ADHD Medication Risks Outweigh Benefits in Most Cases


A systematic review of studies of stimulant medications for ADHD has concluded that the drugs should be used as a last resort, in rare cases, and for short durations only. Publishing in the Revista de la Asociación Española de Neuropsiquiatría (The Journal of the Spanish Association of Neuropsychiatry), a Navarra Hospital psychiatrist and a director of the San Juan Mental Health Center in Spain note in their English-language abstract that, “These drugs are the same stimulant substances whose harmful consequences are well known in other uses in adults.” In their 74-page review, the authors assess the evidence about the effectiveness and risks of ADHD medications. “The result is disappointing,” the authors conclude, “and should lead to a modification of the [Clinical Practice Guidelines] to the use of drugs as tools of last resort, in a small number of cases and limited and short periods of time.”

Outreach and limitations of the pharmacological treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (ADHD) in children and adolescents and Clinical Practice Guidelines: a literature review. (Valverde Eizaguirre, Miguel A. and Inchauspe Arostegui, José A. Revista de la Asociación Española de Neuropsiquiatría [online]. 2014, vol.34, n.121, pp. 37-74. ISSN 0211-5735.


  1. Oh, good God, I hope they stop defaming children with “lacking in validity” disorders, and forcing them onto stimulants. When I was a child, I was told NOT to take amphetamines. It is just heartbreaking to me that the psychiatrists, teachers, school personnel, parents, and PCPs have been mandating children take drugs we knew were bad for people 40 years ago. Evidence based medicine, really?

    But they also need to stop forcing the SSRIs on children (and adults), too. I have had so many young adults tell me how horrible these drugs are. And the etiology of my “bipolar” was the common withdrawal systems of an SNRI, so I agree, the antidepressants are horrid. And, I won’t even get started on the impropriety of psychiatrists using their newest “torture” drugs, their “antipsychotics,” on so many.

    I whole heartedly agree, there is a dire need for “the modification of [Clinical Practice Guidelines] to the use of drugs as tools of last resort, in a small number of cases and limited and short periods of time.” All drugs are poisons, please wake up doctors!

    Report comment

    • Honestly, there should also be a re-consideration of allowing doctors to willy-nilly prescribe meds off label. Neuroleptics are used widely to “treat” basically every human behaviour right now and psychiatrists are acting like Dr House – lets just damp random meds on a patient in random order and combination and maybe something sticks (and doesn’t kill you). It may be funny to watch it as a show on TV but it’s no way to treat actual medical issues (taken the question about whether the response to “mental illness” should be medical in nature aside for a while).

      Report comment

      • I totally agree. According to my medical records, massive neuroleptics cocktails were mandated by a PCP who was paranoid of a malpractice suit, because her husband was the “attending physician” at the “bad fix” on my broken bone. It hadn’t occurred to me initially that mainstream American doctors had sunk so low, that they’re now attempting to murder patients, due to a “bad fix” on a broken bone.

        And I agree, the FDA betrayed the American public, we are all the drug test victims. And, yea to big Pharma, your “me,too” “new wonder drugs” are worse than your old toxic drugs. What a terrible mess the 1% has made of our society. Humm, maybe we’ve got the wrong people in charge?

        Report comment

  2. Dexedrine does make me quiet and calm but I feel like it is sucking my soul dry and the supplemental therapies to try to help minimize what this may be doing to me overall. I am extremely hyperactive though and it is abnormal but I think that there is a better option out there than drugs.

    Report comment