UN consultant: Ritalin is almost always superfluous

UN consultant: Ritalin is almost always superfluous

Swiss UN consultant: "Ritalin" is almost always superfluous
18.04.2014

Switzerland is known for its beneficial critical handling of the diagnosis of ADHD and the medication of children with psychotropic drugs. Doctors and psychologists there were already concerned in 2010 after the consumption of methylphenidate, the active ingredient in psychotropic drugs such as Ritalin, rose again by 10%. Even senior citizens would be treated with methylphenidate.

In 2011, the National Ethics Committee for Human Medicine (NEK-CNE) in Switzerland commented on the use of psychotropic drugs for enhancing the brain's performance, so-called enhancement, and also critically examined the use of medications with the active ingredient methylphenidate in children. Because pharmacological causes cause changes in behavior, but the child does not learn how to achieve such behavior changes, the child is deprived of an important learning experience for acting independently. "In this sense, enhancement severely restricts the child's freedom and inhibits his or her personality development," says the NEK-CNE statement.

And now the Swiss UN consultant Pascal Rudin criticizes ADHD and its medication. The high Ritalin consumption will become an issue for the United Nations, he says. The United Nations should therefore recommend Switzerland to set stricter rules for Ritalin consumption by children. Pascal Rudin: “The problem is that Ritalin is used to treat a disorder. So the key question is: what is our understanding of disorder? It is clear that a child can interfere relatively quickly in the school environment. But that doesn't mean it has a medical disorder. Attention deficit disorder ADHD is defined as an illness, but can hardly be measured medically. So children are stigmatized just because Ritalin works at short notice and is efficient. In this context, the UN should also refer to fundamental ethical principles: Doctors should treat us, not increase our performance. "

Rudin also points out that "Ritalin" is only authorized if you have a real biological-medical basis for the prescription. However, this applies to at most 5% of the children who take the corresponding medication today, so that in 95% of the children - almost always - these psychotropic drugs are superfluous.

The ADHD conference welcomes and supports this position, but doubts Rudin's acceptance of 5% of the medicated children who have a "real" biological-medical basis. There is no such basis for ADHD. If methylphenidate is temporarily indicated, it is not for biological-medical reasons, but only for psychosocial reasons (e.g. as part of an intervention in an escalating crisis). (pm)

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