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ADHD is a commonly discussed problem in the parenting world as more and more parents are concerned that their children may be suffering from the disease. This is not a simple disease to diagnose and it is critical that parents seek expert opinion before they start medicating their children for ADHD. Current studies indicate that the worldwide prevalence of ADHD is nearly 5 percent yet it is expected that there are currently 3 times as many children taking medications for ADHD because of troublesome behavior and improper diagnosing. [1] Just because your child is energetic, that does not mean he has ADHD. 

The hallmark of an ADHD diagnoses the inability of children or adults to "sit still" and maintain focus in multiple settings. ADHD is complicated to differentiate in reality because young children are already prone to being full of energy. Doctors need to have a detailed history and multiple conversations with the child before they can even begin thinking of writing a prescription. [2]

If a proper diagnosis is made and the patient is ready for medication, one of the newer medications on the market that is competing with a more traditional treatment like Ritalin would be Dexedrine.  Dexedrine is a medication that comes with some benefits and side effects that you need to consider before allowing your child to take this medicine. 

The most important reason to take a medication is because it works and Dexedrine has been proven to meet that expectation. In studies testing to see if the medication could be effective on both the pediatric and adult populations, it was determined that it made a significant difference compared to the control patients in terms of helping patients with behavioral problems. [3]

Even if it works, that does not necessarily mean that this medication should be used liberally on your children. Studies also indicate that this medication comes with an extensive list of potential side effects that could be quite detrimental to the health of the patient. To start off with, this medication can cross-react with some other common medications against coughs and colds, so it is important that you do not use them together. 

Another critical risk is that this medication can cause serious problems with a patient's heart, blood vessels or circulation patterns so patients need to have routine check-ups to make sure that this medication is not becoming toxic for a patient's heart function. 

The last critical risk factor that is worth mentioning is the physiological changes that are possible with this medication. Most patients will experience some problems with their growth after taking this medication. Studies indicate that patients taking this drug fail to reach their expected growth levels. 

Other less life-threatening conditions that are associated with this medication include visual disturbances, potential hallucinations, mood changes and extreme levels of energy. Studies also show that patients can develop a tolerance for this medication and will need to take higher and higher doses to have an effective response in the future. [4]

Be careful when choosing this medication for your child if they have ADHD and consider other medications that could have fewer dangerous side effects if possible. 

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