discuss your concerns with your doctor. Even if he does suggest medication, if you feel worried, go look at the experimentation and research at the American Medical Association's webpage. Also you can find an area where all medical reports are entered about patients affected by any type of drug...look through stimulants accounts and see what appears...Most enterings include minor side effects, and I've been on there before and I've never recalled seeing a listing that it caused death, or any other significant damage. And as for the 'natural treatments,' i would recommend you try them and see how they do. I have tried fish oil, magnesium/calcium, kava-kava, herb teas, Siberian Roots, Gingko...and none of it worked. Sure I don't like the fact of having to take the medication, but it works. I've been on it for a while now. I actually just had a doctor's appointment today...my blood pressure was 125/70 and my pulse was about 68. If you do decide the medicine route, before doing it do some research, reliable research. No, I don't mean go to ADHD organizational websites that support the medicine, and don't go to anti-medication sites either--go somewhere that does not have a biased opinion and see how they feel. A couple that come to mind are AMA and APA. Another thing to think about when worried about your heart or liver--generally the stimulants decrease people with ADHD's heart rate and bloode pressure, as opposed to the adverse affect on non ADDers. Also, have a couple of blood tests done a year to check your liver. I usually have 2 a year, and they have always came back great. Exercise is very important, as well as a good diet. I recommend a lot of whole foods. No additives, preservatives, artificial flavors, etc.

Another thing to remember: if you have questions or concerns about a certain thing, find other people who can relate. For example, if you want to join the military, talk to someone in the military about it. If you have conerncs about ADHD..talk to someone that actually has it.
In a lot of recent statistical case studies of ADHD patients under medication, it does lower their blood pressure. They monitored my blood pressure and pulse before and after and it did, in fact decrease. I didn't know it did that, so when I talked to my father about it (who is a cardiologist) he explained to me that people who had ADHD, it did in fact lower their blood pressure. This can be reflected..in how hyper and energized people with ADHD are, and how medication calms them down...it raises blood pressure and pulse in people who are not ADHD and take it. Although it is a side effect, it usually doesn't occur in many people with ADHD, because the medicine has the adverse effect. Its called a stimulant, but in my opinion, and also my own behavior, I am stimulated naturally...so it has an opposite effect. This is a very complicated matter..being that the human brain is the most powerful and curious thing on Earth...and its hard to understand its chemistry. There have been t-statistics observations on the effects of the medicine in both ADHD and non ADHD people....I think there might be some descriptions of them at the American Psyciatric Association's web page...from someone who has ADHD, and takes the medicine...it has honestly lowered my blood pressure.
[QUOTE=andybanandy]lowers your blood presure and heart rate!
that would be great for me! :P
my heard rate at rest is probably 105-110, and im not a pretty big guy eighter. only 175 at 17 years old. i tried to give blood at the blood bank but they wouldnt let me! :P

obviously this may not be a good thing, i will have to check with the cardiologist before i take it
and i get blood tests anually anyway, since my father and grandfather have high cholesterol, i go to get it check all the time to be safe (right now, im normal though)



and i dont think the fish oil will do anything. I live in newfoundland,canada. all we ever have is fish :P. if fish oil didnt do anything by now, it never will.[/QUOTE]

Wow, 17 years old. I wonder how old UARebel is. Talk to me when you are 47 about blood pressure. That's how old I am and my pulse rate and blood pressure are in line with yours and UA's. My diet isn't perfect and I even have some weight I need to drop; high blood pressure runs in my family. so why I don't have it must be because I believe in lots of exercise and no drugs.

At any rate, I think the whole lowering blood pressure effect of meds is myth or just circumstance since even the drug pdf's list high blood pressure as a side effect; if low blood pressure was an effect, it would also be listed. I've read some other(not stimulants) drug information which lists both low and high blood pressure when those were observed as side effects, so why wouldn't stimulants list it too if in fact it was a possibiltiy?

Here is one example of listed side effects, I chose Ritalin but other stimulants have simular lists:

Ritalin Side Effects
Common Ritalin Side Effects: Decreased appetite, excitement, growth supression (children), insomnia, mild headache, mild increase in heart rate, nervousness.

Adverse Side Effects: Abnormal behavior, allergy (bruising, fever, hives, joint pain, rash), altered heartbeat (irregular, pounding, racing), black or tarry stools, blood in urine, blurred or altered vision, delusions, depersonalization, dizziness, hallucinations, headache (severe), high blood pressure, involuntary speech, liver toxicity, muscle damage, nausea, porphyria, red points on skin, stomachache, stuttering, tics or uncontrolled movements, Tourette's syndrome onset, unusual bleeding, weight loss.

The likelihood of adverse side effects ranges from possible (documented for similar medications), to infrequent (below 10% of users), to rare (below 2%). Any adverse side effect should be reported to your doctor immediately if mild, and should receive immediate medical attention if severe. Seek professional advice as soon as possible. If you have an adverse reaction, stop taking the medication until, or if, your doctor approves further use.

Overdose: An overdose of this medication is possible, seek emergency medical attention if several of the following symptoms occur at once or are particularly severe. Agitation, altered heartbeat (fast, pounding, racing), dry mouth or mucous membranes, false euphoria, fever, hallucination, heavy sweating, higher blood pressure, large pupils, muscle twitches or tics, overactive reflexes, seizures, severe confusion, severe headache.

Cautions: This medication may not be safe or suitable for all individuals. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe treatment even if you have a history of one of the listed conditions, but may take extra precautions. Please be sure to discuss any history of the following conditions with your doctor, to ensure a high quality of treatment.

Allergy: An allergic reaction to this medication in the past is a contraindication for further use. Also inform your physician if you have any other medication, food, or dye allergies.
Alcohol or Substance Abuse: Individual may be at higher risk of dependence.
Cardiovascular Illness: Any illness of the cardiovascular system may be worsened by treatment with the stimulant methylphenidate. Take this medication only with the approval of a fully informed physician and careful monitoring.
Epilepsy or Seizure Disorder: Increased risk of convulsion, be especially cautious if you take other medication which could increase the likelihood of seizure.
Glaucoma: May increase pressure in the eye for individuals who have a history of this condition.
High Blood Pressure: Increased blood pressure or rapid heartbeat are common side effects of this medication, treatment is inadvisable.
Primary Psychiatric Disorder (Agitation, Anxiety, Major Depression, Severe Tension): These conditions may be worsened by treatment with methylphenidate.
Psychosis: The condition may worsen, this treatment is not recommended.
Tourette's Syndrome (or family history): Methylphenidate may increase the symptoms of this condition, or cause an onset of the syndrome if a predisposition exists.
Tics: May be worsened.
UARebel is 22, and his blood pressure and pulse rate are in great condition. UARebel also exercises a lot as well. I don't know what your exercises consist of, but i spend 2-3 hours a day in the gym (except sundays) and usually run 2-3 miles every other day. The only thing I don't understand Jennita, is that from your previous posts, and I could be wrong, but I would think that you are not ADD/ADHD. I am. I find it very ironic that people that are not love to generalize how drugs affect people that are, when they have no experimental knowledge, only things that they have read! Someone said earlier that they believed in 'natural things' and 'natural healing'.....where do you think these stimulants derive from? Exactly. You take a much greater risk getting in a car (which I am sure you do) than anyone ever has of taking the medication....oh, and since there were claims of Ritalin death and so on, I decided to check again with the American Medical Association...there has never, I repeat, never been a death reported because of stimulant drugs to treat this disorder....someone also said that it isn't fair or right to use drugs like this to feel a drugged effect or something....it is not a drugged effect. When people are properly diagnosed and use the treatment, the feeling that they get is that that normal people have. Herbs, teas, roots, rocks, blah blah blah. Do you honestly think that is enough to treat something of this level? How many roots could honestly play a significant part in dopamine regulation in the brain? I am not sure about you, but there are times when I say ok, this person knows more than I do. This is generally the case with medical professionals in the field of psychopharmacuetical study. ADD/ADHD and its medications used has been researched and studied in more than 6,000 individuals...making it the most researched field in all of medicine. More than cancer, aids, and so on. Chemo therapy for cancer patients is known to be potentially effective...and there are side effects. Well I guess since in all of its being, since chemo is not 'natural' it is not safe? And I know what your thinking, ADHD is to no extent something that needs to be treated like cancer!----your opinion----ADHD is like having any other disease or disorder...just in a different way. I have a sister that is 34, and she has been taking stimulants for ADHD since she was 18. She is very, very healthy-and it has done more good for her than anything else. Please, I wish everyone would quit trying to put so many scare tactics in to people with it, that they never actually find any help. You have no idea, no feeling, no way of ever realizing how much it benefits people. If you did, then you would obviously want them to be encouraged-instead of frightened and mislead. Kava, Gingko, roots, herbs, this and that....can not, and I repeat can not really and truly help someone with ADHD. It can assist, but not do the amount of help that the medication can. This is my last reply on the subject, because it utterly disgusts me when people have no visual knowledge of a disorder yet claim that they know what and how it is and what and how is dangerous.....Rediculous. If I can't banned from the board, so be it, just as long as maybe I showed one person like Andy that sometimes you have to use what helps. And as far as the side affects, most of these side affects are listed with MOST OTHER DRUGS-inclduding things like aspirin...............Andy, good luck, God bless, I wish you the best of luck, and my best advice to you is not to jump on the medication train, but talk to a professional who has experience in the field...not someone who claims that they once knew a guy who had a sister that's roomates cousin heart blew up from adderall...because when it all boils down to it, there is no root to these stories.
I was talking about using natural supplements without meds or along w/them but I didnt say anything about herbs and roots... and I didnt read the post that contained that info either. But I can say that saying that no natural treatments can treat ADHD is completely WRONG. Some people respond very well to them and there IS science behind it. L-Tyrosine for instance helps boost dopamine levels(which are lacking in ADHD patiants) And there are many many other natural treatments which can be very effective. Dr Amen uses L-Tyrosine for many of his patiants who dont respond to medication or cannot tolerate the medication side effects. It depends on body and brain chemistry, and not the severity of the condition. Many people respond very well to natural treatments, even people with severe forms of ADHD. I can say that I will NEVER go back to using medications. I was dx w/ "SEVERE ADHD" - My alternative treatments work very well for me. It is more difficult than just taking meds, and it was very hard to find the right alternative treatments for myself, but to me its all worth it to avoid putting amphetamines into my body. No, I dont use herbal remedies, or roots. I use supplements that have been proven helpful for ADHD along with a healthy lifestyle, behavior modification, meditation.

Andy - Even if you do need to start on medications, trust me, it is totally worth it to experiment with alternative treatments along w/your meds. Maybe one day you can then go off your meds successfully. One thing, supplements when used properly usually allow the worst - hardest to treat patiants to lower their medication dosage, even if they decide to stay on RX. Also, ask your doc about biofeedback.
ua - i am familiar with the postings of at least one of the people you are not happy with and can tell you she has a HUGE knowledge of ADD as well as personal experience with stimulant experience. i've read ALOT and i think she knows more than me about add biochemistry. but i do identify with your frustration and in many regards i agree it is much more useful to consult the AMA than a bunch of anecdotes on the internet.

but there are also good reasons to look elsewhere. first, the AMA is not exactly cutting-edge. clinical trials and acceptance take YEARS. second, western medicine is absolutely biased towards a particular form of allopathic medicine that does not recognize treatments and approaches that are well-accepted in other parts of the world.

i'd strongly recommend checking out a book called manifesto for a new medicine by james gordon. he is eminently reasonable and not at all a quack. a western doc with intensive training in eastern medicine, gordon chaired clinton's commission on complementary medicine. (btw i get the sense you might not be a clinton fan, but don't let that stop you) why read it? if for no other reason, he will draw your attention to the negligible status of preventive medicine in this country. ie. certainly you would agree that two people with ADD, one who eats organic whole foods, has some spiritual life and exercises, and one who lives under constant stress, eating lots of fast food and getting little exercise, will most likely have very different experiences with their ADD management? you might say, yes but that's just good health. it is, but then it is that very general kind of 'good health' that gordon and other complementary medicine advocates and practicioners see as the KEY to so many chronic diseases, mental and otherwise.

also, be wary of the american bias towards pharmaceuticals. for me it's very tough to ignore the role of drug companies in that bias. in much of europe you will find a much more common bias against ADD overdiagnosis and stimulant treatments. you will also find much more awareness of and interest in alternative medicine.

as for ritalin, it is definitely not 'natural'. methlyamphetamine is a synthetic compound created by chemists. but then so what? the very word natural is basically propaganda at this point. i'd worry about anyone who used that as a guide to their treatment. but there are other good reasons to be wary of using ritalin besides unrealistic concerns about very rare side effects like death or psychosis. for me the main one is this: the biochemistry of ritalin is very coarse. it forces a huge surge in dopamine levels and suppresses the firing of other neurons. for many people it works great. in fact, dopamine deficiency probably underlies most contemporary mental illnesses including more grave ones like schizophrenia. check out a psyche-ward some time and note how many people smoke cigarettes, a notorious form of self-medication for dopamine stimulus. but my skepticism looks at a stat like this:

"More than 54 million Americans have a mental disorder in any given year, although fewer than 8 million seek treatment (national mental health association)"

and thinks something is direly wrong with contemporary life. It makes very little evolutionary sense to think that 1 in 6 Americans is 'mentally ill', and so i am interested in directing some of my energy towards the things that we take for granted. these things, like diet, are often where preventive alternative medicine can be hugely useful. i've read your other posts - you are obviously a student of history. certainly you would agree there has been an absolute change in how we eat since the end of world war 2. i would imagine there are many out there who absolutely subsist on processed food.

as for your comment about "Herbs, teas, roots, rocks, blah blah blah. Do you honestly think that is enough to treat something of this level? " i can only say this, you need to read more. i think one thing most people here, who are well-informed, are advocating is this: amino acid supplementation. it may not work (or may not work for everyone) but the scientific mechanism behind makes sense. basically it's this: naturally occurring amino acids are dopamine precursors in the body, by giving them in huge quantities in an isolated pill form, it is POSSIBLE the body may be able to produce more dopamine and do so more effectively. who knows, it may be proven not to work someday, but the underlying idea is the same as ritalin: get the add brain more dopamine. and if does work, there are distinct advantages.

first, irregardless of what i've read about safety common sense tells me it's got to be better to avoid chronic amphetamine use if possible.
second, there is no threat of long-term dopamine exhaustion
third, i've still yet to read an explanation of ritalin's secondary effect: namely suppressing 'background' neurons from firing. i struggle to get things done, but my livelihood depends on my creativity. i'd rather avoid this until it's better understood.

and remember, the science of ritalin is still VERY young and not so well understood. consider:
"[this] remind[s] us how limited our knowledge is of the neurochemical and functional characteristics of the human brain during childhood and adolescence and on the effects of psychotropic drugs on brain development," Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, wrote

anyways sorry this is so very long, but before i go: don't get yourself banned to make a point. you are raising very important points and it's stimulating (sic) important dialogue here.
[QUOTE=UARebel]UARebel is 22, and his blood pressure and pulse rate are in great condition. UARebel also exercises a lot as well. I don't know what your exercises consist of, but i spend 2-3 hours a day in the gym (except sundays) and usually run 2-3 miles every other day. The only thing I don't understand Jennita, is that from your previous posts, and I could be wrong, but I would think that you are not ADD/ADHD. I am. I find it very ironic that people that are not love to generalize how drugs affect people that are, when they have no experimental knowledge, only things that they have read! Someone said earlier that they believed in 'natural things' and 'natural healing'.....where do you think these stimulants derive from? Exactly. You take a much greater risk getting in a car (which I am sure you do) than anyone ever has of taking the medication....oh, and since there were claims of Ritalin death and so on, I decided to check again with the American Medical Association...there has never, I repeat, never been a death reported because of stimulant drugs to treat this disorder....someone also said that it isn't fair or right to use drugs like this to feel a drugged effect or something....it is not a drugged effect. When people are properly diagnosed and use the treatment, the feeling that they get is that that normal people have. Herbs, teas, roots, rocks, blah blah blah. Do you honestly think that is enough to treat something of this level? How many roots could honestly play a significant part in dopamine regulation in the brain? I am not sure about you, but there are times when I say ok, this person knows more than I do. This is generally the case with medical professionals in the field of psychopharmacuetical study. ADD/ADHD and its medications used has been researched and studied in more than 6,000 individuals...making it the most researched field in all of medicine. More than cancer, aids, and so on. Chemo therapy for cancer patients is known to be potentially effective...and there are side effects. Well I guess since in all of its being, since chemo is not 'natural' it is not safe? And I know what your thinking, ADHD is to no extent something that needs to be treated like cancer!----your opinion----ADHD is like having any other disease or disorder...just in a different way. I have a sister that is 34, and she has been taking stimulants for ADHD since she was 18. She is very, very healthy-and it has done more good for her than anything else. Please, I wish everyone would quit trying to put so many scare tactics in to people with it, that they never actually find any help. You have no idea, no feeling, no way of ever realizing how much it benefits people. If you did, then you would obviously want them to be encouraged-instead of frightened and mislead. Kava, Gingko, roots, herbs, this and that....can not, and I repeat can not really and truly help someone with ADHD. It can assist, but not do the amount of help that the medication can. This is my last reply on the subject, because it utterly disgusts me when people have no visual knowledge of a disorder yet claim that they know what and how it is and what and how is dangerous.....Rediculous. If I can't banned from the board, so be it, just as long as maybe I showed one person like Andy that sometimes you have to use what helps. And as far as the side affects, most of these side affects are listed with MOST OTHER DRUGS-inclduding things like aspirin...............Andy, good luck, God bless, I wish you the best of luck, and my best advice to you is not to jump on the medication train, but talk to a professional who has experience in the field...not someone who claims that they once knew a guy who had a sister that's roomates cousin heart blew up from adderall...because when it all boils down to it, there is no root to these stories.[/QUOTE]

You missed my point. Your'e 22 and in great shape, I'm not surprized. Come back and talk to me when your'e 47....

Look, I don't mean to upset you. You really need to know a few things, though. If your doctor cannot tell you any real measure of dopamine levels in your brain and what normal levels are, you really can't medicate something like that properly. It's sloppy and dangerous to regulate levels of something in the body when one doesn't have any course of measure. Diabetics monitor their blood sugar several times a day, knowing when it is too high and also knowing WHAT is too high.

The dopamine connection lies only in theory; theory that they know dopamine stimulating drugs speed up the brain...which brings on clarity, attention and focus...so thus the conclusion that unfocused brains must be short on dopamine. They aren't even sure about that, or they wouldn't have develped Strattera for ADD ,which doesn't stimulate dopamine.

Also, stimulants are tolerance-producing drugs. The day will come you must take more to get any effect. That's why long-term use may become dangerous to health as side/adverse effects are more prominent in higher doses. THat doesn't mean super-high doses; doses well within the allowed prescribing criteria could cause the adverse health effects and sometimes mental effects such as depression or bi-polar.

With all this talk about neurotransmitters like dopamine and what not, do you know how your body makes/gets these things? Simple. Protein synthesis. Protein, aided by vitamins and carbs, breaks down into amino acids. Amino acids are what convert to neurotransmitters. Look up any list of amino acids and it will tell you what neurotransmitter an amino makes!

So this is why we preach about natural stuff.....not so much roots and herbs, but healthy foods, balanced diet, vitamins and minerals. I never once mentioned a root here, dear....

THe stuff Free Spirit mentioned is also such. L-Tyrosine, in case you don't know, is simply an amino acid. No magical roots, herbs or potions here....we are not witches, ok?? ;)

Sure, we are not professionals. We are just people concerned about this issue and the danger to others.

Truly, I wish you and Andy the best. I would hope both of you would look more into alternative methods for your own sakes.....I think you fail to realize that all these posts are out of concern for the health of people on these drugs and we truly think people who have ADD are not served well by the quick-fix toxic solution offered by psychiatry.

I think you deserve better, but ultimately it is your decision which way your life will go....no hard feelings, ok? Good luck to you both.... :wave:
Andy -
Most traditional doctors and psychiatrists are not trained or informed about natural treatments (you need to see a nutritionalist for help in that department). Also, you wont find any doctors who treat ADD with stimulants who will tell you about all the side effects that they can cause. Many doctors don't even know. Hopefully everything works out for you. How many mg are you on?

P.S. If you have a good pharmacist they may be able to recomend natural supplements instead of/or in conjunction with medication.
[QUOTE=MariaMarchita]Exactly. I asked my doctor point blank: if I could get some "pure" crystal meth off the street and give one "bump" (hit) a day to someone who'd previously been taking Desoxyn (the prescription form of crystal meth, yes there is one and it's given sometimes to treat ADD), would that be safe? Although he wouldn't come right out and say yes, he did tell me that would pretty much be the same thing. I asked, why is it "safe" to take prescription amphetamines but "unsafe" to take street speed? He said the main difference is that the prescription stuff is pure, not cut with other substances. I said, so someone with ADD could be treated "safely" with daily small doses of street speed, as long as it was pure, and he said yes, as long as the person took the appropriate amount and didn't up the dosage.

Whoa :eek:[/QUOTE]

At least your doctor is honest, let's give him credit! We need more of that.

This is the thing that is so funny; people think medications that effect the mind aren't street drugs. Where do they think the medical and psychiatric researchers got there ideas from? For some unknown reason, quite awhile back I turned on my T.V. and started surfing on cable T.V. one afternoon (I almost never watch daytime T.V.). I heard the word psychiatry and went back to that channel. It was a documentary on the history of psychiatry....they were at the point in the 1960's when they were studying the effects of LSD on the mind.

Well, the researcher sat there in an interview and said he was very excited at the discovered "desirable" side effects of LSD such as mood-lifting, due to it's effects on serotonin, and the drugs could be used for such things as stopping cigarette addiction (Zyban?) and depression(SSRi's?) in the future!

In 1968 the government halted the experiments due to the ill effects of the drug, but that didn't stop them. The documentary showed them going to other continents outside the US, gathering up various other hallucienagens and continued the experiments.

These things are only "medication" because there is the purity and also the perceived "control" over them.
With all due respect this thread drives me nuts. Especially all the unnecessary personal attacks.

So what if LSD was once studied for potential pharmaceutical applications? MDMA (ecstacy) has also been studied for years. What's so wrong with that?
For that matter, depending on where in the world you live, many people use cocaine recreationally and infrequently with no side-effects or addiction. Doesn't mean I would ever choose to.

But the world is full of psychoactive substances: nicotine, caffeine, sugar, fish oil, gingko, LSD, blue cheese (it contains naturally occurring amphetamines). To stigmatize any of them as good or bad is to my thinking not very productive.

My own approach is this: every pill or supplement or herb or whatever has some risk and probably some potential good as well (or I wouldn't be looking into it). I just want to get the best, most reliable information about it before I choose, as an adult, to try it. I stake more faith in the FDA, etc. because there are at least *some* controls in place. Perhaps ritalin can be addictive, perhaps not. That doesn't really seem to be the problem as a good doctor and an informed self-aware patient would monitor the problem and deal with it if it became so. And everything varies between patients anyways. I for example had absolutely zero side-effects when I went off Ritalin years ago.

I'm much more interested in fighting to get the best information available and to make it widely public, rather than trying to discredit something so broad as 'them' or 'the medical community', etc.
[QUOTE=sodawater]With all due respect this thread drives me nuts. Especially all the unnecessary personal attacks.

So what if LSD was once studied for potential pharmaceutical applications? MDMA (ecstacy) has also been studied for years. What's so wrong with that?
For that matter, depending on where in the world you live, many people use cocaine recreationally and infrequently with no side-effects or addiction. Doesn't mean I would ever choose to.

But the world is full of psychoactive substances: nicotine, caffeine, sugar, fish oil, gingko, LSD, blue cheese (it contains naturally occurring amphetamines). To stigmatize any of them as good or bad is to my thinking not very productive.

My own approach is this: every pill or supplement or herb or whatever has some risk and probably some potential good as well (or I wouldn't be looking into it). I just want to get the best, most reliable information about it before I choose, as an adult, to try it. I stake more faith in the FDA, etc. because there are at least *some* controls in place. Perhaps ritalin can be addictive, perhaps not. That doesn't really seem to be the problem as a good doctor and an informed self-aware patient would monitor the problem and deal with it if it became so. And everything varies between patients anyways. I for example had absolutely zero side-effects when I went off Ritalin years ago.

I'm much more interested in fighting to get the best information available and to make it widely public, rather than trying to discredit something so broad as 'them' or 'the medical community', etc.[/QUOTE]

Seriously, you didn't just compare blue cheese to ritalin, did you? :confused:

On the subject of food, that's exactly what creates all those wonderful neurotransmitters up there......protein+carbs+vitamins+digestion=protein synthesis. Protein synthesis, the breaking down of proteins results in amino acid production, and amino acids are what creates various neurotransmitters in the brain and body. Lots of stuff can interfer with that, however, including but not limited to poor digestion, drugs and alcohol.

Drugs also artifically manipulate the brain's system, which is something food does not do.

But your entitled to your opinion....I'll stick with my food, vitamins and supplements that nourish my body and mind; and keep my heart, kidneys and liver from the stress of potent street drugs.

On that note, extascy will soon be availible for depression, I imagine there will be a new surge of depressed people when that happens.

You do what you like.
[QUOTE=Jennita]You are right, very sad! I does seem that medicine is over-stepping the original intention of healing physical disease and causing it instead. Besides the fact they still have no proof of physical disease in behavioral disorders, here's a really great example that even goes beyond that......

I just saw on T.V. that the FDA is approving a drug for....here it is folks....shift work. Yes, a pill to help shift workers stay awake better. Is this a physical disease? Of course not. Then how can they make a drug for it and call it medicine?? Really, I can't wait to see the side-effects and health risks list for that one.....


Yeah, and you know who will be very likely to need this wonder-drug (tongue-in-cheek)?? Doctors!!! How does that make you feel now??
[QUOTE=DoubleVision][QUOTE=Jennita]You are right, very sad! I does seem that medicine is over-stepping the original intention of healing physical disease and causing it instead. Besides the fact they still have no proof of physical disease in behavioral disorders, here's a really great example that even goes beyond that......

I just saw on T.V. that the FDA is approving a drug for....here it is folks....shift work. Yes, a pill to help shift workers stay awake better. Is this a physical disease? Of course not. Then how can they make a drug for it and call it medicine?? Really, I can't wait to see the side-effects and health risks list for that one.....


Yeah, and you know who will be very likely to need this wonder-drug (tongue-in-cheek)?? Doctors!!! How does that make you feel now??[/QUOTE]

Like singing!
[QUOTE=andybanandy]sodawater.
i in fact do trust my doctor. we never went too extensively into any medical conditions. he asked if i have any medical problems and i said no. because at the time, i didnt have any medical problems (from what i knew). i will talk to him more next time i see him.


right now, theres something else i was wondering.
has retalin ever made add symptoms worse, instead of better?
lately, it feels as if i cant focus as much, and i slip into daydreaming more.it feels as if i look at a static object for around 2 secconds, my eyes automatically go out of focus. it could be where im tired, because there hasen't been any school the past week and i like to stay up last and get up early, so i could just be alittle fatiqued, but i was just wondering. can retalin make people worse?[/QUOTE]

Did you have any vision problems before that you are aware of? Alot of people with vision problems are inaccurately diagnoised with ADD.

If not, and the vision blurring is recent, perhaps it could be the side effect of Ritalin. I found the information on side effects of Ritalin which stated:

"Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Methylphenidate may cause dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, or impair your ability to concentrate. If you experience dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, or impaired concentration, avoid these activities."

If it impairs your ability to concentrate, I don't think that's what you were hoping for and perhaps it is making things worse.
[QUOTE=Jennita]Did you have any vision problems before that you are aware of? Alot of people with vision problems are inaccurately diagnoised with ADD.

If not, and the vision blurring is recent, perhaps it could be the side effect of Ritalin. I found the information on side effects of Ritalin which stated:

"Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Methylphenidate may cause dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, or impair your ability to concentrate. If you experience dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, or impaired concentration, avoid these activities."

If it impairs your ability to concentrate, I don't think that's what you were hoping for and perhaps it is making things worse.[/QUOTE]


the only vision problem i had before was myopia, which i still have (which is normal, near sightedness)

i wouldnt describe it as "blurred vision". its just my eyes seems to enjoy going out of focus when their not in use, even if i dont move em for 1 or 2 secconds, the automatically go a little unfocused, its even hard to read with this problem.
All well and true, but many are misdiagnoised. Even the presentation of all symptoms does not guarentee anything. My nephew was diagnoised properly, given meds. But his parents did not care for the side effects; mood swings(crying for no reason and aggressiveness) on Adderall and sleep/fatigue problems on Strattera. So they dropped all meds(he was only on for a few months) and the world didn't fall apart. His parents became noticably more patient with him instead and also a new teacher and school year seemed to basically make his ADHD disappear.

You would probably like to say he never had it to start with, but how is it that he went to proper doctors and had all the testing for "chemical imbalances"(both his parents are in the medical field so it was done right with right doctors) and was still diagnoised as having this disorder? According to what I've read, it simply doesn't just disappear, especially without medication. There is too much theory associated with this and also whether or not amphetamines/drugs is the answer.





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