Facts Withheld From Parents

6a00d8341c565553ef0147e35ec146970b-500wiParents are not told that methylphenidate, as a stimulant, can cause the very disorders it is supposed to cure – inattention, hyperactivity, and aggression. When the child becomes worse while taking the medication, he or she is likely to be given either higher doses of the drug, or an even stronger medication, such as neuroleptics thioridazine (Mellaril) or haloperidol (Haldol). This can result in a vicious circle of increasing drug toxicity. Rarely are parents informed that methylphenidate can cause permanent disfiguring tics. Parents are sometimes told that methylphenidate can suppress growth (height and weight), but the explanation is usually given in a manner calculated not to frighten them. Much of the brain’s growth takes place during the years in which children are given this drug; but doctors don’t tell parents that there are no studies of the effect of this growth inhibition on the brain itself. If the child’s body is smaller, including his head, what about the contents of his skull? And if size can be reduced, what about more subtle and perhaps immeasurable brain deformities? Parents are infrequently informed that like any form of speed, methylphenidate can often make children anxious and sometimes cause them to behave in ways that seem “crazy”. Most surely, parents will not be told about any danger of permanent brain damage from long-term exposure to methylphenidate. While no consistent brain abnormalities have been found in children labeled ADHD, one study has found brain shrinkage in adults labeled ADHD who have been taking methylphenidate for years (Nashrallah et al., 1986). The authors of the study suggested “cortical atrophy may be a long-term adverse effect of this (methylphenidate) treatment”.

ZAN is an herbal remedy for ADD/ADHD. The composition includes six natural herbs and antioxidants: Proanthocyanidin (Pycnogenol), Yucca Schidigera, Bilberry, Hawthorn, Silymarin complex, and Ginkgo Biloba. The inventor has discovered that these herbs and antioxidants work effectively together to alleviate symptoms of ADD/ADHD when administered on a daily basis. (For more about the herbs, vist Zan’s Components)

Within approximately six weeks of administering ZAN to her three year old son, in 1994, the inventor noticed a dramatic improvement in his behavior. Her son’s ability to remain seated, follow through on instructions, and play or work quietly were greatly improved. After taking the ZAN compound for almost five years, the results of a few missed doses are immediate. Her son becomes cranky and fidgety. The dosage of the ZAN compound depends greatly on the weight level of the subject. The inventor had to increase and compute dosages according to her son’s increments of weight gain. In September 1998, in response to interest from parents who had heard about her son’s success with an herbal remedy, the inventor created five compounds to suit all ages and weight levels. She conducted a year long study where her subjects were chosen to represent the various weight groups. The astounding success of her study promoted her to file for a patent and to make the ZAN compound more accessible to the public.

Methylphenidate and Cocaine

CocaineHCl.svgParents are seldom told that Methylphenidate is “speed” – that is pharmacologically classified with amphetamines and causes the same effects, side effects, and risks. Yet this is well-known in the profession. For example, Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders observes that cocaine, amphetamines, and Methylphenidate are “neurologically alike” (American Psychiatric Association 1989, p. 1221). As evidence the textbook points out that abuse patterns are the same for the three drugs; that people cannot tell their clinical effects apart in laboratory tests; and that they can substitute for each other and cause similar behavior in addicted animals (American Psychiatric Association, 1989, p. 1221. Also see Breggin, 1991, and Breggin and Breggin, 1994 a&b).

The DSM-IV confirms these observations by lumping cocaine, amphetamine and methylphenidate abuse and addiction into one category, Schedule II, which also includes amphetamines, morphine, opium, and barbiturates (Goodman a al., 1991). Before it was replaced by other stimulants in the 1980s, methylphenidate was one of the most commonly used street drugs (Spotts and Spotts, 1980). In our home town of Bethesda, youngsters nowadays sell their prescribed methylphenidate to classmates who abuse it along with other stimulants. Like any addictive stimulant, methylphenidate can cause withdrawal symptoms, such as “crashing” with depression, exhaustion, withdrawal, irritability, and suicidal feelings. Parents will not recognize a withdrawal reaction when their child gets upset after missing even a single dose. They will mistakenly believe that their child needs to be put back on the medication.