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An amphetamine by any other name

adhd_vidAn HSI member named Corinne sent an e-mail with this question about an ADHD medication:

“I would like to know if you have any information on the drug ADDERALL used for ADD? I checked out the e-Alert on ADHD from 06-03-2002. They didn’t have anything on ADDERALL. Is there anything on the use of this drug for ADHD?”

Like Ritalin, Adderall is a powerful stimulant designed specifically to treat ADHD, which is attention deficit disorder (ADD) with hyperactivity. The active ingredients of Adderall are amphetamine and dextroamphetamine.

Over the past decade, “Ritalin” has come to be the catch-all word that most people use when they talk about ADD/ADHD medications in general. But Ritalin is only one of several brands of this class of medications. In fact, in 1999, Adderall outsold Ritalin in the U.S.

Adderall (manufactured by Shire Pharmaceuticals of Scotland) just recently made the news when the FDA granted approval of the drug for adults in the U.S. The PA News (a Scottish business journal) announced the FDA decision with this interesting aside about ADHD: “Without treatment, the illness can lead to psychological maladjustment and occupational and social disabilities, the company added.”

Nice, huh? It’s not a disorder, it’s an “illness.” And if you’ve come down with this illness, you’ll grow up socially disabled, cast into the occupational lower depths.

Two words: pure malarkey.

As Dr. Spreen pointed out in the e-Alert “Behavior Mod Squad” (10/2/03), “Never assume that drugs are the only answer.” Because if a child or an adult displays symptoms of ADD or ADHD, dietary modification combined with behavior modification will provide very effective results in most cases, minus the high price tag and the side effects.

To Your Good Health,
Jenny Thompson
Health Sciences Institute

“Shire Reports Breakthrough for Adderall” Phil Waller, PA News, 10/20/03,
“Amphetamine Mixed Salts / Brand Name: Adderall”,
“The Ritalin Wars Continue” Dr. Joseph Mercola, 1/7/01,