ADHD: Ritalin only in exceptional cases

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ADHD: Ritalin award in children and adolescents only in exceptional cases and under the supervision of a specialist.

(09/18/2010) The drug consumption in children and adolescents has increased rapidly. So-called psychoanaleptics in ADHD were prescribed too quickly by general practitioners. But that should change now. Only in exceptional cases should children and adolescents suffering from attention deficit disorder (ADHD) be treated with Ritalin (active ingredient methylphenidate). The Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) has thus restricted the prescription of psychoanaleptics medicines for children and adolescents because of possible risks.

The health insurance companies are now only reimbursing medicinal products with the active ingredient "methlyphenidate" for which an ADHD diagnosis has been made. Now the rules are to be tightened, in which further requirements for the diagnosis and the professional competence of the doctors in therapy are specified. In the future, general practitioners will no longer diagnose ADHD, but only specialists (child and adolescent psychiatrists with a social psychiatry agreement). These are bound to provide the child with additional psychological, educational and curative education offers. Only specialists should then only be allowed to prescribe the active ingredient "methlyphenidate". In the course of treatment, medication should also be interrupted regularly to check the child's health.

The Federal Ministry of Health has yet to review any changes to the pharmaceutical directive. If no complaints become clear, the update of the pharmaceutical directive with regard to the allocation of "methlyphenidate" is published in the Federal Gazette. The regulation then comes into effect.

Last year, the commercial health insurance company (KKH) announced a 5 percent increase in diagnosis of ADHD as a result of a study in the period from 2004-2007. The number of affected children in Germany is estimated to be around 500,000, with boys being affected three times more often than girls. According to a study by the University of Michigan, around one million children in the United States live with an incorrect diagnosis of ADHD. In Germany, too, the number of incorrectly made ADHD diagnoses is likely to be quite high. So far there are no precise studies. (sb)

Also read:
Often wrong ADHD diagnosis in children
ADHD portal against premature diagnoses
Cannabis effective for ADHD?

Image: Rainer Sturm /

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