ADHD drug tests coming for preschoolers
An ADHD drug will be tested on preschoolers after the Food and Drug Administration has agreed to a request from Shire. The company issued a statement that reveals the drug Vyvanse, used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, will be tested on children between the ages of 4 and 5. The controversial decision has some parents worried about the expansion of ADHD medication to small children.
Vyvanse study for preschoolers
Vyvanse is already used by children between the ages of 6 to 12, teens between the ages of 13 to 17 and adults. The company also mentions that some doctors have been prescribing the medication to children under the age of 5. Shire has acknowledged the Food and Drug Administration’s decision and will conduct clinical trials for children between the ages of 4 and 5. It plans to begin the initial phases of the studies by 2015.
Vyvanse, which contains an amphetamine derivative, is considered to be a successful drug for Shire and had sales of $1.2 billion in 2013. The company explains it wants to expand the use of the medication for preschoolers because it believes 3 to 5 percent have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Concerns from parents about ADHD drugs
Some parents believe ADHD is being diagnosed too frequently in small children, and they often blame schools for not being able to handle behavioral differences. Similar to other medications, ADHD drugs carry a risk of dependence and side effects. A recent report found that doctors continue to expand the use of the medications, and 10,000 toddlers between the ages of 2 and 3 are now being treated for the disorder. Although researchers and parents welcome clinical trials for the drug Vyvanse to test its safety and usefulness, they continue to be concerned about the rise in ADHD cases among children.
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